S01E006, Date Night, Marriage Matters
A Date Night, as far as Jo and Andy are concerned, is a designated, planned, quality time with your spouse where spontaneity does not have to go out the window!
In fact, Date Night, in Jo and Andy’s experience can be Date Day, Date Lunch or Date Drive! Anytime, any place when you spend time together as a couple is a kind of ‘Date Night’ or a variation on this theme and what you do with that time is totally up to you!
As ever, Andy B comes in with some scripture to inspire us and think more deeply of the value and principles behind Date Night – Date night per se might not be in the bible but the beauty and purpose of hanging together as a couple is!
Resources and Tips
Andy & Jo encourage us to be creative with our Date Nights; going out or staying in for meals together, playing games, watching films, doing stuff we enjoy!
Andy & Jo recommend that we plan our Date Nights, but not become so rigid or legalistic about these dates, be flexible, but make that time together when you can.
Check out the following bible verses to inspire and deepen your desire to spend quality time with your spouse:
- Genesis 2: 24-25
- Song of Songs 3:1-5
Andy and Jo
Andy 0:42 I do like me jingle! We're bopping away off camera. It's quite cool.
Andy 0:48 So, welcome to another Marriage Matters where we're not talking about jingles. We're talking about matters of the marriage that matter.
Jo 0:54 Yes.
Andy 0:56 'Cos they matter, like marriages. We're still working on the tagline. So, welcome to another edition of Marriage Matters. And this week, we are going to be looking at
Jo 1:07 Date Night, and I'm Jo.
Andy 1:08 And I'm Andy. But if you don't want to miss anything that we're doing and, let's be honest, who would wanna miss anything we're doing, you're gonna miss out. So, here's what you can do. All sorts of things. You could like us on Facebook. If you're not on Facebook, granted that'll be difficult. But, if you're on Facebook, you can like us on Facebook. You can subscribe to our YouTube channel, which has got all sorts of videos. I think we're about 300 videos now on there, which are all free for to use, share, stream and download. And, the very, very best thing you can do. Well, not ever. But the very best thing you can do for us is to go to the website, www.BerryBunch.family. And if you go to the top of the screen, as per the little video right now, you click on the word that says Newsletter and you sign up. And then, every month, you get a newsletter by email.
Jo 1:59 Fantastic.
Andy 1:59 Unless you don't want it and you can cancel it. But you wouldn't want to 'cos you'll miss out.
Jo 2:03 Yeah, absolutely. So, welcome back to Marriage Matters. As I said
Andy 2:08 Matters that marriage.
Jo 2:09 Yeah, we're still working on that.
Andy 2:10 I'm shutting up!
Jo 2:11 Date night? I don't, I don't know if you've heard of it. It's kind of a phrase, isn't it that's used and it's come in.
Andy 2:19 Is it an English thing. American western?
Jo 2:21 I don't know. But what it is, the principle and the idea of it, is, to spend quality time together. Obviously, when you first get together with someone, when you're dating, before you get married, maybe, you set a date at a time to spend together. You go out for a meal, or whatever it might be. When you get married things change. Perhaps you spend more time together, or you're like ships in the night and you don't see each other very often.
Andy 2:40 Been there!
Jo 2:44 Yeah. So you, what we do is to try and get quality time, a time together. That's what we call Date Night. And we've watched a very funny film called
Andy 2:54 Can't necessarily recommend it
Jo 2:55 No, not necessarily
Andy 2:56 However, it's a very funny film.
Jo 2:58 But it's called Date Night. It's based on the idea of Date Night. And these, this
Jo 3:01 couple have got into doing a Date Night every week, but it's got very mundane, very boring. And things happen, and things get better for them. But, it's just this kind of stayed, kind of idea, of doing a Date Night to try and spend time together. But it's not really working for them. But the principle of Date Night is really about quality time isn't it, together.
Andy 3:02 Yes.
Jo 3:22 As a couple.
Andy 3:23 It's the importance not of doing, dating thing on a night. It's about having time. It's not about what you're doing, so much as being together.
Jo 3:31 That's it.
Andy 3:32 So, some really simple date nights that we've had. We went for a drive. I took Jo to work yesterday, in fact. I took her to work and back, and I bought her a sandwich, and we had a sandwich in the car.
Jo 3:42 Yeah!
