In my last post of this series on dating and fun in relationships, I shared how the ‘foxes’ of social media/technology and our children/friends can pull us away from pursuing our significant other while dating or married. While a fox may look ‘cute and cuddly’ on the outside, these pests will destroy your relationship if you are not careful. Today I share two more ‘foxes’ that will tear you down if you’re not proactive in ‘catching the foxes’ (see Song of Solomon 2:15 and my previous post for more context).
3. Schedule/Busyness (see previous post for the first two ‘foxes’)
I hate this “fox”. If any one of these obstacles will take me down, it’s this one. Whether it’s the extrovert in some of us, or the people-pleaser in others, most of us struggle with busyness.
Inevitably, something or someone in life always gets cheated. With so many good options out there, we must choose the things that are great over the things that are good. In our lives, our community group plays a huge role – they help us make wise decisions about commitments and how we spend our time. They are a living, breathing example of Proverbs 13:20 – they help me and Kristen grow wise in schedule decisions.
The best suggestion I have is to check out Tim & Emily Loerke’s Weekly Questions on Todaysletters.com.
- How did you feel best loved this week?
- What does your week look like? (Kristen and I discuss schedules, kids commitments, ministry commitments, and date nights on a weekly basis to make sure we know each other’s calendars).
- How would you feel best loved in the coming week?
- How can I be praying for you this week?
- How would you feel best loved in intimacy this week (for marriage only)?
I love the way Tim & Emily intentionally carve out time each week to ask each other these five questions. Shout out to the Loerke’s and baby Brave!
4. Complacency/lack of pursuit
Convicted. Again. It’s so easy to fall into comfortable patterns and routines. If we’re not intentional we become complacent and quit pursuing one another.
Why do we date?
The reason we date our spouse even after we’re married is to show we love, honor, enjoy, and prioritize our spouse and to be countercultural (see Romans 12:2).
How do we date?
We must plan it out in advance and we cannot (always) settle for dinner and a movie. Dating our spouse doesn’t happen spontaneously – be intentional, get a sitter if you have kids, and block your schedule out in advance. Be creative and put your iPhone away. Brainstorm some fun ideas together. Choose active over passive. Try something new and adventurous!
When and how often do we date?
Do yourself a favor – go get Ted Cunningham’s book Fun Loving You. Ted does a great job sharing about the importance of the daily (quality time in the home), weekly (quality time outside the home), and annual dates (quality time outside of town and your normal routine). I liked this whole book, but especially the chapter on the weekly date. It is packed with some great date night ideas/challenges.
(For free: You do know the difference between a trip and a vacation, right? A trip is something we do outside of town with our kids. I highly recommend trips to create those valuable family memories. What I’m talking about here is a VACATION – out of town, with no kids. I know you love them, but you’ll love them even more if you get some time away, intentionally, in order to have fun and work on your marriage without your precious rug rats around!)
Ask each other:
- What is a date? Is Starbucks a date? Is dinner at home with a movie a date?
- Guys – sitting at home on the couch, watching the Rangers game is probably not a romantic date night for her.
- Ladies – clothes shopping with your significant other is probably not a blast for him.
- Discuss what’s fun and do something you both enjoy (while at the same time showing preference for your significant other – Philippians 2:3-4).
So there you have it, four ‘foxes’ that can pull us away from romantically pursuing our significant other (social media/technology, others/children, busyness/schedule, and complacency). My hope is that you proactively kill the foxes that can destroy your relationship.
What’s the immediate action step from these two posts? What are you going to change in your relationship? And, stop what you’re doing and go plan a date! THAT’s what the fox says!