Title: Remembering Date Night!

Remembering Date Night!

I remember when my wife Cathy and I started dating. We had so many conversations after going to the movies or sharing a meal. There were many late-night conversations in coffee shops that made the next day at work seem a little longer. The best part about these date nights is that we learned more and more about each other. We learned about our likes and dislikes as well and our favorite movies, books, and tv shows. We talked about politics and the news of the day as well as our faith. These conversations drew us closer. Eventually, Cathy became my fiancée and then my wife.

Cathy and I maintained going on date nights even after we were married. We tried to be purposeful about this because of all the stories we heard and because of the advice that we had been given.

We did really well until…we had children.

Becoming parents threw a huge wrench into our date night plans! We used a lot of excuses for why we stopped making date nights a priority; Can’t find a babysitter, Babysitters are too expensive, We don’t want to burden family members, They won’t sleep if we aren’t there, We are just too tired, etc. We fell into the trap that many new moms and dads fall into…we sacrificed time together because other things were more important while we were at the crucial stage of learning how to be parents. 

A few years later, we found ourselves still not prioritizing date nights even though that stage of parenting had evolved. We continued to find different excuses. I still remember us sitting down and talking about how much we loved those times together and wished we could be purposeful in going out on dates together.

So we developed a plan.

Each of us would take turns picking out something to do together. The one thing that we knew is that we were frugal and if we purchased things ahead of time, we would never cancel because we had paid for it. The first thing we did was to buy partial season tickets to the Pistons. This happened to be a great choice because they won the NBA championship that year. The next year, it was Cathy’s choice and she chose season tickets to the Pops series with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. This went on for a number years where we tried different things and maintained a purposeful dating time to pour into our marriage.

After all, our marriage is a ministry too.

In fact, it is the most important of all ministries. As Christians, we are called to love one another and to minister to one another.

Bestselling author Gary Thomas wrote these points as reminders for marriage:

  • God created marriage as a loyal partnership between one man and one woman.
  • Marriage is the firmest foundation for building a family.
  • Marriage mirrors God’s covenant relationship with His people.

I couldn’t agree more. Marriage is the centerpiece of the family and time should be spent nurturing it. During these date nights, we continued to learn more and more about each other just like when we were dating before marriage. We also learned the importance of being intentional about our time together to recharge and draw closer together so we could be better spouses to each other and better parents to our girls. These intentional dates helped build a firmer foundation and allowed us to minister to our children and model a good example for them of how important marriage is.

Here are some helpful tips on creating and maintaining date nights:

  1. Be intentional and put something on the calendar ahead of time.
  2. Make it a priority and don’t change plans when something else comes up.
  3. If you are cheap like my wife and me, pay for things ahead of time so you will go no matter what.
  4. Get a sitter!
    • If you cannot afford one, find another couple and take turns watching each other’s kids.
    • Stay out past bedtime so the sitter has to put them to bed (very important!).

I know that time can be precious and we can quickly fill up our calendar with lots and lots of things, but one lesson I learned from a friend was that if you want to know what you treasure and what you find most important in your life… Look at your calendar. It will be the things that you carve out the most time for. I would challenge each of you to begin to carve out time for your marriage. I can assure you that it will make your marriage healthier and, if you are parents,  you will be setting a great example for your kids.

Your partner in ministry,

Jeff Brown

Rockpointe Family Life Pastor

Want to take an action step right away? Check out Rockpointe’s June 23rd Date Night!