I’ve had so much encouraging feedback recently about having date nights with the kids.  I’ve arrived in the Pinterest world with Date Night with Mom #1 and Date Night with Mom #2 posts.  Not sure what that means really, but it seems like it has struck a chord with many people concerning the need to spend some one-on-one time with children.  It has inspired some parents to begin to teach their children how to raise boys into men and girls into women.  That’s great.

But to make those dates work, you got to make sure that this date come first and maintains priority:

Date your spouse.

Don’t stop dating your spouse when you have kids.  Don’t stop doing romantic things for them the longer you are in the relationship.

In fact, the most loving thing you can do for your children is love your spouse!  It brings security like nothing else.  It sets an example so that they don’t settle for less.  And it shows them that you were together before them and you will be together after them.

This week, set aside some time for an adult conversation date. Get a babysitter (grandparent, swap nights with another couple in your group, etc.) and go to a nice place to eat that your budget will allow. Here are the rules:

  • Dress Up – Get a shower and change clothes from what you worked in that day.
  • Really Leave the Kids – It’s OK to wonder what the kids are doing, but don’t call or limit your conversation to the little people running around your house.
  • Take Your Time – Eat slowly. While you do have to go home tonight, you don’t have to be there in the next five minutes. Your kids are probably throwing food somewhere right now, but they aren’t throwing it at you right now – so enjoy this time.
  • Checkup – Ask your spouse how he/she is doing. Not just the casual “how you doing” stuff either. Get down and ask what is inside them that is hurting, broken, scared, or joyful. Ask your spouse how you can take time this week to love them better. Ask your spouse, “How do you feel about us?”

Date your kids.  Raise them up right.  But don’t neglect your spouse in the process.  Your kids live with you for a season, your spouse for a lifetime.  Plan accordingly.

Travis Agnew is a Christian, husband, father, pastor, author, blogger, and religion instructor.