…And keep dating your spouse. Forever.
Isn’t it true that we should date our spouses forever? That is a huge part of the commitment in marriage. It is a commitment to never stop dating, never stop pursuing, never stop loving.
But dating doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy. Heck – it doesn’t even have to be out. Dating can be done from home, and it can be done every moment. As Christ followers, we’re actually called to pursue our spouses constantly, and it’s truly possible.
Well, all in and through Christ.
Ideas for Making the “Ordinary” Romantic:
Have a later-than-usual dinner. If you have kids, feed them first, and wait until they go to bed before you open a bottle of wine and share an intimate meal together. Cook it together, making something a little fancier than usual. Turn off the technology, and just embrace each other’s presence.
Write each other letters. I am very passionate about this one. There is so much intentionality in a letter, which is oddly already such an “old-fashioned” way of communicating. That’s one of the things that I think is so beautiful about it. Letter-writing says, “I love you enough to take time out to write something from my heart only to you.” And I think that all spouses should have that kind of commitment to their significant other.
Be intentional in every moment – from folding laundry to intimate time to car rides. It’s aaaallll about intentionality. In fact, it’s something I’m not great at and am working on. For example – I’m really bad with plans changing. I can be a very plan-oriented person, wanting to get my to-do list checked off. While I’m writing this, my husband is out playing disc golf, his very favourite thing at the moment, and he asked me to join him. I turned him down partly because this blog, among other things, was on my to-do list, and the rest of the evening will be spent at our Bible Study. But I could have sacrificed the to-do list to be intentional with him.
I am learning that it’s so much less about the list itself and so much more about how we’re going into the things we do; who we are as we spend that time. Yes, choose to spend your time wisely, on things like prayer and writing and sports and reading the Word and being with friends/family/your spouse… but don’t go into them as though they are checks on the to-do list. Go into them expectant of what Jesus has in store, and ready to submit to Him. And, like. I said – spend time with the other person in ways that THEY enjoy spending time, not just thinking about yourself.
Pray and read the Word together. This is key, and something I want to only do more of with my husband. I think that us spending time in the Word together, studying it and meditating on some of the same Scriptures throughout our days, is so incredible and an amazing practice. The same goes with intentional prayer; we pray often together, and really whenever we feel called to, but not necessarily in a rhythm – besides before meals. I feel called to create more of that rhythm of us in prayer TOGETHER.
Take every opportunity to cuddle – even if it means neglecting the to-do list every once in a while. This is so key. Physical touch is so key to love, and just being near each other is something that doesn’t get put on our to-do lists, but is oh-so valuable. I don’t think we should put it on the to-do list; it’s not in that category. But we should prioritize this intimate, one-on-one time and safeguard it well.
Tell each other often how much you mean to each other, when you notice the other doing some well, when you appreciate something, etc. When it’s genuine, and you just have the thought – wow, my spouse is amazing at their job, my spouse has been working really hard, my spouse looks beautiful today, etc. – tell them! Show love through your words. Proverbs 10:12 says that “Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs.”
Give meaningful gifts. When meaningful and special/sentimental, gifts can be amazing way of showing love.
To me, it’s not about getting flowers once a week because “your wife likes receiving flowers or receives love that way.” I receive love when it’s genuine, when it’s selfless, and when it’s sacrificial – love always looks like the cross. I remember a few months ago my husband coming home from some errands with a bouquet of beautiful flowers and a big smile on his face. When I asked why he got them for me, he said, “Because I couldn’t stop thinking about you. I love you so much.” If he just got them out of habit or rule for me, I wouldn’t feel necessarily “loved”. But to know that I was on his mind and he genuinely just wanted to show me love and care – that I will never forget, and made my entire day.
Serve one another. Isn’t this what marriage is all about? Serve God, and serve each other. What does that look like? It looks like unconditionally putting the other person’s needs before your own. It looks like loving them as Christ loves the church; with sacrifice, with genuine selflessness, and with a pure heart. It looks like doing their laundry, giving them a massage, running an errand for them. Interceding in prayer and going to war in prayer together. Doing something that is meaningful to other person even if it’s not your favourite thing to do. Laying down your life for Jesus – and, in turn, for your spouse, humbly and thankfully.
Maybe to you, none of this is rocket science. For me, it’s just following Jesus, the true picture of love and, truthfully, romance. Jesus romances us and shows us how to romance our spouses. Look to Him as the King of your life, and you will be surprised by how your marriage – and entire life – changes for the better.