Don’t get me wrong, I love date nights with my husband, Jim. They provide an opportunity for us to break the monotony, surprise each other, and reconnect by allowing us time to talk and dream. However, to keep me emotionally, physically, and spiritually connected to my spouse, I need more than a date night once a week.
How about you? Are date nights becoming predictable? Do you see a movie and seldom talk? Are you home in an hour or less? Or do your date nights take so much planning and coordinating that you’re exhausted before leaving the house?
While I’ll be the first to suggest a date night when a marriage starts feeling predictable, what happens at home throughout the week provides an even greater opportunity to strengthen and improve your marriage.
How you start your day—even before you climb out of bed in the morning—and end it sets the tone for a “love well” attitude. You might wonder, What’s a “love well” attitude?
Let’s unpack its meaning and compare several scenarios.
Scenario 1: Climb out of bed, shower, check emails, say good-bye, head out the door for work.
Scenario 1.1: Reach over, kiss your spouse on the forehead, say “I love you,” take a shower, come back for a second kiss. Say a quick prayer together for protection for your day. As a team, prepare the kids breakfast, make sure teeth are brushed, hair combed, dressed, ready for daycare or school. Give each other a good-bye kiss and hug.
He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love (Ephesians 4:16, NLT).
Scenario 2: It’s been a long, tiring week, and all you’ve done is growl at each other. Your stance is, My spouse has not said one loving word toward me, so I’m not saying one either.
Scenario 2.1: Step out in kindness. Build up your spouse by leaving an encouraging card on their pillow. Ask a few risky questions: “What can I do to help?” and “What do you need from me right now?”
A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything – or destroy it (James 3:5, MSG).
Scenario 3: A quick peck on the cheek, a “love you,” then off to sleep.
Scenario 3.1: Keep a favorite candle by your bedside and light it as you’re getting ready for bed. Before lights out, cuddle next to each other and say the following prayer, “Lord, thank you for Christ’s love and the love you’ve given us. Remind us each day how blessed we are.” Then finish with no less than a 10-second kiss.
Kiss me and kiss me again, for your love is sweeter than wine (Song of Songs 1:2, NLT).
Your connection diminishes throughout the week; that’s why it takes more than a date night to refuel. But when you take steps toward implementing Scenarios 1.1, 2.1, and 3.1, a “love well” attitude might flow into every corner of your marriage