What’s your best tip for a bride-to-be? Words of wisdom from those of us who are married are often times shared at bridal showers. Some ideas are sound advice; others are downright funny.
“Keep the lines of communication open.”
“Settle your differences before you go to bed.”
“Be kind to your mother-in-law.”
“Don’t share a toothbrush.”
One I often add is continuing to date after saying, “I do.” Young brides usually just smile at the thought of dating after the wedding. Seasoned wives and moms always respond enthusiastically.
Dating makes a difference. Spending one-on-one time is typically not too difficult for newly married couples. When children enter the equation, it’s much harder. Here are four excuses for not making time for dates and the reason why we need to continue to build the relationship with intentional couple time.
1. Money Dates are expensive! With dinner, a movie, event tickets or other activities, it’s a lot of money. Not to mention the BABYSITTER fee.
Think of the money spent as an investment in the marriage. The date doesn’t have to be a costly activity. A walk or a picnic dinner qualifies as a date. Any activity that provides time alone counts. When the boys were little, Scott and I would have movie night dates in the basement after the kids were in bed. (When one of the boys woke up and wandered down, he wanted to watch the movie with us. Scott and I explained it was a movie for adults, not kids, and put him back to bed. The next day he told Grandma he wasn’t allowed to watch adult movies with his mom and dad. I sure my mother-in-law wondered what on earth we were watching!)
2. Time There’s not time in the schedule. Who can even contemplate a date when there’s barely enough time in the day to do what has to be done? By the time evening rolls around, most parents are exhausted after a full day of work, kids, and life.
Time alone is a gift you give one another. Get excited about spending the evening or a Saturday morning alone with your spouse. Remember the reasons why you want to spend life together. Share hobbies, interests, and dreams with one another.
3. Exhaustion Children can drain every ounce of energy in a parent’s body: physically, mentally, and emotionally. When moms and dads are running on empty, adding to the to-do list can be overwhelming.
Dates go on the “TO-BE” list. Make a pledge to one another to be each other’s best friend, confidant, lover, and life partner. Parents are the role models for marriage. Give the one you promised to love for better or worse your full attention to be together, alone, even when you’re exhausted. High-activity dates are not necessary. A quiet night on the couch in front of the fire talking is relaxing and peaceful.
4. A Parental Shift Babies need their parents, totally and completely. As children grow, it’s easy to slip into “kid-mode” 24/7. With sports, church events, carpool, school activities, and more, children’s schedules overtake the family calendar, family life, and couple time.
Sometimes the hierarchy gets mixed up. Keep in mind God comes first, then your spouse, then the children. Kids join a marriage. They are not the center of it. Adjust the calendar to place priorities on faith and marriage.
Take out an insurance policy on your marriage by dating. The time and energy put into the relationship will pay off tremendous dividends. And it’s a lot of fun!
Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?
© 2018 Becky Danielson. All rights reserved.
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash