Author: Brittany Ann
When we were newlyweds nearly 13 years ago, my husband had some really firm expectations.
In particular, he insisted that we would go on a date every Saturday night. Not that I was opposed to the idea (I mean, who would be?), but was it really necessary to make this practice non-negotiable? Especially at the time, when we didn’t have kids and spent most of our evenings together anyway?
Looking back, I am so thankful for his wisdom and his dedication to setting good habits in our relationship, from the very beginning.
Since then, a lot has changed: kids, careers, friends and location—in addition to the ups and downs of everyday life. But our marriage has held together firmly, in part because of the habits we’ve clung to.
We’ve taken classes, read books and had a lot of conversations with other couples—and I have seen a similar pattern in healthy Christian marriages: they are intentional with their relationship habits.
And even if you and your spouse have differing beliefs, these habits are broad enough that anyone can apply them.
6 Must-Have Habits for a Healthy Christian Marriage
1. Dating Each Other
Ever since we said “I do,” my husband and I have faithfully set aside Saturday evenings for each other.
You may be thinking through a lot of excuses about why you can’t have a weekly date. It’s impossible with our schedule. We don’t have childcare options. Our budget is super tight. I’ve been in each of those scenarios.
Setting aside a weekly time is not easy. But that’s kind of the point; you make an effort set aside the time because if you don’t, then it definitely won’t happen!
Are the times we compromise? Of course. But those are the exceptions and not the rule; by and large, the expectation in our household is that Saturday night is date night.
The key to making a weekly date work is being creative. When you can’t do it on a Saturday night, have an early morning coffee together instead. If one of you is travelling, schedule a video chat at whatever hour you can. If you can’t have a 3-hour date, have a 20-minute one. If you’re broke, light candles, pop popcorn and sit in front of the fireplace after the kids are in bed.
Mindset is important when dating your spouse. Devote your date time to simply being present and affectionate for a set period. Instead of sitting on the couch and mindlessly scrolling your phones while the TV is on, turn your devices off, put together some special treats, snuggle up and watch something together that you’ve both been looking forward to.
Of course, I don’t recommend watching a movie together as the only thing you do on your dates. If you’re ready for a much-needed date night out, do these 6 things.