The Center of the Circle – Date Guide

By Greg Smalley
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Focus on the Family

Print this out and take it on your date!

Print this out and take it on your date!

Date Night

Remember, always act like you’re trying to get a second date! Sometimes in marriage we forget that we need to pursue and “woo” our spouse. So dress up a bit. Be polite and open doors. Compliment one another. Be affectionate – hold hands, cuddle and steal kisses. Remember to protect your date night from conflict by cutting off any arguments and/or administrating. Agree to talk about such issues at a later time.

Step 1: Go someplace different for dinner.

Instead of visiting the same familiar locations and eating the same old food, pick somewhere new or try a different type of cuisine.

Step 2: Pick a date night activity designed to get you thinking about the deeper spiritual significance of romantic love and marriage.

Here’s a couple of ideas:

  • If there’s a good romantic comedy playing in the theaters, spend an evening at the movies. As you watch the film, give some conscious thought to the parallels between the typical “guy-gets-girl” plot and the biblical story of God’s pursuit of mankind – the greatest romance of all time. It might be a good idea to prepare for this by reading Song of Solomon or the Book of Hosea. Afterwards, talk about the movie, paying special attention to what it says about your love for each other and God’s love for you.
  • If there’s nothing worth seeing in the cinema, try planning your own drive-in movie night. First, buy or rent the DVD of your choice. Then, when the kids are in bed, make a big bowl of popcorn, take your laptop out to the car, put the movie on, and proceed as outlined above.
  • Do something together that you used to do back when you were dating – for example, attend a dance, go to a high school football game, get tickets to a concert, or take a long walk in a secluded and romantic location. Get nostalgic and remember what it was like to be young and in love. Re-live those emotions. Talk about why you were drawn to each other and recall the hopes and dreams you shared at the beginning of your romance. Have any of those dreams been realized? If not, have they influenced the direction of your married life in some measurable way? Have they inspired new desires for something bigger and better? Where does God fit into the picture? Has your love for Him grown or diminished as a result of the things you’ve experienced together?

Step 3: Relax and unwind.

The real “meat” of this date will become evident in the discussions that flow out of the activities suggested above. After your activity, find a quiet place for dessert or coffee to slow down and emotionally connect through good conversation. Ask yourselves what the apostle Paul had in mind when he said that, at the deepest level, his reflections and instructions on the state of marriage were really about “Christ and the church” (Ephesians 5:32). Pray together and ask the Lord to show you what your love for each other might teach you about His love for you, and vice versa. Then spend some time answering the following questions:

What was your favorite part of the evening?

What is the one thing you learned tonight that you didn’t know about me before?

What are some practical steps we can take to cultivate spiritual intimacy at the heart of our marriage?

Step 4: Home Sweet Home

As you drive home, spend time planning your next date. Also, think about additional ways you can grow in your love for God and for one another in the coming week. Once you get home, however, it’s up to you what happens next. Have a great final adventure!

© 2015 Focus on the Family.

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About the Author

Greg Smalley

Dr. Greg Smalley serves as the Vice President of Marriage at Focus on the Family. In this role, he develops and oversees initiatives that prepare individuals for marriage, strengthen and nurture existing marriages and help couples in marital crises. Prior to joining Focus, Smalley worked for the Center for Relationship Enrichment at John Brown University and as President of the …

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