Life comes at us pretty darned fast. We have so many things shouting at us for our attention. Jobs, family, friends, church, hobbies, and so much more. Add children to that mix and even sleep becomes a luxury. The age of the kids doesn’t matter either because as they grow older our time devotion to them simply changes with their needs. It is no wonder that people lose focus on what is important in their lives.
What could be more important than your spouse? You remember who that is right? The person that you stood before family and friends and swore to love for a lifetime. The person who just the thought of used to give you a fluttering feeling in your stomach? The one that you would stay up very late just to be with or rise extra early to spend more time with? As time has passed has the thought of staying up late or rising early for anything or anyone beyond your ability to understand? If so then lets talk shall we?
My wife is my high school sweetheart.. We are approaching twenty-nine years of marriage and have raised three great kids but on that journey I did start to lose focus and did indeed cheat on my wife. As a matter of fact I had numerous affairs that distracted me and misdirected my thoughts and affections. Rest assured there was never another woman in my life and nor will there ever be- but I still cheated on her. My primary focus became my career and everything to do with it. I worked incredibly long hours over a period of years. It was easy to do so because I loved my job. It was easy to do because when things are going well in our careers we view ourselves as being indispensible. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I was attending a seminar about my particular vocation which at the time was law-enforcement. There was a wonderful speaker who was opining about how negatively such a career can impact marriages. It was as though he was speaking directly to me as he spoke of how the job becomes much like an addiction. The job becomes the center point of our lives all to the detriment of our spousal duties. He reminded me that for the job I would drop whatever I was doing and immediately respond if needed. If I had a date with court I would surely never miss that. If the job asked me to get up early or stay up late I was still happy to do so. If the job asked of my free time I would give it. But was I, at that time, affording the same courtesy to my wife?
The speaker had a simple suggestion that would allow me to regain a sure footing in my relationship with my wife – date night! The theory was that you schedule a weekly appointment with your wife where your sole focus is upon her- and hers upon you. There is as little excuse for missing date night as there was for missing court. It did not matter if you had to stay up late or get up early as date night was a commitment that you were making to the woman that you love above all. The woman who is and always will be the epicenter of your universe.
I do remember presenting this idea to my wife and her having a healthy bit of skepticism initially. Who could blame her based upon recent history? She did take me up on the concept and I must say she was brutal in its execution. It did not matter how many hours I had worked or how difficult the day had been date night was on! I remember literally nodding off in the restaurant or on the ride home but it didn’t matter because date night was my commitment to my life’s focus- my wife.
Many years have now passed since date night was first launched in our marriage. Many aspects of our lives have changed. New career, children grown and love ones lost but date night lives on. It is ingrained and instinctual to us. No matter what happens in our week we know that there will be those few hours where we sit facing each other and talking about either matters of immense proportion or for the most part nothing at all. For just that bit of time the world will not, cannot, step between us.
I implore you to challenge yourself and your relationship. It does not matter what your career is or what you do on date night but do it. Remember what it was when it was just you and him or her. Remember both what it was like and what it can be again today. Get the calendar and pencil it in- then let me know how it goes.