Andy 3:43 And one of the things we always do. A little personal insight to the Berry family, is, whether we're having a pudding or a drink or a sandwich, we kind of chink it together. It doesn't really work with a sandwich, but it's the principle. It's the point of actually having time together, because it matters.
Jo 3:59 Yeah. So we're gonna talk about that, Date Night. But Date Day, Date Afternoon,
Andy 4:05 Date Drive.
Jo 4:06 Yeah
Andy 4:07 Date Walk.
Jo 4:07 It's the principle.
Andy 4:10 Sorry.
Jo 4:11 So we're going to unpick that a bit more.
Andy 4:13 And learn to speak
Jo 4:15 But we've got scripture of course. Andy's gonna share some scripture there. What was the first one? Genesis 2, 24 to 25.
Andy 4:21 I got, I got the wrong references
Jo 4:21 Oh
Andy 4:21 It's fine.
Jo 4:21 And Song of Songs. Are you gonna do that one first.
Andy 4:21 Well, I'm in Genesis now.
Jo 4:21 Okay.
Andy 4:22 "Therefore, a man shall leave his father and his mother, and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh."
Andy 4:36 And, Song of Songs. This particular Bible seems to not like Song of Songs, because no matter how slow I go, it skips. It's done it again. It just
Jo 4:45 You need one of them with tabs on the side.
Andy 4:47 I don't know what I need
Jo 4:47 to help you out.
Andy 4:48 No! I don't
Jo 4:50 So it's Song of Songs verse, chapter 3, 1 to 5.
Andy 4:54 I'm des, grrr
Jo 4:56 And we will dip into Song of Songs for Marriage Matters, 'cos that's the book of Marriage isn't it!
Andy 5:01 The book of love and marriage and I can't get Song of Songs.
Jo 5:03 I mean obviously, in the Bible, I don't think it actually says Date Night, does it, as such.
Andy 5:07 No, I'm nearly there.
Jo 5:08 Like I say that it's the principle of what Date Night's about, that quality time together.
Andy 5:13 Where on earth has Song of Songsgone ?
Jo 5:14 Love, romance, all of that stuff that's in Song of Songs. And we can do that today through Date Night.
Andy 5:22 Can I come back to Song of Songs?
Jo 5:22 Well come back to Song of songs after this break, shall we?
Jo 5:40 How do people talk to you normally? Do they talk in burning bushes?
Dave the Dog 5:43 Sit
Jo 5:44 Sit
Dave the Dog 5:45 Fetch
Jo 5:47 Fetch
Dave the Dog 5:47 Know what I say back?
Jo 5:48 What do you say back?
Dave the Dog 5:49 You chuck the stick? Get it yourself!
Jo 5:58 Dave, are you there?
Dave the Dog 5:59 Are, I'm here Are!
Jo 6:00 Oh. Hello, Dave. Oh, I think we've got the same problems last week. I can't see you./
Dave the Dog 6:05 Have you opened your eyes?
Jo 6:07 Yes, I'vew opened my eyes
Dave the Dog 6:08 Oh.
Jo 6:14 You name it. He could play it.
Dave the Dog 6:17 Pipe organ?
Jo 6:18 Pipe organ. Yeah, with all those
Dave the Dog 6:19 Lots of buttons, like a spaceship.
Jo 6:21 Spaceship.
Jo 6:22 Yeah, hey, you're looking good. Have you done something to your hair?
Dave the Dog 6:26 I had my hair sorted.
Jo 6:27 You had your hair sorted?
Dave the Dog 6:28 Went to the dog groomers.
Jo 6:29 Cor, brilliant. You look great
Dave the Dog 6:31 Thank you
Jo 6:31 It's good to see you.
Jo 6:38 Do you know what your name means Dave?
Dave the Dog 6:40 Dave
Jo 6:41 Dave. It just means Dave?
Dave the Dog 6:42 Yes
Jo 6:43 Well I looked it up and it's short for David, and it means beloved. That means your lovable.
Jo 6:50 Long for D.
Jo 6:58 Big long stick to help him protect his sheep.
Dave the Dog 7:02 I like sticks.
Jo 7:03 You like sticks?
Andy 7:31 I've, I've got the Song of Songs.
Jo 7:32 Yay.
Andy 7:33 I've bookmakred it and I've still lost it. Oh, this is flawless. What was the scripture?
Jo 7:37 Song of Songs, chapter 3, and it was verses 1 to 5.
