Never Stop Dating Your Spouse!!!

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“Never stop dating your spouse!”  This has been advice that I have given all engaged couples since I started working in marriage preparation.  This is one of the most important concepts to a happy and healthy marriage.  This has not always been easy in my marriage, but it truly is something that is non-negotiable in our marriage.  My husband and I have been married almost sixteen years and dates have been a foundation for us!  It is something we have always had to look forward to in the moments when we have felt like two passing ships in the night. 

There have been seasons in our lives where dating each other was easier than other times.  For example, before we had children it was a breeze.  Then came baby 1, then 2, the 3 and so on…During the exhausted, no sleep stage of our marriage, date lunches were our preferred choice.  I couldn’t keep my eyes open past 8pm most nights, thus I was not great company if we went out in the evening.  Then, the game changer…our oldest was able to babysit!!!  ALLELUIA!!!  There was this sense of freedom and giddiness that came into our marriage as date nights resumed. 

Marriage must be more than quickly taking about the daily schedule of the children’s activities.  This is the default that many couples fall into.  Once children enter a marriage, we forget that we have other things to talk about.  One of the greatest pitfalls of a growing family is making the children and their lives what you live for.  (As a woman, I feel I have the right to say that women are usually the worst culprits of putting their kids above their husbands…it is my mission to change that!) 

I have visited with several couples struggling in their marriage who tell me, “We just don’t have time for each other!”  “We have something going on for the kids every, single night!”  My response back to them is, “Why?”  I get a lot of, what they feel, are good reasons, but I always say, if your marriage has no depth or happiness your children will notice it.  When my husband and I go on a date and our kids fuss and complain that we are leaving and they will miss us, we always respond:  “We are doing this for you!  Our happy marriage allows you to have a happy life!” 

I am not saying that your children should not or can not be involved in activities that keep your family busy, but I am saying that in the midst of their busy lives you also must make your happiness and your marriage a priority.  Why?  Someday your children will no longer need you to take them everywhere.  They will grow up, move out and need you less and less.  If you have not kept up on your marriage, sharing your dreams, your goals, your lives…then what is left for you to build your marriage upon when the house is quiet because your children are doing their own thing?

Dates do not have to be extraordinary…just make them count. In the moments when our kids were young and we were short on sleep, we took thirty minutes to go to a coffee shop and sit and talk about our dreams and our fears.  The coffee kept us awake and the conversation kept us in tune with each other.  It helped us always know what was going on in each other’s life and helped us make it through those rough early years of children without losing one another!

I challenge all my married friends to go on a date this week!!!  It will make you a better spouse and even a better parent!

Focusing Our Wandering Eyes
Love...Is Not a Feeling

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