Men….I am talking to you. I know that 2020 was an unprecedented year, unlike anything we have been through. But that is no excuse. I know because I have fallen in that trap as well. The truth is that our wives need us. They need us now probably more than ever.
Over the next several days, maybe weeks, I want to share about marriage. Last year, I committed to Jessica that we would attend a marriage retreat at least once every quarter. Not because we needed it but because we wanted it. There is something about attending an intimate weekend marriage retreat with your spouse that can not be replicated.
Unfortunately, we were not able to attend any last year due to the pandemic. I am not sure about Jess but I know that I could feel it. I could actually feel the effects of not attending a conference last year. But we are finally able to attend a conference this month. We are excited to attend Romance Uncovered this year and hope to make it one of our yearly conferences to attend.
Leading up to our conference in a couple weeks, I want to share 10 tips to effectively date your spouse. These are tips that I have learned and believe they can greatly improve your married, dating life. I hate to admit it but I struggle with effectively dating my spouse as well. I will share 1 tip a day for the next 10 days.
- Do not be lazy. Think. Prepare. Act. Dating your spouse takes planning. It takes thoughtful preparation. Think back to before you were married, How much time and effort did you put into planning each and every date you went on? I would venture to bet that you have not put that much planning into a date night with your spouse since you have been married.
The craving of a sluggard will be the death of him,
because his hands refuse to work. – Proverbs 21:25
When it comes to working on our marriage relationships so they grow stronger, too many of us treat it with a “whatever…” attitude. But realize:
“Love is a choice. So choose to love your spouse well. Remember that they are not the same person they were when you met them. Nor are you. So while you may think you know a lot about them, there may be new things to discover if you have the courage to go there.” (Mark Merrill)
And it does take courage. It also takes gumption and grit to challenge yourself when you’ve let yourself fall into the trap of marital complacency. Additionally, you will need to get to a place of “mindfulness.” You will need a “made up mind” in order to fight a lazy marriage attitude.
“Dr. John Gottman states that ‘couples often ignore each other’s emotional needs out of mindlessness, not malice.’ So, if you absentmindedly leave laundry on the floor or dirty dishes in the sink, it most likely isn’t with malicious intent. In fact, there probably isn’t any intent on your part, but rather a lack of mindfulness about your partner’s needs to have a clean house, which could lead to a conflict. To minimize or avoid that conflict, practice daily mindfulness about what your partner needs from you.” (The Gottman Institute
So this is a wakeup call to all of us. Are you (are we) ready to mix things up a bit? Look for ways to bless your spouse. Ask him or her if there is anything you can do within the next few days that will bless them.
That will certainly wake up him or her. It could actually introduce excitement. They may be confused for a few moments. But after they shake off the confusion, they could get quite excited. It’s like, “What do you mean? Is this a trick question? Do you mean I didn’t have to nag, or push at you to do this?” THAT’S a blessing in itself, but don’t stop there. Actually do what they ask of you.
And then look for other ways to take your marriage to a new level. Flirt with your spouse. Keep in mind that your marriage CAN be crippled by apathy. It can also die from boredom. Don’t let this happen. Look for ways to stir things up (in pleasant ways). You did this when you were dating each other. Just make a point of looking for ways to do this now that you are married.
There is still time to sign up to join us in Branson at the end of this month for Romance Uncensored. Click on the link here to sign up.
Because Your Spouse Matters