Friday, February 13, 2015

Dating Your Husband

Are you feeling disconnected and alone in your marriage? Are you frustrated and wondering why your marriage isn't as great as you imagined it to be? Do you often compare your marriage to your friend's marriages? Let me give you some advice, start dating your husband. I know that there are tons of blogs and threads out there with great advice about "saving your marriage,"  but one more can't help. I am not saying that I have the perfect marriage; no one does. I strongly believe that we will never see the perfect marriage until we meet our creator in heaven. However, I do believe that the foundation of Kyle and my marriage is rooted in truth and is what has provided a marriage that gives me more joy than sorrow.

There have been lots of times in our marriage that things have been rough. We have had the outside stressors of medical issues, family drama, and loss of a baby that have put huge weights on our shoulders, but we have also struggled with the day in/day out normal marriage problems such as feeling alone, frustrated, and upset at each other for petty little things. Whenever there has been an issue that doesn't seem to be easy to resolve we have turned to outside help from our pastor or counseling. The two doses of outside counseling that we have received have been an integral part of our love story. There is no shame in admitting and participating in marriage counseling. I am so very thankful for our previous pastor that helped me to realize that if I continued to be bounded by family history that I would sabotage my own marriage. Prayer, tears, and faith have brought us through a lot of things that may have otherwise caused division in our marriage.

In the past eleven years we have both tried to make each other a priority in our marriage. We are high school sweet hearts and given our history it has allowed for us to literally grow up with each other. I am happy to say that neither of us are the same person that we were nearly 18 years ago, but I would like to cling on to the fact that we both still like each other. I realize when I take the time to date my husband and get to know him better that I find that I love him even more. I like to equate this to the time that we take to get to know our Lord on a daily basis. If you are not taking the time to be in the word and praying to Jesus it is super hard to feel connected to Him. Put that same effort into discovering your husband again.

As I read my Facebook feed yesterday and watched as two opposing groups debated about whether or not Christian women should read or watch the new "50 shades of ...", my heart was hurt. I struggle with why there would even be a thought of this being okay. There is NOTHING shameful about having sex with your husband. The Lord has given us this beautiful gift that should be cherished. If you are struggling with having a healthy and joyful sex life, talk with your husband. Don't seek a book or movie that has nothing to do with a Christian sex life to learn new things. Part of dating your husband might include asking him how he feels about your sex life. It is completely okay to talk to you husband about sex. Some of you may be blushing right now. That is okay! If you have suffered from sexual sin in your past or one of you has committed adultery, please seek outside help so that you can overcome this together or make the right decision for the future of your marriage.

Ladies, make a decision today to date your husband! You don't need a million dollar budget or funds to complete this step, you just need to make time. I am thankful for the fellow friends and family that I have that are willing to provide child-care for us so that we can have date nights at least once per month, but preferably twice. If you don't have the funds to cover child-care, check with a friend about swapping a night. Here are some great suggestions for dates with your husband:
  • movie night after kids are in bed
  • picnic at the park
  • dessert and coffee at your local hotspot (Pressed)
  • drive to the coast
  • walk around the neighborhood pushing your kid in the stroller (Yes, this was our nightly date when Bronson was this age and we had NO money)
  • ice cream dates
  • cook a special dinner and light candles and stay at home while grandparents keep your kids
  • catch a game together
  • try a new place to eat
  • sit on the back porch next to the outdoor fireplace and make S'mores
  • do a bible study together and catch up Saturday morning on your thoughts
  • write love letters to each other and leave them in the car
  • text each other daily with a word of encouragement
  • make sure to daily tell your husband why you love them. I firmly believe that going a step beyond saying, I love you can make a world of difference.
Let's all make it our goal to grow closer to our husbands throughout this year. If you are struggling in your marriage and need a boost go out on a date. If you need some support from the women around you, join a small group or book club. We are currently meeting every other week at a local coffee shop to go over Power of  Praying Wife. We spend the evenings discussing our thoughts about the book and praying for each other's marriages. I am so thankful for all of these local resources to ensure that I continue to have a healthy marriage. Above all, remember to keep Christ at the center of your marriage!