My husband and I recently had a discussion about the direction our marriage was taking. We hadn’t been seeing that much of each other with full time jobs and different evening responsibilities on each of our plates, and we knew it was time to make a change.
The conclusion of the discussion: Thursday nights will become a weekday “hangout” night. We don’t have to go on a formal date - we don’t even have to leave the house - but Thursdays will be spent in quality time together. Spending the whole evening doing chores like laundry and dishes (as I am so prone to do) is off-limits. Instead, we will enjoy the company of one another, and hopefully grow closer in our marriage.
I must say, I am now looking forward to Thursdays.
Your Mom Has a Blog writer Melissa Edgington would laugh at me.
In her new post One Hour in a Restaurant Doesn’t Make a Good Marriage, Edgington writes that she came across a blog suggesting couples try themed date nights that reflect the nine fruits of the spirit. While she called the idea “ingenious,” Edgington said she laughed at the practicality for her own marriage.
She writes, “I was imagining Chad and me setting out to complete the series of date nights, and I estimated that we would be finished sometime in the spring of 2026. I wonder if a spiritually-themed date night series loses its effectiveness if it takes you nine years to go on nine dates?
“Needless to say, we don’t date much.”
Is a strong marriage dependent on regular date nights? While I think that time spent focused solely on one another certainly doesn’t hurt, Edgington insists that it is okay if you lack the time (and money!) to go out on a date.
“Marriage is really about the day-to-day, nitty gritty, in-the-trenches stuff,” Edgington says. “When you depend on each other every day, trust each other every day, and laugh with each other every day, a measly one hour meal in a chain restaurant kind of pales in comparison.”
She’s right. Time spent together is far more important than where you spend it.
If you, like Edgington, are living a life filled to overflowing with responsibilities of work, parenting, and church obligations, you can breathe a sigh of relief. A solid marriage is built on more than a weekly outing to the local Applebee’s.
“Don’t believe the hype that only marriages with frequent date nights are good and healthy and happy. There are plenty of us out here who are more in love than ever before, even without a calendar full of scheduled romance. Date when you can, but don’t fail to appreciate the romantic importance of just living every day together as friends. You could be missing the miraculous love that’s right in front of you,” Edgington writes.
As True Love Dates writer, Debra Fileta says, “Investing in your marriage often means doing small things deliberately that will ultimately have a huge impact.”
What works for my marriage (carving out designated time together) might not work for yours. But ultimately we need to make sure that we are placing our spouses at the top of our priority lists (just below our faith in God) regardless of date night availability.
“Father, help me to be the [husband/wife] you have intended me to be. Show me where I need to improve. Help me to be a better communicator, help me to love my [husband/wife] better, and help us both to grow closer to You and to each other. In Jesus' name, amen.”
“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12)
Carrie Dedrick is an editor of Crosswalk.com. When she is not writing or editing, she can usually be found teaching dance classes, running marathons, or reading with at least one adopted dog on her lap.
Photo courtesy: Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: February 3, 2017