Had any fun lately? Before you answer, let me quickly add: have you had any fun with your spouse lately? I know a lot of men (and women) who are having all kinds of fun. The problem is, none of the fun is with their spouse or family —and that’s the topic for discussion.
God Wants You to Have Fun —Really!
Christians, and specifically Christian couples, should have the most fun, laugh the loudest, be the most humorous, and enjoy life more than anybody else. Why? Let’s evaluate why you and your wife should be having fun in your marriage.
The two of you started your relationship by having fun. That’s what dating and building a relationship is all about. It’s about building a friendship and enjoying each other’s company in the process.
You couldn’t have been much different than Elizabeth and me. I’m sure that like us, you and your honey took advantage of every opportunity to be together and made those times fun. In fact, you two were having so much fun and enjoying each other’s company so much that you decided to get married and continue with the enjoyment! So what happened?
Have the cares and burdens of married life “rained on your party?” Then chances are, you or your wife —or both of you —have stopped working at having fun.
The fruit of the Spirit is joy (Galatians 5:22). When you walk by the Spirit as a Christian, there should be joy in your life. Obviously there is the joy of your salvation, the joy of eternal life, and the joy that the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10). But you should also enjoy the joy of life —of living. You should especially have the joy that can come from having a lifelong relationship with your wife.
Third, the Bible says that laughter, mirth, and fun are like medicine. There is health in having a merry heart, in laughing a little and having fun. This is God’s prescription for the bittersweet world we live in:
A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken (Proverbs 15:13).
All the days of the afflicted are evil, but he who is of a merry heart has a continual feast (Proverbs 15:15).
A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones (Proverbs 17:22).
There is the joy of being married to the most wonderful woman in the world —your wife. You married your wife because you enjoyed being around her. She possessed qualities, gifts, and abilities that you admired. Therefore you wanted to be near her. She brought you joy and happiness. And without getting too personal, I also believe there is the joy of your sexual union.
This is the way it should be. God meant for a husband and wife to have fun in their sex life. God repeatedly speaks of the sexual relationship between a husband and wife in a way that suggests that a couple should enjoy each other sexually. For instance,
“Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice with the wife of your youth. As a loving deer and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times; and always be enraptured with her love“ (Proverbs 5:18-19).
What Happened to the Fun?
Let me pause for a minute and elaborate a bit on what I’m saying: I realize that there is a serious side to life. Whether you or I are an older man or a younger man, we are to be “sober“ or “sober-minded“ (Titus 2:2, 6). Being a husband and leader in our home is a big assignment. We should never take that responsibility lightly. But that doesn’t mean fun should be absent from our life, and especially from our marriages.
Recapturing the Fun
Here’s a key thought for you on making time for fun. Ask your wife to share some of the qualities that attracted her to you. I’ll bet one of those qualities was your fun-loving nature. Your wife-to-be felt happy around you. You made her laugh. She always knew that the two of you would be having fun on those wonderful dates.
…Well, it’s now time for you to remember what you did to cultivate fun in your budding relationship with your wife back then. It’s time to bring that now dormant “merry heart” out of hibernation and recapture having fun with your wife!
And as you are remembering how much fun you and your wife had in your earlier years together, remember that fun came with a price —the price of time. You are going to have to be willing to make time for fun. In the past you thought having fun together was important to your relationship with your beloved, so why wouldn’t it be important today? If something is important, you will make time for it; and that “it” includes fun.
Where Do I Start?
I hope recalling the enjoyment you and your wife once relished has jogged your memory and whetted your appetite for rekindling the fun in your marriage. But just in case you’re feeling a little rusty on remembering how you had fun, here are some suggestions.
• To begin the fun, remember some of the things you and your sweetheart did while you were dating. Some of those activities might be a little out of date or physically challenging today or even impossible to repeat, so you might have to improvise a little or modify your choices.
• Next, ask your wife what her idea of fun is. What does she enjoy doing? Where would she like to go? Then make sure you do a few of those things and go to a few of those places (even if it isn’t quite as much fun for you!).
• Then ask other men at church what they do with their wives for fun. If you’re like a lot of guys, you may not be very creative, so you’ll want to get as many suggestions as you can in this area, so that you can.
• Follow up and be creative. Surprise your wife with a fun activity as soon as possible. Then continue coming up with ideas for fun on a regular basis.
…Having fun together is like many of the other things you do in your life —it’s hard to start, but once you get going, it’s much easier to continue. Take the time and make the effort to start having some fun together again. Then see what a difference it makes in your marriage. When you have fun together, your marriage will take on a whole new depth and intimacy.
What Is the Missing Ingredient?
As I look around and observe the marriages of my friends, my associates, and even my neighbors, I see marriages at different stages and degrees of vitality. Of course, all healthy Christian marriages are functioning on the foundation of a love for Jesus Christ and a desire to serve Him. They are solid unions, as well they should be. There’s no excuse for a shaky marriage when Christ is the guiding force of both partners.
But there is an ingredient that is missing in some of these “model” marriages. The partners seem to be merely going through the motions. There’s no life or energy in the marriage. On the other hand, there are those couples that are having fun. They are still enjoying each other. They are doing things together, and they are great friends with each other. Additionally, they are living out the sentiment of the verse that marvels, “This is my beloved, and this is my friend“ (Song of Solomon 5:16). And as a result, their marriage is a great advertisement for the reality of the joy of living for and in Christ.
So what is missing in one Christian marriage that is present in another? Why is one marriage so alive, while another just seems to plod along? I’m sure there are many factors that account for the differences in energy and joy between couples. But in some marriages, I’m guessing that the difference just might be the missing ingredient of fun.
If you sense that some good, wholesome, Christian fun is lacking in your bond with your wife —then make it a goal to purposefully, willfully, and definitely make time for fun. It will be time well spent!
Little Things That Make a Big Difference
1. Turn the TV off!
Let me qualify this by saying, “Turn the TV off one night a week.” Television is a “little thing” that many men have trouble with. Just imagine before television, couples spent their evenings talking, planning their trips and holidays, reading, and even playing chess, checkers, or other games. The television has snatched all this away and substituted the warmth of personal involvement and fun with impersonal entertainment. Call it a “game night” or a “family night,” and plan one night each week during which you purpose to have fun with each other as a couple or with your family —without the distraction of the television.
2. Plan a weekend getaway.
This is a “little thing” that’s worth repeating over and over until you begin to understand and appreciate how important these brief times away are. Just think of the fun you had as a couple when you first got married. Your universe was made up of just the two of you, and frequently you were able to spontaneously do some crazy things. But those happy days don’t have to be over forever! Plan a weekend of just such craziness.
3. Ask your wife for suggestions in the Fun Department.
Your wife also remembers all those fun times you two had together in the early days of your marriage. Ask her for suggestions of what she would like to do for fun on an evening or weekend.
4. Read a Christian joke book.
“Hey, honey, did you hear the one about…?” Sometimes we have to work at having fun. Life can get pretty serious at times. Reading a Christian joke book primes the pump and helps make life seem a little less foreboding. Reading that joke book together as a couple will be even more fun…
5. Plan a fun activity this week.
When was the last time you and your wife went out together? Maybe to a museum? Or for a walk in the park? Even a ball game? Plan to take her somewhere fun this week. She is always under the heavy burden of caring for the family and home. And if she also works outside the home, she is really under the pile. So get her away from some of these cares for a few hours.
6. Plan a family vacation.
Notice here that the focus is on you. Too many husbands let their wife do all or most of the planning when it comes to the family, including the family vacation. You need to take ownership in the Fun Department. So volunteer to plan the next vacation. Get your wife’s input, but plan it yourself. And make sure you plan some fun activities, such as a stop to see the world’s largest ball of string, or a tour of the plant that makes Tabasco sauce… or an ice cream parlor! I bet your wife can hardly wait for the fun to begin!
This article was edited from the book A Husband After God’s Own Heart: 12 Things That Really Matter in Your Marriage, written by Jim George, and published by Harvest House. This book is subtitled, “12 Things That Really Matter in Your Marriage.” At the end of each chapter is a section titled: “Little Things that Make a Big Difference,” which are applications pertaining to the subject discussed.
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