Yesterday I enjoyed a day-long date with Rebekah. I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before in this space, but we're seriously committed to regular dating and we "preach it" to other couples whenever we get the chance.
It's kind of like the "family devotions" conversation I had with a friend the other day. When our children were growing up we made a decision to eat dinner together, as a family, a minimum of four nights a week (more, if possible). That was also the time we had family devotions, just a short 10-minute routine at the end of the meal time.
"That's a great idea," my friend said. "It's something we've tried to do but it just doesn't work."
So I retorted with a quick Yoda quote (In addition to being a Jedi Master Yoda was, interestingly, less well known as an obscure Presbyterian theologian): "Do, or do not. There is no 'try.'"
"Do," for our family occasionally meant dinner in the van - parked somewhere between commitments, or at a hamburger stand after a game - followed by a short Bible-reading and family prayer time. It's more than possible to pull off stuff like that if the guiding principle is a proactive "do" rather than the a "let circumstances make my decisions" "try".
Like I said, the same deep truth applies to dating. Rebekah and I have been married 30 years and one month (pause for polite applause...). We made a promise, a faithful commitment, to date at least one time per week. That adds up to 1,564 opportunities - and I'm here to say we're easily well over 2,000. Often it's been dinner and a movie, or a picnic on the beach; sometimes simply lunch; some weeks walking the mall and buying a cup of coffee because there were no funds; then, when the kids were young, we tried hard to arrange overnight dates at least once every couple of months.
Yesterday we built our day-long date around a speaking engagement Rebekah had in Orlando. We drove over together "ROAD TRIP!!!!", enjoyed attending the worship event, wandered around a favorite destination in the afternoon, and then spent the evening uninterrupted - no phone answering, just mutual focus.
The point, rather than the details of my dates with Rebekah, is the value of being deliberate. Relationships don't take care of themselves. We're deliberate in our jobs, maintaining our vehicles, looking after the house and yard.... So why not apply some imaginative intervention to the most important element of a happy life?
Seriously. Why not?