Saturday, March 21, 2015

How to Choose Love With the Right Kind of Humor

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine proverbs 17:22

How to Choose Love With the Right Kind of Humor

Where are the cats?!?

Two children were quarreling in their room. Overhearing their voices, their father rushed into the room frantically asking, "Where are the cats? Where are the cats?"

Surprised, the children told their father, "There aren't any cats in here, Dad."

Shaking his head, the father left the room muttering, "I could have sworn there were two cats in here fighting."

The children laughed at their father, ending the quarrel.

"A sense of humor... is needed armor. Joy in one's heart and some laughter on one's lips is a sign that the person down deep has a pretty good grasp of life." Hugh Sidey

Lighten Up and Laugh!

I can distinctly remember times when, as a mother, I used humor to lighten a tense situation when I could have turned to punishment or raised my voice and only added to the cacophony. I couldn't tell you what those situations were about, but I do remember the good feelings resulting from how humor turned an angry situation into a funny one, welcoming the Spirit back into the house.

Speaking in a funny voice, making funny faces, and putting on music while dancing like a buffoon are some of the ways that have helped me deal with fighting or whining - making everyone laugh and join in.

As Ecclesiastes 3:4 says, "there is a time to laugh." I think those times come far more often than we realize.

“A wholesome sense of humor will be a safety valve that will enable you to apply the lighter touch to heavy problems and to learn some lessons in problem solving that ‘sweat and tears’ often fail to dissolve.” Hugh B. Brown
One of the many reasons why I love my husband is that he can make me laugh. Even in sad situations, I can count on him to add a little bit of appropriate levity to break down the sorrow into more manageable bits.

Continuing with my Choose Love series, the points in the list (100 Simple Ways to Choose Love) that involve humor are:

3. Tell a joke. Just not at someone else's expense.
28. Laugh at someone else's joke.
67. Get silly! Especially to diffuse a tense situation with a child.

Knock, Knock. Who's There? Dwayne. Dwayne who? Dwayne the bathtub, I'm dwowning!

My kids love telling jokes and knock, knock jokes are among the favorites. Everyone loves a good joke when it isn't pointed at them. We may not all be the next Bob Hope or Lucille Ball, but it's just as important to encourage people by laughing along at appropriate jokes as it is to be appreciated for our own attempts to be funny.

Not Your Ordinary Psychic Mom has a great list of kid's jokes. Check her out! Not Your Ordinary Psychic Mom: Funny Kid Jokes That Will Make Everyone Laugh

We have to remember, though, life isn't like so many of the comedy shows that use cutting humor with an automatic, canned laugh track to make a point. In real life, cutting humor (humor that points out someone else's flaws or embarrasses someone) is not funny. It's mean and should be avoided at all costs. Sure, people will laugh along to cover up their embarrassment at times, but you can be assured that they will most likely remember what was said with distaste. Possibly for the rest of their lives. 

I remember a time in high school when a girl who wasn't in the popular crowd got put down for what she was wearing. It was during class time, and everyone was listening to the conversation. It was a popular girl against an unpopular one, and guess who got the upper hand? To my everlasting shame, I laughed along. I felt for the girl, but I laughed anyway because I'm a pleaser and was trying to do what everyone else was doing. Thankfully, I've matured a bit since then and can control myself better, but I don't think I'll ever forget my regrettable laughter. 

"There’s a saying, 'If you didn’t mean it, you wouldn’t say it.' Even if you say things in jest, the people you say them to can still be hurt. It’s impossible to know what will hurt someone and what won’t. Even if you think you know better, you may be wrong." 

Chris Crowe

Litmus Test for Appropriate Jokes

1. Is the joke uplifting?
2. Will everyone feel comfortable after it's said?
3. Will this strengthen my relationships with the people listening?
4. Can the Spirit of God be present to listen?
5. Is this joke a reflection of my love for this person?

Remember, we are in families for a reason. One of those reasons is to be "willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;" (Mosiah 18:8) We all go through tough days, sometimes moment to moment. Appropriate humor is a wonderful way to comfort and uplift.