Andy 7:41 Thank you.
Andy 7:41 "On my bed, by night, I sought him who my soul loves. I sought him but found him not I will rise now and go about the city in the streets and in the squares. I will seek Him who my soul loves I sought him but found him not. The watchman found me as they went about in the city. Have you seen him who my soul loves? Scarcely had I passed them when I found him whom my soul loves. I held him and would not let him go until I brought him into my mother's house, and into the chamber of her who conceived me. I adjure you oh daughters of Jerusalem, by the gazelles or the does of the field, that you not stir up, to awaken love, or awaken love rather, until it pleases?"
Andy 8:27 We've done the last bit before.
Jo 8:29 Yeah.
Andy 8:30 But what struck me about this particular part of Song of Songs is how much the wife, bride to be at this point, is trying to find her husband. He's she's trying to look for him. Well not her husband yet, but she's trying to find him. And one of the things I think that can so easily encroach in a marriage, is all this stuff happens, and you get married, and it's so exciting.
Andy 8:53 Dr. Neil Anderson talks about, I'm sure it was to get a laugh, but it's quite true. He said on the wedding day the bride is the best she's ever going to look. Then the laugh usually arrives 'cos it's quite funny. But then he points out why. He said the flowers, the dress, the lights, the colours, the fabrics, the tables, the dressings, everything is designed to help the beauty of the wife shine evermore. Hence, your bride is the best she's ever gonna be on your wedding day. It's not about all being downhill. It's about the amount of effort that goes into that one single day.
Andy 9:29 I remember being a church and saying to somebody on a Sunday morning. There was these beautiful displays around the church. "Wow, these are amazing flowers". I was about 15 by this point. "These are amazing flower displays. It just makes the church look so beautiful. Why can't we have this every week? Surely, we should put this much effort into every church service, to make the church congregation look the best". "Ah, well it costs money, you see, that's the thing. We had a wedding and we keep the flowers and."
Andy 9:56 That's somebody who's got quite stayed in their faith. And it's really easy, I think, to get stayed in the mountains, because children arrive, and work arrives and, and the house renovation projects arise
Jo 10:06 Yeah
Andy 10:07 And debt, and sickness, and all these things are trying to get our attention.
Jo 10:12 Absolutely.
Andy 10:13 But the husband and the wife are the most important part of that marriage.
Jo 10:17 Yeah, absolutely!
Andy 10:18 And if you forget that, you're in a mess.
Jo 10:20 Yeah.
Jo 10:21 And so Date Night's about rekindling that, that kind of love that we see in, and read about in Song of Songs. So romantic, so beautiful, perhaps not the words necessarily we'd use now, but we can still have that opportunity. We need to give ourselves a chance.
Andy 10:36 I don't talk about the gazelles or the does.
Jo 10:38 No, no.
Andy 10:38 It doesn't mean a whole lot.
Jo 10:39 No. But we still the principles are there, aren't they in the Bible to encourage us to really spend time, quality time, with our other halves. As you were saying busyness, children, distractions, all kinds of things come along, and we can sort of, there can be a bit of a distance between us. You can start to forget who that other person is, the person you've married.
Jo 11:01 Too easy!
Andy 11:02 And you hear it, don't you, whether it's either midlife crises, or kind of, well, it's sad to hear the divorce rates, and a lot of it is this, they don't know who they are anymore. Because, they're living separate and independent lives. And, I suppose, Date Night's about bringing back together because those things have to be done. You know, children need to be going to school. Work needs to be done. You know things come up. Troubles. We've talked about illness, we've talked about, that can be cause problems, but we can make an effort, can't we? So to rekindle and to keep that love alive.
Andy 11:31 Back to your first love?
Jo 11:32 Yeah.
Andy 11:33 The reason why I like the the Genesis reading, it may not be immediately apparent, but it rarely is with my brain.
Andy 11:40 "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife"
Andy 11:44 This is the English Standard Version.
Andy 11:46 "and they shall become one flesh. But holding fast to his wife"
Andy 11:50 I don't really think it matters what version of the, of the Bible you want to use. The point of that scripture is the husband and the wife are now joined together as one, not two halves, to make up a whole, it's one. And this is the thing. What Date Night's is, does. It reminds you of the importance of the other.
Jo 12:10 Yeah.
