Every time I attend a wedding, I always look toward the groom as the bride walks down the aisle. There he waits while she appears -- his love, his bride -- and inevitably, whether through a smile or tears, his face reveals that he's never seen anything quite so beautiful.
This past weekend we attended a terrific one: a stunning bride, a handsome groom, a touching ceremony, and a gorgeous mountainside venue.
Over the years, we've been to a lot of weddings. Each is filled with such promise. As I listen, I'm always reminded of the vows that I spoke nearly twelve years ago: how I promised to seek to know, love, and understand my husband more each day.
With three young children, two jobs, one house, and a myriad of obligations and responsibilities in the midst of our marriage, it's easy to let a day slide by when we don't devote time to seek each other. It's easy to fall into routine, to exchange information instead of communicating, and to keep occupied with the kids. And that's even if you have a good marriage.
A few weeks ago, I pitched an idea to my husband. What if we took one month and went on a date every week? Not necessarily an expensive date, or a long date, or a predictable dinner date -- but what if we took an opportunity to break away from the daily grind and simply enjoy each other's company, sans kids, once each week for a month?
A great idea, for certain, but not without logistical challenges.
When I polled some readers on Pink Dryer Lint's Facebook page about how frequently they went on dates with their spouses, several replied that they did so monthly or semi-regularly. Others identified specific reasons that prevented them from doing so: the expense (movie theater popcorn ain't cheap), a lack of available childcare (that's a biggie), or having a newborn (enough said).
Regardless of the response, the underlying subtext suggested that we'd all like to do more.
So, I'm pitching an idea to you, my dear friends and readers. Would you join me in making May Marriage Month by going on at least one date with your spouse? Even if it's just out for coffee or ice cream. Even if you need to barter or swap babysitting services with another couple who has children. Even if "going on a date" simple means creating a special evening at home, rather than mindlessly flipping between old episodes of House Hunters and Pawn Stars.
Unless you love reruns, of course, and you and your spouse watch them together with intentional gusto. (Seriously, looking forward to a show and making it a weekly point of connection in your marriage can be fun, too. #survivor. Just sayin.')
In the sake of transparency, I'll admit that I'm counting the day that Joel and I spent at the wedding as our first date this month, even though we snuck it in at the tail end of April, not May. (See what I'm doing here? I'm highlighting the flexibility of this endeavor. Make Marriage Month work for you and your unique situation, however that may look.)
During the wedding we just attended, the groom made this vow: "I've won your heart, but I will never stop pursuing you."
Our spouses are worth pursuing. Whether we've been married a week, a year, a decade, or more, our marriages are worth investing the effort and time to keep them a priority.
Over the month of May, I'll be devoting a few posts to the topic of marriage. (We have another wedding to attend at the end of the month. Perfect bookends!) I'd love to hear how you keep your marriage strong in the midst of life with kids, work, and busy schedules.
Let's make May Marriage Month together. Will you pledge to plan one date this month? Are you in?