Let me start this post by admitting that I realize I am calling you to put something else on your calendar when you’re already swimming in a pool of work, church events, school, soccer practice, and sleep (if there’s any time left over). But I am convinced that date nights hold more value for the health of a Christian marriage than many other things you could choose to do with your time.
There are probably only a few, if any, married Christians, who would disagree that date nights are not beneficial to their relationship with their spouse, but that doesn’t mean that those who are pro date-night actually make the necessary sacrifices to schedule them. So, here is a list of reasons why I think regular date nights are worth prioritizing (especially if you have kids in the house).
1) Date nights help you to distance you and your spouse from your to-do lists – Be honest with yourself, your to-do list is never fully completed because things are being added to it constantly. So, in order to have some undistracted time of refreshment with your spouse, you are going to have to schedule it.
There are couples who may say that they don’t need to go out on dates, because they spend time at home together. I get that, but when we are at home we are surrounded by reminders of all the responsibilities that we haven’t checked off our list (chores, fix-its, etc.), and that can easily serve to draw us away from quality time with our spouses.
2) Date nights are usually scheduled for a better part of the evening when you’ve still got some energy – I’m not sure about you and your spouse, but after we get our kids into bed and finally sit down at around 9 pm each night, it’s all we can do to just form complete sentences because we’re so exhausted. When you go on a date, you schedule it for the best part of the evening when you’ve still got your wits about you and enough energy to bring your fork back up to your mouth from the plate. Date nights help us bring our A-game to the relationship (I won’t apologize for the cheesy-ness)
3) Date nights provide an opportunity for long conversations – In the midst of your busy schedule and the incessant questions flying from your children’s mouths, it may seem to like your marriage survives on the conversational equivalent of fun packs of Doritos instead of three course meals. In order for marriages to thrive they need extended time for extended conversation so that husbands and wives can continue to know each other and enjoy each other for the glory of God.
4) Date nights provide an opportunity for you to communicate to your spouse how uniquely valuable he/she is to you – If you go on a date with your spouse twice a month for three hours at a time, then that is most-likely the most concentrated amount of time you have spent with any one person by choice in that month. Date nights show your spouse that you have set him/her apart from all others. Date nights say, “I love you and there’s no one else I’d rather spend alone time with… in fact, there is no one else I have spent this amount of alone time with.”
5) Date nights free you up to concentrate fully on your spouse – When you’re with the kids, much of your attention must be fixed on keeping them from darting out into traffic. When you’re at church, much of your attention is given to the sermon and ministry. When you’re at a barbeque, your attention is focused on conversations with friends. But on a date, it’s just you and your spouse. You are free to concentrate all of your energy and attention on the person who is to be most important to you.