As a guy, you can no longer spend your money the way you want to spend it. You have to check with your girl first. The guys want to go out after work and you have to call your wife and ask for permission then wave the guys on. You'll be THAT guy. When you come home from work, you can't just sit on the couch and unwind. You have to talk to your woman and tell her how your day was. Then you have to ask her how HER day was and make sure you are listening with your face (making facial expressions), responding intelligently, and repeating back what she said on occasion. And you have to share your feelings and emotions with her because she wants to know. You can't watch the games every night on tv like your single buddies because some evenings you have to watch a chick-flick or period drama. It's death. It's sacrifice.
And, ladies, you are living with a sweaty, hairy beast who doesn't really care that he is in dirty clothes sitting on your bed. He struggles to understand you and how you work. He doesn't know why you are crying or what to do about the fact that you are crying and that really bothers you! He forgets to put stuff away and frequently leaves the toilet seat up!
The crowd is laughing hysterically by now. Most can relate. Even the unmarried are laughing. I was sitting and thinking that marriage isn't all THAT drastic. Directly in front of me is an Asian young adult furiously bobbing his head and fist-pumping every time the speaker says how awful marriage is and saying "Never get married! Don't do it!!!" Off to my right in front of me is a woman who is shouting "YEAH!", fist pumping, and making comments. After a specific comment about how marriage is so awful, she turns to me and practically shouts while mostly out of her chair, "THAT'S WHY I NEVER GOT MARRIED!!!!!" and then sat back down to continue laughing and fist-pumping and cheering. This is how you begin embarrassment. It's enjoyable and fun in the moment.
I've been around churches my whole life. I've listened to a lot of preachers. I have also taken a lot of speech classes. I know what's going to happen. The married speaker is not going to continue saying how awful and horrible and sacrificial marriage is... because he's married. So I laugh, but not out of control, because pretty soon that speaker is going to drop the funny illustration on its head and get serious. And then he does...
After I went into this detailed explanation with my friend about the sacrifices of marriage, he agreed and looked at me. He said, 'Yeah man- I know that. But.... she's so much better than all of that. It will be so worth it.' And I agreed that marriage is better.
I knew this was coming so when it happened I looked at all the boisterous singles that were so excited when he was talking about how bad marriage was and they were sitting in their seats quietly, not looking around. Not agreeing, not laughing, not turning around and making comments. Nothing. Cue the squirming while marinating in shame!!!
It made me laugh to realize how much I restrain myself during services. I LOOOVE when speakers use humor in their sermons. It's awesome. But I've been around church long enough to know every funny story has a point- a serious, non-laughable point. So I never laugh with abandon, I always laugh with caution. Some speakers say a funny story and then completely reprimand you for laughing "See you laughed at that- you know how it is to do that, don't you?" (My advice to young speakers- never do that to your audience. If they trust you and like you enough to laugh while you are speaking, go with it! Never use laughing against a crowd or they won't do it again.) I have been the awkward one waaaaay too many times in a service, the one that is way too enthusiastic during the funny story and then they changed directions on me. Yup- I marinated in shame one too many times to fall for it again.
What about you? Have you ever been the one who is too enthusiastic during a presentation or sermon? How'd that end for you? How do you recover from that type of obvious over-enthusiasm? Not laugh at all?