I see too many marriages that are labeled “successful” just because of their longevity. Marriage was not intended to be an endurance sport, but rather an institution that God could use to make individuals more capable and complete through unity with Him and each other. I hope your goal is to have a strong marriage where both the husband and wife are made better by the marriage than they ever could be alone.
I have found over the years that this one thing is often overlooked on the quest by couples to develop a great marriage. What is that one thing? Dating. Dating is a ritual that we use to get to know someone better. We learn their likes, dislikes, how they react to hardship and what they are about behind the pick-up line, and see if that chemistry works. If everything goes well, then the dating draws two people so close together that they can’t imagine spending their lives with anyone else. So, they get married, the dating stops, they drift apart, and a year or two down the road they start saying foolish things like, “I love him, but, I’m not in love with him.” (Does anybody really know what that means?)
If you want to have a vibrant marriage – Never Stop Dating! Put date night or date lunch on the calendar, make a reservation, plan a picnic, go bowling, do something together. Find a sitter for the kids and turn the phones off; this is about the two of you as a couple, it’s not family time. Continue to learn about each other, and continue to experience each other. Start with one and work to make it a monthly experience. You may be surprised about what you have forgotten about your spouse, or you may discover some depth that you didn’t know existed. It doesn’t have to be expensive. The emphasis should be on giving each other your undivided attention.
JUST FOR THE GUYS – You need to man up and take the lead here. You make the reservations, you make the plans, you open the car door. Be a little old fashioned and bring her some flowers when you pick her up. Think about what your lady would enjoy and surprise her. It can be something as simple as a walk and picnic in the park, or a more elaborately planned candlelit dinner at a nice restaurant. By the way, if the destination is a surprise, at least tell her how to dress; you don’t want to ruin the evening by her being over or under dressed.
I would love to hear about your date night ideas in the comment section below. Vee and I are always on the lookout for some new Date Night ideas!
Be Good, Pastor Jay