This is Part 5 in the series Pursuing Your Wife.
Valentines Day is when many men dust off their chivalry and again awaken to romance their bride.
Men, it doesn’t have to be this way. If you’re stumbling around through your contacts for the florist’s number, or paying exorbitant fees for Amazon shipping for that special Valentine’s gift, you might need to rethink your approach to dating your wife.
Dating your wife is a mindset. It’s not just the action of taking her out and showing her love every now and then. On the contrary, it is constant thought and action, and building this mindset requires reflection and initiative. Ultimately, dating your wife is a mindset of worship and service. But even before you take initiative and lead your wife in worship and service during your dates, you must first reflect on your dating mindset.
The best way to acheive a “dating mindset” is to reflect on what you did when you dated your wife. After all, your efforts produced great fruit here, so you must have done something right.
How did you treat her before you were married? How did you woo her? Sweet words? Deep conversation? Gentlemanly conduct? Flowers? Cards? Chocolates? Do you still do these things? You should. This is a part of dating your wife.
Doing these things just on Valentines Day is not sufficient. I know. I know. Your work is demanding, and your children’s schedules are chaotic—and vice versa.
If you have children or other time consuming awesome commitments, then you have to be more intentional, but that’s the point being made here. When you dated your to-be-spouse, you were intentional. That is the point.
Inventory your recent dating history with your bride. Ask yourself a few questions. How are you doing? What are you not doing? After this, take 30-minutes to develop a plan as to mirror what you did in the past. Do again what you did to win your bride!
Since Scripture is our ultimate authority and sufficient for all counsel, consult the Bible as you reflect. Look at the story of God’s provision of Eve for Adam. Reread the story of Jacob’s first encounter with Rachel or David’s encounter with Abigail. Read the book of Ruth and the Song of Solomon. Boaz and Solomon are beasts. Take some cues from their dating mojo. Ruminate on Ephesians 5.
Reflect on these words from Proverbs 5:18. “Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth.”
See her as you saw her on your wedding day. Pursue her like you pursued her before your wedding day.
Once you reflect upon your current dating mindset, then initiate your plan. Pursue her like Christ pursues the Church (Eph. 5.25-28).
Don’t wait for her to call you and say, “I confirmed the babysitter for Friday night.” Take the initiative and go get a babysitter for Friday night.
Don’t wait for her to plan a date. Be proactive in planning regular date nights—at least once a month, if not twice a month, or weekly.
If you can’t get out every week, have an in-home date. Afterall, your kids have a bedtime, and after they’re in bed, you don’t have to dial into Netflix, do work after hours, or have parallel time on your phones in bed (you know it happens).
What is more, set up a time early in the week for an in-home date, then swing by the Cheesecake Factory and bring home a slice of 30th Anniversary Chocolate Cake Cheesecake.
Split it. Ignore the Keurig. Pull out the Chemex. Make the fancy coffee you save for the weekends, guests, and when you don’t want to be lazy. Sit at the kitchen table and catch up.
You’re the husband; therefore, you initiated this whole relationship. And guess what? It’s like salvation.
You repented; you should keep repenting. You initiated; you should keep initiating.
Worship and Service
Dating your wife is worship and service. I know it is cliché, but everything you do in this life is for God’s glory, including dating your wife (1 Cor. 10.31). Dating your wife is not only an opportunity to cherish someone precious. It is an opportunity to shape her spiritually.
God’s invited you to lead your wife, so discuss the gospel with her on your dates. Talk with her about how you’re each doing spiritually, pray for one another, and make much of God together. With each of these intentional efforts, you glorify God and serve your wife.
This effort also witnesses to the world as you date your wife. The watching world sees how you provide, pursue, protect, and prize your wife. All of this points back to God and might very well be the catalyst for a gospel conversation you may have with others on your date.
I’ll be honest. I consulted my wife before writing this. She reminded me that men know how to date their wives. They just need to get into the mindset.
Men want a to-do-list or a formula. We want to nail it when it comes to dating our wife, just like we’re able to hammer a nail.
That’s what we think we need, but that’s not what your wife needs from you this week. She needs a mindset shift.
I could give you a step-by-step formula, but that just won’t cut it. You know the formula, which is how you got to where you are. You’re married; you’ve nailed the nail; you’ve just gotten clumsy.
We’ve all been there. We all need a mindset shift, and that includes me!
Reflect on your approach. Take initiative. Date your wife as worship and service. Change your mindset and change your marriage.
ABOUT JOEY: Joey is the Church Planting Intern at Redeemer Fellowship in St. Charles, Il under the coaching of Pastor Joe Thorn. He blogs regularly at jtcochran.com providing edifying content for families and pastors. He also reviews books from major Christian Publishing Companies. Joey has contributed to the Gospel Coalition, 9 Marks, Council for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, Gospel Centered Discipleship, Christianity.com and FaithVillage.com. He is married to Kendall and they have 3 children.
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