When was the last time you and your spouse went on a date? How often did you go on dates before you got married? Do you view dating as something that is extra or essential in your marriage?
1. It helps us keep them a priority
Next to Jesus, my spouse is my top priority. The Apostle Paul reminds us that husbands are to love their wives just as Jesus loved us. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Ephesians 5:25
Even in the very beginning, we see a relational priority shift that happens when we get married. In Genesis we are told, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24
The word “leave” here means to loosen or relinquish. We see one relationship being left to unite with or join another relationship. There is a decision that has to be made when it comes to our priorities and our spouse.
There is not enough time to get it all done. Somebody or something is going to feel left out or neglected. We have to make sure that is never our spouse! It is essential to a healthy marriage that your time together is a priority.
For our marriages to thrive, our schedules must reflect the priority of our relationship.
For those with kids, let me just say that our kids do need us and should be a priority, but the most important thing we could ever do for or give them is a Godly marriage that reflects Jesus.
Ann Landers says, “Neglect the rest of the world if you have to, but never neglect each other.”
Ask yourself, is my spouse a priority? To who or what do you need to say no, so you can say yes to your spouse?
2. It helps us to continue pursuing them
In the Genesis account we also see a pursuing take place within this relationship called marriage. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24
The word united here means, to cling or adhere; to catch by pursuit, be joined (together), pursue hard. Why do we often stop pursuing our spouse after we get married?
One reason is there is often a familiarity that creeps in. There is excitement about your relationship when you’re dating or engaged. After we are married, the newness or shininess wears off and, as a result, the dating/courting is over.
Another reason is there’s an inevitable exhaustion that sets in. Life’s responsibilities, our careers, and kids demand a lot of time & energy. It takes energy to relate creatively, to date meaningfully, and to resolve conflict.
Many of us have given so much of ourselves to so many other things that we have nothing left over for our spouse.
Has your marriage lost some of that romance, passion, or fire? In order to get what you once had, you must do what you once did. Do you want your marriage to be better than it ever has? Remember, to get what you never had, you must do what you have never done.
Pursuing our spouse is one of the most Christ-like things we can do. We must remember that the love of Jesus never stops pursuing us! May we follow his example of love and never stop pursuing our spouse.
“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?” Luke 15:4
Ask yourself, am I pursuing my spouse?
Who knew a simple date could accomplish so much?
Nate Galloway has served in ministry for 25 years and has been a student pastor, associate pastor, church planter, and lead pastor. He joined Piedmont Church in Marietta, Ga in 2016 as the Families & Connections Pastor. Nate is a certified SYMBIS (Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts) Facilitator. He is married to his beautiful wife Andrea and they have four boys, Noah, Jonah, Micah, & Ezra.