404 The Art of Relationships

The Art of Relationships

One of my pastors recently said something so profound that I can’t stop thinking about it. He said:

“Marriage is an art, not a science.” – Gui Kerr

It seemed simple on the surface but as I thought more about it, I began to see the depth of what he meant.


No one has ever found a successful formula for relationships that can be applied across the board. Each relationship has it’s own design. There is an element of artistry involved because each one of our hearts is a unique canvas.

I’ve read plenty of books on marriage and many of them provide prescriptive formulas such as “10 Steps To A Better Marriage.” The problem is that it never works for everyone.

Relationships are not one size fits all.

The same is true of our relationship with God. You know how much we love to say that we’re not into religion, we’re into a relationship with God? That’s a great sentiment but when we then try to take prescriptive steps in how we relate to God, frustration sets in.

Morning devotions and prayer times become formulaic in our attempt to make a connection. When it doesn’t work for some people, they feel like they’re doing something wrong.

Doctrines and teachings become so dogmatic, even gray areas have no room for discussion. When every issue is black and white, what we call a relationship really just becomes a scientific equation.

That’s why the deepest and most profound relationships are the ones that evolve over time. The ones where you learn by experience are the most authentic because it goes beyond a checklist to actually understanding each other at a heart level.

We are all called to be heart artists.

The heart is the most beautiful canvas we will ever traverse. It will never be reduced to a formula because it is ever changing. Science is great and it has it’s place. But maybe we should keep those formulas out of our relationships.

Do you believe there is a difference in treating relationships as an art as opposed to a science?


  1. I think there is a difference. Art is relationship and science is legalism. If we get caught up in the science part and wittle down our prayer and devotional time to routine, it starts getting old and we get tired.
    Juan Cruz Jr recently posted..Daily Deposits

    • I’m not sure if I would go as far as to say that science in this metaphor is legalism as much as formulaic. With science, the math always adds up. 1 + 1 always equals 2. That’s just not true with our hearts, which is why I wholeheartedly subscribe to the art of relationships and heart connections as opposed to a formulaic science.

  2. I believe in relationships but I don’t know if there is this long lasting relationship. If we want to gain this long lasting relationship, we need to exert some arts on our relationship. Artistry makes relationships colorful.
    Pauline Stacey recently posted..How to get a Celebrity Smile

  3. I see what you say as true. We have principles that we live by when it comes to relationships but they are also different and fluid.
    Jim F. recently posted..More than we can handle?

  4. Great post, as always tony! I love reading your stuff 🙂

    I’ve always thought this way about marriage. I mean, if you can’t apply a formula to your relationship with God, then I don’t know why people bother with trying to come up with one for relationships. That’s the reason that I’ve never bothered with reading self-help marriage books. Praise God for those who felt led to write them and for those who have benefited from reading them, but I just never felt led to pick one up. 

    When Ian and I were engaged, I started to feel like I should be reading the books and taking the classes because “isn’t that what you’re supposed to do?” but God would always tell me not to bother. Revelation straight from Him always trumps any wisdom people can give, not that wisdom from others is a bad thing, but because it’s just like you said; we are heart artists and relationships are experiential, not systematic or empirical. I don’t regret taking this approach because I have realized that as prepared as I felt before tying the knot, there’s really only one way to learn, and that’s to walk it out. 

    • I’m always open to receiving wisdom from others but you’re right, experiential revelation always works best. Sometimes you just won’t get it until you walk it out. And that’s the beauty of a lifelong commitment. You have plenty of time to walk through all those things together.

  5. Science often dictates a structure…I don’t really believe God wants a structure to come between His relationship with us, that’s why He gave us a heart of clay.
    Ed recently posted..I Am the Voice of Those Who Cannot Speak!

  6. Like all matters that involve human souls, there is no “science” to it. This is why I really dislike post that begin, “10 ways to (insert human response here)” I know this is the way Tentblogger and Michael Hyatt inspired people to blog, but it’s not that simple.

    When I look at Jesus, He dealt with people differently. There was no bullet point way in the way he approached people. The human heart is complicated, a mystery really, and to get all methodically with it is a recipe for disaster.

    Often, it takes lots of listening, conversation, relationships to really get to the meat of it. Oh, and sometimes, you have to do the worm. That really gets people going. 🙂
    Moe recently posted..Disciples: Sanctified By The Truth

    • The motivation comes from a good place but when we attempt to prescribe forumlas to heart issues, it never works. At least not for everyone. That’s the biggest issue I have with it.

      And yeah, who doesn’t love the worm? I know it’s your go-to move.

  7. So true, Tony. I have been meditating on some of Bill Johnson’s teaching lately, where he explains that “life is in the voice.” We can have principles that are set as boundaries of righteousness (science), but we must hear His voice to guide our timing and application so we can live in obedience (art).

    I think human relationships are much the same way. Great post today!
    Christy McFerren recently posted..Holiness is Chinese Food and Monster Movies

  8. Beautiful post, Tony! I do believe there is a big difference between treating relations as art and science. There is no formula to a great relationship. Oh, there are principals we can follow, but each relationship is different and even in my own life, how I relate to one person isn’t how I relate to another. They are different people and my relationship with each one is different. When we treat relationships as science, we limit what those relationships can be – and often end up frustrated that they didn’t turn out like we wanted.
    Jason Vana recently posted..Surpassing Love

  9. I don’t know if there is a long lasting relationship. I am not involve in deeper relationship so I don’t know if getting married will last for a couple.Perhaps, in order for the success of the relationship, there must art to engage on it. It needs colorful artistry to take longer.
    Debra Baldwin recently posted..Natural Aphrodisiacs for Men to Boost Their Sexual Desire

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