Totally exhausted, we sat in our car glaring at each other and both wondering why we do this to ourselves. We had just finished speaking on dating, but we couldn’t remember our last date. And on this evening there would be no “on-the-way-home-stop-off-for-coffee-date.” We still had to finish and send off the corrected manuscript for a book we were writing on how to build a creative love life. Some lovers we were. On that evening we would have settled for a love moment—let alone a love life!
We had become so consumed with helping other couples that we were in danger of letting our own relationship slip. Of course we rationalize, “Helping others keeps us working on our own marriage.” Yet as we raced to meet our deadline, we knew in our hearts we were wrong. Where were the boundaries between our work and our marriage?
Late that evening after we sent off our manuscript, we both agreed to make some changes. The next day we looked at our upcoming schedule and as painful as it was, we cancelled some discretionary things so we could add some margin for us. Then we planned an overnight getaway date.
Now, even years later, when the boundary between work and marriage begins to get fuzzy, we declare a marriage evening. We turn screens off, send calls to voice mail, light a candle, put on music, and celebrate our marriage!
That’s actually what we’re going to do tonight! You see, Valentine’s Day was last week. We had sent out an e-newsletter and tweets encouraging couples to make a Valentine’s Day Resolution to have more dates during the coming year – not just on Valentine’s Day. Well, we have to confess we did not. We worked all day on Valentine’s Day until late into the evening—once again racing to meet a writing deadline!
We confess. We didn’t have a Valentine’s Day date this year unless you count the 30 minutes we took off to eat a frozen pizza and watch the news. (We could have skipped the news.) On our post Valentine’s Day date night, we decided to make a Date Night Resolution to have more dates this year—not just write about them! We need to remember this: There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens… (Ecclesiastes 3:1).
Why don’t you join with us and make your own Date Night Resolution? Together set a goal for how many dates you want to have this year. Research has shown that by sharing your goal with others, you will significantly increase your chances of achieving it. So post your goal at the end of this blog.
Your marriage is worth it. Ours is too! We love the old English prayer, Give us, Lord, A bit of sun, A bit of work, And a bit of fun. We might add, and give us some Great Dates!
By David & Claudia Arp
Parents of 3
Grandparents of 10
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Members
Founders of Marriage Alive and 10 Great Dates
Authors of many great marriage, relationship, and parenting books
This week we’re releasing the brand new 10 Great Dates DVD curriculum with Dr. Josh & Christi Straub. Check out a short preview clip with Josh and Christi here: Watch clip.