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Marriages today seem to be a continuous series of appointments. Doctor’s appointments, business meetings, parent-teacher conferences, sports schedules. All of these things are written into our calendars so that we remember to work around them. But what about Date Nights? Are they penned into your calendar?
Date nights are essential to a marital relationship, yet many couples don’t have them often enough. Some don’t have them at all.
There are plenty of reasons not to schedule a date night with your spouse, and people use them all. They say they are too busy, don’t have the money, or don’t have a sitter for the kids.
These excuses don’t work for any of the other appointments you make in your life so that they won’t work for Date Nights either. Sorry.
Why are they so important?
Date nights nourish your relationship. Like any other thing in the universe, marriages are subject to entropy. The dictionary defines entropy as a gradual decline into disorder. If you’ve ever let the housework go for a few days, you understand what that is. If you don’t keep up on your relationship, it will decline. The Bible recognizes the importance of working on your marriage in Ecclesiastes 9:9.
“Live happily with the woman you love through the fleeting days of life, for the wife God gives you is your best reward down here for all your earthly toil.” (The Living Bible)
Research has shown that couples who have a date night or “couple time” at least once a week are 3.5 times more likely to consider their marriage as “very happy!” If you feel happy about your relationship, you’re going to put more into it, and that will reduce the chance of divorce.
Even though having date nights isn’t for the kids, they benefit from having parents who prioritize their marriage in that way. Children who see this behavior in their parents are generally happier kids.
And, let’s face it. Date nights are definitely cheaper than divorce.
How date nights improve your relationship
These times of focusing on your relationship will give you the chance to communicate without distractions. Try to stay away from the mundane day-to-day things and focus on each other. Ask questions to discover what your spouse is dealing with or what they are interested in right now. You and your spouse are continually changing and growing so you should never stop trying to learn about one another. It’s a great time for spiritual discussions, too. (check out our devotional here)
A weekly date night should be a time to break out of the routine and do new things. When you have new experiences, the brain reacts in the same way as it does when you are in the first stages of romantic love. It releases dopamine which creates or strengthens a bond with your spouse. So, choose activities you can get excited about and enjoy the novelty together.
Date nights, of course, lead to more passion in your marriage. Spending time together improves your emotional connection outside the bedroom. This connection improves your sex life by keeping you close by prioritizing your relationship.
Sacrificing this time to spend just with your spouse is showing how important they are to you, and will strengthen your commitment to one another. By doing this, you show them that you still honor them as the person you fell in love with. It makes you feel more like you are one flesh.
Lastly, date nights help you relax and de-stress. Focusing on your spouse and having fun together can push all the distractions of the day to the side. Do your best to avoid conversation about those topics.
The Bible encourages us to have fun and enjoy life. Ecclesiastes 8:15 says:
So I recommend the enjoyment of life, for there is nothing better on earth for a person to do except to eat, drink, and enjoy life. So joy will accompany him in his toil during the days of his life which God gives him on earth. (New English Translation)
Who better to enjoy this life God has given us with than the spouse that He sent into our lives? Date nights can keep marriages strong, and strong marriages make life happier.
Check back next time, and we’ll look at some ideas on how to make those date nights remarkable!