Dinner at 8

Deputy Handsome and I are, I like to think, a fairly typical single-income-with-kids-and-a-mortgage family. We do just fine, but there isn't a lot of money for extras. We don't have local grandparents for free childcare so when we do want to go out, we either impose on our newly-married (and still undecided about the whole kid thing) brother and sister-in-law, or we have to pay a sitter. Neither of these options is feasible for us to get a weekly date night and recently in the midst of a lot of overtime shifts and constant studying for work-related meetings (for him), plus a tough season in child-rearing (for me), I was feeling quite down about my marriage and frustrated with my husband and my kids a lot. Now don't worry - neither of us are going anywhere. We take our vows seriously and honor them the best we can with God's grace each day. But I have learned after four years of dating and seven years of marriage that love is not the same today as it was when we were in college - when just catching sight of him across campus flipped my stomach. Our love today isn't a feeling that is fleeting but a part of who I am. The first marriage in the Bible is concluded in Genesis 2:24 with these words, "therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife; and they shall become one flesh." This "cleaving" and "one flesh" business isn't just about sex (ew, sorry mom) but about two lives coming together - and that is something that takes longer than the wedding night to achieve. After seven years, I know that Wes and I are one before the Lord - but I also know that it isn't a given that we will remain that way. There are temptations everywhere - not always for adultery but the temptation to be complacent and lazy, the temptation to put your children ahead of your spouse or the temptation to take advantage of your spouse are all very real and just as dangerous to a marriage. No wonder people today do not see marriage as necessary or even desirable when the attitude is that once the wedding is over, the work is done too.  I know from experience that thought it may be a cliche to say that being married is real work, but it is the work that yields the sweetest rewards.

So after a few weeks (weeks? eek.) of this funk, a light came on and I decided to be intentional about making time to spend with my husband without kids, TV, cell phones or projects. If we couldn't afford to pay a sitter so we could go out, I would do my best to make a night out in our own home. I started searching pinterest and came across quite a few fun ideas for being intentional about "dating" your husband. Now, before I go any farther, I have to confess that this "dinner at eight" name isn't my own; it came from this blog. But I loved her idea of "branding" her date nights and so I borrowed the phrase and use it not only here on my blog, but also in communicating with Deputy Handsome about our dates.

I want to encourage all my married readers to read Proverbs 5 and remember that it is up to you to remain the "wife of [his] youth." Dinner at 8 is one way that I am doing this in our marriage. Besides the blog listed above, here are some other sites with creative ideas for date nights at home (or do a pinterest search for "date night at home"):
(if you have older kids) Family Matters

And here are my takes on Dinner at 8:
Lessons in Expectations

No comments:

Post a Comment