Marriage has its seasons. In the spring, love is new and exciting. Summer brings fun and familiarity. Couples frequently bustle about in the busyness of autumn. Winter is the hardest season to endure.
In the winter months of marriage, ice forms around one heart—or both. Conversation is stilted and business-like. Pointed questions receive harsh answers. Cuddles and kisses are replaced with cold shoulders. Spouses become roommates at best, enemies at worst.
Even in these cold, winter months of marriage, it is important—dare I say imperative—to date your mate.
Five Reasons to Date Your Mate When It’s Cold at Home
It reinforces the fact that love is a decision, not a feeling.
When we said “I do,” we had all the feelings. Love, excitement, and twitterpation ran through our veins. Somewhere along the way, all of those feelings fade. Marriage is birthed from emotion but built on a decision. It is a covenant relationship, held together by God and gritted teeth. Dating your spouse, even when you don’t feel like it, reinforces your decision to stay together ’til death do us part.
A new environment may help you rediscover old feelings.
The stress of home life is enough to turn any hot romance cold. Bills, kids, repairs, and work threaten to douse the flames of passion. By stepping out of the house and into a new environment, the external influences can melt away. A quiet cafe’, a dark theater, or a peaceful park can help you forget about the stress and find a peaceful place together.
You provide an example for your children that love never quits.
Kids notice when mom and dad are at odds. The tension is often palpable. When your children see you step out for a night on the town, they see unconditional love in real life. Chances are your offsprings will experience the four seasons in their own marriage. When you date your mate, you demonstrate how to create a love that lasts.
Hearts thaw when exposed to the sun.
The only way to thaw the ground at winter’s end is for the earth to draw near to the sun. Reliving the spring days of your relationship will expose the frozen ground of your marriage to the warm rays of your love. Return to a favorite dating spot. Reminisce about the early days of your romance. Laugh at the folly and joy of your youth.
You give God an opportunity to heal your marriage.
Cold hearts in marriage can lead to a cold heart toward God. Dating your mate demonstrates a faith that God can heal your marriage. You open your heart up to be changed by Him. Ultimately, it is the work of the Holy Spirit that will reignite your affection for one another. Dating is a tangible action of faith.
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh (Ezek 36:26 ESV).
The winter months of marriage can drag on and lead to hopelessness. Dating your spouse in the middle of the freeze can awaken the blooms you once enjoyed.
Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth (Prov 5:18 ESV)
#FridayFive Link Up
This week’s #FridayFive is all about dating in the cold. What is your favorite winter date? Share in the comments. Or, better yet, write a post and link up using the button below. I can’t wait to try out some of your ideas during this month of love!
Be sure to come back next week to share ways to express love. Romance is in the air! Do you feel it?
Photo credit: Nathan Walker