Obviously this post is channeled towards my married readers, however, I feel that it is great advice for those preparing for marriage as well.
When Jeremy and I were married, we were interviewed by our church leaders to prove worthiness to enter the walls of the Holy Temple to be sealed for time and all eternity. During this interview, we were advised on a couple of things and we really took them to heart. One that I want to expound upon today is weekly dating/courting each other.
Since we have been married, there are a couple of weeks that I can remember that we have missed our weekly dates, at that's simply because Jeremy has been working out of town the whole week. Otherwise, we haven't missed! The counsel to date each other weekly provides the opportunity for us to reconnect outside of the hustle and bustle of parent life, work like, church life, friend life, etc. We get to tune into each other and enjoy each others company. I am grateful that we have made it a weekly necessity for our marital happiness.
Some things that we regular on our dates that you can try:
Walmart scanner shopping spree (guess the price of the other persons items)
movie night at home
footrubs while talking
grocery shopping (lame but you get it if you have kids)
off road trips in the mountains
trips to California and Florida (yep, a week long date and we still had a date the following week when we returned)
temple trips alone and with friends
shopping (yep even the hubby likes shopping!)
grabbing and treat
making treats at home
A friend of mine, knowing that this was something that we participate in on a regular basis, bought me a marriage conference ticket for the both of us for my birthday! It was such an exciting gift for me and Jeremy and it was hard to wait the 3 months until it occurred. We just went last Saturday and it was AMAZING! We were able to be surrounded by couples who were just as invested in their marriage as we are. We laughed so hard we cried, we laughed at the awkward comments from others about intimacy and laughed as games were played to portray teamwork.
Some highlights from the conference include:
8 Things Happy Couples Do Every Week
Go to sleep in the same bed at the same time.
Share physical activity together
Make coming and going an event
Kiss and touch for the sake of it
Send surprising texts
Turn off electronics
How to Get a man to Listen (John L. Lund)
There are three things men want to know when engaging in a conversation with a woman:
Is this going to be painful?
How long is this going to take?
What do you want from me when this conversation is over?
His Needs, Her Needs (William F. Harley Jr.
honesty and openness
Preserving a marriage takes effort and time. It's not a "I already got ya so now it's time to relax and chill." We must be constantly making the effort to show our spouse that we love them and that they mean more to us than our jobs, our phones, our friends, our extended family and even our kids. Our examples will show our children what marriage is supposed to be like. This isn't saying that you neglect all other responsibilities by any means, it means that your spouse comes first and then everything else falls into place around that relationship.
Something that has always bothered me is that we give the worst of ourselves to the ones we love the most. Why do we do that? The simple answer is because we know that they will love us no matter what. HOWEVER, they don't HAVE to love you no matter what. It's a choice that we all have to make and it would be much more pleasant if we made it easier on our loved ones.
Jeremy has always been my number one through it all. We have had pornography issues, health scares, babies to care for, work/life balance, church callings and occasional selfish desires to work through, but we continue to work at it. It's not a matter of "if" marriage will work for us, it's "when" it works for us the blessings that we get to experience. Marriage isn't meant to be easy, in fact, I learned/taught my children this morning through our Come Follow Me lesson the importance of trials and how God is with us through all of them if we but seek His help. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18.
I am grateful for the counsel that was given to us many years ago to continually date each other and put each other first. We have built a strong marriage that will continue to last as we continue to practice these helpful habits.
I hope these habits, date ideas and counsel will give you added desire to improve upon or continue in healthy connections with your spouse to make your marriage last for a lifetime or if you're privileged like us, eternity.