Do you have plans to go out on a date with your spouse this Valentine’s Day?
The best thing you can do for your kids is to leave…for the night…with your spouse. We all love our kids and want what’s best for them. We sign them up for activities and sports, which is good. We want them to have time with friends, which is good. We want them to make good grades, so they will get into a good college, so they will get a good job, so they______________, which is good. We all want to fill in that blank with good things. But if we are not careful, we might forget to do the thing our child needs most: love our spouse. Philip Cowan, Ph.D., a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who has studied families for decades with his wife, psychologist Carolyn Pape Cowan, Ph.D. says, “Kids whose parents’ relationship has cooled are more likely to have behavioral or academic problems than kids of happy couples. Even if you can’t see yourself going out on a date for yourselves, do it for your kids.”
My wife and I go on a date almost every week. We take a few hours each week just for us. We work out together, see movies, have a meal, we talk, ask each other silly questions, and do that other fun thing couples do. We have uninterrupted time to re-connect. Dating lifts our heads from the chaos of kids and work, and makes us see each other. Dating matters. It really matters, but not just for us, for our kids. Carol Ummel Lindquist, Ph.D. and author says, “The irony is that a strong relationship with your spouse is one of the best things you can do for your kids. You and your spouse are modeling a good relationship, which sets your children up for better marriages themselves when they grow up.”
Dads, the best thing you can do for your children is to love their mother. Moms, the best thing you can do for your children is to love their father.
Do you want your kids to have a marriage like yours? Because they more than likely will. So, model fun and connection and make it a priority in your marriage. The best thing you can do for your kids is to leave…for the night…with your spouse.
So, definitely plan on going out to celebrate sometime next week for Valentine’s day, but also think about how and when you and your spouse will make dating a priority throughout the rest of the year.
Ted Lowe is the founder of an organization called MarriedPeople, a partner of Orange, which creates resources and training tools for leaders that work with married couples. Ted also co-authored the book, “MarriedPeople: How Your Church Can Build Marriages That Last”. He lives in Cumming, Georgia, with his four favorite people: his wife, Nancie, and their three children. Read more from Ted on the MarriedPeople Blog or on Twitter.