Heaven is Smiling Above

Laugh at Ourselves

"It is the ability to take a joke, not make one, that proves you have a sense of humor." Max Eastman

“We've got to have a little humor in our lives. You had better take seriously that which should be taken seriously but, at the same time, we can bring in a touch of humor now and again. If the time ever comes when we can’t smile at ourselves, it will be a sad time.” Gordon B. Hinckley

Poking fun at ourselves can be a wonderful way to break the ice and put people at ease. When we're willing to admit we're human and have frailties, others - especially our children and spouses - are more likely to open up to us, diffusing tension. After all, if we can't open ourselves up to the most 
important people in our lives with a little bit of fun, we can't expect them to do so for us.

I encourage you to find some way to get in a hearty belly laugh today, and make sure your family joins in. Moods will be lifted, sorrows will be eased, and ways will open up for better relationships.

For a great family night lesson on having a sense of humor see Sense of Humor from the Family Home Evening Resource Book.

Want more from the Choose Love Series?

1. The goal that started it all: Make It and Break It February

2. 100 Simple Ways to Choose Love:

I pinned this here:

I was featured:

Live It Up at the Healthy, Happy, Green & Natural Party Blog Hop #62


  1. This is great! Yes, sometimes if we can be distracted by a joke and have a good laugh, the situation is not as bad anymore and the fight is over (really like that cat story).

    1. Thanks, Julie! I got a good chuckle out of the cat story, too. :)

  2. I love this because this is exactly my "mantra" (For lack of a more appropriate word that I can retrieve from my brain). I am learning to choose humor over anger, impatience and frustration. It's only taken me 54 years to figure out how to channel my humor appropriately. You may enjoy my post, "On Being the Funny Bone in the Body of Christ." Visiting from Good Morning Monday

  3. Love humor! Laughing and smiling is one of the greatest gifts we can share!

    1. Thanks, Melissa. I agree a smile is one of the greatest gifts!

  4. I love this- especially from someone who can be a little too serious at times. I'm also thankful for a humorous husband! I'm your neighbor at Monday Musings.

    1. Thanks, Melanie! We must go to the same parties. :)

  5. I love this too. It is great to be able to laugh. I know I do not do it enough. Their is a time for everything and that includes laughing. After all, it is good for you.

    Thanks for linking up to Wonderful Wed. blog hop.
    Diane Roark

  6. You are amazing and this post proves it! GREAT writing and so well put together!!! Thank you for linking up at Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop. I hope people everywhere get to see this one! Carrie, A Mother's Shadow

  7. You are an excellent writer...I really enjoyed the post...and thanks for sharing with the Thursday Blog Hop!

  8. Great points to examine before we tell a joke! I find myself sometimes saying something & wishing later that I could take it I grow in the Lord the jokes that don't pass are much less, but sometimes even being overly sarcastic isn't appropriate or funny. If that makes sense :)

    Thanks for linking up with us on this week's Mom 2 Mom Encouragement Link Up! Hope you join us again soon :)

    1. Thanks, Rachael! You always have a great link up.

  9. What a great post, thank you for sharing at Good Morning Mondays. My boys particularly liked the knock knock joke. Thank you for sharing. Blessings

    1. I'm so glad you shared this with your family! Thanks, Terri.

  10. I love this! I completely agree that humor does such wonders for the heart. I love the jokes you shared too.

  11. Thanks for stopping by MeetUp Monday! Hope to see you again tomorrow!

  12. Hey, popular lady, you made the hit parade (or CLICK parade) again this week at Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop. This post will be featured this week. Congrats. ♥

  13. Thank you so much for sharing on Wordless Wednesday! Hope to see you again this week! xoxo

  14. My mother always taught us that laughter is the best medicine. What I remember most about her now that she is gone, is her merry vibrant laughter and her sense of humor that made our home such a happy place to be.Thank you for uplifting us once again with these wise and wonderful insights at the Healthy, Happy, Green and Natural Party Blog Hop! I’m pinning and sharing!

  15. What a mixture of humor and wisdom. :) I love it! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks, Sarah! I'm glad you stopped by.

    2. Thanks for linking up at Friday Frivolity! :) Tweeting and pinning!

  16. Laughter is for sure the best medicine :) Great post! And thank you for linking up! #fridayfrivolity