“So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”- 2 Timothy 2:22
This devotional is aimed at men. We work hard to identify, date and pursue a woman we want to spend the rest of our life with. But once we get married all that effort can easily be forgotten. It is almost like our master plan is to first, identify a woman you wish to date. Second, get the girl to date and to like you back. Third, so impress the girl as you date so she will agree to marry you. Fourth get married. Fifth, relax. Sixth, get into a routine of kids, work, bills and stress with the girl you married.
The man who dated, wooed, and passionately pursued the woman of his dreams transforms into the husband who shares a home, bills, and rearing children, complete with all the associated problems with those things with his wife. Dating provides the opportunity to get to really know your future spouse, to talk and bond, share dreams and aspirations for the future etc. But why does that stop when we get married? What we really want is a marriage that feels like a mission, a journey that moves towards something beautiful, fulfilling and God centered. Kind of like the way dating felt.
It makes you wonder why we stop dating when we get married. Maybe it is because men don’t know how to date their wives. They did it before, but they’ve forgotten how, or they’re trying but it just doesn’t seem to be working. But here’s the bottom line. I believe marriage benefits from dating. It is an opportunity to be alone with your wife and give her your full attention. Prove to her that she is more important than your career and schedule. I read a quote that I think has real value to those who are married as well as those who are considering getting married: Date night is food for your marriage.
Married couples that have regular date nights tell me they are important to oneness in their marriage. They made a point to get out, just the two of them; they talked, shared, and it made a difference in their marriage. If we waited until there was spare time, it just wouldn’t happen. They told me there are a lot of things out there to do, if we, as couples, are intentional, creative, and committed. Even those who have been married for years love their date nights, they look forward to them and treasure them.
I am not talking about break the bank, fancy, wear a tux, rent a limo kind of date, although there is nothing wrong with that. What I am talking about is a once-a-week date with your spouse to communicate with each other and to connect emotionally. I’m reminded of what Solomon said to his bride in Song of Solomon: “The fig tree ripens its figs,and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away. O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the crannies of the cliff, let me see your face, let me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.” (Song of Solomon 2:13-14).
Dates are important for every couple, no matter what stage of family life you are in. If date nights are not part of your schedule, consider talking to your spouse to say you miss dating and want to connect again on that emotional level. Intentional sharing and meaningful time together are a must for a successful marriage and an example for the kids to follow.
- Do you ever feel that you’re simply too busy to share enjoyable and meaningful time together as husband and wife? What would it take to enable you to spend enjoyable time together on a more regular basis? Babysitters? Schedule readjustments? A different approach to balancing work and family life?
- What one thing can you commit yourself to do this week in an effort to free up more time to spend with your spouse?
- How often do you sit down as a couple simply to talk to one another? Do you set time aside specifically for this purpose? Why or why not?
- Do you have regular date nights? If not, why not? If so, what can you do to keep them from becoming “routine” and “boring”?
- What are your most passionate interests as individuals? What do you enjoy doing most? How would your spouse answer these questions? How can you use this knowledge to plan more meaningful times together?