Dating, in its most basic form is a pursuit. If you breathed a sigh of relief when you get married because you thought your dating days were in the past, think again! Marriage isn’t the end of dating – it’s just the beginning. Marriage is the lifelong pursuit of the person you are committed to!
Recently, during our #LoveJoySex series at Awaken, we covered this topic in a message called “Never Stop Dating.” In the text, Shulamite had prepared a romantic weekend getaway for she and her husband in the country. I sent out some emails in the week leading up to the teaching, where I asked a few couples that we know (pastors, friends, etc.) how they pursue their spouses. We got a lot of great, practical feedback that I wanted to share.
Here it is in bullet points. You can watch the video below.
IMPORTANCE OF DATING YOUR SPOUSE:
– keeps you connected so you don’t become complacent
– creates simple opportunities to converse and reconnect without interruption
– it’s an investment for the future that we’ve personally seen save marriages!
OVERCOMING OBSTACLES TO DATING:
– Song of Solomon 7-style weekend getaways are great, but they’re not always feasible
– budget for dating – it prioritizes and enables romance
– aim to get out of the house a couple times per month and go away overnight a couple time per year
– anywhere/anything can be a date: coffee, shopping, running, gym, scenic drive, etc.
– can’t find a babysitter? Date nights can be at home
– take advantage of time you have – even if it’s after the kids are in bed
– schedule 2 families to babysit once a month at both pay periods
– swap babysitting with another family – watch their kids one week, they watch yours next week
– find a couple in church to rotate through babysitting
– Don’t feel guilty about leaving your kids to go on a date!
– Pastor Chris Norman: “The best thing you can give your kids is a healthy marriage. Ditch them in the name of loving them!”
HOW TO DATE:
– talk about each other, not just the kids
– think daily: “What can I do for my spouse today?”
– dating is like a snowball at the top of a hill – picks up speed
– how did you date before marriage? Why not do some of the same things once you’re married?
– cereal dates: puts kids to bed, pour some cereal & chat
– “Stop and give me 60” – 60 seconds to reconnect as you pursue each other in midst of chaos
– get the right mindset: pray for your spouse, thank them for what they do, encourage, serve, lead…
– learn their love language – study your spouse
– give FULL attention to them (NO TECHNOLOGY: you’re not dating Instagram!)
– dates don’t have to be at night – change it up and grab breakfast
– be willing to do things you’re not as interested in: monster trucks vs. musicals
– anything without kids can be a date – have fun! (if you don’t have kids, everything is a date!