A husband once shared with us: “Date nights are cheaper than marriage counseling … a whole lot cheaper than divorce, and a much more fun.” We couldn’t agree more, which is why we regularly suggest date nights to the couples we work with and seek to make them a priority in our own marriage.
When you get in the practice of regularly dating your mate … you’re really obeying God’s desire to “cleave” to one another (Genesis 2:24). That word cleave means to hold onto; to keep pursuing one another when the throes of life are desperately trying to tear you apart. So dating your mate is Biblical!
The fact is: your marriage can quickly deteriorate into a state of mutual co-existence where you find yourself in the daily grind of managing your personal calendars, household operations and child care business. Before long you’re seeing your spouse as a roommate and business partner instead of that one and only special someone who used to be the love of your life.
Remember your early dates as a couple … when you were working hard to win each other’s affection? Re-kindling those times of talking and flirting together will help fan the flame of those loving feelings that are often smothered by the everyday pressures of working and parenting. Date nights are the time to put down your to-do list and focus on listening, sharing your feelings, and feeling close.
There’s a vast difference between “hanging out” and “heading out” for a special time together. What makes a “date night” different from just “hanging out” is your state of mind. There is intentionality … you’re planning a time to be with, and to focus on, your sweetheart. You’re saying … we’re a couple who loves each other … and we’re planning be together long after the kids leave home!
Date nights give you the opportunity to gaze across the table and enjoy the view of that special person you married, the one you fell in love with, not the one who left the bed unmade or forgot to take out the trash. So get out your calendars and plan some times to re-create and re-live some of your early dates.