Home should be the dearest place on earth, the nearest place to Heaven. But often it isn’t. That’s not what God wanted when He ordained families. In Psalm 128, God describes an ideal family—a place of warmth, laughter, and yes, fun.
Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD,
Who walks in His ways.
When you eat the labor of your hands,
You shall be happy, and it shall be well with you.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
In the very heart of your house,
Your children like olive plants
All around your table.
Behold, thus shall the man be blessed
Who fears the LORD.
The Lord bless you out of Zion,
And may you see the good of Jerusalem
All the days of your life.
Yes, may you see your children’s children.
Peace be upon Israel!
Being a “loner” isn’t God’s plan, for “He sets the solitary in families” (Psalm 68:6). In families we experience the deepest love, apart from His, we will ever know.
The institution of the family didn’t rise from the swamps of evolution and immorality. It’s rooted in our nature. Family satisfies the deepest longings of our hearts to give and receive love, propagate the human race, and provide a secure environment to nurture, teach, and love our children. Marriage is a lifetime covenant between a man and a woman, a God-ordained unit related by marriage, blood, or adoption.
God wants children to be happy and productive, but like olive plants (Psalm 128:3), they must be nurtured. The family is our training ground for life, His workshop where the members become some of His best tools to prune, polish, and refine us—sanding down our rough edges. 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” (Deuteronomy 11:19).
Laughter is a gift from God.
The best soil for growing your children and teaching God’s principles is a home filled with love and laughter (Psalm 126:2). I don’t mean silly, mindless frivolity, or irresponsibility. Fun and efficiency go together. If you learn how to have fun, you will probably be more efficient. Psychologists tell us laughter and a well-rounded sense of humor are the hallmarks of high intelligence.
Your home should be such a happy place that your neighbors will see the joy and say, “The Lord has done great things for them” (Psalm 162:2). Family fun isn’t just laughter and games but joy, humor, sports, celebration, leisure, vacations, meals, parties, entertainment, and much more. “The family that plays together, stays together.”
Yes, there are issues we should be serious about (Ecclesiastes 3:4), but Jesus also said, “Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh” (Luke 6:21). Jesus worked His first miracle at a wedding. He was the life of the party, a friendly person (Matthew 11:19, Luke 7:34), a man of great gladness (Hebrews 1:9).
Satan wants to turn us into grim people. Don’t let him. A negative spirit will affect your health and your family’s health.
Scientists have discovered that laughter is a miracle medicine with power to repair and restore. Research shows laughter has a profound, instantaneous effect on every organ, reducing tension, and replacing bad emotions. Our attitudes often control our physical bodies. Laughter can restore our coping skills, relationships, and creativity. Laughter helps mend a broken spirit, a broken body, or a broken home. We’ve seen it in our own home. If we learn to laugh, tension disappears.
Keep in mind the three “fs”—Firm, Fair, and Fun. Be firm—have some rules. Be fair. Be honest. But be fun! Don’t be an ogre. Remember Psalm 128:2, “Happy you shall be, and it will be well with you.”
Be intentional about “making a memory” with your children. Let birthdays and holidays be a springboard. Turn something small—even a trip to the park—into something special. God will give you the creativity if you ask.
Family fun will linger. It will echo through your life as you build for your children and grandchildren a museum of memories. Make them memories of a happy home, ringing with laughter. Memories are landmarks, anchors of the soul bringing security and belonging to a child’s life. They are our legacy.
Perhaps it’s time to reexamine 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?