If you are like most people, you like to laugh and have fun. And if you are like most people you seldom pray for God to help you have fun. If you are a teenager praying to God to have fun may appear counter-productive: what does God have to do with having fun?
That is a really good question! As strange as it may seem, fun is God’s gift to us. If it was not for God we would have no clue that fun was even a thing! All the things that are good in life come from the hand of God. It is true that humans can distort the good things that God is given. But just because people mess up God’s goodness doesn’t mean they can claim to have originated the things in life that are good and fun!
When the apostle Paul brought God’s truth to the people in Lystra he spoke of God’s kindness and filling their hearts with joy as a reason to believe the gospel. The blessings of rain, food and joyful hearts all come from God. The Bible frequently speaks of joy, delight, and happiness. To have fun means to enjoy something. People who are made in the image of God are made to know joy, that is, you and I are made to have fun.
As with anything else, when we begin to use what God has designed for selfish reasons things can quickly become ugly and destructive. For example, instead of enjoying people, selfishness has fun at someone else’s expense. So children are made fun of, instead of being enjoyed. Teenagers being awkward are mocked instead of appreciated. Or “fun” can become something that we crave and thus people can become an obstacle to our intended pursuit of pleasure. When this happens having fun becomes something that is ugly. Anger, bitterness, hurt, and fights are the result.
But, when enjoyment, having fun is done as a gift to others, when it becomes a delight to enjoy God’s creation we can experience delight, fun, that is profoundly satisfying! To laugh with pleasure for the goodness in people and their accomplishments, to have fun with friends simply because they are our friends, is a treasure.
God designed us to be able to enjoy life and have fun. But this only works when we honor God instead of honoring ourselves. God designed sex to be a source of joy and comfort that helps binds a man and a woman together for a lifetime. But when sex is used for selfish reasons and for immediate pleasure it eventually brings intense heartache and pain instead of lasting joy. When we play a game and enjoy the experience of being with other people, no matter who wins, we have fun that builds happy memories. However, when winning becomes an obsession, then we can have “fun” bringing pain to people.
When we can see God’s goodness and care for us it brings joy, singing, and laughter, it brings fun! Psalm 126 talks about this kind of joyful laughter:
When the Lord brought back his exiles to Jerusalem,
it was like a dream!
We were filled with laughter,
and we sang for joy.
And the other nations said,
“What amazing things the Lord has done for them.”
Yes, the Lord has done amazing things for us!
God commands us to be in constant prayer in I Thessalonians 5:17. We are always to be praying and talking to God. Make having fun something that you pray about regularly, constantly. Don’t allow selfish desires to rob you of the joy of having fun the way that God wants you to. He created you to have fun!
How can you begin to pray for fun?
This post originally appeared on Shepherd Press and was republished with permission.
Jay Younts is the author of Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, and he is the Shepherd Press blogger. He is a ruling elder at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.