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Everything I Know About Relationship Success I Learned At The Playground


By Stanley J. Leffew

Relationship success principles - playground style.

It happened again!

I was enjoying an evening with my little 2-yr. old son at the playground when, BAM, it happened. You ever have one of those moments in life when you know you are being taught an important lesson?

Picture in your mind a chaotic atmosphere of over fifty little children battling for their turn to play on a handful of playground rides and objects.

Recipe for disaster, huh?

That's what I thought, too, until my observations quickly picked up something else.

Sure, they were running into one another, crying and trying to get ahead of each other for the rides. They were walking across other children who had fallen down in front of them and were pushing one another to get their turn. They were running to their parents for comfort after getting their feelings hurt.

As I stood there taking in the scenery before me, those little blessings of life showed me some important lessons about relationship success. If you will indulge me a moment, I will share with you what I found out.

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Relationship Success Lesson #1 - The Principle of Fun:

Not much to say here! It's simple; these kids loved to have fun.

In adult relationships, life throws curves at us constantly. Responsibilities come at us from every angle. It takes conscious effort to remember to have fun together in life. I emphasize the word, "together". I'm not talking about the type of fun where the husband plays golf and the wife shops.

The "heavy" takes it toll on relationships, and we do well when we give our relationship a time-out from the heavy and lighten up.

Couples who play together, stay together.

Relationship Success Lesson #2 - The Principle of Fascination:

As I stood there watching, it was interesting to see how the younger children reacted to the older kids. It didn't take much observance to see that they were taken by and fascinated with them.

Fascination! While it is not a word often associated with relationship success, if you want thriving relationships, you may just want to give it some precedence.

I was blessed earlier in life to have a couple who had been married over twenty-six years model this for me. Whenever anyone saw them together, they were holding hands and playfully giddy as if they had just started dating. When I asked what caused her to be this much in love with a man after so many years of marriage, she responded, "He fascinates me."

Let that sink in a moment.

Are you an interesting person? Would you consider yourself intriguing? Do you have interests in life that cause other people to want to be around you, or are you often bored?

A few things to note:

Relationship Success Lesson #3 - The Principle of Forgiveness:

As I stood and watched, two children were running on the playground in opposite directions, and I saw it coming before they did. They each circled the same object until they literally met in the middle. Two more kids came around and did the same thing.

Tempers flared, emotions ran high, tears ran down their cheeks and feelings were hurt. Less than two minutes later, they were off running and playing together, and all was forgotten.

What would happen in adult relationships if we learned how to do that? Instead of internalizing everything, we learn not to take it all so personally. Instead of holding grudges, we learn to hold hands.

Children have soft hearts - life can sometimes harden them.

Sheds a little light on the phrase, "Except you become like little children", doesn't it?

© Stanley J. Leffew
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