Don’t Put Your Hope in Date Night

The Gospel Coalition | 2/12/2019 | Staff
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Running a nonprofit ministry geared toward moms of young children means our inbox continually fills with questions about parenting and marriage. One of the most frequent is, “How do you do date night?”

As married moms of littles, we understand firsthand where this question is coming from. Like our podcast listeners, we look for reasons to hire a babysitter and spend one-on-one time with our spouses. Out-of-the-house date night without children in tow feels like the secret ingredient to a healthy marriage. Marriage “experts” gush over its ability to reboot romance in any relationship, and we all eagerly agree, welcoming any change from the daily juggle of work, household chores, and family routines.

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But sometimes date night—complete with the babysitter and nice dinner—just feels impossible, and our unbroken evening routine leaves us wondering: Must two tired parents go on regular date nights away from the pressures of home life to maintain the joy and intimacy of marriage? Is that the Christian ideal?

When considering date night’s role in marriage, here are four things to keep in mind.

Movie - Show - Hotel - Children - World

When we can go to dinner, a movie, a show, or even a hotel without children, the world seems to slow down and blur soft around the edges. We laugh while we scoop queso onto chips and chat about the lighter side of life. With the responsibilities of rowdy children, messy kitchens, full calendars, and financial strains out of sight, we reach for each other’s hands. We might sit a little closer and connect a little deeper.

Spending time away provides a great opportunity to foster intimacy in marriage. If you’re able to make space on the calendar, by all means, do it! It’s a nice treat. After all, your marriage likely won’t suffer from too much intentional connection.

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But while God can use date night as a way...
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