Josh and I believe in cultivating a strong marriage. This is not something that happens overnight or with little effort. Having this kind of relationship with anyone, including God, requires invested time and communication. As you unselfishly spend time seeking the heart of the Father, you soon experience the rewards of your efforts. So, it is with dating your spouse. When you make the decision to unselfishly sow into your spouse WITHOUT expectations, you WILL see the rewards of your efforts. They may not come as quickly as they do with the Lord, but in time, you will see them!
Galatians 6:9 "And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint."
Colossians 3:17, 23 "And whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus and in [dependence upon] His Person, giving praise to God the Father through Him. Whatever may be your task, work at it heartily (from the soul), as [something done] for the Lord and not for men,"
However, if choosing to be selfless or sowing without expectations is new in your marriage, there may be some hurts that need to be addressed, forgiven, and forgotten. (But that's another blog post!)
Setting up Date Night:
1. We chose Thursday night for several reasons:
a. There were no recurring events on Thursdays
b. We knew weekends tend to fill up with family or other social events.
2. NOTHING gets scheduled on this evening.
3. First & Third Thursdays of the month are at home or close to home (do not require a sitter). We explained to the kids that this night is for Mommy and Daddy to spend together and they can play on their own. (Family Nights are Wednesday nights, so we will have just spent an evening with them.) If you have little ones (under 5), date night in may have to happen after bedtime (and perhaps bedtime is a little earlier this night.)
4. Second & Fourth Thursdays of the month are out of the house (will require sitter if no kids are of age to babysit). This does not mean we spend money outside of a sitter.
5. Set a monthly date night budget and stick to it. This may start out very small in the beginning depending on your season of life and finances. Ask for gift cards for birthdays and Christmas. Sowing into your marriage is more important than the other "things" you may want.
6. Schedule your date night details and line up a sitter (when needed). Plan out at least a month in advance. (We do it quarterly.)
20 Date Night Ideas:
Think outside the box, have fun and go on an adventure with your spouse!
1. Window Shop at your favorite home improvement stores (dream about future home or projects).
2. Coffee Shop/Mall/Book Store: (make & take your own coffee if needed) Share vision for your future as individuals, as a couple, and as a family. Talk about what God has been teaching you. Plan future date nights/days.
3. Try a new place to eat! If it turns out to be a dud, do not look at it as a waste of time or money, but as an adventure you took and time well spent together! Then head home for some better grub!
4. Take a day trip! Do some research (google and/or friends).
5. Go yardsaling/antiquing (is that even a word?!)
6. Brunch. Breakfast is a cheap date and (in my opinion) able to be eaten at any time of day or night!
7. Walk/Run together.
8. Motorcycle/Bicycle Ride.
9. Hiking and a picnic.
10. Try/Attend a teambuilding activity.
11. Test Drive a New Car.
12. Target Shooting at a Gun Range.
13. Create a scavenger hunt for the other person!
14. Send the kids away for the evening. Plan, shop for, and make a meal together.
16. Exchange massages.
17. Roller/Ice skating
18. See a local Play/Musical
19. Progressive Supper (Appetizers at 1 place, Soup & Salad at another, Entrees at another, dessert at another or home)
20. Wii Tournament