I recently read, again, the importance of dating your spouse. And I wanted to take a moment to digest it a bit with you guys.
Aaron and I met 13 years ago. He sold me a coffee, and that story…I promise to share, one of these days. It was a really amazing, God-ordained meeting, caused by an awful injury (that I am walking through again right now). And it’s just too good to keep to myself.
For all the years that we have been married, I have heard this one piece of advice, more than any other. Never stop dating your spouse. And I get it. I do. I love putting on something cute, or even getting all dolled up for a night out with the one I love. But we don’t date much at all. I think our average falls somewhere in the 2-3 times a year range. In spite of this, we carry a great friendship and a deep level of intimacy.
The reason, I think, people always tell you to keep dating after your marriage is fear of growing distant and cold to the person you share your life with. But I don’t think it is dating that protects you from that. First, and of utmost importance, it is the covenant made that keeps you from that. I committed myself to my husband. And he committed himself to me. To loving each other well. And never, ever have either of us held any doubt of the other’s commitment to that covenant. That’s why it’s called a covenant. It can’t be broken. It is living intentionally within that covenant that keeps us connected. Obviously, there are circumstances of abuse, and this certainly does not apply in those situations. But knowing that neither one of us can walk out because of frustration or discontentment keeps us working to stay close.
Second, I think that it is vitally important to take time everyday to really truly see your spouse. Not just check out their cute butt or notice how tired they appear. But to take time each day to see who they are, what they are walking through, the burdens they are carrying, the value they hold as a human and the joy they bring to your life. The more times a day I pause and really breathe deep in who my husband is, as a person, husband and father, the greater my love for him grows. And it is this daily reminder that keeps my passion fresh in a way that no dinner out or other such adventure can.
Don’t get me wrong, if someone wants to watch my children so my husband and I can go out, I’m all for it. But it isn’t to reconnect or keep the flame burning. Date nights allow us both to have a little breathing room where no one NEEDS anything from us. Where there isn’t the risk of a pee puddle forming under the table halfway through dinner or spaghetti noodles being stuck to the light switch (which definitely happened at dinner tonight). But if you’re like us, and you’re just too tired, or too broke to go out and date, please don’t buy the lie that your marriage will suffer. And you don’t need to plan some elaborate date night in once the kids are in bed either. Enjoy the moments. Fight for each other. Commit to live in your covenant. Marriage is freakin’ awesome and so, so worth all of it.