Is Fun Evil?

is-fun-evilIs fun evil? There is a growing movement in homeschool circles that claims that fun is evil. They point to our society to show that Americans live for fun rather than for God. (They’re right, by the way.) For that reason, they believe their homeschool families should never be allowed to have fun.

Homeschoolers of all people have already put everything on the altar, and they don’t act like normal Americans. They don’t bow down and worship fun at all. It’s the opposite. They have a huge responsibility on their shoulders, and way more work than ordinary people. It’s relentless, because they have to live with it 24/7. They actually need more fun in their lives: more fun seeking God, more fun with their spouses, and more fun bonding with their children. Fun is refreshing; laughter is good for the soul. Fun is experiencing joy with the people you love. Life is so horrible already because of sin and strife. Let’s cling to God, our husbands, and our children and breathe joy into their lives and not make them feel like they’re in shackles. Shackles are from the enemy, who will cause us to prioritize the wrong things, often to look good to outsiders. Just connect to God and walk by His Spirit. It’s that simple.

Before I go further, I would like to say that the pursuit of fun can be evil, if we are pursuing that instead of God. Some things capture our attention and draw us away from God instead of towards Him. Reading, for example, can be idolatry if we get angry when our child interrupts our book. Our book was more important than our child at that moment, and that was sin. Anything can be sin. But that doesn’t mean you banish everything and make up tons of rules and impose them on people. All of us have idolatry. This world is too distracting. This does not negate the fact that God came to give us life abundantly, that He has given us all good things to enjoy, and that one of the fruits of the Spirit is joy.

John Piper, in his book Desiring God, states that the Christian life is all about the enjoyment of God. When we enjoy God, we spend more time with Him. And when we learn something new about God, we do sweet somersaults in our soul. Yes, John Piper calls this Christian hedonism, and he wholeheartedly endorses it. That’s because Scripture calls us to love God with wild abandon, and the only way to do it is when we enjoy Him thoroughly. Otherwise it’s only duty.

Many people feel the same way about church, that it’s a duty, and that it shouldn’t be fun. They don’t look forward to serving God’s people with wild abandon the way that God desires us to. They barely attend, leaving immediately after the service, never connecting to the body of Christ, which is the only real reason to gather. You can hear sermons and Christian worship over the radio. The church is the people. Do not forsake the assembling of yourselves together. He didn’t say preaching or singing. He said assembling. Look at the description of spiritual gifts and the command to use them in the body of Christ, not just at your house. Many homeschool parents disobey this command because they focus only on their children. They want to look good to the other people of the church. Because of this, they are too haggard to obey God by connecting with other believers.

Most homeschool parents are exhausted. Do you realize that fun is a part of rest? Part of the definition of rest is “leisure,” and we as homeschool parents don’t have it. We need to make time for it, especially when it comes to spending time with our spouse. My husband, for example, can sleep for ten hours and still not feel rested. He is weary. Often if he can just go out on a date with me or go shooting with a buddy, he ends up feeling refreshed, more so than a full night’s sleep. Why? Because fun is refreshing. It’s a break for the mind. Yes, fun can be exactly what your weary body needs.

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5 Responses to “Is Fun Evil?”

  1. Hi Susan! Thanks for joining me over at Busy Hands Busy Minds! It’s always great to meet new people, but I feel like I should already know you if you have articles on The Homeschool Channel. My husband started it up, but we don’t have high speed internet at home and it is impossible to watch the programs. I’ll have to go check out the articles and blog posts.

  2. GREAT post! I do not understand how one can read the scriptures and believe that fun is evil. There are so many verses about delighting and joy and rejoicing. These are a part of fun!! Wonderful thoughts and thanks for sharing them!!

    • Richard says:

      Most people who claim fun is evil are sour-graping over what they’ve had to give up, and/or are jealous of people who get to enjoy what they cannot, so they try to make others’ lives suck as much as theirs do.

  3. Susan, very well said, as usual! I sort of live in a cave so I was unaware of this new teaching that fun is evil. I think teaching that lie is evil and will only cause deep pain. Thanks for speaking the truth!

  4. Janee Campbell says:

    Awesome Post! Thanks! We just realized before we ended our school year how badly we needed some fun. We do fun things sometimes but we just needed to get away from home and do fun things together as a family. We came back this morning from a vacation that was both exhausting and fun and we are now refreshed and ready to be home again. I think we sometimes just get so busy accomplishing things that we don’t make enough time for fun. Its not that I don’t think its important but the day to day stuff gets in the way and I tend to forget. I hope everybody takes some time this summer to have some fun before starting the next school year! One of my kids favorite things to do in the summer is fill up water balloons and play games with them in the backyard. They start asking for water fun before its even very hot outside.

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