Andy 12:10 It really, I find it quite sad when I hear parents who say, you know that their children get in the way of, of their relationships. That the children sleeping in the bed all of the time. There's no medical need for this. We're not talking about that. In Marriage Matters w're always talking about God's best standard, not, kind of, some of the difficult stuff that comes along. But these parents are almost proud that yes, my children sleep them me and they're 10, they're 12 and they're still in the bed. And I'm just thinking, where's, usually it's the wife saying it. Where's the husband? Where's, where's your, where's your marriage?
Andy 12:38 I read some't the other day. And it reminded me a long time ago, when we lived in a one bed flat. And some of the, we had a house group, or cell group, home group, depending on where you live, but it was a Christian discipleship group. And they couldn't comprehend that we lived in a one bedroom flat with two children.
Andy 12:54 And what they were saying was, but how can you be married? I know we've touched on this before, but it was relevant to just go back there again. And what they were saying is how are you going to have sex together when you're in the same room as your children? That's a very, very western mindset. And we need to get away from some of these mindsets that are not biblical, and not helpful! And part of the husband and the wife coming together, as one, not two halves, is that they are now this unit, that needs to function. And your children will not, will not thank you, in 30 years time when the marriage is falling apart, because there's nothing holding you together, because you put your children ahead of your spouse. And that goes against scripture, by the way. So, if you think that's a really good godly thing, it ain't. It's not a biblical thing at all!
Andy 13:38 We're not talking about pushing your children away either. There's a balance to be had here. But there's this kind of parental model, and this is a little bit political, maybe, but I don't think it is it's not in the Bible! And there's this idea that somehow, if you can be with the children all of the time, and put them first all the time, they'll be more secure, and more happy, and it is not true. Children will be happiest when there are boundaries. And children will be happiest when there are consequences. And children will be happiest when Mum and Dad put each other first, ahead of the children.
Andy 14:09 And, again, we're not saying you ignore the newborn child that's screaming. There are seasons in life. But, we are saying there are principles in this book, which are important.
Andy 14:17 Empty nesters, I mean it you know, we can go all sorts of places with this. Empty Nesters is the idea that the children have now left the home. And it's just the husband and wife left. And so many marriages fall apart because they haven't been investing their time in each other.
Jo 14:30 Yeah.
Andy 14:30 Usually, stereotypically, the husband's invested all his time in work. And the wife's invested all of her time at home. Now, she doesn't need to work at home as she was. And he doesn't need to work like he was, at work. And what are we going to do together? Because they haven't been investing. It's never beyond redemption. God can do amazing things. But the whole thing of date night is that repetitive, continual, back to your first love.
Jo 14:54 Yeah, I can't remember when we introduced date night 'cos, I mean, when you first get married it's that honeymoon period. It's, you know, the, there's that first love and that keeps you going.
Jo 15:04 It wasn't always from the start?
Andy 15:05 No, I think it was a few years in, maybe we learned about it, and thought, hey, that's a great idea, we'll introduce it. But, I remember when we did introduce it, we kind of took our kids with us and said, look, you know, this, we're gonna, we're gonna have this time together. And it's important. And it's beneficial for you children, because if we're happy, then you're gonna be happy. And it's it's a win win situation. And so I think we sold it to our children, didn't we to say, hang on, this isn't just for us. This is for the whole family.
Andy 15:31 You say sold? It wasn't sold. We just offered it. Yes, you need to do this. Right. We're going to bed, see you, was pretty much the attitude.
Jo 15:38 Yeah.
Andy 15:38 They immediately grasped the nees.
Jo 15:40 Yeah, absolutely.
Andy 15:40 When we were first married, I drove trucks. Jo was a shift worker, and we would rarely see each other. When children come along, there's a different dynamic. When the children aren't there, initially for us, well, the time then we weren't working or away, and I wasn't saying this 'I'll see in three days, I'm going to Scotland on a job, when we were together, it was really important! We didn't have to make an effort to, to engage with each other, when we're in the house at the same time.
Jo 16:05 Yeah, yeah.
