Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Vitamin for Your Marriage, Laughter



Do you often wonder where all the smiles, laughs and humor went lately?
Just in case you're wondering what's going on in the picture above, it's my daughter catching snowflakes! Nice face huh?

It seems like our world has gotten so hushed and serious all of a sudden. No wonder people appear lost, devoid of all hope and joy living in fear and anxiety over what will exactly happen next.


I guess the enemy loves this time in our world. When did it all go south?


I guess hope went first.


When bad times happen, it’s hard to see the end of the tunnel. All we see is some hope of light perhaps, but mostly I believe people just see continued darkness.


The tunnel leads to despair, which robs you of your hope and leaves you alone and depressed.


All the "what ifs and if only’s begin to pop up in your mind.


We spend so much time worrying about the future prospects, it’s not wonder we live in our world of fear. We have so much anxiety over the things that may never come to pass. We forget about all the times we were blessed and still are.


Our focus has changed, but it’s time we learn to laugh again.


My hubby, Steve and I can sit outside and just share a conversation with each other, and something funny will pop up. We begin to laugh about it for a few minutes. Most of the time, our kids think we have finally snapped, until we tell them what’s so funny. Most of the time, they look at us, and wonder "that’s not that funny."


Our response is usually the same, "guess you had to be there."


I find it interesting that a lot of bloggers will even take time off blogging to share a funny story, joke or even a picture with us. I think we need more of that. I think we need a laugh every hour or so. Not a big belly laugh, but a slight chuckle will do.


I have the best time picturing Jesus laughing. I don’t think all His time on earth was spent, in a serious sermon mode, but I bet He laughed. I bet He laughed quite a bit.


Psalm 2:4 " The One enthroned in heaven laughs;"


Psalm 126:2 " Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them."


I think especially in marriage that laughter can be great medicine.


Not all people will find the same things funny, but in general I think laughter enables couples to cope. It provides an outlet for people to let out all the negative feelings and emotions we keep bottled up inside. Laughter bonds people.


It also helps us deal with physical pain better. The French philosopher Voltaire wrote, "The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease." Modern research indicates that people with a sense of humor have fewer symptoms of physical illness than those who are less humorous."


Even the doctor portrayed by Robin Williams in the movie "Patch Adams", knew laughter heals. This movie was based on the real life story of Hunter Campbell "Patch" Adams.


In King Solomon's times, people have known about and applied the healing benefits of humor. As Proverbs tells us, "A cheerful heart is good medicine." (17:22)


Other real life examples of how humor and laughter can help as a coping mechanism are author, Viktor Frankl. In Frankl's book Man's Search for Meaning, he speaks of using humor to survive imprisonment during World War II. Frankl and another inmate would invent at least one amusing story daily to help them cope with their horrors.


Laughter helps us to deal with stress and what marriage and family life isn’t filled with some degree of stress these days. Bills to be paid, kids demanding more time and/or more things, when things break down unexpectedly in the home, washers, dryers, water heaters, you name it. All these things add to the stress a marriage is already under.


It’s really hard to stay mad at someone who makes you laugh. Try it with your kid’s one day, when they are in a horrible mood, just try and make them laugh or at the very least smile. They may be madder that you made them laugh when they just wanted to stay mad.


Trust me, no one wants to stay mad.


We just forget how to get over to the other side and smile again. To get to cartoon land, where things are so serious. Where a smile warms you just like the rays of the sun.


I think we need to desperately lighten up, and relax a little bit more. Remember what really matters!


Some great Christian authors also share how laughter and humor can make our relationships better. Chuck Swindoll said, "Laughter is the most beautiful and beneficial therapy God ever granted humanity."


Do you know what makes your spouse laugh? What do they really find funny? Perhaps it’s time to do some investigating and try and bring that humor back to the surface where it belongs. I am not saying that we have to be laughing all the time, but I think it’s a balance that is missing in our lives at the present moment.


