52 First Dates

Last week, we chose to Stand Out on the topic of pornography. In a little over a week, Jeremy and I will be traveling to Oklahoma to Cavetime USA to lock shields with Jeff Voth, Clayton Jennings, Jody Burkeen and other men from around the country to take a stand on that very same topic. It’s the largest issue facing men today.  And a topic we will explore more in depth in the future, I’m sure.

It has occurred to me on several occasions that one of the best ways to avoid the temptation of pornography is to focus on our wives. Rather than paying attention to images on a computer screen or in a magazine, or even walking by, we need to be intentional about keeping our thoughts and our eyes on our wives.

We men can have the tendency to neglect our wives. It’s true.  Not necessarily on purpose, but because we find ourselves caught up with everything else in our daily lives. We think, sometimes even subconsciously that our wives don’t need our attention.  We know they love us, and they aren’t going anywhere.  And we’ve got a lot on our plates, right?  Wrong.

I’ve been reading a book by Bill Hybels called, “Simplify”. In the second chapter, he tackles the topic of scheduling. He touches on our tendency to overfill our schedules on a weekly basis. And even though we may have a schedule put together, we get to the end of the week and realize there are things that we should have done and could have done, but we simply ran out of time. Often our schedules are filled up with all of the things that we have to do and none of the things that we want to do. Men, I’m here today to say that one of the best things that you can do for your marriage is to date your wife. I’m not talking about dating her every now and then when you feel like it. I’m talking about scheduling a weekly date with your wife.  Now you might be thinking, “Yeah I take my wife out. Once everything else is done, and the week is over and I’ve gotten everything accomplished that I could get accomplished… if there’s time left, we might go out to McDonald’s”. This is not what I’m talking about. I don’t know about your wife, but a happy meal isn’t what my wife would consider a date.

Here’s what’s at the core.  The last thing that our wives want to feel is last place. Our wives don’t want to feel like they get our attention after everything else. So I challenge you this week, men, to date your wife. Put it on your schedule as one of the first priorities of this week.  And begin to do this each and every week.

In case you need a little bit of inspiration, here are five inexpensive, unique dating ideas for your wife.

#1. The Trip Down Memory Lane

For an anniversary one year, I took some time to map out a route before dinner to several significant places in town in the history of our relationship.  As I made each stop, we reminisced about what happened there (our first kiss, where I proposed, etc).  It gave us a chance to stop and reflect on those happy moments and where we’ve come since those days.  Perhaps you’ve moved across the country from those places, but you can still remember.  Maybe put together a collection of pictures and take the trip that way.  Either way, it shows your wife your sentimental side, and reminds her what she means to you.

#2. The Interview

As an intentional way to direct the conversation over dinner (either at home or out somewhere), create a list of questions for your wife.  Questions that really get into her heart.  What are your dreams for us?  What’s one thing you would like for us to do together that we’ve never done before? Where do you see yourself and us 5 years from now? What could I do to love you better?  And here’s the part that will really impress her: Take notes!

#3 A Picnic

It’s a simple, yet romantic date.  Pack up some food and go somewhere quiet.  No cell phones or other distractions.  Just focus on each other.

#4 An Activity SHE Likes

Too often we think that our wives will have fun doing the things that we like to do.  And a lot of times they do, but there are activities your wife likes.  Find one and suggest doing it with her.  Don’t wait for her to ask you.  Take the initiative to suggest doing something with her that she enjoys.

#5. A Fancy Restaurant

Ok, this one’s not necessarily inexpensive, but it’s a date that all women love.  Find the fanciest restaurant in your area (within your budget), dress up, and go out for dinner.  You can even add to this by showing up at her door to pick her up with flowers.  If you have the means, maybe even get a limo for the night.

Obviously, these are just a few suggestions.  There are many more good date ideas that are specific to you and your wife.  And since you will be doing this weekly from now on, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to come up with some great dates.

Some final thoughts:

As you begin dating your wife, please remember that your wife does not want to feel like the only reason you’re taking her out on the date is so that you can reap the benefits in the bedroom when you get home.

Each and every time that you date your wife, you should treat it like a first date. Remember all the work that you went through when you first met your spouse to sweep her off her feet? The planning and thought that went into that very first date? Do that every week. There are 52 weeks in a year. That’s 52 first dates every single year!

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