When I was newly married, I worked as a personal assistant to a business man.  On Thursdays, every Thursday, I knew not to schedule his meetings past 5:00 and on Monday I would arrange a babysitter because that was the night he took his wife on a date.  I never ever saw him miss a Thursday date night the entire time I worked for him.  It was such a sweet gesture and I hoped that one day when Mr. Miller and I had a van full of children that we would prioritize dates the same way.

And then the years past and I found myself with a few children and I realized that it was NOT quite that easy.  Maybe I needed my own personal assistant?  I wasn’t sure, but for one reason or another, something always came up and dates were a rare occasion.  Mr. Miller and I would carve out time for ourselves after the kids went to bed and occasionally when a grandparent was up to the task, we’d sneak away for a quick dinner before the children became a burden to their caretakers and I accepted that dates were just hard to come by with young children at home.  The more we had, the harder it was.  Then when Brady got called into the bishopric at our church, we found that the time we had previously taken for granted, would now be precious time during our weeks.  As we sat down with the counsel and prepared for this new church calling, our bishop told us “Your marriage comes first – everything comes after that.  Make time for your marriage every single week and don’t let anything else come before that time.”

Duh.  Why hadn’t I thought of that in the first 5 years?  We had been trying to get a date in when nothing else was going on, not scheduling our dates before everything else filled up.  So that week, I called a sweet girl from our neighborhood who had always been sweet to my girls at church and asked her if she wanted to babysit that week.  When I dropped her off, I asked her what the next week looked like and scheduled her again, and then again the week after that.

I can’t tell you how wonderful having a weekly date night has been to our marriage.  To our entire family, really.  Each week we prioritize our date night over anything else.  It is quite rare for us to miss a date.  It is my favorite time of the week.  I get showered and curled and plucked and tweezed, I get fancied up in my fanciest outfit while the girls help me pick out my lipstick for the evening.  They look forward to their night with Miss Ellie, while I look forward to some quality time with my Mr. Miller.  He whisks me away after work and we don’t arrive home until the children’s bedtime.

Usually we go to dinner, sometimes we go to a movie, or on a hike, or on a drive.. The truth is I don’t care at all what we do, as long as I’m with him.  It’s our little bit of the week to remember that we loved each other before all the kids and the house and the jobs, and we love each other still – even more, actually.  We get to talk about things without being interrupted with potty breaks and reminders to take another bite.  We reminisce, we plan, we dream, we laugh.  Every week.  It’s a great little breather from the world.

Life gets so busy, and if we don’t take the time for our marriage, it shows. When Mr. Miller and I turn into what I call “The Bickerson’s”, I know we need to spend some good quality time with each other.  This is a little something I’ve learned from our 8 years of being in love.

If I have any advice for any couple, it would be to take time every week and prioritize it above everything else.  Take your marriage seriously and make the time necessary to bond together as a couple.  Don’t take your marriage for granted.  Dating doesn’t end at the altar!

Now, if you’ll excuse me.. I have to get ready for my hot date tonight.