Angel and I laugh a lot. We laugh at ourselves. We laugh at each other. We laugh at life.
From time to time our family plays a game at our home where we each try to make up jokes on the spot. Angel’s nonsensical jokes are always the best. “What is faster than a cheetah and reads the Bible?” We prod for answers and then finally give up. “A nun.” The kids erupt in laughter although it doesn’t make any sense.
Outside of spiritual disciplines, I don’t think there is anything more important to the health of our marriage than laughter.
And I’m not so sure that laughter isn’t spiritual. Here are five reasons I think laughter is a spiritual discipline:
1) Laughter requires humility: genuinely laughing at yourself is wonderful medicine for a prideful soul.
2) Laughter challenges power: unhealthy power structures can be recalibrated with laughter. Controlling husbands don’t let their wives laugh at them. Domineering wives are offended by mirth.
3) Laughter encourages play: we were made to mirror our Creator’s creativity. Laughter helps us grow in exercising our creativity.
4) Laughter fosters trust: letting someone laugh at you requires trust that they are still for you. The more we trust one another, the more we can laugh with each other at our own idiosyncrasies. And the more we laugh with one another in a caring way, the more that trust grows.
5) Laughter helps untether our heart from anxiety: anxious people don’t laugh freely. Laughter puts our worries in perspective.
Is there laughter in your home? If not, lean into those conversations with your spouse and ask the question, “why not?”
May each of our homes bubble over with laughter a little more every day. And be on the look-out for those Bible-reading cheetahs.