The day my first-born son arrived was one of the happiest days of my life. Everything changed the day I became a mother and the arrival of our other two children just compounded and added to the sense of wonder and joy to our family. The only regret that I come to find myself having in all of this, is how my husband and I let parenthood overtake our marriage. It is tough, especially when your kids are so little, needy and cute. Right?
As of this moment in time, I can probably count with my fingers the amount of “dates” my husband and I have been on since that beautiful December day in 2009. So, we are looking at, roughly 10 dates…in the last 6 years. We just find it hard to make the time and we feel a sense of guilt by asking someone to watch them. I especially struggle with the guilt. I know people have very busy lives and I hate to inconvenience them with my children…even if for only a couple of hours.
But the thing is, I recently learned that I need to let go of some of that guilt. I recently learned that my husband and I need to make time for just the two of us. I also learned, that though it may take some creativity, we can accomplish a “date night” here at home sometimes as well. My husband and I were talking the other day and I was mentioning to him that we should strive to have a date every month. Of course, when you go from a non-existent dating life to attempting to have a monthly one, it kind of seems incredulous. But, it is so needed. It is a chance to escape away and focus on each other; a chance to grow in our love for each other. Marriage is a God-given gift. Dating your spouse is another opportunity to enjoy the fullness of that gift.
This last weekend, we went out on our “first date” for the year. It was beautifully freeing and beautifully awkward as well. We found we have almost all but lost the art of enjoying a meal. We were not sure what to do when there was no scolding, no giving up of our favorite food to a little mouth, there was no rushing though the meal so as to avoid a restless spirit being agitated by the prolonged amount of time spent in one place; there was just us. It took us a moment to soak that thought in. Switching our role from being out as husband and wife, rather than dad and mom, was difficult. But, we did it. We enjoyed each other, we enjoyed the food and we enjoyed real conversation over a meal.
A walk around Atwoods was next:
Then a stop to Academy, where my husband engaged in an act of persuasion for the hypothetical camping trip we were planning on taking:
I pointed out the item that I need to take on said camping trip…
Then after a quick walk around the mall, we finally ended up here…
Later on, he asked me what my favorite part of the date was, my answer was torn between the delicious salmon or the intimate time of coffee and conversation at the end of our date. His favorite part? He said, “being [alone] with you”. *swoon*.
We were beyond thankful for the time alone together that evening and we were encouraged to continue to seek out that kind of time together. In the beautiful way God continues to draw us closer to each other, He is helping us see that this time alone together is not just supposed to be seen as a luxury – it is to be enjoyed as a gift, the gift He has given us in each other.
So for us, our first date of #datenight2016 is in the books. We know it will take planning and effort to continue to enjoy more date nights, but we anticipate the reward that will be gleaned. Our marriage is worth the investment.
**What suggestions or ideas do you have for dating your spouse?
Any ideas for the “in-house” date nights?
What is you favorite thing to do for date night?**