There is a lot of attention given to the importance of dating your spouse. Within the Christian culture, this subject prompts sermons, books, and blog posts. However, this discussion is not exclusive to the religious. Many relationship professionals acknowledge the truth that a successful relationship requires time spent together.
When we fulfill our role as husband, as we were created, we will prioritize our wife’s needs above our own. Paul instructs the Philippians: “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” I think on this often, and routinely evaluate the amount of time my wife and I spend together, including how often we go on actual dates.
After our wedding, dating continued to be a priority for us. However, with the arrival of our youngest, and moving across country, dating became less frequent. I have been assuring myself, “We are just in a busy season. Things will slow down. We will get back to each other soon.” Then I realized, if we weren’t married, I would date her more.
Before we were married, I purposefully prioritized time to spend with her. I had to be around her. Because we did not live together, I found ways to make sure she knew I was thinking about her. I made time for her. Unfortunately, the longer we’ve been married, the easier it has become to take for granted the time we spend together. However, we all know that there is a difference between simply being in the same room together; while one kid runs around doing karate flips, and the other tugs at your knee, whining about something you’ll never figure out; and actually spending time together talking about anything but diapers. Husbands, we must do better than simply being around our wives.
Spending time together is more than taking your wife to dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings while “the game” just happens to be on. I promise you, she will know what you are doing. So let me help you. Here are a few suggestions on how you can make dating your wife a priority, and ensure she feels loved, heard, appreciated, and important to you.
Part of our problem today is our inability to say “no” to people and things. We believe that busy equals successful. When we say yes to busyness, we are saying no to what should be our priorities. When we say yes to things that simply fill our time, we are saying no to the people who matter and hold the rights to our time. Saying “no” to busyness frees up your time, allowing you to prioritize on behalf of your wife, children, and others.
ASK YOUR WIFE
Asking what she wants and likes to do should be a “no brainer.” However, a lot of guys assume this will make their wife think their husbands don’t know them. Here is a secret… you won’t ever fully know her. She changes. In 5, 10 and 20 years she will be completely different from the woman on your wedding day. And you will be different too. So ask her what she would like to do. Asking will show her that she is your priority and that you actually think about her. What is her ideal date? What would make her feel you put time and thought into a date? What does a simple & fun date look like? I’m not sure who said it, but one of the best quotes I’ve ever heard about how we ought to relate to our wife is, “Our wife is not a book that we read once and know all about her. She is more like a violin that you spend your entire life learning, so the music the violin produces at the end, is far sweeter that the music when you were first learning.”
TAKE THE LEAD
Do not wait for her to figure out date night. Plan for her. For ideas, Google “Date Night Ideas.” Then call a babysitter, and watch the kids while she gets ready, because we all know we finish dressing in the time it takes to put on our pants. Once away together, spend your time being all about her. Open the door for her, hold her hand, talk about her stuff, take her to someplace SHE wants to eat, and do something SHE enjoys. Do this a few times each month. Make this your habit.
Giving our time to other stuff is not wrong or bad, until it begins to take priority over our spouse. Make your wife your priority. Because she is. And if she isn’t, or never has been, you can fix this. Be prepared for her to be surprised, or a little confused, by this renewed or brand new behavior. But she will appreciate your planning, time, and purposeful attention.
Spend your entire life learning her, so that the music she produces at the end, is far sweeter than the music when you were first learning. And always, rejoice in the wife of your youth.