Here’s a Great Date idea from our newest book, $10 Great Dates: Connecting Love Marriage and Fun on a Budget (Larson & Arp, 2014). The book will be available in July, 2014 . In the meantime, this date idea will get you started thinking about showing gratitude to others.
Thank You Date
There are many people who work in very thankless jobs: teachers, principals, postal workers or those who diligently haul away the waste and recycling. These individuals, working to serve others, could use a note or gesture of appreciation. Think about people who have a positive influence in your life: a pastor, friend or mentor you could thank and serve in some way. This date gives you the opportunity to identify who those people are in your life and take the time to let them know how much you appreciate them.
The Idea: When Peter and I (Heather) had three kids under the age of three, it was difficult for me to find the time to volunteer and help others they way I typically enjoy doing. Since I didn’t have more time to give, I wanted to thank those who were volunteering with my kids. Often those working with my kids were young adults who would appreciate a family dinner. I would ask my kids to invite their volunteer leaders for dinner. My favorite story was when our youngest wanted to ask the two day camp volunteers “who were friends with each other” for dinner. I was confused by this response, but smiled when I found she wanted to ask a couple who had been married over 25 years to join us for dinner as a way of thanking them for their time with our kids.
Besides hosting someone for dinner, there are many ways you can show the people who volunteer or work in your life some appreciation. Perhaps there is someone who would feel loved by a hand written note. You may even want to deliver a $5 gift card.
Before Your Date:
- List the people you appreciate in your life. Decide together whom you want to thank in some way. If your budget and time allows, you may choose more than one person.
- Talk together about what would be a creative and meaningful way to show your appreciation. Consider Gary Chapman’s ways to show love:
Acts of service: yard work, house cleaning, laundry, a delivered meal, free babysitting
Words of affirmation: a thank you note, email, or message
Gifts: a plant, treat, or gift card
Quality time: host the person for a meal, a cup of coffee or take them on a drive
- Touch: Deliver a hug or a handshake. Once you’ve got your plan in mind, set a time for your date. It may take some courage to step out and thank someone. If you prefer, you can find a way to thank them anonymously.
- Get the tools that you need to be successful. If you’re cleaning for someone, bring your own cleaning supplies. If raking someone’s yard, don’t forget the bags.
On Your Date:
- Follow through with your plan to thank someone in your lives. This will depend on what you decided in your pre-date preparation.
- You may want to extend your date by treating yourselves to a coffee or treat as you discuss the Talking Points below. Thank yourselves for taking time to thank others!
1. How did it feel to work together to thank someone else?
2. What was the most difficult thing about serving or thanking others in this way?
3. How did taking the time and energy to thank someone impact you individually? As a couple? Those you served?
4. How can you make thanking others a new habit in your marriage?
5. What is one meaningful way you can thank your spouse?
Date Night Take Away: We have heard it said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Now you have experienced the encouragement that comes from taking the time to thank someone in a meaningful way.
Looking for ways to show appreciation and gratitude will change your perspective. What are the ways your spouse would appreciate being shown gratitude? How would showing or telling them “thank you” for the little things they do each day impact your relationship? Choose an attitude of gratitude!
 Chapman, Gary. The Five Love Languages
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By Heather Larson
Wife to Peter, Mom of 3
1 Corinthians 13 Team Member, BridgeWell Coaching, Associate Director of 10 Great Dates