Learning To Laugh

Today Denise is hosting Marriage Monday: Humor in A Christan Marriage.

When I see how my husband diffuses tense situations with humor, I know WHY I need a sense of humor. Unfortunately, I don’t naturally look on the lighter side of life, so I wonder HOW I’m going to get one.

A search result of my posts tagged humor reveals little in my writing, which most likely reflects my thought process every day.  But I’m learning to laugh like a leader in our church advocated:

If we approach adversities wisely, our hardest times can be times of greatest growth, which in turn can lead toward times of greatest happiness. Over the years I have learned a few things that have helped me through times of testing and trial. . . There is an antidote for times such as these: learn to laugh.

I remember when one of our daughters went on a blind date. She was all dressed up and waiting for her date to arrive when the doorbell rang. In walked a man who seemed a little old, but she tried to be polite. She introduced him to me and my wife and the other children; then she put on her coat and went out the door. We watched as she got into the car, but the car didn’t move. Eventually our daughter got out of the car and, red faced, ran back into the house. The man that she thought was her blind date had actually come to pick up another of our daughters who had agreed to be a babysitter for him and his wife.

We all had a good laugh over that. In fact, we couldn’t stop laughing. Later, when our daughter’s real blind date showed up, I couldn’t come out to meet him because I was still in the kitchen laughing. Now I realize that our daughter could have felt humiliated and embarrassed. But she laughed with us, and as a result, we still laugh about it today.

The next time you’re tempted to groan, you might try to laugh instead. It will extend your life and make the lives of all those around you more enjoyable.

Joseph B. Wirthlin, Come What May and Love It.

In our own family, fitting fun into our summer plans last year was not a laughing matter. When we finally went camping for the weekend, the problems we encountered—cold and rainy weather, forgotten paper goods and dead car battery—could have ruined the trip or made it memorable.

We laughed that our helpful packers brought the bright yellow fabric bag filled with rags from our pantry instead of the paper bags filled with paper goods. We were just glad we had a car and a grocery store three miles down the road.

Then when we were leaving, we discovered our vehicle wouldn’t start. We asked our campground host for his help to jump start it. “That’s too dangerous to do with modern-day vehicles,” he said. “I won’t put my car in that kind of jeopardy.”

I couldn’t help but laugh when I was out of his earshot at him withholding help in such a setting and all the other mishaps of the trip. And I saw that I can learn to laugh:

•  to relieve tension before trying to solve the problem

•  when people don’t act like I expect them to act

•  at circumstances I can’t change, or at least see the brighter side of them

And I learned, too, that just because I have a serious nature, there is hope for my sense of humor.


  1. Rebecca
    Jan 5, 2009

    Well, I’m laughing at your story! And I love that story by Elder Wirthlin. My husband and I get along the best when we laugh. He’s naturally silly, and when I’m stressed, I will either get incredibly annoyed at his silliness or melt into laughter. The second choice is always the best!

  2. Ryan
    Jan 5, 2009

    My wife and I are kind of like Rebecca in the silliness arena. It’s a delicate balance to know when and how to be silly in order to not annoy my wife. She’s such a good sport though that it doesn’t turn nasty hardly ever.

  3. Miriam Pauline
    Jan 5, 2009

    I think your story definitely shows a sense of humor, and how to share it. I, too, am more naturally serious where my husband is much more ready to laugh. I used to be jealous of that but now I see it as how we complement one another. And I’ve learned to laugh along with him instead of being insecure. Bless you for sharing with us today.

  4. Susan
    Jan 5, 2009

    Oh what a great post! I thought that story by Elder Wirthlin was hilarious! What a precious young lady she was, so polite. Ha Ha…

    I’m like you, more on the serious nature, but laughter really relieves so much stress for me. Once I get started, it’s hard to stop me!

    So nice to met you. I’ll be visiting again.


  5. e-Mom
    Jan 5, 2009

    Excellent post! Yes, laughter is a good tension reliever. We had a burst pipe during a cold snap recently, and my husband just burst out laughing. Suddenly, it didn’t seem like such a serious problem. I love your blind date story. :~D

    Thanks for joining us for Marriage Monday today.

    Blessings, e-Mom @ Chrysalis

  6. An Ordinary Mom
    Jan 5, 2009

    “Come What May and Love It” has been my motto as of late. I, too, tend to be more serious in nature, but I am learning to laugh more. I need to be more silly with my kids and show them my more light hearted side.

    And when I do have a really good, hard laugh? It feels so good!

  7. Sunny Daydreame
    Jan 5, 2009

    The first backpacking trip I took with my husband was over Labor Day weekend. I was 6 months pregnant. It was raining at the trailhead, sleeting half way up, and snowing when we got to the campsite. But halfway up, I saw a rainbow 🙂 Laughter in the face of adversity is like seeing the rainbow through the sleet. –Hmm, I may have to write a post about that. 🙂

  8. Amydeanne
    Jan 5, 2009

    i think I don’t display much of my humor in my writing either.. in fact, i’m probably far more serious in my writing than anywhere else! thanks for sharing this! i could so relate!

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