Andy 16:06 And I think that's the difference. When distractions came, careers got better, or the house became more of an involved thing from us, or the children came along. Well there's all sorts of things that can come along. That, that was the time I think when we
Jo 16:18 Yeah
Andy 16:19 And we didn't do it for a while, and it was not good. Because, I think, I think, we put the children first for too long. And although it's important with a newborn, I'll keep on going back to that example. As the child gets older, we don't want our children to ever be independent, that's really unhealthy and anti biblical, actually. But, we do want our children to be able to stand on their own feet to some extent, but not independently. But actually, when you're saying, look, boys, your mom comes to me first, she's, she's the most important thing, not you. What we've seen in our children, I didn't like saying that to start with, but actually we've seen such a confidence in them, and who they are in Christ, who they are in this family. Their, their security was great. And it got even more amazing. They're so outgoing, and because we've got this in the right order, God's blessed them.
Jo 17:05 It's, it's protection, isn't it? It's that, it's like we put boundaries for children, so that they're protected. And God does that for us, puts those boundaries. And God has a, is a God of order. And He talks about the order in the beginning, in Genesis isn't. In the beginning, you know, there's male and female. And, and so I suppose it fits, doesn't it. It kind of makes sense. I don't always understand it. And we're not always supposed to understand it. But, when you do follow God's, God's instructions, it seems to work out.
Andy 17:30 Funny that.
Jo 17:31 And I think, actually, the boys have turned around to us and says, w'hen are you gonna have date night?' They've actually encouraged us and they've turned around and supported us.
Andy 17:38 Yeah, I wouldn't say it's gone the other way, cos they, it wasn't a hard sell to them. It was like we think we should be doing this. Yes, you should!
Andy 17:44 But actually, if we haven't had a, you know, a long kiss for a while, you know, I remember various points when we've done this kiss, we've talked about the 15 second kiss before. But if the boys haven't seen us do it. I mean, what are they 11, 16 and 18. They push us together, "You haven't had a long kiss for a while".
Jo 17:59 Yeah.
Andy 17:59 Because it breeds security when parents are happy.
Jo 18:02 Yeah.,
Andy 18:02 It breeds security in the children. It creates more security than we can physically
Jo 18:06 Yeah.
Andy 18:07 generate for them ourselves. It's almost an indirect spin off, but it's far more powerful.
Jo 18:12 What I wanted also talk about was, it's not just Date Night, and encourage you to think outside of the box of the Date Night. It's more about that quality time. So, you can have a Date Coffee, a Date Morning, a Date Drive, as we were talking about. And we would encourage you to do different things. And we, we've talked about a Date Drive. We've had a sort of, we've just had things to do, so we've gone together just the two of us, and taking the opportunity to have a special sandwich or whatever it might be.
Jo 18:41 But, it doesn't have to be really expensive! It doesn't have to be, I mean, I guess, you need to plan don't you, and book it in, in a sense. That's the point of date night. It's something that you've booked in. You don't, you can have spontaneity, spontaneity can't you can have randomm
Andy 18:55 It sounds odd that you're going to diarize spontaneity. But here's what happens. When you diarize that spontaneity, you're creating a protected period of time, within which you are free to be spontaneous.
Jo 19:07 Yeah.
Andy 19:08 So it's not about booking in spontaneity, because that sounds a bit weird. But it's saying that we've got a, you know, a four hour window on a, you know, Tuesday morning, when we're actually on our own. And that's the time when we're gonna create some memory together. It could be going off for a walk. The other day, I took Jo to work, and brought her home and we had a sandwich in a lay by. It doesn't sound romantic, but, actually was. Because that's the point of romance. Romance is not what you do, it's the heart behind it.
Jo 19:35 Yeah.
Andy 19:36 We'll come back to that.
Jo 19:37 Yeah, absolutely. So that's Date Night, isn't it? It's time together. Oh, yes.
Andy 19:43 So, last episode, we talked about having COVID on our 25th anniversary, which is nobody's top 10, let's have COVID on our anniversary. However, I was really ill. If you want to know more about that, go and listen to last week's episode. But, we talked about how Jo had watched me overnight, and in the morning I woke up with a little, little, foam heart. And I've got the one that I gave to Jo and we've got a picture for the one that I gave to Jo. But this, sorry, that Jo gave to me. This is the one that Jo gave to me.
Andy 20:11 And all it is, is a bit of foam with a heart saying Happy 25, 25 years with me. And I drew some really dodgy looking wedding rings, signed my name and I drew some hearts. I had a black pen, and a red pen, on my bedside table, a pair of scissors nearby, a bit of foam stuff, which I cut into a heart shape. So, I generated for Jo an Anniversary gift. Now, I have a matching one like this. It's super precious. Not because of how skillful it is. It was a rush job. It wasn't exactly thought out! But, it's the heart behind it of wanting to say, I love you, I want you to know that I love you, and this is the best I have.
