Fun—it’s the number one thing I hear parents, and unfortunately myself, ask children. “Did you have fun at your friend’s house?” “Did you have fun at church?” “Did you have fun at school?” This constant reiteration of the word ‘fun,’ I believe, is what gives our children an entitled attitude that whatever they do should be fun.
The question is how we are defining fun. We have recently addressed this as a ministry. We play games. We eat. We have a lot of fun. But no one is truly growing or changing. What is the point of doing ministry if change isn’t happening and everyone is staying lukewarm or, worse, becoming in bondage every day? What is the point?
We have decided to redefine fun. Fun as the world thinks of it and as we generally use it in a conversation is entertainment. The questions we are actually asking our children are: “Were you highly entertained? Were you pleased? Did you feel enjoyment while you were here? Was the entertainment sufficient for you to stay engaged?”
Parents, if we rephrased what we are asking our kids like that, we would stop asking it. Really, we don’t give a rip. Do we really care if our kids have fun? Do we want them to be constantly entertained and feel entitled to be entertained a certain way? What should we truly be reiterating? Should we be driving home the value of each relationship even when it’s not fun? Or learning to be still with someone, reading a book or a Bible next to a friend, or praying with one another?
I don’t think all of that entertaining stuff is fun. But every day in our society, we spend more and more money trying to increase the entertainment thrill. We are building bigger rollercoasters, a higher waterslide, or a new amusement park. We make new video games and more highly action-packed movies. Our society is constantly searching for more. They are searching for more fun. “Entertain me. Make me feel good. Take me out of my reality and put me someplace where I have pleasure all the time.” I don’t know about you, but that is not what I actually want for my family or my children. That type of fun is not okay with me.
As a ministry and as a family, we are redefining fun. What is fun? I’ll tell you what fun is. Fun is praying for someone and seeing them get healed. Fun is praying for someone who is blind and seeing their eyes open and them being able to see. Fun is publishing a book you know is going to change the world. It may only change one person, but that one person will change the world through it. Fun is smiling at someone who hasn’t had a smile all day and is having a bad day and letting them know someone cares about them. Fun is not being in bondage to needing to be entertained or entitlement. This is fun.
True fun is encountering the love of God and bringing heaven to earth. That is how we are defining fun from now on: truly encountering the love of God and bringing heaven to earth and then spreading that love so everyone can participate in the fun we are having. We don’t need games and activities. Those are distractions from the opportunity to enjoy the presence of God. It’s a backup plan to encountering the Lord. We don’t need a backup plan. We need the presence of God more than ever in our homes, in our families, in our neighborhoods, in our churches, in our ministries, and in our youth groups. We cannot stop short of encountering the presence of God. Now that is fun.