The Importance in Dating Your Spouse

Marriage and Dating

Raise your hand if you like spending intimate one-on-one time with your significant other! That’s what I thought — we all do. We all crave intentional and purposeful time with our spouse, but how often do we make it a priority in our relationship? There’s kids and work and errands to run and events to go to, that being alone with your spouse somehow manages to fall through the cracks. I’ve been there and I feel ya. But what if I told you that the most important earthly relationship you have is with your spouse? If you’re anything like me, you’re calling up your spouse and asking, ‘when’s our next date?’

Before Zach and I were married, we were told that the most important earthly relationship we have is with our spouse.

Not our kids, our friends, our co-workers or even our family, but with our spouse. Wanna know where we learned that? The Bible.

In Ephesians 5:22-33, Paul, the author of the letter, explains to us the roles of a husband and a wife. If you’re interested in learning more about those specific roles my co-host and husband, Zach and I dive deep into understanding the biblical roles of a husband and wife in this post. And within Paul’s explanation he talks about the importance of a wife loving and submitting to the husband and that husbands are to love and lead their wives. That husbands are to nurture and nourish their wife in word and deed. And that both the man and woman are to leave their father and mother and hold fast to one another and that the two shall become one flesh. Ultimately, marriage is a reflection of Christ and the church. The man is loving and leading as Christ would and the woman is loving and submitting as the church would.

Then moving forward into Ephesians 6:1-4, Paul offers basic instructions to parents and children and their biblical roles. 4 verses. That’s it for parents and children. The instructions for husbands and wives is 11 verses. And why? Because it’s the most important earthly relationship. Husbands and wives are a direct reflection and example of Christ’s relationship to the church. Just as Christ admonishes and sanctifies His people, the husband is to cleanse his wife with the Word and in actions. And just as the church submits to Christ and follows His teaching, wives are to submit to and defer to their husband’s wisdom. The goal is that when other people see your marriage, they see Jesus through it all and above it all.

Being married is a tall-calling and not a flippant decision. It’s the understanding that in seeking God first, you are able to grow towards and with your spouse. And that there will be times of intense sanctification and struggle and trials as two sinners are joined together with all of their baggage and history and sin. Thankfully God was well aware of this and gives wives and husbands instructions on how to fulfill their role.

But now I ask you, when was the last time you viewed your marriage with this much importance?

When was the last time you looked at your husband or wife and saw them as the person who has been called to help sanctify you and grow you and lead you alongside the Holy Spirit?

When I started resetting my mind to view my marriage in this way, I started realizing how important it was that I made our relationship a priority. Between Zach being gone 11 hours a day, 5 days a week and me working Saturday’s or being out of town, having time alone together started to all but disappear. We didn’t mean for it to, but one day sitting at home I realized that I had not had intentional purposeful time with Zach in over a month. Now, don’t get me wrong, we have our Weekly Marriage Meeting, which you can read about here, and we like to watch movies together, but it’s just not the same as setting aside preplanned time to focus on our relationship. But you might be thinking — who’s got time for that? I already have so much on my plate as it is! But I’m gonna come back to you with the question: can you afford not to spend individual time with your spouse? Are those other things on your plate realllly that important in the long run?

In this post about the Importance in Knowing Your Spouses Love Language, I mention that for those who crave and feel loved by quality time, neglecting to set aside time to be with your spouse can be really hurtful and damaging to them. But whether or not quality time is your top love language, I’m gonna argue that we all want it at one time or another. By not spending quality time, you are communicating that other things in your life are more important than that person. You may never say this out loud or even intentionally think it, but your actions reflect it. If marriage really is the most important earthly relationship, than quality time isn’t optional but a requirement! Purposeful time with your spouse is key part in growing in your walk with Christ and sharing His love and message with others.

Okay, at this point you might be asking yourself, so what am I to do? How do I get this started? And it’s really as simple as 5 easy steps.

5 Steps to Prioritizing Your Marriage

  1. Reframe Your Mind:

    • Take time to pray, read Ephesians 5:22-33, and reflect on the importance of marriage and it’s purpose. When you have renewed your mind and remember that your spouse is your most important earthly relationship, than everything else will fall in line.

  2. Prioritize Properly:

    • It’s easy to place other people and other areas of your life above your spouse. Especially if you have kids or highly demanding job. But I’m gonna be straight forward with you: your job, your friends, and yes, your kids are not and should never be more important than your spouse. I’ve heard and read from so many couples that once they had kids, suddenly all of their time and energy was poured into the kids and that their relationship was pushed aside. This is why statistically marriages with kids who’ve move out of the home are increasing in the divorce rates. The couple suddenly realizes after 18+ years of focusing on kids that they have ‘grown apart’ and not grown together. In addition, a study showed that parents who pour all of their focus into their children end up having an unhealthy relationship with their children. The child feels oppressed or burdened down by their parents hopes, dreams, and expectations for them.

      One of the healthiest and happiest marriages I have ever witnessed placed the other spouse first and the kids or job second. When the couple focused on one another and growing closer together instead of only on the kids, they agreed more and argued less on parenting strategies, created a safe and united front for their children, took pressure off their children, and exemplified the love, grace and forgiveness of Christ in their everyday walk. In addition, by not putting so much focus on work they displayed that relationships are more important than money, working is a means to live not a purpose in life, and that being home to their spouse was more important than longer hours at the office.

      By prioritizing kids and work second, the couple was happier, more free, and more giving of their time and resources.

  3. Talk to Your Spouse:

    • Sit down and have an honest conversation with your spouse about the state of your relationship. Do you feel connected? Do you feel distant? Are your priorities aligned correctly? One of my all-time favorite ways to do this is through a Weekly Marriage Meeting. A Weekly Marriage Meeting is a safe and purposeful time to communicate effectively and intentionally with your spouse.

  4. Planning Purposefully:

    • Pull out your calendars whether that’s on paper or on your phone and pick 2 dates and times over the next month that you are going to set aside time with your spouse. And not just a half-hearted planning, but a rigid date just as important as any other commitment in your schedule. Go ahead and book the babysitter, or even have a back-up babysitter in case, make sure that your work schedules are clear, and start brainstorming what you would like to do with your time. Haven’t gone to a romantic restaurant in awhile? Make your reservation now. Wanna spend time outdoors and go for a bike ride? Go ahead and clean off your bikes and pick out your trail. Remember that old saying, ‘if you fail to plan you’ll plan to fail.’ Well, it’s true for this, too.

  5. Reduce Down:

    • Having trouble finding any time to date your spouse? Maybe this is a time to have a honest look at what’s going on with your schedule and if you’ve overbooked yourself. Does your kid play a sport or have band practice every night of the week? Maybe next season or semester they only participate in one activity. Do you volunteer on the only night per week your spouse is available? Look into choosing a different day or time to volunteer or consider take a step-back for a season to focus on your spouse. Don’t think that being with your spouse is selfish — it’s healthy and encouraged.

Dating your spouse is important and setting aside time with them is beneficial! Take time this week to sit-down with your spouse, set a date and time on the calendar, and reconnect in your marriage. I bet you it’s gonna change how you parent your kids, focus on your work, and think about your everyday tasks.

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