Andy 20:49 And I think the best I have is the point. It's not, okay, we've got some time what are we gonna do, oh let's go and watch our film. That might be a great way to unwind. But, what's the best that you can offer each other. And if we give each other the second best all the time, that's not going to sustain the marriage.
Andy 21:06 That's a bit like eating a McDonald's every single breakfast, lunch and dinner. It's not gonna give you every bit of nutrient that you need, and that nutrition's important. So, how do we do that? Well we have a well balanced diet. So have a well balanced date life! Are wee going into dating as well.
Jo 21:25 We've touched on it, haven't we.
Andy 21:26 A little bit.
Jo 21:26 A little bit.
Andy 21:27 Here's the thing. One of my best memories was a particular type of drink, and a French stick, in a particular park where we knew, where we met each other near. And we'd take a French stick, and we'd take some beef or ham, some cheese, and we'd take this special drink, and we'd just sit in the park and have a sandwich.
Jo 21:44 Yeah.
Andy 21:44 And that was something we did an awful lot of the time. Because we loved being with each other. This park was beautiful. And a French stick, I'm happy. So, it was great!
Jo 21:52 Yeah.
Andy 21:53 But date night. I think I get frustrated by the kind of Western mindset of what we have to spend for weddings. I've forgotten how terrifyingly expensive weddings are now. The more you spend on your wedding is not going to guarantee anything, it just means you've got a bigger bill for the wedding. Actually, it's the heart and the time and the effort. And date nights are the same thing.
Jo 22:12 Yeah.
Andy 22:12 Whenever you do it. We're using the phrase Date Night, but whenever you do that, it's dedicated time. It's not always gonna happen. If you're, you know, serving in the military and you're away for six months or a year, you're not going to have a weekly date night. So, you find another way of connecting as best as you can. But it's that 'as best you can'. It's not what you do or how you do it, or accomplish. What's the heart behind it.
Jo 22:32 Yeah.
Andy 22:34 And I think that's it.
Jo 22:35 Yeah. Shall we take a break.
Andy 22:36 Yeah.
Nathan 22:44 "Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life, and in the life to come."
Nathan 22:52 The point of this scripture is that while physical training is good, is beneficial for us. It keeps us fit, it keeps us healthy. It's not nearly as beneficial as spiritual training and all that makes up training for godliness, such as reading our Bibles, praying, and going to church. And that is the point of Endurance. It is to show how we can maintain self discipline, and how we can endure through our training for godliness. With that in mind, go check it out.
Andy 23:38 Is it You?
Jo 23:39 I don't know actually. Well it says it's the Top Tips and Resources section.
Andy 23:44 We havetips.
Jo 23:45 Yeah, we do have tips. Obviously, we're calling it Date Night. But that's, just, I mean, it's really quality time. And so what our top tip is, it can happen any time. It can be early in the morning. It can be at nighttime, lunchtime whenever
Andy 23:56 And that's gonna change over life.
Jo 23:57 Yeah, and but the point is, is planning it, which is important. Yes, you could have a random one. But the whole point of it is to plan quality time on a regular basis, but not get legalistic about it.
Andy 24:08 No.
Jo 24:09 So, and be creative. It doesn't have to be around food or drink. It can be games. We did play the Wii, some games, and we just had some fun with that.
Andy 24:18 We played Wii Bowling that was good. We played Wii Tennis until we had to stop because we were breaking things.
Jo 24:22 Yeah, well that was, that got dangerous.
Andy 24:25 We get a bit competeitive!
Jo 24:25 But we can laugh about the ones that don't work out. But you got to try stuff. The other one was we played Monopoly which didn't go so well. Monopoly's much better with more people.
Andy 24:34 We play it with the family all the time, without any issues whatsoever. We don't have, we've played Monopoly for months at one point every
Jo 24:42 yeah
Andy 24:42 single night we had a game and ongoing, and finish, start another one. Play monopoly together.
Andy 24:46 That didn't work. Yeah
Andy 24:48 That wasn't so good!
Jo 24:48 So games night, maybe, not so much! Although we do play Gin Rummy. That can be a bit of a Date Night can't it. But a film whatever it is what you know, you do the things that that you enjoy.
