Make the Serious Choice to Have Fun in Your Marriage

There’s no doubt you’ve heard the expression “Laughter is good medicine.” That same idea is also found in Scripture: “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.” (Proverbs 17:22 NLT) We believe with all our hearts that this is also a truism for marriage. This may sound like an oversimplification, but couples who have fun, play, and laugh together are the same couples who enjoy a deep and gratifying relational connection.

Marriage researchers report that strong emotional connections arrive more often from fun rather than from checking off the “to do” list or telling one another what’s wrong with the relationship. We’re not sure how much those researchers got paid to uncover that learning, but you don’t need a Ph.D. to understand the truth behind their discovery. Fun is fun! When fun is evident in a marriage, couples communicate more effectively. You want your spouse to talk more? Then have more fun!

Cathy and I (Doug) find that when we’re hanging out on a trail and walking or jogging that we have deeper and more honest conversations then when we’re sitting in the kitchen because “we have to talk about this [issue] now.” Communication and connection flow better when we’re more relaxed, hanging out, and having fun together. Having fun together is not just a good idea or an extra for your marriage when you have the time–it’s essential to a healthy marriage. One of the best ways to protect your marriage is to enjoy your marriage. Please don’t underestimate the power of fun.

Several years ago, I (Jim) wrote a book on traits of a healthy family called 10 Building Blocks for a Solid Family. While researching happy and successful families, I discovered that playing together was one of the essential factors for developing a close-knit family. Those who intentionally took time to incorporate play into their family time thrived, while families who didn’t value playing together tended to be less satisfied in their primary relationships. The glue that made healthy families stick seemed to be the additional element of play. The principle is also true for you in your marriage. Playing together, expressing humor, laughing, and having fun will not only build a foundation of memories that you’ll return to when times are tough, but it will also unite your hearts and help you heal the occasional wounds that are part of every marriage. Fun and playfulness will become deposits of love that you can bank on when the negative withdrawals happen.

So, drive a stake into the ground today, and commit to being a couple that proactively and intentionally makes the serious choice to add more fun to your marriage.

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Jim Burns and Doug Fields

Jim Burns is the President of HomeWord and the Executive Director of the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim speaks to thousands of people around the world each year. He has close to 2 million resources in print in 30 languages. He primarily writes and speaks on the values of HomeWord which are: Strong Marriages, Confident Parents, Empowered Kids, and Healthy Leaders. Some of his most popular books are: Confident Parenting, The Purity Code, Creating an Intimate Marriage and Closer. Jim and his wife, Cathy live Southern California and have three grown daughters, Christy, Rebecca and Heidi. Doug Fields is the senior director of HomeWord Center for Youth and Family and the cofounder of Download Youth Ministry. He speaks to thousands of leaders, teenagers, parents, and couples each year, and is the author or coauthor of more than 60 books. Doug has been married for 32 years to his wonderful wife, Cathy, and they have three grown children.

  • About HomeWord

    HomeWord helps families succeed by creating Biblical resources that build strong marriages, confident parents, empowered kids and healthy leaders. Founded by Jim Burns, HomeWord seeks to advance the work of God in the world by educating, equipping, and encouraging parents and churches. Learn More »

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