Guarding Date Nights
By Jennifer Slattery –
“Then Jesus said, ‘Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.’ He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat” (Mark 6:31 NLT).
Early in our marriage, my husband and I made a commitment. We decided we’d place our marriage first. We’d sit beside each other in the restaurant even though our daughter tried to wiggle between us. We’d schedule date nights and hire babysitters even though it would wipe out our monthly budget. We’d go on annual trips, just the two of us, even though leaving our daughter left a knot in my gut. Sixteen years later, our love is even stronger than on the day we said I do. I believe our commitment to guard date nights played a major role in that.
I’ve learned if I want an intimate relationship with my eternal Husband, Jesus Christ, I need to do the same thing. This can be hard, especially when you become involved in ministry. There’s always a hole needing to be filled, a study to attend, a person in need of prayer. But if we’re not careful, our business can steal our needed time with God. Sometimes we have to say no and leave the results–and other people’s expectations–to God.
For me, my day is Sunday. It’s taken a few years for my family to catch on, but on Sunday, I let the laundry lie. I let the dishes set, and I grab my iPhone with my Pandora and head for a nice long walk—by myself. It’s my special time with Jesus. Sometimes it lasts a few hours, other times it extends all day, but I always come back refreshed and recharged.
What about you? Have you and Jesus set aside a “date night?” This date will look different for everyone, but I believe we all need it. I believe we all crave it. Spend a moment with God and ask Him what day and time He’d like you to set aside for Him. For the two of you to get away. Then ask Him to remind you and help you follow through.
Equally important, we need to encourage and allow other people to do the same.