Disclaimer: This title was originally posted on my old blog MyPennedHeart
I've been married for 16 years and my husband and I are still dating. You may be a little perplexed by this but it is a large part of who we are as a couple. As your marriage continues and your life continues forward you end up with careers, responsibilities, full schedules, coupled friends, pets, and children. All things that take your time and your efforts away from one another. Dan and I have 4 children, he works outside the home and I am a college student, blogger and currently working on starting up a business. We are both involved with different parts of our church and have a few separate friends. We are often split apart driving our children to different sporting events and activities. There is a lot of time that we spend apart. So we date!
We have found that dating one another is an essential part of keeping us and God at the center of our relationship. It is far too easy to let other things interfere and then you wake up one day not knowing the person that you have shared much of your life with (or so we've been told). I never want this to be a scenario that is played out in our life. I am going to love my husband for as long as the Lord keeps us here on this earth. Love is a choice and sometimes it is hard to love when we are angry, hurting, or when we are not putting time into "us" but when we are dating we are always discovering or re-discovering why we fell in love in the first place. This makes choosing to love a whole lot easier.
Dan and I try to go on one bigger planned date a month. I mean babysitter, take time to get ready, perfume wearing, faced freshly shaved, date. Along with our "big" date we also try to squeeze in as many small dates as we can. A trip to the grocery store, a coffee run, any excuse to leave the house together even if it is 20 minutes or less. It's time to hold hands without the kids taking over, time to talk to one another un-interrupted, time to just be who we are together outside of the stresses and responsibilities waiting at home.
Ladies, do you remember getting ready for dates before marriage? You went all out, didn't you? Hair, makeup, that one outfit that he loved, perfume. We (us ladies) would spend hours going the whole 9 yards, but why? To make him feel special, to let him know that you wanted to look your best for him, to make him proud to have you on his arm, to smell so good that he would want to sit a little closer. We weren't getting ready for ourselves, we were getting ready for him.
Guess what? He still wants to feel special. Keep getting ready for your dates. Keep paying attention to what he likes, wear that cute outfit, smell like an old memory. Show him that he is worth your time.
When you set aside alone time, you are placing your marriage as a high priority. Every couple needs time together to talk, to laugh, to discuss all the intricacies of life. Don't lose the wonder that you once felt. There is always something new to be learning about one another. There is always something new to try. Go out for a night and get lost in each other. Don't worry about home or work. Don't even have your phones out. Take the time to be intentional in your time together. When you have been married for 30 years, your kids are grown and married, you will still have each other. You will still know each other and be discovering new mysteries together.
If you take the time now to nurture your relationship, help it to grow and thrive, you will look forward to the time ahead when it is just the two of you again. You won't be strangers, you will be two that have shared a life together and can't wait for the next set of adventures ahead.
If we look in the Bible we see that God places an extremely high value on marriage. Here is what it says.
Proverbs 5:18-19 May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer— may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love.
Matthew 19:4-6 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
God has plans for you as a couple. Plans that do not include separation (except for when biblical reasons for divorce are involved). You are to rejoice in one another and be intoxicated with love. We were made male and female for this very reason. We leave our fathers and our mothers so that we can have a life together, where no one but God is more important to us than the other.
Date your spouse! Find joy and be intoxicated with one another. Don't let time and space place a wedge between you. Continue getting to know one another all the time. The world is forever changing, we are forever changing. Change together, grow together, love together. Never lose the wonder that brought you together. This is why all of us should date our spouses!