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The All-Important Date Night

Perry Noble, pastor of the multi-campus NewSpring Church based in Anderson, S.C., recently wrote about the six things you can do to improve your marriage. Among important reminders like prayer and communication was another one on which we all can agree: date night.

We know it’s important, yet for many couples, date night remains elusive. The hustle and bustle of life – be it the kids and their activities or our jobs – leave little time or energy for dates. But, knowing the impact those couple of hours can have on our marriage, it seems our time and energy would be better spent making date night a priority.

I recently had the privilege of enjoying a night out with my lovely bride. My in-laws came over to watch the kids, and my wife and I enjoyed a nice dinner. We didn’t really talk about our children either. We talked about regular things. For a moment – albeit brief – we were people not parents. I felt like we were teenagers again.

Unfortunately, those opportunities don’t come around as often as I’d like. And, while I could make excuses like the lack of babysitting or the high cost for a night out, it really boils down to one thing: lack of initiative.

Date nights are crucial ingredients in a healthy marriage. The reasons are many:

Making your spouse a priority helps keep your priorities straight. After your relationship with Jesus, your spouse, not your children, should be your highest priority.

They help you grow closer. Just as you need time alone with God to grow closer to Him, you need to invest time in your spouse. People change. If you want to know the person you now are married to, not the one you married years ago, it’s important to continuously get to know them better.

They show you are committed. If date nights are a priority in your home, your spouse will know how much they are loved.

They remind you of the way you were – and the way you should be. Remember the spark from those early years? See to it that it doesn’t go out.

According to Edmunds.com, a new car loses an average of 11% of its value the moment you drive it off the lot. After only five years, it’s worth only 37% of its original cost. Now, these numbers mean relatively nothing if you plan to drive the car until it quits. You just have to take good care of the vehicle with regular maintenance. Depreciation only matters if you plan to trade your car in for a new one in a few years.

Similarly, marriage will have a natural tendency to lose its luster after the wedding, especially if you take no action. If you plan to be fully committed to the end – which is what you agreed to do when you said “I do” – then your marriage requires maintenance. Date nights are those regular tune-ups. Without them, we risk stranding our marriage on the roadside or driving it into a ditch.