Your Unexpected Weapon
By Janel Breitenstein
On the lookout for a great husband, I mentally rolled my eyes at “sense of humor” as a necessary quality. Sure, it’d be nice. But I wanted a guy who’d be a great father, a compassionate leader.
But by a happy accident, my husband has this uncanny ability to bring forth laughter in me to the point of tears. It’s saved us, and me specifically, in the weeds of uncountable arguments, innumerable gray days.
It turned out to be like one of those things you get as an extra when you purchase a computer: “I don’t really need Photoshop, but oh well.” But then after a while you think, How’d I ever live without this?
Laughing, particularly at ourselves, hands us a better chance to stay loose and flexible for life’s moguls. And that’s pretty great news, because both life and marriage are rough.
A sense of humor can help forge a connection between us, even when our arms are crossed. It extends a healthy, stepped-back perspective. And it buffers the inherent stress of relationships, allowing us to relax around each other and move closer to that let-your-hair-down, intimate environment of authenticity.
Humor used correctly—rather than to belittle, as veiled criticism, or as cutting sarcasm—tears down walls, rather than each other.
Bonus: It might even get you silly enough to present random solutions that lead to actual creative problem solving. Employing a little nuttiness can strengthen the bond you two shared in the early days of your marriage, when life was less serious and more of an adventure.
And it follows in the footsteps of the Creator of laughter, doling out joy even in the toughest times.
So pull out your unexpected weapon—and lighten up.
The good stuff: A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22)
Action points: Get intentional in finding new ways to laugh with your spouse.
- Watch a favorite sitcom.
- Forward an insane YouTube video.
- Set aside a can-you-believe-this anecdote from your day.
- Read a funny book together.
- Work to make your spouse laugh, creating inside jokes for just the two of you.
Visit the FamilyLife® Website