Hopefully Valentines Day has led to a nice date night for you and your husband. I know some of us are semi-opposed to this holiday that forces you to show love and be romantic. But hey, forced or not, it’s good to thoughtfully show love to the people we love!
While romance is more in the air, it seems worthwhile to reflect on our dating habits.
If you are like most people, life is busy, and dating our spouse gets sparse. But this is a pattern to fight. Not that you need convincing, but just in case, let me remind you why:
- This is the most important human relationship you have, and you want it to be good. You are in this for the long haul!
- Strong relationships require time spent together.
- Life can get burdensome. Instead of your relationship always revolving around weighty matters, it’s good for your marriage to be a source of enjoyment. Some positive interactions will strengthen your relationship.
- Everyone wants your attention, so it takes extra intentionality to make sure you appropriately focus on each other.
- Last, but surely not least — God created you to be in an intimate relationship with your spouse (just take some quiet moments to read Song of Solomon this week and you will be convinced). This implies a certain kind of romance is being fostered in your relationship.
All of that takes time! It requires a special kind of time. Date night time. It’s more than that of course, but it’s not less than that.
Date Night Basics
We need to have a regular time when we focus just on our spouse. That really summarizes the basics! It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you are investing in each other without unnecessary distractions.
It could be the classic “dinner and a movie” date. Or dinner and a walk. Maybe it’s a “date night in” (but be careful this doesn’t turn into an average night filled with household chores). You can sneak away for breakfast. Or do something active. Whatever it is that connects you two and gives you some quality time together.
- “My husband won’t want to.”
Some woman will state, “My husband doesn’t want to go on dates anymore.” To that, I say, “I doubt it!” Even in the hardest of marriages, a husband is willing to do something enjoyable with his wife.
Let’s admit it; the men are usually easier to please. If you joyfully ask your husband on a date (no manipulation attached), you work out the details… he will want to partake! From there, you can win him over to seeing what fun he can have with you. Soon enough, he will likely be the one asking you out!
- “Isn’t he supposed to lead this?”
Maybe he should, but he doesn’t need to. You are his helpmate, and this is an excellent way to help him. Perhaps you will even end up helping him learn how to pursue you in this way.
Also, you are the one being challenged to make it happen, not him. If he was challenged by some guy from “truth4men,” maybe he would rise to the occasion. But he’s not. You are.
So rise to the occasion and help him out by getting date nights going!
- “Going on dates is too expensive.”
Money does not need to be an issue. If this is a concern, you just need to get creative! You can eat before date night, and just take a walk. Or keep your purchase to a small dessert somewhere. If babysitting is the issue, you can do a babysitter swap with another couple. You can go to a park, or a beach, or walk the mall. There are plenty of free (or cheap) things to do together. The point is just to be together!
Make It Happen!
So open your calendar, find some evenings (or day times) that work – and plan it out! Realize there may be seasons when a date night feels unnecessary or feels like too much work, but that doesn’t mean you should ditch the effort.
Imagine correlating how you take care of your marriage to how you take care of your body. Your body is a keeper. You have it as long as you live. If you neglect it until you have “more time” to work on healthy habits, you are going to wake up one day and feel like your body is “far gone.” Conversely, you could do the hard work of upkeep, even if you don’t see the difference it is making. In 10 years the route you chose will show.
So it is with our marriages. We need to do the upkeep, regardless of the effort it takes, or the inconvenience it causes. Couples who don’t, often look back and feel “far gone” from where they want to be. In 10 years the route you chose will show. It will likely show much sooner than that.
Invest in your marriage. Date your husband. This relationship is a keeper, invest in it well. Your regular and intentional efforts will pay off.