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Relationships are hard work. We were created for them and we miss our potential without them. Yet, they still require a lot of sweat equity in order to thrive. Good relationships don’t just happen.

Maybe in childhood forming meaningful relationships was easier.

We spent all day with our friends and often enjoyed extracurricular activities together without the stresses of adult life. It didn’t take a lot of effort to form and maintain such relationships.

However, as we got older, the demands on our time increased and there were fewer points of natural and spontaneous connection with others.

As adults we now have to fight for meaningful relationships. Growth requires our intentional investment and sweat equity.

Relational sweat equity comes in the form of our time, intentional actions, and emotional labor.

Our Time

It takes time to build relationships. We’re all busy, but if we do not carve out the time in our schedules, our relationships will not grow.

While each relationship will have its own rhythms, we must invest regular time in order to experience the fullness of our relationships.

Intentional Actions

Wanting better relationships, and even thinking a lot about how our relationships could be better, is not enough. We must also act.

Make the phone call. Go to lunch. Take the trip. Do!

Relationships grow by doing a million little things. 

Emotional Labor

We must also put in the labor on our own heart issues – confronting our fear, shame, and issues of control, for instance.

What holds us back from living wholeheartedly in our relationships?

This is our work to do in order to contribute the best version of ourselves to others.


Relationships take a lot of work, but they are worth it.

Put in your sweat equity and watch your relationships grow.

Photo by Val Vesa on Unsplash

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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