It’s vital that you have a purpose for your marriage that goes beyond your kids. So many go through marriage and when the kids leave, they discover they don’t even know each other. The dangers of making your kids your idol while slowly over time unintentionally sacrificing your marriage.
The number one way to be a great parent is to have a great marriage.
The dinner table is where you rally the family, date nights are where you rally each other.
There are all kinds of reasons why couples don’t date each other, it’s frankly hard when you have younger kids. But it’s essential or your marriage will erode over time.
Our most interesting and fun date experiences;
- Angie: “Visiting DC before we were married and seeing the monuments lit up at night together”
- Isaac: “Spending time in Paris”
- Angie: “Dinner out in the Czech Republic”
- Angie: “Surprise trip to the beach”
- Isaac: But really the best dates are the local ones we do all the time
We don’t want you to listen to this podcast without getting challenged with this one thing; At the end of your parenting when you are empty nesters, we want you guys to look at each other and still be in love and know who your spouse is.
You have to choose growth in marriage. You both should be changing and growing but staying strong together. Individually and together we need to grow. Unfortunately, one or both are growing but they aren’t growing together.
Wives, the way you influence your husband isn’t by hounding him, it’s about encouraging the things they do do well, and praying for him.
Here’s a challenge: Get together with your spouse and discuss your interest for doing these different kinds of dates regularly.
We are going to talk about three kinds of dates you should regularly do:
- Business Dates
- Vision Dates
- Fun Dates
You can date without even leaving home if you need to. Stay at home dates are great, put your kids to bed and have a cheese and cracker board and talk to each other. Also, have little mini dates as often as you can too.
Wives desire being continually pursued and invested in. If the husband is doing a good job, he’s putting his needs aside to focus on her needs. However it doesn’t mean the wife should always focus on herself, she should also ask her husbands questions and invest relationally in him.
If the wife doesn’t ask, often a husband won’t even share his things not to overwhelm or burden his wife.
God put you guys together in relationship.
“What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?” -Gary Thomas
When you are on a date night enjoying one another it’s a huge witness to others around you. Are others going to want to get married because they see yours?
Here Are The 3 Kinds of Dates:
1. Business dates (Discussing what is)
- A meeting to talk about the issues currently going on with your marriage and family
- You are a team, and teams need to meet to discuss logistics and decisions
- If you don’t communicate about these things you won’t recalibrate decisions quick enough for the benefit of your family.
- Husbands should prepare some things to discuss ahead of time
- Assessing where each kid is at spiritually, friendships, sibling relationships, education choices, finances, career/business…
- Discuss areas your wife needs help
- How are your wife’s friendships?
So many families drift into the future keeping the same decisions when they should have shifted a long time ago because they haven’t recalibrated.
2. Vision Dates (Discussing what’s ahead)
- Husband’s come prepared for this with good questions and things to discuss that you can initiate about the future.
- Guys, you are the leaders of your family. If my wife was casting vision to me it would feel awkward
- It’s so fun to revisit goals you set together as it encourages your marriage and focuses your marriage on growing together.
- Some of these visions you will bring to the dinner table and share with the kids too
- We share almost all of them with our kids
- This makes marriage more exciting. It’s important to see the growth needed
- It puts you on a perspective of expecting growth and change versus holding the family or spouse back with a fear of change.
- Examples: We had a vision of doing a 3 month RV trip around the country, it took almost 10 years to fulfill that dream and we did it. Another is a two week trip to Israel for our 10 year anniversary, almost 10 years and we haven’t done it. But it’s about God’s timing and we shouldn’t get discouraged but press forward towards the visions we feel are important.
3. Fun Dates
- Most people are good at this one and they are vital
- Don’t talk about maintenance issues or the kids
- Focus on having fun in ways that nourish your relationship
- Share aspects of it with your kids so you are modeling what to replicate someday
- Beware of activities that prevent conversation, to make sure you’re not subconsciously escaping the relationship.
- If you run out of things to talk about there’s likely a challenge with your relationship
Revitalize the Purpose of Your marriage
- Husbands are to Cherish their wives.
- You are going to cherish someone you love and love someone you Cherish.
- It’s so important to actually enjoy one another.
- Just buying things for your wife doesn’t mean you are cherishing her
- Do you confide in one another?
- If you don’t focus on your marriage you are losing the sense of purpose for your marriage.
- There should be a constant appreciation of each other.
- Start a journal to think and write about the things you are thankful for about your spouse. Share it with them on your dates.
- Spoken words of affirmation can revitalize a marriage.
- Husbands, it’s so important that you communicate meaning to the work your wife does. She should totally see the huge significance of what she does.
- In all three kinds of dates, appreciation and recognition are important.
“Our whole life may have looked different if Isaac didn’t encourage me” -Angie
The purpose of your marriage is to glorify God. How are we going to do that if we are communicating and purposefully working on it?
Practical Date Night Ideas
- Dinner, even if you don’t have a big budget, go to a food truck then take a walk.
- Go on a hike
- Camping, talking around the campfire after kids are asleep
- See a movie, but there are places where you can eat and watch which are better
- Although movies could be escapism from each other actually
- Go on a drive. There’s a study that shows that men have an easier time opening up and talking when they aren’t looking at someone.
- Find active things you can do together.
- Take a weekend retreat
- Don’t sacrifice your kids with the wrong baby sitter, they must be trustworthy
- Find a place with a great view to relax and talk
- Concerts, plays, and events
You are modeling this for your kids so they expect and do this in their own marriages
Scripture In This Episode
1 Peter 3:1 ” Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives,”
Song of Solomon 2-4 “The Beloved Like a lily among thorns, So is my love among the daughters. The Shulamite Like an apple tree among the trees of the woods, So is my beloved among the sons. I sat down in his shade with great delight, And his fruit was sweet to my taste.”
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