How many couples can attest to the fact that date nights are essential?
Look, as much as I can, from the perspective of a single, kidless woman-I get it. Amidst dirty diapers, school plays, and demanding bosses, penciling in a dinner date with a needy spouse just isn’t a priority.
Too often overlooked though, is that precious time we (should) set aside for our partners. It has a lot more power than we give it credit for.
Someone once said, there are only two things in life that are constant: change and change. The world around us and within us is in a constant state of transformation. I was watching a T.D. Jakes sermon the other day and He made an interesting point: “Every stage of our lives requires a different version of ourselves.”
Even as a single individual, I can remember a few years ago, thinking I needed certain things in my life to be happy. Having experienced loss, love, and new understanding, those ideals no longer play a part in my happiness. Or at least, a much smaller part than before. I view life through a different lens now and those wants I thought were necessities, are no longer relevant to me.
If you knew me five years ago, you don’t know me today.
If we choose to put routine before our emotional needs and connections, we will certainly lose one another in this wild ocean of life.
While you’re focusing on being promoted at work, your wife may be feeling overwhelmed. And while you’re making sure little Susie is in every extracurricular activity known to man, your husband may be suffering from loneliness.
In the back of my mind, I’m thinking toughen up, there are too many other, more important things to worry about.
But are there really?
The result of worrying about more important things is waking up one morning to a complete stranger. Bickering constantly because you no longer see eye to eye with your spouse. Frustration closing in like the darkest of nights because you don’t understand them anymore. It must be like trying to read with no light or running with no feet, thinking with no words, nothing makes sense.
Sadly, many times, it’s too late by then and people aren’t willing or don’t have the emotional energy to put in the overtime work to mend the relationship. Although two people may commit to devoting their lives to one another, the way they experience that life can become vastly different without conscious upkeep.
Ergo, date nights!
It’s an opportunity to realign and reconnect with your partner. Talk about your week, discuss their day. Ask them what you can do to be more supportive. Give compliments and hold hands.
Falling in love isn’t a one time deal. The trick is to fall in love over and over and over and over again with the same person.
Our nature is much too complex to be loved on the same note forever. Alluding to the sentiment of pastor Jakes, different stages of life require exploring new ways to keep love alive. In order to understand and appreciate your partner’s journey, you must be a part of it.
Much like the union of a marriage, should our relationship be with God. We should be going on as many dates with God as possible. Which, I won’t lie, has an element of do we have to? to it.
As you can tell, I’ve skipped out on a few too many date nights. That disconnect I spoke of earlier: I feel it. God’s voice has been like a faint whisper. I don’t know where He wants me right now or what I should be doing or if He’s changed the trajectory of my life. That’s because we’re not in sync. And it’s completely my fault. I’m constantly standing up God’s open invitation for date night. I suck.
I don’t know about you guys, but I’m not especially fond of being in the dark when it comes to my life. So, I’m taking action.
Next month, I’m eliminating the distractions. One of my biggest road blocks-YouTube. It’s gotta go, and fast. So, for the month of April, no more Jlo ondaytime or late night t.v. and no more obsessively watching clips of Lana Parrilla on Once Upon a Time.
That hurt just writing it, but I know it’s the right thing to do.
The more ways I find to fall in love with God and the more I recognize His divine ability to love me past my faults, the more love I’ll have to give others, which is the ultimate purpose of each of our lives.