This post is written by contributing writer, Mary Beth from New Life Steward.
I remember the night I fell in love with my husband.
We were visiting my parents for the weekend. We stayed up ridiculously late Saturday night playing 20 questions that turned into 200 questions! I’m pretty sure there was chocolate cake involved.
I don’t remember much about the questions we asked. I’m pretty sure that’s when I first heard how he met Christ as Savior and Lord. Some questions were silly and some were serious, but there was a thrill in the discovery–knowing him at a deeper level. By the end of the night, I knew he was the one.
I’m sitting here, nearly 10 years later, as his wife of 5 years and mother of his son. We’ve fallen into that pattern that is so easy to slip into with marriage and life. He works. I take care of our son. There’s dinner and bath times. The dishes and bed. Repeat.
Some sort of switch flips when couples marry, and we often stop getting to know each other. We are dynamic people that are constantly changing, and yet we forget to notice those changes in our spouses. That’s not God’s vision for marriage. He created marriage to be a relationship where the two involved know each other intimately.
Enter the advice I’ve heard 1,000 times if I’ve heard it once:
“Marriage is hard work.” and “Don’t stop dating your spouse just because you are married.”
When you hear something so often, it tends to get annoying, but you have to acknowledge that there must be some truth to the statements. Why else would people be saying it constantly?
I think I get annoyed because I’m a practical kind of gal. I want to know what something looks like in real life. Tell me the how: How exactly do I work on my marriage? How exactly do we continue to date even though we are married with have a kid and limited resources?
Allow me to suggest: Dating through the Alphabet
- Choose a time frame for how often you want to schedule a date (once a week/every other week/once a month). Be realistic. The goal is to be successful.
- Choose one person to be in charge of planning the date. (Taking turns is best!) This person is in charge of the date from top to bottom (including babysitters if necessary!).
- Start with the letter “a” and work your way through the alphabet planning dates based on a theme that starts with the date’s letter. (For example, “a” might be a date with an art theme–painting pottery together, going to a museum, decorating a cake together, etc.)
- Spend some time in real conversation with each other. The date planner can come up with some questions centered around the theme to get the conversation flowing. (The rule is that both people answer each question!) This is a great time to talk about what the Lord is teaching you and doing in your family!
Points to remember when dating:
- Lower your expectations. Not every date can be five star. A pizza dinner in the living room floor by candlelight after the kids are in bed can be just as special as a steak dinner at a fancy restaurant.
- Dating requires sacrifice. You will probably have to give up some things to make room for this on the busy calendar. Do it. Your relationship with your spouse is worth it.
- Plan, Plan, Plan and then be flexible. Your date is much more likely to happen when it’s planned in advance, but life happens–so be flexible! Don’t make this an issue of contention when things don’t go perfectly.
How about we help each other out? Tell us in the comments what you think would be a good theme for a date night!
I first read about this idea on my friend Kara’s blog (check out her posts from their dates on her side bar!).
Photo Credit: Dave Bleasdale
This post is linked to Marital Oneness, Modest Monday, Welcome Home, Time Warp Wife, Teach Me Tuesdays, Wifey Wednesday, Women Living Well, Works for Me, Thrive at Home, Hearts for Home, Fellowship Fridays.