Growing up, one of my favorite pastimes was laughing with friends or family until I could not breathe. Nothing else in life seemed to bring as much enjoyment (except maybe the amorous attentions of young men). Changing hormones (which led to unprovoked giggles) and the freedom of responsibility gave us many hours to joke with each other, find the humor in our sheltered lives, and laugh until our sides ached.
Even today, those same friends and I gather at the beach each summer hoping to descend into the same giggles which once gave us much pleasure and relief. They are a little harder to come by these days as we have more responsibility, more worry to battle, and less time for recreation, but we still value the emotional relief which comes from a much-needed belly laugh.
A glad heart makes a cheerful face, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is crushed. (Proverbs 15:13, ESV)
If we couldn’t laugh, we would all go insane. – Robert Frost
Is a Sense of Humor Important to You?
Ladies, let me tell you, his body and adorable face will most definitely go south over time (same with us); but, a sense of humor has a greater longevity. Marry the guy who can make you laugh. The guy who makes you swoon will be obsolete within the first two years of marriage. The first time you walk in on him in the bathroom, baby him when he is sick, pick up his underwear, or watch him eat a burrito while you are in labor, your swooning days will be over; but, a man who can make you laugh is a lifetime treasure.
Just any sense of humor is not what you are looking for, either. What makes you laugh? If your man makes everyone else laugh, but you find him distasteful or unamusing, can you happily deal with a lifetime of that? If your lady makes her girlfriends laugh, but she completely annoys you, do you want to live with that forever? Will it affect the comedians you like, TV shows you watch, and friends you attract? Sure, it will. Sometimes, senses of humor morph over time the longer you are with someone, but if the person you are dating makes you cringe with every attempt at humor, that is not something to ignore.
Maybe humor is not important to you. If this is the case, it is best to realize it before finding a mate. Seeking self-awareness is wise and will help you avoid some unappealing matches. Maybe a quest for knowledge, debate, athletics, or art is where your passions lie. If you can go weeks without laughing and still feel congruent with yourself, that is great; but, be sure you find a life partner who is satisfied in a humorless marriage or is content to create his or her own amusement. ~smile~ Also, notice if his or her attempts at humor drive you crazy! ~smile~ One way or another, you need to be sure you can emotionally connect with your partner in several areas before tying the knot.
Pull Out the Creed Notebooks!
Laughter is one of my favorite topics. There is nothing like belting out a loud, long chuckle to make the day better – at least for me! It takes all kinds of people to make the world go ‘round, but I tend to believe more laughter and less divisive debate leads to greater mental health! When we let our guards down and refuse to take ourselves so seriously, we can let go of many unnecessary frustrations and resentments. Like Mark Lowry, one of my longtime beloved comedians, said, “You cannot laugh with your arms folded. You have to bring your arms down.” Sometimes the best way to reach someone is through humor. And, I think one of the best ways to keep your relationship fresh and comfortable is through frequent smiles and laughter. I would most definitely not want to be married without the release valve of laughter!
- How can I best describe my sense of humor?
- Does my humor mesh with my significant other’s sense of humor?
- Has my humor ever caused problems between my partner and myself?
- On a scale from 1-10, how important is a good sense of humor in a potential mate?
- What do I not find funny? (e.g., physical comedy, sarcasm, making fun of others, etc.)
- Do I turn to humor to help me get through difficult seasons?
- What/who are my favorite:
- TV Shows?
- Preachers/Teachers/Coaches, etc.?
- Do they share similar styles of humor?
- Not counting my boyfriend or girlfriend, who (3-5 people) do I enjoy spending time with most?
- Why are they my favorite?
- What characteristics do they share in common?
- When I envision my life without laughter, what do I see?
What Does the Bible Say?
A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22, ESV)
When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad. (Psalm 126: 1-3, ESV)
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance. (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4, ESV)
The wicked plots against the righteous and gnashes his teeth at him, but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he sees that his day is coming. (Psalm 37:12-13, ESV)
If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet. Bloodthirsty men hate one who is blameless and seek the life of the upright. A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back. (Proverbs 29:9-11, ESV)
It is better for a man to hear the rebuke of the wise than to hear the song of fools. For as the crackling of thorns under a pot, so is the laughter of the fools; this also is vanity. (Ecclesiastes 7:5-6, ESV)
Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. (Proverbs 31:25, ESV)
As the verses above show us, laughter can be holy and good or evil and foolish. When we laugh out of the abundance of joy in our hearts, that is precious. I believe God smiles at the joy of His children. When we laugh with others at humorous life events, quality entertainment, or jokes which do not dishonor God, such laughter is healing. However, when we laugh at the demise of others, make fun of those who are struggling, or chuckle at jokes which fly in the face of Christ’s sacrifice, that laughter gives us momentary delight but long-term uneasiness. Have you ever left the company of a group feeling dirty and heavy-hearted? I certainly have. When I spend time with people who are gossiping or telling off-color jokes, I feel twisted and uncomfortable inside. Do you?
Not all humor is created equal.
Where does cultivating a life of laughter fall on your personal priority list? Is the occasional chuckle nice, but not something after which you seek? Or, does each day need to be full of laughter for you to feel at peace? Do your beliefs about laughter align? If laughing together is important to you both, put a star by this topic so you can add it into your creed.
Life is full of trouble (Job 14:1), and we will always be able to find something to worry about (Matthew 6:34), so to keep life from getting the better of us, we should seek to find the humor in every day. Take time to laugh and choose a marriage partner who loves to laugh as much as you do.
Laughter is God’s gift and truly medicine to our hearts.
To me there is no picture so beautiful as smiling, bright-eyed, happy children; no music so sweet as their clear and ringing laughter. – P. T. Barnum
I try to find a reason to laugh each day. Somehow, if you can incorporate laughter into your day, every day, it really helps. It’s the little things in life that make me happy. – Faith Hill
Laughter is an instant vacation. – Milton Berle
What part does laughter play in our daily lives?