Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart
• Proverbs 3:3 •
“I want to go with you!” Our three-year-old latched on to my husband’s leg and turned her pretty blue-green gaze his way.
My sweetheart lifted our daughter to his eye level and gave her a kiss. He spoke with a blend of love and firmness, “Tomorrow is Saturday, and we’ll have plenty of time to play. But tonight, I have a date with my bride.”
(May I just say—I love when he calls me that.)
After multiple hugs all around, our youngest joined her siblings and the sitter while my husband and I slipped out (okay, more like sprinted) for the much-anticipated evening.
Oh, the memories! When the children were little, time alone as a married couple was better than finding a forgotten chocolate stash during a desperate snack attack. Oh, joy!
Our dates were rarely (never) extravagant, but the one-on-one time was a treasure. And even though we were usually (always) exhausted, the benefits of those early date nights have echoed throughout the years of our marriage.
I mean, what’s not to love about conversing with a grown-up minus the never-ending stream of interruptions? Sometimes we would simply sit in magical silence!
But as wonderful as the moments are for moms and dads of young children, date night perks don’t stop there. The example we provide when we love and honor our spouse will make a life-long impression with our children.
Here are a few of the powerful messages our children receive when mom and dad enjoy each other and make marriage a priority:
» Mom and Dad are in love and they love me.
Under God, our focus should be on our spouse and then our children. While our offspring may not fully process it in the moment, there is security in knowing that a home has Christ-centered priorities. Our children can live boldly knowing their family’s foundation is secure.
» Mom and Dad respect and honor each other.
Our children’s view of marriage is shaped from years of watching us. How sobering! Are we modeling a marriage centered on biblical principles?
» Mom and Dad make this dating and marriage stuff special and fun.
What a unique privilege and responsibility to provide a living picture of true love and devotion. Even in our weaknesses, when we take joy in each other, we are ultimately pointing to our Heavenly Father, to the love between Christ and the church.
As we are “caught” with our spouse stealing kisses or dancing together in the kitchen, we may receive snickers and eye-rolls from our toddlers and teens (um, it’s guaranteed). But we are instilling in our children a desire and hunger for God’s ultimate design for love and marriage.
All this, and it’s fun too!
How has date night strengthened your family?