Date Nights

Mark and I started dating when we were teenagers.  We were high school sweethearts.
Five months after we were married we discovered we were expecting our first child. Our married life as two had not lasted very long.  We were quickly about to become a family of three.
Ladies, I must tell you, as exciting as it is to become a mother and nurture this new life that God has given you, it is vital that you put your husband first. My husband consistently pursued me.  He understood the importance of fostering and maintaining our relationship as a couple. My husband made 'us' a priority and established dating in our marriage relationship from the beginning.  While we've been married he's continued to treat me as his girlfriend.
Now, we are entering a new phase in our marriage.  Our children are all young adults.  We enjoy the company of our adult children, but, we are also now grabbing hold of each other and embracing our couple time.  We know that soon it will be just the two of us at home and we are planning to be that young couple in their twenties again. 
Our dates have changed over the years.  We no longer have to find sitters or wait until our children fall asleep to put in a movie.  We still love staying home, making a dinner or grabbing take-out and cuddling on the couch while we watch a dvd.  Sometimes, however, it is important to put time and effort into planning your dates.  Take some time and brainstorm together and see what sort of things you'd both like to do.
Recently Mark surprised me and planned a full day for the two of us.  We started out by going to the gym together.  (Several years ago we joined a gym so that we could have an activity to do together to stay in shape and stay healthy.) After we returned from the gym, we showered and  Thad brunch at home.  The next thing on our agenda was appointments to each have a massage.  After that our date continued to Starbucks followed by supper at a local restaurant.  
Another date day recently included sleeping in, enjoying a late breakfast together at home, followed by a trip to a city across the border to do some shopping and out for a steak supper.
Our dates don't have to involve spending money.  We enjoy going for a walk, eating at home and watching television that we've pre-recorded.  
Be intentional.  Plan to spend time together.  Grab time that opens up and fill it with the one that you love.  Watch your love grow and flourish as your focus is taken off yourself and back to the one you fell in love with and chose to spend your life with.
Date nights are especially important if the week has been busy and we have not seen much of each other. It’s time to catch up on each other’s lives. We have learnt to put away our cell phones during this time so that other things don’t distract us. The date is for us to enjoy each other’s company and hang out with the person who is our best friend.

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