“I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin.” Psalm 39:1
Laughter is healthy for families. We ought to be able to joke with each other without having to worry about getting an angry overreaction in response. But some humor can be destructive. If your partner is sensitive in a certain area—weight, appearance, intelligence, a specific skill—avoid poking fun at that tender spot. If your child has an embarrassing characteristic, such as bed‐wetting or thumb‐sucking or stuttering, tread softly. Never ridicule.
We should also note that humor can be a classic response to feelings of low self‐esteem. Many of today’s most successful comedians got their training while growing up, when they used humor as a defense against childhood hurts. If you’re married to someone who’ll do anything for a laugh, you may discover that just under the surface he or she is plagued by painful memories or self‐doubt.
It’s great to laugh—but it’s also wise and loving to occasionally check what motivates your humor, where it’s aimed, and how it’s received. If the person you’re having fun with isn’t having fun, then it’s not real fun at all.
Lord Jesus, You were “a man of sorrows,” but You also brought joy to others. We want to always be helpful, never hurtful, in how we express humor in our home. Help us keep our hearts light, our tongues in check, and our motives pure. Amen.