When Humor is Harmful or A Friend’s Words

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There’s a tendency for us as women to try to be funny by bemoaning our plight as a wife and mom.  What these children are doing to me, how awful it is, how crazy my life has become.  chuckle, chuckle, laugh, laugh.  While we all have made a joke, probably, at one time or another about momhood, is this attitude, if it continues, merely harmless fun?  Does it help to lighten our loads or make the road rougher.

There are times when laughing at ourselves is good for us.  There are moments when the ridiculousness of the situation or over-the-topness of the circumstances call for laughter (you gotta laugh or you’ll cry).

What I want us to think about is, “Has this type of talk and way of thinking become a habit?”  Has dripping sarcasm about your horrible existence as a stay-at-home-mom become your persona?  Do you try to get a few cheap laughs, when deep inside your heart is breaking?  Is your mockery of your momhood encouraging your heart, or have you come to disdain your lot in life and cannot wait until you are through with this prison sentence.

Have you a heart turned towards home after all?  Do you agree with God that these children are a blessing?  Is it a good thing that your husband has found himself a wife?  Are you helping him (and your friends) by your attitude, and by your words.

If you are truly a believer in all that is home–all that God says in His Word–do your words convey that belief.  Saying the opposite of what is true, as humor, is still a lie.

I believe that for many who practice this kind of humor, it is a cry for help.  I believe there is an element of truth in their words.

I don’t think women start out feeling that way. I think they are trying to be funny. Everyone does it.  But, hearing yourself and others constantly complain that nothing is going well, that you’re not living the life you were meant to live or doing what you want to be doing, and how you’d love to be somewhere else, is not healthy.  Telling everyone how unsuccessful you are in accomplishing the work of a homemaker, and wishing away the years until the children are grown, making jokes about your husband…is not funny.  These are the habits of thought and heart which produce discontent, disillusionment, and often abandonment of marriage and home.

Am I making a mountain out of a molehill? a big deal out of nothing? I don’t think so.  Abandonment of home and family doesn’t happen overnight.  It begins in the heart and mind. And, we, as friends, are either building up or tearing down each other.

I’m grateful for the examples which God has placed around me.  At times I thought that some were only pushing their real feelings down, and not in touch with reality.  Too reserved.  There was a time when I thought a close friend was one who I could complain with about the everyday problems of being a wife, mom and Homeschooler.

I found out by experience that my true and closest friends speak words which encourage and strengthen me for the race.  They help me up when I fall by telling me the truth in love.  A true and Godly friend turns my face to the Savior, and comes alongside me with words of faith and hope.

It’s not an act.  It’s not pretending there are no problems.  It doesn’t mean they don’t ever share a prayer request, or admit to failure.  A Godly friend is humble.

A Godly wife and mother is also loyal, not sharing the faults and foibles of her family with even her closest friends.

“Her husband’s heart doth safely trust in her.”

If a wife is tempted to give up trying to glue her broken marriage back together, she needs serious Biblical counsel, not glib jokes.  If a mom’s commitment to staying home and raising her children for the Lord is fragile at best, she needs someone to come alongside and build up and strengthen.  She needs encouragement in the Lord to do what is right.

Humor should never harm.  I pray that I am as good a friend as others have been to me.  Showing an example of purity, loyal to their husbands in their words, always praising and showing gratitude for their husbands provision and the privilege to stay at home, humble in their attitudes, yet always striving to be better.  Not perfect.  Just trusting the Lord, increasing in faith, and encouraging me to do the same.

Linking up with the Homemaking Linkup (Look for me at #111:) at Raising Homemakers today–please join me!

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2 Replies to “When Humor is Harmful or A Friend’s Words”

  1. Amy,
    After reading your comment, I went back and read again what I’d written. Actually, there are times when discreet sharing with a friend may be in order, and if a woman is in an abusive situation, then she definitely needs to talk to someone.

    Red flags go up for me, though, when I hear a woman talking negatively and complaining all the time. I have made mistakes in this area many times, mainly speaking when I shouldn’t have. It’s really tricky, as you say, to find and keep balance, and I want to say that, maybe my advice should be taken as a general guideline, but that each situation needs the wisdom of the Lord to know how to handle it. Thanks, Amy, for making this comment. I needed to think about it from this angle.

  2. Yes – having friends who encourage and strengthen us is such a help. Walking that line between being real, not pretending that one doesn’t have problems, and seeking encouragement when needed while not betraying confidences or tearing down one’s family can be tricky at times, though. Yet you emphasize well how important it is to strike that balance.

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