By Don Gentry
Marriages are falling apart.
As the Family Pastor at Journey, it pains me to see how so many couples are simply just making it work. The joy of marriage has long since passed and many are just trying to hang on for the kids. What a tragic living condition.
What I am about to share is not a magic pill but rather a preventative measure to ensure the health of your marriage.
Simply put: if you want your marriage to thrive, then you need a regular date night.
Notice I said, “thrive.” I have seen many marriages survive, but Christ said he came to provide life abundantly, and I believe that should be most evidenced in our marriages. God gave us marriage as an example of true unity. Marriage is His earthly expression for us of a heavenly covenant.
There are two common excuses I hear when I suggest a regular date night to couples. The #1 excuse I hear is, “We don’t have time.” To this I say you need to make the time, you don’t have time not to take the time. Do you run your schedule or does your schedule run you? Couples that use this excuse are often the ones that are in the most need of a regular date night.
The #2 reason I hear is, “We don’t have anything in common/ I don’t like to spend that much time with my spouse. We have nothing to talk about.” If you are in this stage of excuses then your marriage is already on a downward spiral, but there is hope.
A Date Night is the act of spending quality time together away from the kids and daily duties of life. It could be as simple and cheap as a walk in the woods, or extravagant as a vacation to Venice. A date night can look different to each of us, but it needs to be alone time with your spouse.
Lets focus on the positive results that a regular date night can create. Let me highlight three reasons and benefits for making date night a priority!
1. Date Night Fosters Intimacy.
According to Merriam Webster the definition of intimacy is: the state of being intimate : familiarity : something of a personal or private nature. Certainly we can apply this definition to sexual intimacy, but our lives are comprised of so much more than sex.
Do you know your spouse? Are you familiar with his/her dreams, desires, fears, frustrations? Are you familiar with what they are learning in life? Do you know what they get excited about and what fuels them? These are all elements of intimacy.
A date forces you to communicate. The number one reason marriages fail is that there is a major breakdown in effective communication. A regular date fosters a great environment for communication. Healthy communication fosters intimacy- emotional and physical. I cannot stress enough the value of intimacy and how a regular date night creates a perfect environment.
2. Date Night Helps Develop Friendship.
The number of couples that don’t enjoy being together or spending time together astonishes me. I have been married for eighteen years now and I can’t imagine anyone that I want to spend more time with than my wife!
She is my very best friend in the entire world. She was my best friend before we got married and we have fostered an environment that has continued to allow our relationship to thrive over the years.
A regular date night has been an integral part of that process. If your spouse is not your best friend then use Date Night as an opportunity to become best friends!
We have different likes and dislikes, but we try to do things that we both like or something that brings the other one joy. For example, Stacy has gone to a cigar shop with me and I have gone to the mall with her. We go for walks in the neighborhood, and hikes in the mountains. We lounge at the pool, or go to the movies. We do life together and we make it a priority that NO children are allowed.
So many people tell me they can’t afford child-care. You can’t afford not to afford child-care. Some day your kids are going to leave the house (at least they better or you haven’t taught them independence, and that is another whole topic), and what are the two of you going to have in common.
I have seen far too many divorces occur after 20-30 years of marriage. They hung on for the kids and then despised what was left. A regular date night can help create a relationship where you love the one you are with!
3. Date Night Establishes Boundaries and Priorities.
I love this point. A REGULAR date night says–there is nothing in life, nothing in my schedule more important than you! You are so important I am scheduling life around you. If more couples made their relationship a priority we would have fewer broken families.
Who better to lead the way than Christian couples? A regular date night says, our relationship is a priority and we are going to make it work. Please don’t hear me saying that this is somehow a duty to be crossed off a list. It is a priority designed for enjoyment.
I realize that life can get in the way of a regular date night. I can assure you it will only get in the way as much as you let it. If you find a couple that truly enjoys one another’s company, I guarantee they have made it a priority to spend quality time together.
Marriage is a blessing given by God and created to be enjoyed. Make date night a priority and see if your relationship doesn’t begin to benefit!
If you are looking for a chance to have a Date Night, then you’re in luck! This Friday night, August 7th, Journey Students will be hosting a Double Date Night! Journey Students will be providing childcare for you at Journey Church, so that you can have the night off for a Date Night.
You have two options for using Double Date Night:
- You invite a couple in your Top 5 (check out this Podcast for more) to go on a double date, and your childcare will be FREE!
- You can drop your kids off and provide a donation to Journey Students to watch your kids for your Date Night!
Do your marriage a favor and take advantage of this great opportunity and have a Date Night THIS FRIDAY NIGHT!