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There’s a time and place for everything. And this includes a time for lightheartedness and play, as well as a time for seriousness and our responsibility to the weightier matters of life. While we tend to go to one extreme or the other, it seems many of us have adopted the modern worldview of expecting life to be primarily the pursuit of fun and entertainment to the rejection of gravitas.

We can see this, for example, in many approaches to education. There’s a greater emphasis on entertaining students rather than communicating a sense of seriousness about what one is learning. Of course, seriousness doesn’t mean an absence of joy or delight. There can still be deep pleasure in learning, but gravitas refuses to allow education to be merely shallow playtime.

And our religious life has not fared much better. We often judge church programs and events for their ability to keep us amused. And there certainly should be great joy in the life of a Christian. But there’s also a time to submit to the high and serious call God has given us.

Likewise, we need gravitas in our approach to marriage as well, and we’ve missed the mark when we see it just as a means for our own happiness. To be sure, marriage calls for a serious commitment and sense of responsibility to make it beyond the honeymoon phase.

Whatever it looks like, gravitas is not intended to be grim or dull, but it is serious. It’s a willingness to temper ourselves as needed to deal with the weighty matters of life. It’s here we can discover true awe and deep joys. And without it we merely entertain ourselves to death with shallow pleasures.

In the end, play and have fun without guilt. And remember there’s also a time to be serious, a time for gravitas.

Photo by Ahmad Ossayli on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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