May Date Night Challenge

Sometimes you’ll go through weird seasons in your marriage. Seasons where one or both of you feel lost. Seasons where you want to choose complacency instead of intentionality. Seasons where you feel like you’re just going through the motions. Seasons where you feel like you’re not only on different pages but also in totally different books.

My husband is my best friend, and he would say I am his. We love spending time together, whether that’s exploring a new city or sitting on our couch watching the latest Pixar movie. And I’m not too proud to admit he’s the fun one. He brings an insurmountable amount of joy to our home and helps me not to take life too seriously. God has lavishly poured out His grace in our lives and opened up opportunities in which we get to share a lot of our life together serving side-by-side.

But he and I arrived at our second-year wedding anniversary for a romantic weekend on the beach and felt like strangers living out a practiced routine. Luxurious hotel? Check. New outfits? Check. Dinner reservations? Check. But we sat across the table from one another with few words to say.

We came home with heavy but awakened hearts. How did we get here? What went wrong? How were we spending our time? On the outside, it was a fruitful year, but for several months underneath the ground, the roots—our foundation—was neglected and not taken care of. Somehow in our “ministry,” we stopped doing life face-to-face with a fervent intentionality.

Have you ever been here before? It’s easy to let our responsibilities and routine overthrow the time we spend with our spouse . . . to walk side-by-side as roommates with a checklist instead of knowing and being known. So, how can we discern the difference between what’s good and what’s God’s best in the way we spend our time?

Here are some ideas that can help purpose and prioritize your marriage:

  • It’s Okay to Say No
    Give yourself permission to say no. Listen, this is hard for a people-pleaser like me, but I’m serious. It’s okay to say you have plans, even if those plans include being home with your family. There will always be an event, opportunities to serve, and things to do. Sometimes what seems like a good thing is not the wise thing. A pastor once told me that a priority in your life will take place at least four days of the week. We give ourselves only three open nights a week for outside activities (community group, an event, and date night). This gives us margin to know what to say yes and no to!
  • Schedule a Meeting
    One of our resolutions this year was to look for ways we could make our home a place of peace. We looked at our lives and asked, “What is causing chaos and how can we eliminate it?” Let’s be real, when you’re running in opposite schedules and have kids in different sports on the SAME night, life feels chaotic to say the least. Create a mandatory meeting once a week (or more if you need it) to discuss the schedule that week, go over your financial budget, and bring up any other topic. This is NOT a date—think of it as practical maintenance to keep things running smoothly. Pro tip: Send each other calendar invites synced to both your phones.
  • Date Your Spouse
    Planning a date, booking a sitter, and lack of funds and energy can not only feel overwhelming, but exhausting. However, I believe that dating is essential in marriage. If you exercise to keep your body in shape, think of dating as keeping your marriage in shape. I’m not just talking about sitting at home on Friday nights after the kids go to sleep and renting a movie or catching up on TV shows. Yes, that works sometimes, but that can get old. Going out on a date can give you a break from the hurried life—a time to breath . . . and a time to reconnect and remember why you got married in the first place.

Last night my husband and I stayed up talking and laughing until 1am (that is VERY late for this grandma). This isn’t the norm by any means, but we had to force ourselves to kiss each other goodnight and go to sleep. A few months ago, we were barely talking for an hour over dinner.

You know, we didn’t wake up one day with all our priorities and time management figured out. And let me tell you, life didn’t stop being crazy and chaotic either. In fact, the past few months have been one of the busiest seasons of our marriage. It didn’t happen after one conversation and it probably won’t after 100—but make it a habit to talk about it and talk often. Give yourselves permission to speak into each other’s lives and regularly evaluate (and adjust) how you’re prioritizing your relationship with each other (but more importantly, the Lord) in your marriage.

Date Night Ideas for May

Challenge 1: Dreams List
Carve out some time to talk about your dreams for the future and write a list of things you want to do together as a couple.

Challenge 2: CD Hunt Date
Head to the store and each of you pick out a CD. Then go for an afternoon drive and listen to the music you bought!

Challenge 3: Up, Up and Away!
Looking for a real adventure? How about going up, up and away in a beautiful hot air balloon! Or how about going sky diving? Look up both indoor and outdoor experiences and pick one!

Did you take advantage of one of these ideas? We want to hear from you! Share your dates on social media by using the hashtag #SoFloDateNight and tagging@CCFLCouples. You can also e-mail about your date night story! Do you want to hear about upcoming events and news from Calvary Couples?

Make sure you opt in to receive text messages from us! We want to stay connected with you, so you don’t miss any opportunities for you and your spouse! To sign up, simply text “MARRIAGE” to 91868.