If this blog was written for male readers – I’d say – “Men – take your wives out! She needs that face to face, eye to eye communication. As she drowns in diapers, laundry and long to-do lists, a little reprieve with you will fill her love tank, give her strength to press on with her mundane tasks and build intimacy in your marriage.”
But my blog is written to wives and I suspect the majority of them do not go out on regular date nights for a multitude of reasons: lack of money, lack of having a good babysitter, husband’s not interested, kid’s schedules interfere with finding/making time to go out and the list goes on!
So how important is a date night to your marriage?
One reader wrote:
I’m just wondering how often you & your husband date or how often you suggest that couples w/ small children should date. I have 3 small children (3.5 years, 2 years, & 2 months). My husband & I just started once-a-month dating in the spring of this year. Right now I feel overwhelmed w/ my ministry as a mom & I want a little extra time to remember that I’m a Mrs., but I wonder if I shouldn’t take more time away from our family time. Does this even make sense? I know it’s really a simple issue, but I’m torn between taking another date night each month & keeping as much all-of-us-together family time as possible. I know you are in a different season, but do you have an opinion on this for my particular season in life?
Oh I love this question! It’s so real – we really do wrestle with these things in life don’t we? I’ve asked this very question before and have struggled with guilt at times when I was away with my husband.
First, date night is not mentioned in the Bible. (*therefore, disclaimer you are about to simply read my opinions – I welcome other thoughts on this matter.) We do see a passionate love in the Song of Songs that shows we should always enjoy intimacy with our husband and seek quiet moments together – but I thoroughly believe with creativity this can be done in our homes.
Secondly, date night is cultural. Many people around the world are just trying to put dinner on their table, much less find a night to go out on the town.
Thirdly, our grandmothers most likely would not have known the term “date night” for married couples. My own mother has told me that when I was a kid – she and my dad took us kids everywhere with them. When they got together with other couples, they always included all of the children. That was normal. And my parents have been married for over 40 years!
Here’s how I see it. A good marriage is like an ice cream sundae. The ice cream, hot fudge and whipped cream are your love, respect, communication, intimacy, communion with God, laughter, winks, prayer, tender kisses hello and goodbye, day in and day out forgiveness and faithfulness.
A date night – is the cherry on top! Must you have a cherry on top of a sundae to have a great sundae? I suppose it’s all in your perspective. Some women might focus on the cherry that is missing and completely miss out on the winks, tender kisses, intimacy and myriad of other things that go into a great marriage on a daily basis!
My husband and I go in and out of date night seasons. A few years back, we had a great college aged babysitter who came steadily for a year and a half every other week. We made great memories during that time. But she moved on and life got busy with the kids activities in the evening…right now 4 evenings a week our kids have an activity outside the home. It just feels good to be home in the evening!
So we started a date night in our home. All summer long, on Saturday nights when the kids were in bed, we watched a video series on marriage together and then talked about it and enjoyed some meaningful time together. Currently on Saturday nights we are reading one chapter in Love Dare each week and then we try to live it out during the week. It’s the daily love of listening, caring, respecting, being sensitive to the other person and forgiveness ,that builds a great marriage. If you get to go out monthly on a date night – that’s the cherry on top!
Should you feel guilty for going out on a date night and leaving your children at home? Only you can answer that. How much time have you spent with them this week? Who are you leaving them with? Can you afford the things you do on date night? What does your husband think?
If you know that your children are in a warm, loving environment and your husband wants to - go for it – and thoroughly enjoy this blessing of the cherry! God gave us good things to enjoy and you should not feel guilty for enjoying alone time with your husband. Many marriage counsellors recommend marriages that are struggling to implement a date night. This time away from the pressure of home can really strengthen communication and connection.
Is your marriage stale? Is there no way to get away for a date night? No problem! You can have your cherry on top at home – here’s how! Flirt again. Kiss again. Throw out your 5 year old pajamas and buy something new, rent a movie and cuddle together, take a shower together or set up a massage area in a candle lit room! A back rub to a husband is as flowers to a wife. Give him a long back rub and watch him open up to you! (You can get massage oils at Bath & Body works.) Make a pie, light a candle and sit down at the kitchen table and just talk together. Take a book to the couch or bed and cuddle together and read together as a couple.
Spice it up a bit – trust me – we aren’t doing date night outside the home right now – but my sundae has the cherry on top!
Song of Songs 1:2 says ”Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth–for your love is more delightful than wine.”
With a little effort your sundae can have the cherry on top guilt free too! Let your children see you delighting in your husband – it’s good for them!
Walk with the King!
**Please share with me, do you do date night and how do you do it? I’d love to have feedback on this one – I’m always looking for new creative ideas!