Any student in seminary can tell you they only have 5 seconds to explain how busy they are during the semester before rushing off to another class or ministry related event. Life in seminary is no easy feat and can be quite difficult to maintain at times. Between school, work, ministry and social relationships, life in seminary is the equivalent of wrestling a bear while juggling knives and trying to recite the alphabet backwards.
When you add in a marriage, it’s like doing all of this on top of a bus weaving in and out of New York traffic. It’s in these times that marriages are strengthened as weaknesses become exposed. These weaknesses, much like the foxes in Song of Songs, can slowly wreak havoc within a marriage and weaken it from the inside-out and it all starts with date night.
Date nights are one of the first things to go for a guy in seminary who is married. It’s easy to overbook a schedule and leave a date night out. Here are the top 5 reasons you should maintain a weekly date night in your marriage, whether you’re in seminary or not.
1. Maintains Intimacy – With any relationship, in order for it to grow, it is going to require time investing. If there’s no investment, the relationship has nothing to grow on. By spending a couple of hours a night with your wife, you’re investing in your relationship. You’re learning about each other. You’re laughing with each other. You’re creating memories that will bring smiles to your faces years down the road when times get tough.
2. Give Yourself Rest – Let’s be honest: after 4 hours of staring at Hebrew words, you’re not going to fit anymore vocabulary into your brain. You know what will fit though? Making memories with your wife whether that means finding a new favorite restaurant, seeing a movie you both want to see or simply getting outside. You’re not the only one who had a rough day of staring at dead languages…well, maybe you are but your wife probably had a tough day at work too. Go ahead and take her out and let yourselves relax.
3. Sharpens Focus – Believe it or not, taking breaks help. Getting away from homework and work for a couple of hours allows you to come back to your work with a pair of fresh eyes and a fresh mind and can often lead to you getting things done faster and efficiently. And the faster you get things done, the more time you get to spend with that gorgeous woman you married.
4. Affirms Your Love – Most of the week, we seminarians spend our times with professors, computer screens and historical theologians. It gets really creepy when you start referring to John Broadus as your BFF. Don’t get closer to these things than you are with your wife. You can get really intimate with Twitter but it won’t love you back and your wife will have a hard time reciprocating love if you ignore her. If you spend ample time taking your wife out at least once a week (although more than one date nights a week are encouraged), you’re strengthening the intimacy between you two by reaffirming your love. Nothing says “I love you” quite like picking a date night over homework and tweeting quotes from dead theologians.
5. Your Wife is Your Main Ministry – Not work. Not your ministry at your church. Your wife is your first priority ministry. If you don’t take care of her, it won’t be long until your job or ministry at church begins to suffer and crumble. You can sink as many hours into your ministry and homework as you want but if you don’t invest as much, if not more, time into your relationship with your wife, everything else is going to start falling apart too.
That’s my top 5, what are yours?