I Don't Have Time For Datenight!
Me: So, when's the last time y'all (you and your spouse) went out on a date? You know...the movies, dinner, a walk at a park?
Random Person: Date?! Please... (insert whatever excuse for not being able to i.e. kids, work, school, family issues, lack of energy, etc.)
The random person is no person in particular rather it's a number of people I've spoken to over the last couple of years or so. At first, I just didn't worry about it, but when I got married I started to understand the significance and severity of a "Datenite". Marriage is SO cool to me because it allows me to create something so ordinary into some so EXTRA-ordinary. So many people view marriage as a burden or just something to do. Well, I'm trying to make my marriage enjoyable by making it a pleasurable experience rather than a burdensome experience. Veronica and I do Datenite EVERY Thursday. Don't ask me why we picked Thursday; i have no idea! It looks different for us from week to week too. We've got a subscription to Netflix (AWESOMENESS) so often times, we can spend a chill evening in the house, have dinner, and watch a movie or two. We're also subscribed to livingsocial.com (AWESOMENESS), which gives us ideas for things to do at a VERY REASONABLE cost.
We've made it a priority to us so therefore our friends, family, and loved ones also respect it as a priority. So many times, one of my guys will ask me what I'm doing on a Thursday evening and then catch themselves and say, "Oh never mind, that's Datenite." or even my guys will ask me, "Hey man, what y'all do for Datenite last night?"
Here are 3 reasons why Datenite is MUST in your marriage:
1-It's a time to CONNECT and a time for CHECK-IN. This is the time where with all the stuff going on in your individual lives, you can say, "Hey, how are things going on the job? In the ministry? With your friend? How are we doing? Is there anything you need to talk to me about that you haven't had the opportunity to? Etc." Most marriages have conflict because too many things fly "Under The Radar". Use this time (weekly) to Check-In and Connect. In order to connect with your spouse, you're going to have to disconnect from others and other things. NO CELLPHONES, iPADS, LAPTOPS, WORDS WITH FRIENDS, SPORTS, REALITY TV, ANGRY BIRDS, GIRLFRIENDS, AND HOMEBOYS. I read somewhere doing a study on Cyberbullying that over 60% of teens feel stressed out when they're disconnected from technology. Sad, yet, I wonder what is the statistics look like for adults.
2-Have Fun. Do something you usually don't do. Go somewhere you usually don't go. Let your hair down. *IN MY MICHAEL JACKSON VOICE* PUT THAT 9 TO 5 UP ON THE SHELF...AND JUST ENJOY YOURSELF! Flirt with your spouse. Date them. Put your arm around them. Be silly. Just have fun! Get fresh, nice and cleaned up or as my gram would say, "Put Your Glad Rags On!" Get creative with your Datenites. Google Reader is a great resource as well. I subscribe to a blog called "Free Things in D.C." and they send me all types of events, concerts, exhibits, outdoor movies, etc. taking place in the DMV for free or very inexpensive. Bottom line....HAVE FUN!
3-Refuel. Sometimes, this is exactly what you need to get your "mojo" back to get through the rest of the work week, lift your spirits, re-energize yourself, or whatever. It's most certainly therapeutic because the only things important at the moment is your mate, connecting with them, and having a good time. There are so many times where you've been out and had a good time with friends, family, or loved ones and afterward you're thinking to yourself, "Sheesh, I really needed that." That is very much true for me. Our Datenites do just that for me. It doesn't matter what type of week I'm having at work or even if Veronica and I haven't had the best beginning of the week. I know and can bank on Datenite reeling me back in.
Three statements I'd like to make are the following:
A) I've been married for 1 year and 6 months.
B) Veronica and I do not have kids.
C) Andy Stanley said in one of his talks, "STAGES of life dictate the PACE of life."
I made the first 2 statements because I know that's probably what somebody reading this who may have a couple kids and who've probably been married a lot longer than I have, which is cool. However, the quote trumps all circumstances; mine and yours. Sure, it's very easy for Veronica and I to do Datenites every week, get up and go, yada yada yada because we're newlyweds and have no children. However, just because you've been married longer and have a couple kids; that doesn't mean you cannot Check-in and Connect, Refuel, and Have Fun with your spouse. You just have to do it at a different pace then someone who doesn't have those variables. Make it work! Enough of the excuses. I heard in a sermon a couple weeks ago from Jumaine Jones that "Excuses are tools of incompetence used to build monuments of nothingness." Quit making rationalizations, justifications, and get it done. Besides...it's only your marriage.
Last thing and I'm outta here. I saw this and it crushed my heart. There was a father who worked REALLY hard. He even brought his work home with him often. His daughter would ask him to read her a story, tuck her in, play with her, talk to her, but his response was, "Not right now. Daddy is busy." One day the daughter asked him, 'Dad, how much do you get paid an hour?" In shock, the father looked at his daughter and said, "EXCUSE ME?!" "How much do you get paid an hour daddy?!?!?!", she exclaimed. He told her and she darted upstairs. She ran back down with her piggy bank, dumped all of the coins and dollar bills she had in it and said, "How much time will this get me?"
Make time for Quality and Connect time with your spouse so they don't have the same attitude as the little girl in the aforementioned example. We don't have to say what we value because our actions will CLEARLY relay the message for us.
Now, do you have time for Datenite?