I love going to the movies. I feel like I’m careful about what I watch but I love the relaxation and the buttered popcorn! Just give me the popcorn and no one will get hurt! I love going to the movies!

Larry hates going to the movies. He’s so careful about what he watches that he watches nothing. He hates being in the theater and tries to resist the buttered popcorn. Larry hates going to the movies.

Do you see a difference in defining pleasure?

But this post isn’t about marriage. It’s about pleasure. Because in reading Gary Thomas’ book Pure Pleasure, I realized that I define pleasure too narrowly. Going to the movies can be easily defined as pleasure for me but it’s not for Larry.

Well, maybe this post is about marriage a little. Because I complain that I want time with Larry and “why won’t you go to the movies with me?” I want the pleasure of his company in something I enjoy and while that’s natural, I make it seem like it’s only time with Larry that I’m asking for, when actually I’m trying to fulfill my idea of pleasure.

So while reading Gary’s book, I realized that watching a football game with Larry (and rubbing his feet) is spending time with Larry. I say I want time with Larry but I don’t want it that way! Watching a football game while rubbing his feet is not pleasure for me. I demand it be my way!

Can I broaden my definition of pleasure and include more of a variety in that definition? One way to do that is to recognize that when I’m “out,” like going to a movie, I don’t feel pressured to “work,” like I do when I’m at home. When I’m “out,” I obviously can’t do the dishes. But while at home, I feel pressured knowing the dishes need washing. That’s not pleasure.

How about if I consider watching the football game being “out,” and ignore the dishes? hmmm…maybe that could work.

Then I started thinking of how Jesus enjoyed pleasure. What did Jesus seem to enjoy? He enjoyed his friends, fellowship, food, and solitude. Could it even be that Martha was highly energized to fix good food–and a variety–because she knew Jesus enjoyed food and she wanted to please him?

For those of us who think every second has to have spiritual value and production, think of Jesus in His times of pleasure–including sleeping on a storm-tossed boat instead of lecturing His disciples about faith. (OK, that did come after they woke Him up.) And yes, sleeping is pleasurable! I just wish I could stay awake while I’m sleeping in order to enjoy it!

Gary wisely writes, “If you’re the responsible type, you may allow yourself to enjoy pleasure if every chore is done, the house is spotlessly clean, no one within a hundred miles of you is sick, no one needs anything, and the planet has finally achieved world peace.
“That’s not going to happen.” (pg 97)


Do you need to broaden your definition of pleasure? (Wanna go to the movies with me?)