Andy 24:58 Mountain Biking.
Jo 24:59 Yeah
Andy 25:00 We've been cycling.
Jo 25:02 Went out at midnight, didn't we? So, again, it's about being creative, what works for you, and what will enable you, I suppose, to have that time together, that quality time that will bring you together and build memories. And maybe take a photo. So, when we went mountain biking, we always took a photo, a selfie, didn't we to, to capture that moment
Andy 25:20 Yep. Here's some encouragement. So, you might be thinking, well, that's great, how do I find time? I've always got my children, and I haven't got any family near me. I don't know anybody. Yeah, we know the feeling! We've managed to have date nights without friends and family for the last 15 years. Not that we haven't got any friends or family. But, we have no family to speak of. We've got no friends near us, 'cos just moved to a place where we don't know anybody so, and yet, we still manage it.
Andy 25:45 Our children are older. Having an 18 year old in the house is much easier. But, we've always managed it. And here's the thing, if it's important, you'll find a way. We've rarely had any spare money. I can't think of any date nights when we've gone out and spent money. I don't think we've ever been to a restaurant. I don't think we've ever had a
Jo 26:03 There was that one time when we were staying with some friends, and the boys went out to play, went to football.
Andy 26:07 So, there you go. Once in 25 years, we've had someone looking after the children so we can go out. And that was an anniversary. It happened to be rolling across an anniversary.
Jo 26:14 To be fair!
Andy 26:15 This is the thing. I, I get frustrated by all this stuff about spending money for date night, but don't ever think it's about money. You don't need money to have romance and love!
Jo 26:24 Yeah.
Andy 26:24 Romance can be a slightly dodgy looking foam heart. That's what I had lying around.
Jo 26:31 Yeah
Andy 26:32 Or buying Jo a little more, you know a little chocolate bar or something and sticking it in her lunchbox. You know, romance and Date Night. You haven't got to spend much.
Jo 26:39 No, absolutely!
Andy 26:40 In fact, you haven't got to spend anything, we never do. And we make do without even having lots of people to help us.
Jo 26:45 Yeah. Good one!
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Andy 27:49 And we're back for the last part of Marriage Matters. Date Night.
Jo 27:54 Yes.
Andy 27:54 There you go.
Jo 27:54 And we, you were gonna give you a challenge weren't you?
Andy 27:56 I was gonna give me challenge. So, here's the thing. I had a bit of a rant about spending money, and needing to have friends and family, and these lavish, romantic weekends away at hotels and stuff, and we've never afforded any of those things. So, find a zero cost way of romancing your spouse this week.
Andy 28:15 It could be drive them to work and bring them their sandwich. And it was zero cost for us because I had to go in and get some shopping, and take Jo to work, and it just corresponded. So, that counts as a zero cost way. So find a zero cost way of romancing your spouse
Jo 28:31 Yeah, good one. Good challenge that.
Andy 28:33 It's a good challenge, 'cos it's a free challenge and we like free.
Jo 28:35 Yeah.
Andy 28:35 It's, my favourite price.
Jo 28:36 Yeah. So what have we talked about? We've talked about Date Night is good, but we need to be creative. And so don't stick with the night. It could be lunchtime, evening
Andy 28:46 Whenever,
Jo 28:47 Whenever.
Andy 28:48 Find some time.
Jo 28:48 Thinking about time as well. It doesn't have to be a long period of time. I mean, it'd be nice if it could be a whole evening, or a weekend. But, you know, half an hour here that that'll work as well, you know. So don't be, don't be legalistic about it. Use the Date Night as a principle for, for really helping you to move along, and make your Marriage Matter by quality time. That's what we're we're on about.
Andy 29:12 Read Song of Songs together.
Jo 29:13 Yeah, that's a good one.
Andy 29:15 It's not complicated. It's a great book to read as a couple.
Jo 29:17 I mean we haven't actually touched on that but you can read you know, read the Bible together, or watch a sermon. I'm sure we've done that before. That can be your time together.
Andy 29:24 Yep.
Jo 29:25 It can be anything really can't it!
Andy 29:27 A little caveat is, don't think 'we'll watch a movie, ooh we've had date night'. If you plan together on your date night to watch a film, fine.
Jo 29:34 Yeah.