So, lighten up. Learning to laugh a little more just may save your life, not to mention your marriage. To paraphrase Henry Ward Beecher, "A marriage without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs — jolted by every pebble in the road."


I believe that humor is one of God’s best gifts and as adults we have lost it because we are too serious and overly responsible. Kids don’t seem to have any problem with finding the simplest thing funny!


As adults we are so busy at trying to achieve some level of comfort and success, we forget how to live. Dr. Chuck Swindoll goes on to talk about the up side and downside of our drive to achieve. Jokingly speaking of an ‘elite club’ High Achievers Anonymous, Chuck spoke compassionately about the high cost that our work addictions play in our primary relationships. The tragedy is, enough is never enough. Life becomes reduced to work, tasks, effort, an endless list of shoulds and musts...minus the necessary fun and laughter that keeps everything in perspective.


Chuck says that there is always one telltale sign when pride takes charge of our life: the fun leaves. Deep within, the overachiever begins to think that life is much too busy, much too serious to waste it on silly things like relaxation and laughter. Why has our 20th century suffered so terribly from laughless dictators like Hitler, Stalin, and Mussolini?


G.K. Chesterton comments: ‘Madmen are always serious; they go mad from lack of humor.’
Laughter is hope’s last weapon. Perhaps it’s time to go searching for it once again and see what a difference it makes in our relationships and in our own life!

8 comments:

RCUBEs said...

Many studies were done and most proved how beneficial laughter is in relation to one's health. It lowers blood pressure, increases body's immune system to fight off illnesses, etc. Have you heard about "laughter yoga?" Heard it can also reduce facial wrinkles [forget the costly "Botox" therapy].
Yes, laughter is the best medicine and we all can use it to help our broken spirits.
I wonder if a "good belly laugh" will help form nice abs? :)
Thanks for this post. God bless.

Yolanda said...

There is many a moment of "laughter" in this home. We both enjoy laughter and get so tickled with one another.

Thank you for the reminder! Three of us "gals" spent a Friday night together ove night a few weeks back and I thought, I wonder if God is laughing with us?

Lovingly,
Yolanda

Jennifer said...

Great post! I know that I get so wrapped up with all the cares of the world and my life and forget to laugh and smile.

It is amazing how things look after having a good laugh.

BTW...the color that I used was called Breezy from Sherwin Williams. I don't know if you have that paint store where you live or not but we use Cashmere and it covered with one coat. One gallon painted our entire bedroom. Yeah!

Andrea said...

Amen..AMEN...AMEN!!!!!

I love laughing with my husband and enjoying the simple things of life...walks in the woods...sitting by a branch...just listening to the birds. GOD Bless you for reminding me of all the special times we share...

LisaShaw said...

Your daughter is too cute!!!

Laughter is good medicine for the soul and for relationships! My hubby and I are not known humorous people but we sure do laugh OFTEN/DAILY and we keep that part of our marriage alive and well. It's vital.

Thanks for sharing with us sweet sister.

Leslie said...

My hubby likes to tell our kids that the only reason we had them was so that we'd have someone to laugh at! Nice, huh?! My younger son can't help but smile all the time. We'll play the "don't smile" game and he always loses!

This may be embarrassing to admit, but my husband & I love to watch Spongebob. It just cracks us up! Another show that is always good for a laugh is Malcolm in the Middle. Oh, and Spin City. I catch the reruns a few times a week, and they're always good for a belly laugh!

God's Not Finished With Us Yet... said...

Kathleen,

I nominated you for the 'Golden Heart Award' after someone nominated me. After checking out your blog yesterday and laughing so hard at how much I relate to your 'My Pet Peeves' post I just couldn't pass you up. I can't recall the last time I enjoyed a good laugh! So swing by my site tomorrow when it's posted on my blog and copy/paste it to your site along with the instructions.

Your new blog follower and friend,

~Sarah Cecilia

Angela said...

So true, my friend...so true and so often taken for granted!