And he [Jesus] said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3
Church activities, 50-hour-plus work weeks and the business of life gradually sucked energy out of our marriage. On date nights I’d microwave leftovers as Keith turned on his favorite “Who dun it?” No creativity, no spontaneity.
Energy roared into our home when our toddler grandson came to visit. He darted for his drawer of lids and measuring cups to prepare tea or dinner for us.
This rocket-fueled toddler delighted in running from our family room, to the kitchen through the dining room, up the two steps of the entryway and jumping off the steps into the family room, squealing as he jumped.
One morning our rocket sat straight up on our bed with a blanket over his head waiting patiently. My adrenaline pumped.
Have you seen Gage?
Where can Gage be?
He’s not in the closet.
He’s not under the bed.
What’s this lump?
We rolled the giggling lump, tickled him, and laughed until our stomachs hurt.
That moment changed our lives.
About 17 years later … Often, Keith stands saluting me as I drive into the garage. He’s also been known to hide around a corner and jump out to scare me as I get close.
Elvis fills Keith’s car with rock and roll. Our garage is tight with two cars and storage racks, so Keith stops in the driveway and lets me out before driving into the garage. I walk into the garage keeping the beat in my head (I don’t want the neighbors to see me); once in the garage, I bebop my way into the house. Honks or flashing headlights applaud my gyrations.
One day as we left the grocery store, Keith stopped the cart, ordered me to jump onboard, and ran pushing the cart to the car. People turned their heads and smiled; some giggled. This became a ritual. Once, a Ford F-150 pulled up beside us, and the driver stuck out his calloused hand, pointed at us, “You kids quit that, you hear?” Laughing, he drove away.
It takes a great deal of trust to abandon formality and the business of living. It takes trust to jump onboard a grocery cart and barrel through the parking lot.
Sheer delight in play … joy in the moment … love in the air … freedom!
Casting our cares on Jesus and jumping into His arms–that’s what Jesus requires. What joy and freedom as He catches us.
One way we learn to abandon ourselves and trust in each other and in Jesus is through play.
Our grandson taught us to return to play, bringing a piece of heaven to our marriage.
You can return to play, too. We’ve developed 21 Play Prompts that you can use to prompt your play with the love of your life.
Please share how you play in the Comment Section.
My prayer for you:
Father, teach Your children how to become childlike in their trust and love for You. Bless them with childlike moments of freedom as they abandon their formality and skip through their days, hands in Yours, and singing Your praises.
The play-powered marriage restores freedom to trust in each other and in Jesus.