Homemade Happiness

Did you know that everyone ought to have three homes? Everybody needs a heavenly home, a church home, and a family home—and Jesus Christ is the key to all three! Being a “loner” is not God’s plan for us, for He “sets the solitary in families” (Psalm 68:6).

Why families? In them we experience the deepest love, apart from His, we will ever know. The family is our training ground for life. It’s His workshop where the members become some of His best tools to prune, polish, and refine us—sanding down the rough edges of our lives!

A primary purpose for families is the care and nurture of children. In Deuteronomy 11:18-28, God instructs parents to teach His precepts diligently at every opportunity, “speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up” (v. 21).

Yet we find in today’s homes, parents and children are stressed, distracted, and pulled in every direction. You will find the best soil for teaching God’s principles and growing your children is a home filled with love and laughter.

The Gift of Laughter

We’ve often heard that the family that prays together stays together, but may I also say, that the family that plays together, stays together. God wants you to have fun at home.

Christian humorist Ken Davis says, “Allow laughter to flood your home and its echoes will last a lifetime. Humor is a gentle way to acknowledge human frailty. Humor is a way of saying ‘I'm not okay, you're not okay, but that's okay, God loves us anyway.’ People who are secure in their awareness of God's love and experience His forgiveness are free to laugh.”

Psychologists tell us laughter and a well-rounded sense of humor are the hallmarks of high intelligence. Yes, there are things we need to be serious about, “a time to weep and a time to laugh" (Ecclesiastes 3:4). But Jesus also said, "Blessed are ye that weep now, for ye shall laugh." (Luke 6:21)

Don't get the idea you can't be happy and be a Christian. The Lord Jesus Himself was criticized for being “a wine bibber and glutton.” Of course, He wasn't, but Jesus went to parties. He worked His first miracle at a wedding feast. Jesus was the life of the party, a friendly person. He called Himself a “friend of sinners.” The Lord Jesus Christ was a man of great gladness. In fact, Hebrews 1:9 says of Him, "Thou hast anointed Him with the oil of gladness above His fellows." Jesus knew joy and happiness.

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine but a broken spirit drieth the bones. Proverbs 17:22

Today scientists are discovering that laughter is a miracle medicine. “Heaviness in the heart of man makes him stoop, but a good word makes it glad.” (Proverbs 12:25) Now, Satan would love to distort and get us out of balance, turning us into grim people. Don't let some long‑nosed, hard‑hearted Grinch make you think we're not supposed to have fun. If you have a grim and a solemn spirit, it's going to affect your health and the health of your family.

Conversely, researchers have found that laughter has a profound and instantaneous effect on every organ, reducing tension and replacing bad emotions. Laughter can repair and restore a person's attitude, coping skills, relationships, and creativity. Humor can enhance motivation and morale. Laughter helps mend a broken spirit, a broken body, or a broken home.

We're building for our children and our children's children a museum of memories. We want them to be memories of a happy home, a home that rings with laughter. You see, memories are our landmarks. They keep us from getting lost. Memories bring a sense of security and belonging to a child's life. Memories are anchors of the soul. They are our legacy.

Perhaps it’s time to re-examine the atmosphere in your home. What will your children remember? Times of laughter will remain long after you are gone. Will there be echoes of laughter to last them a lifetime?

For more on family fun and other ways to nurture your family, get a copy of It Takes a Family.