Yesterday was Valentine’s Day and countless couples went out for a night of fun and time together.
The reality though is that for many couples, the night did not go how they planned. Maybe the food wasn’t good, the conversation didn’t flow, they didn’t connect or worse, they had a fight.
Maybe sex was less than amazing.
If you do date night enough, you will eventually fight on it or it will not go according to your plan.
You can get angry.
Swear off date nights.
Yell at someone.
Or, you can try again.
Know that no matter what went wrong last night, you can move forward.
Maybe you couldn’t think of anything to say, you said the wrong thing, sex was not what you hoped it would be.
Life does not end because of one bad date night.
On the flipside of that, when date night does go wrong, that is a great opportunity to take inventory of your marriage and determine if something is going on underneath the surface of your marriage that caused it to go wrong.
Recently, I was with a group of women and they were talking excitedly about going out for Valentine’s Day. When they asked me what Josh and I were doing, and I said we weren’t doing anything special that day because we don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day.
They all looked at me with a look that said, “Poor thing.”
The reality for us is that we don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day on Feb. 14th because 7 years ago, we began having a weekly date night, so Valentine’s day is less important to us.
As a funny way to answer the question, Josh and I came up 9 reasons we don’t celebrate it and instead celebrate it every week with a date night (some are his and some are mine).
Here you go:
Vomit. Someone is bound to throw up (ie. our daughter last night) and ruin your plans.
Action. You will get more action if you celebrate Valentine’s day every week instead of once a year. Scientifically proven fact.
Little planning. Valentine’s day takes little planning. Roses, a card someone else wrote that you signed. Plan ahead and have a great date night.
Expensive. Everything is more expensive on Valentine’s Day. Everything.
Not enough. Celebrating valentine’s day, having a date night once a month or three times a year is not enough for your marriage.
T & A. You will get more of this with a weekly date night.
Irresistible. You will be irresistible to your spouse with a weekly date night. Also, find out what scent they like and wear that.
Never let your underwear drawer go more than a year without updating, keep it interesting (that’s just free advice and has nothing to do with Valentine’s Day but we needed another letter).
Everyone else is out on Valentine’s day. Plan a weekly date night and avoid the crowd.
As a general rule, leaders should respond to criticism. I do my best to do so, or at that very least, ask someone in my organization to respond. Critics, more often than not, deserve a response. They need to hear from the leader who can give them his or her perspective. They need to hear from a leader in the event the response can be an opportunity for reconciliation. But there are times when leaders should not respond to critics.
One of the biggest drains of our time is technology because of the access it gives us to a virtual life. Our lives revolve around this access and its pull on us is strong. There’s always email to check, texts to respond to, statuses to update, images and videos to see or post. And they must be done right away (or so we think) — putting everything else on pause.
I, too, found I don’t get much out of sermons, even the good ones. Honestly, there is not much new content I learn at church. Finally, I am easily distracted and the slow pace of sermons let’s my mind wander, so I’d rather read a good sermon than listen to one. So, I could’ve just stayed home. But, I didn’t. And neither should you because our church involvement is not just anticipated (1 Corinthians 12:27), but commanded (Hebrews 10:25).
What what if celebrating Valentine’s Day didn’t cost you a dime and could actually re-kindle the flames of romance? What if you could re-ignite the sparks in your marriage and make them last? It might be as easy as taking a trip down memory lane and doing what you should have never stopped.
I wonder, though, if Miller’s thoughts don’t say as much about our contemporary worship culture as they do about Miller himself. His description of a church gathering is two-dimensional: we listen to a lecture and sing songs that connect us to God. Miller says he stopped attending because he doesn’t learn from lectures and doesn’t feel like he connects to God through singing. This description of the gathered church is anemic and shabby, but it’s also the description that many American evangelicals would use to describe Sunday mornings. Rather than a robust engagement with God’s people, God’s word, and God’s Spirit through interactions with one another, songs, prayers, scripture readings, and the Lord’s Supper, we think of Sundays as merely preaching and music.
Today is Valentine’s Day. Today, countless couples will spend thousands of dollars on flowers, dinner and gifts. And because it’s Valentine’s Day, they will pay more than they should.
Valentine’s Day also reveals something and it could be a problem if you are married. For couples, men will pursue their wives. They will make plans, get a babysitter, buy her a gift and make it a special night, all about her. What’s wrong with that you may ask.
Read that paragraph again and see if you see it.
A couple of years ago, Katie was talking with some other mom’s around Valentine’s Day. All the mom’s were excited about a night away from their kids, with their husband and the things he was doing for her. They asked Katie what we were doing. This year Valentine’s Day fell on a Monday and our date night is Friday. She looked at them and said, “Josh isn’t doing anything tonight for me.” They looked sad, poor girl. She looked at them and said, “He doesn’t need to, every week we have date night so I know he pursues me each week and I have his undivided attention every week.”
What if, the energy you spent on Valentine’s Day, you spent that each week for a date night? Now, there’s no way you or I could afford what you spend to make Valentine’s Day special. What if you took that energy and money and spread it over the year?
Here’s a successful date night (at home or going out):
As a husband, you plan it. This communicates she’s worth your time. She feels pursued. You are able to serve her.
Planning means, you know where you are eating, what you are doing and got a babysitter.
If it is at home, you put the kids down so she can relax.
Turn your phone, computer and TV off.
Look her in the eye and give her you undivided attention.
Do this each week.
If, like most married couples you choose to do this once every 52 weeks, you’ll have the marriage most married couples have (which isn’t very good).