My husband posted this the other day, after we had been on a date, “Every time I take specific time away with my wife, whether it be a date or longer, I’m reminded anew why it’s so important.” I love him. And I think he is right on the money. In our marriages, we must, we need to take specific time away with one another to refresh us, encourage us, and focus on just each other. Your spouse is to be the most important person in the world to you. Before your kids. The marriage relationship is the only one of its kind on the earth. That’s how God designed it. It is the only relationship on earth that reflects God’s relationship with His church. Your relationship with your littles, as beautiful, important, and filled-to-bursting-with-love as it is, is to come after that covenant relationship that you made with your spouse.
And you know what the beautiful thing is? When we live that out to our kids, it blesses them, it is a gift to them, and it gives us a wonderful opportunity to share the gospel with them. I still remember my parents going on dates as I was growing up. Specific memories where they talked to us about why they went out just the two of them and how mom and dad’s relationship was different than their relationships with us. I remember seeing then, as I still do now, them cherish that time together and make it a priority to have that time together. And, oh my goodness, I’m so grateful I saw that. For a multitude of different reasons. And now Jas and I have the opportunity to display that same thing to our Little.
Plan that date night away. Plan a trip! Jas and I are taking our first, longer than one night, trip away later this year. To be honest, we’ve both become emotional already at the thought of being away from AK for a few days, but we know how good it is and how necessary it is for us to go away together. For her sake and for ours. Get creative as you plan dates. I know that everybody’s situation is different. Babysitters are hard to find, finances are tight, job schedules are difficult to maneuver around. Trust me, I understand. Don’t get discouraged, though. You can still make it happen! Make a later dinner together after the kids go to bed and sit on the floor and have a picnic. Make a fun dessert and have a movie night in. Have a morning date for breakfast, or an afternoon date where you just go take a walk and sit at a coffee shop for a while (a favorite of ours), or go wander around a bookstore (another favorite of ours). Think of what you both enjoy doing and go do it together! Hike, bike, paint pottery, shoot guns, or eat crickets and go skydiving. Whatever it is, do it together! Go out with other couples as well. Invest in each other, build into each other, learn from each other. It’s a blessing.
Just spend that time. Looking at each other, talking to each other, laughing, trying new things, observing your surroundings, having adventures together. That time away gives you special opportunities for quiet thought and thoughtful talk. It gives you time to talk about your little ones: what they are learning and struggling through, what you are learning as parents, plans for them, prayers for them. It gives you time to talk about ministry, work, relationships, to think through things and pray through things together, to share your heart and what the Lord is teaching you. Life can get so busy. Stop and spend that time together. You are one and times alone together are sweet times of growing closer as one.
The dates that Jas and I spend together are some of my most favorite times and cherished memories. Spending that time away with my best friend, however long it is, always reminds me of the gift that marriage is and how gracious the Lord has been to give me this man to love and live life with.
Date your spouse. Once the ring goes on and you become engaged, once the vows are said and you are married, don’t stop dating your spouse. It only grows sweeter.