TwHundred Laughs

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
Proverbs 17:22

It’s been said that the average child laughs two hundred times a day, while the typical adult laughs only four times every twenty‐four hours. So what has happened to us grown‐ups? Maybe it has something to do with those grueling hours at the office, long lines at the grocery store, and piles of bills on the kitchen counter.

Of course, life can be very difficult, and some people face serious obstacles and hardships. But many of us frown or complain over relatively minor inconveniences. I (JCD) knew a woman who made herself and her husband miserable just because she had one more child than she had bedrooms in which to put them. Too many irritations come from a complete inability to appreciate the humor and blessings that exist around us. When your husband forgets to take the kids to their dentist appointment, or your wife accidentally gives away your favorite sweatshirt, or your toddler draws his version of the Mona Lisa on the living room wall—wouldn’t it be easier on everyone if you looked on the funny side of the situation?

Kevin Jones, dealing with increasing paralysis from Lou Gehrig’s disease, was asked to describe the worst thing about his condition. He replied, “My wife’s driving! She has to take me everywhere.”

No matter what you’re facing, a smile can only make it better.

Just between us . . .

• How often do you laugh each day?
• Do we keep our heavenly destination in mind when adversity strikes?
• How could we add humor to the next difficult situation we face?

Dear God, when problems threaten to affect how we treat each other, help us to see them in the perspective of Your unfailing goodness. Amen.

Listen to today's broadcast of Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk at  For more from Dr. Dobson, visit the resource center at

This devotional is taken from Night Light for Couples. Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reservedUsed with permission.