Playing at Relationships

The other day I heard Leonard Sweet say something like this:

You don’t work at a marriage. You play at a marriage.

Yet another thought-provoking metaphor from Sweet. When you start thinking about relationships – marriages or otherwise – as something that you work at, you’ve already lost.

Work is difficult. You do it because you have to – because it is a responsibility in life. It is serious business. Ask anyone who is working at a relationship, and you will discover they aren’t finding much joy in it.

Relationships are acts of creation. We don’t analyze and manipulate them until they provide us with the appropriate functions and rewards. We infuse them with creativity, make them into beautiful things, and then find joy in that beauty.

Becca, my 8 year-old gets this. Working on a relationship is a completely foreign concept to her. She plays at her relationships.

So…who do you make music with in your day-to-day life? What does your favorite relational dance look like? What are your favorite conversational brush strokes?

And if you don’t know how to answer those questions, then take Sweet’s advice.

Stop working. Start playing.

2 Responses to Playing at Relationships

  1. Jonathan Sharp says:

    So, what you are saying is that I have to work at playing more in my relationships?

  2. Matt says:

    Yes! Exactly! So get busy!

    No, seriously – what I think is cool about this concept is that it encourages us to be creative, rather than analytical in our mariages, parenting, friendships, etc. They become what we make of them, rather than things that are a labor.

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