All work and no play make Jack and Jill….grumpy. Could this be the case for you and your husband? Most American couples are way too busy. We’re working exhausting hours outside the home to make more money. We’re running the kids to 12 different activities so that they have a chance to “excel” in something. We’re throwing dinner together while doing laundry and helping the kids with algebra homework. We’re running on empty and then we wonder why we’re grumpy! Duh! We need to give ourselves permission for a mental time-out.
When is the last time you and your husband let the house chores wait and decided to watch a funny movie? When is the last time you guys invited some couples over for “game night”? You need to give yourself permission to play every once and awhile. Your brain and your body need a rest. You need to have fun and spend some time laughing. Proverbs 17:22 says “A cheerful heart is good medicine“. Maybe your marriage needs a spoonful of this medicine…the medicine called fun and laughter. It’s a great antidote for grumpiness. 🙂
Here’s something I’ve learned along my journey of being a wife. Husbands desperately crave respect from their wives, ESPECIALLY in front of other people. I’ve also learned that one of the things that crushes a husband is when his wife disrespects him in front of other people my making fun of his failures or laughing about his blunders. Granted, some of his mistakes might be kind of funny, but sharing those “funny” mistakes with other people only serves to emasculate your husband.
I feel like a broken record because I’m constantly referring wives to Ephesians 5:33, but hey, we need constant reminders! We so easily forget a man’s need to be respected by his wife. Ephesians 5:33 simply says “the wife must respect her husband.” Period. No qualifiers. God doesn’t say “show respect only when you feel respect”. Nor does God say “show respect, except for when your husband makes a mistake”. God simply and concisely instructs wives to BE respectful in their interactions with their husbands. This is a decision you get to make. From personal experience, I can tell you that your decision to treat your husband with honor, respect and esteem (especially in front of other people), will draw his heart to you and encourage him to live up to your expectations of actually BEING an honorable and respectable man. Try it!
One of the things that will bond you together with your husband is….laughter! When you share a common funny experience, it is very bonding. I still vividly remember an incident several years ago when my husband and I attended a Seattle Seahawks football game. I remember clearly and think back on this incident fondly because we bonded through belly laughter! You see, there was a very vocal young man behind us who was actually quite funny. He wasn’t crude, just extremely loud, and some of the things he yelled tickled our funny bones! My husband and I would look at each other for hours afterward and burst out laughing about one of this guy’s funny comments. When I think of periods in my marriage where my husband and I laughed a lot, those memories bring very warm feelings. Those shared moments of laughter connected me with my husband. Shared laughter is very bonding.
Do you play and laugh and flirt with your husband? Do you try to find humor in daily life? Do you take yourself seriously all the time or can you laugh at your own little mistakes? Proverbs 17:22 says “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” If your marriage feels kind of dried up, perhaps it needs an infusion of laughter. Maybe it’s time to start flirting with your husband like you used to. When is the last time you pinched his tush? Maybe you need to watch some funny TV shows together. My husband and I laughed while watching “The West Wing” on Netflix. Neither one of us had ever watched this show when it first came out. It’s an excellent political drama, but the characters are sometimes so funny! We also watched old episodes of Frasier and laughed out loud together often. Aaaah. Shared laughter. It’s good medicine for your marriage!
I don’t quite remember where I heard this, but it has stuck with me even though I heard it 20 years ago. Make it your aim to fill your house with so much love and joy that the laughter of your family bounces off the walls! Wow! Don’t we all want that? I know I do.
So how do we get there? I believe the Bible reveals several keys to bringing joy and laughter into our homes. First, choose an attitude of hope instead of dwelling on a big, hairy list of all the things that are wrong in your life! Proverbs 10:28 says “The hope of the righteous brings joy“. Second, eliminate some things from your schedule if you are becoming grumpy due to exhaustion and stress. Isaiah 30:15 says “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.” And third, have a sense of humor! Be playful. Allow yourself to be goofy sometimes! Proverbs 17:22 says “A cheerful heart is good medicine“.
Oh, and one more thing. If you are holding bitterness and resentment against your spouse, deal with that. If it is the result of something that happened a long time ago, you need to let it go!! If it’s the result of an ongoing pattern of sin against you, then you will need to respectfully confront your husband. Ongoing resentment will suck all the laughter and joy out of your home.