Our first “real date” wasn’t until our honeymoon. Yeah. Kinda weird, right? Here’s a cliff-notes version of our “dating relationship” so you have some context.
When my mentor, Jon, found out that I had feelings for Stefani, he called us both into his office and laid out some pretty simple guidelines. We had to either let our desire for dating one another take a back seat for 3 months, and literally not talk to each other or have any interactions beyond what was required for work (yeah, we actually worked together for a brief time as well…), or if we wanted to start dating right away, one of us had to go get a job somewhere else. Since both of us valued our jobs we chose the “3 months of no talking” option. Needless to say, it was rough.
After the 3 months was done, I still had to ask her parents for permission to date her before we could actually start. A couple weeks later I found myself at a local coffee shop sitting in front of her parents, I wasn’t even that nervous because, in my mind, this was “in the bag.” I mean, what kind of parents wouldn’t let a nice guy date their daughter, especially after taking them out to coffee and asking for permission right? Well… Apparently her parents. I was kindly and quickly met with a flat out “no” response.
Fast forward 2 months to Cinco De Mayo 2008. I find myself in that same coffee shop with Stefani’s parents, only this time Stefani is there with us. We expressed our desire to begin dating each other and told them all the reasons we thought it was a good idea. After many questions, and dialogue, we were told that we could begin courting. My first thought was, “I didn’t ask to play basketball with her! I want to date her!” Shortly after, her parents explained what this courting relationship was going to look like; it would be on their terms. One important piece of our courting relationship was no one-on-one dates. For a guy who grew up dating girls pretty much whenever and however I wanted, this was definitely something new. For the next 13 months and 2 days until our wedding day, dates consisted of me coming over to Stefani’s house and working on the weekends outside with her dad. It started with chopping wood and mowing lawns on the weekends, and then progressed into being allowed to come over on week nights for dinner and a movie or show. Our first date night was coming home after our wedding, which, wasn’t all that bad (winkwink).
Shortly after getting married we received one of the best pieces of marriage advice we’ve ever been told: “Never stop dating each other.”
At first, it’s a no brainer; every night is like a date night. Start throwing kids and other responsibilities into the mix, and date nights can quickly come to be viewed as a rare luxury as opposed to a consistent necessity. Over the years we have learned not just the practical reasons why date nights are important, but also the biblical reasons date nights are important. Here they are:
1. Your heart follows your treasure
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21
One of the biggest excuses we hear when we tell people we still love having date nights, or that they should consider having them, is that they are “too expensive” or that they “don’t have money to do that.” First off, if that’s you, we get it, finances are a real thing. So here are 10 date night ideas for under $10. Also, scripture is super clear about the fact that where your treasure goes is where where heart goes. If you want your heart to be more connected with your spouse, intentionally spend some of your treasure (money) on something that will cause that to happen! No rocket science here, friends. Date nights will knit your hearts together in more ways than you’ll ever know.
2. You’ll always reap what you sow
“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” Galatians 6:7
If you want to change what you are reaping, change what you are sowing. Too many people want to reap the rewards and benefits of a great marriage without ever sowing what’s required to get it. Date nights are intentionally sowing into your marriage. Again, no rocket science here.
3. Wise use of time
“Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15,16
It’s no secret that we live in a culture that doesn’t value marriage anymore. Sadly, many couples actually consider divorce as a viable option and way out of a marriage that isn’t serving their needs, wants, or desires. Scripture instructs us that in the evil times we live in we must walk wisely, making the best use of our time. Date nights, without question, are a wise use of time.
4. You aren’t guaranteed tomorrow
“Come now, you who say, today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit--yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” James 4:13,14
The stories I hear that absolutely break my heart are the ones of a spouse dying far earlier than anyone had expected, leaving a wife and kids behind. We aren’t guaranteed tomorrow, friends. We aren’t guaranteed our next breath. I’m not trying to scare you, I’m simply reminding you of something we all know, and far too few of us give any thought to. Life is fragile. Our days are numbered. As scripture puts it, our lives are but a mist that appears for a time and then vanishes. If you currently don’t have a consistent date night, don’t wait, start now. Set a time for your next date with your spouse today! Invest while you can. Our lives are but a vapor, so let’s make the most of what we have together with our spouse!
WE HAVE A FREE GIFT FOR YOU!