Kids laugh a lot.
A child’s laughter is glorious. Why, just today, my kids were giggling uncontrollably at someone’s antics, and I wished I could bottle their contagious, delightful laughter. I’d treasure that precious bottle forever.
Have you ever taken inventory of what makes children laugh?
They laugh about a vast array of noises: screams, beeps, blurps, dings, and whistles.
They laugh about a vast array of bodily functions, especially the accidental ones.
They laugh about peculiar birds, curious monkeys, outspoken puppets, buckets of slime, knock-knock jokes, and plays on words.
They crack up when characters trip, slip, fumble, and bumble.
They hoot when they are pleasantly and suddenly surprised. They chuckle when the same thing happens over and over again.
They squeal happily when they are tickled, and they beg for more.
They laugh when they are chasing one another.
They laugh when they are dancing like chickens.
They laugh when they are rolling down a grassy hill.
Children laugh a lot.
They laugh at one another, but they especially laugh with one another.
In fact, if there is a group of children sitting at a lunch table, chances are they will be laughing together. If there is a group of children playing on the playground together, chances are they will be laughing together. It doesn’t matter where they are—at the movies, in church, or at school—a child’s primary social language is laughter.
Laughter is their mother tongue: they’ve been laughing since before they could speak, or walk, or run.
Have you ever wondered why children laugh so much? Why is it an ever-present, extremely important part of their social interaction?
Children laugh because God is trustworthy and good.
The Benefits of Laughter
My best guess is that God created laughter to delight the human soul. When we are children, the simplest aspects of creation tickle our funny bone. As we mature, we get a kick out of more complex humor. Nonetheless, in Scripture, we read that laughter heals us and feeds us.
A joyful heart is good medicine (Prov. 17:22).
The cheerful of heart has a continual feast (Prov. 15:15).
Laughter aids in our sanctification, demonstrates our hope in God, and gives us moments of relief from life’s trials. Consider when Jesus said, “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Might laughter be one way in which we “take heart”? After all, laughter is a powerful expression of simple joy, delight, gratitude, trust, and contentment. Can we laugh—really, truly, belly laugh—when we are wallowing in discontentment, worry, shame, or selfishness?
It’s also true that laughter bonds people together like nothing else. God created it to build community. It helps us to lower our guards, to stand shaking-shoulder to shaking-shoulder, to smile unreservedly at one another, and to consider ourselves to be on the same team. When we laugh together, we are friends, we are brothers and sisters.
When my friend Steph was heading off on her honeymoon, she asked me to pray that she and her groom would laugh together. What a request! She was so wise to desire something that would disassemble borders, warm coldness, and deeply and joyfully join the two to become one. I wonder how our lives would change if one of our consistent prayer requests became, “Would you pray that we laugh together?”
What a gift that children naturally embrace laughter! As a mother of laughing children, I want to promote and celebrate this happy gift from God. As I build our home, I want to include laughter and all of its blessed fruit.
Laughter from the Past
When our home bubbles over with laughter—and I’m glad it often does—we are rich and strong together. The very pillars and foundation of our home are strengthened by our children, who create and share laughter so easily. Home is a happy place, somewhere we want to be.
When something funny happens in our home, I try to jot it down in a memory book. As a family, we read through the book and replay the funny mannerisms, the homemade jokes, and every golden moment of the amazing toddler years when everything a child says is profound and hilarious at the same time. (How do they do that?)
These archived moments build our little community; they become our lore, our tradition, the fabric of our home.
Laughter in the Present
As a family, we are always actively looking for things that makes us laugh. We have our favorite comedians, joke books, and online resources. If we hear something funny when we’re out-and-about, we always bring it home to share with one another.
This year, I’m building into our family with more laughter by intentionally bringing it to the dinner table. I get to enjoy the kids’ shenanigans over lunch, but at dinner time, my husband is home, and we’re all together. I’m hoping that prayer, food, and laughter binds us together this year, and next year, and the next one after that.
My plan is to pass our family joke book around the table once a week or so. I’ll print some funny riddles, introduce the kids to some classic comic skits, and share funny things that happened in the day. We will celebrate, welcome, and increase laughter in our home.
Laughter About the Future
Most of all, I want to emulate the woman described in Proverbs 31—the happy and hopeful woman who trusts God so perfectly that she “laughs at the time to come.” What faith! Surely a woman who not only laughs about fond memories from the past or finds humor in the present moment but also laughs about the unknown future is one who trusts God!
A woman who laughs at the future believes that God exists and that He keeps His promises. Her hope is anchored deeply in Christ’s perfect atonement and protection. The joy of the Lord is her strength. Her face is radiant, reflecting a soul that is forgiven, set free from sin, and full of the Holy Spirit. She gladly leads her laughing children through the simple pleasures of this temporary world into the deep riches of Christ’s abiding joy.
I’m so glad children laugh a lot, reminding us of the joy that comes from complete trust. May our faith be like a child’s.
Do you believe that God is glorified through laughter? How would you like to celebrate laughter in your home today?