Andy 29:35 But don't cheat. Well, we watched a film, and we were in the same room, on the same settee. I mean, I fell asleep but you know we were together. That's not really in
Jo 29:43 Yeah
Andy 29:43 the spirit of giving your best
Jo 29:46 No, you need to be in the moment don't you!
Andy 29:48 Yes.
Jo 29:49 Don't forget our first love, so going Back to Basics as well. I suppose it's rekindling, isn't it, that romance and just, you know, having fun, and enjoying each other.
Andy 29:58 Don't be who you aren't!
Jo 30:00 Yeah.
Andy 30:00 Be who you you are.
Jo 30:01 Yeah. 'Cos if you're not particularly romantic, which I'm not necessarily, but I have, I've had my moments.
Andy 30:06 You have your moments when you bought us poisonous ivy.
Jo 30:10 What's it called?
Andy 30:10 Mistletoe.
Jo 30:11 Mistletoe!
Andy 30:11 Not ivy!
Andy 30:12 Yeah, it's one of the most romantic things, is bought me a plant that can kill me. Mistletoe! It was great fun though!
Jo 30:19 Date Night is a principle, not a rule, isn't it. And so much, it reminds me of what's in the Bible, isn't it. Some of it. It's the principles, not necessarily the rules, that we abide by. And so, yeah, Date Night is a really great idea! Something that can help you to have quality time together. But be creative. Have fun. be yourself!
Andy 30:37 My little takeaway.
Jo 30:38 Okay.
Andy 30:38 Which may be a bit of a rant, is, make sure you're putting your your spouse first. There's gonna be seasons in life, back to the newborn child, when your little one needs to be put first.
Jo 30:49 Yeah.
Andy 30:49 And that's fine. But, that's a season. It lasts for a period of time. And make sure you're putting your spouse first. We are 25 years married! We've got three wonderfully secure children, who are very happy and content. They all love Jesus Christ like we do. And I think a lot of that is because we put each other first. And in our Christian faith, bring it back to the Bible, we put Jesus first above all else. So, there's a principle there that we need to put somebody first and Jesus comes first. Jo comes first. So, Jesus comes first, then Jo, then the children and then kind ofwork in church.
Andy 31:24 Ooh. Church. Aargh church.
Andy 31:27 So there's a guy called Clive Calver, who is, is he retired now? He's proabbly retired. Gavin Calver, his son, runs the Evangelica Alliance in the UK. Years and years ago, Clive Calver used to babysit me, and it was quite good fun. Anyway. So, he had a thing about time, and I was told about this. And it really struck me,.
Andy 31:48 When he looked at his diary one time, he could have been out for 7 days, every week, at some't like 3 or 4meetings a night. And he said, Well, if I can't do that, then I need to do less than that. And if I need to do less than that, my family really needs to come first. 'Cos he was ridiculously busy. And he had this thing of reducing it down, and protecting certain nights. And don't let church become your mistress! And that's not fickle. And I'm not being daft. It's so easy for your first love to become church, serving church. But, here's the thing. Church is important. But it's not as important as Jesus, or God. It's not as important as your relationship with your other, with your spouse, with your other half.
Andy 31:48 We've been in full time ministry. We know the challenges of a something hour week, for church, but we still put each other first. So, we know what full time ministry is like. And we know what ministering in a church is like, which is a very, very different kind of mentality, and set up. But don't allow church meetings to rule over your life.
Jo 32:48 Yeah.
Andy 32:48 Nothing wrong with skipping church. Nothing wrong with skipping a meeting, if you haven't seen your spouse and you're thinking it's gonna be 10 days before we see each other again. So. Am I rambling and ranting? It's a bit of a rant? I've seen too many people and they're just, they're brokenhearted because their ministry has become too important.
Andy 33:06 Your family, especially to the men here. Your family is your first priority. It's your first ministry.
Jo 33:13 Yeah.
Andy 33:14 So, my first ministry is caring for Jo.
Jo 33:16 Yeah.
Andy 33:16 And then the boys. I'll stop ranting.
Jo 33:19 Yes. So.
Andy 33:20 A bit passionate about this one.
Jo 33:22 So That was Date Night.
Andy 33:24 That was Date Night.
Jo 33:24 Hopefully you've been inspired to create your own Date Night, if you don't and perhaps you already do it. But, yeah, there's lots of things we can do to keep our marriage going strong.
Andy 33:36 Marriage Matters. So make Matters of the Marriage Matter. See ya!
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Written by BerryBunch.family