Happy At Home

(This post was originally published on the Baptist Churches of New England’s blog on October 18, 2022. You can find it here.)

If it’s been a while since you perused Deuteronomy, I highly recommend a refresher. There are several surprises scattered like Easter eggs throughout. One of the most stunning expectations is this: 

“When a man is newly married, he shall not go out with the army or be liable for any other public duty. He shall be free at home one year to be happy with his wife whom he has taken.” (Deuteronomy 24:5)

Can we just pause for a moment to appreciate this command? Imagine if our productivity-obsessed culture followed such a pattern, enabling newlyweds to simply enjoy one another without the stress of external obligations for a year. Considering the weight of context here—God’s holy standards for His people—this rule carries a fair amount of shock value to a society driven by endless output. My basic point? The Lord prizes great marriages far more than we do.  

In the spirit of Deuteronomy 24:5, I’d like to offer some date night ideas. 52, to be exact. Planning for fresh joy is holy work, even if it feels like you’ve been married since Deuteronomy was first written. It’s time to step up our dating game for the glory of God. So without further ado, here’s a year’s worth of romance: 

  1. Splurge on a dressy date night out, asking personal questions over dinner
  2. Cozy up by the fire and decorate mugs to drink cocoa from  
  3. Focus on winter wellness with a sauna visit, hot tub soak, or greenhouse stroll
  4. Put on some music and work a puzzle 
  5. Try your hand at pottery
  6. Enjoy a Valentine’s Day chocolate tasting
  7. Lace up those ice skates and perfect your glide
  8. Engage in a random acts of kindness spree together
  9. Connect over a stack of board games
  10. Stroll through the mall and window shop for one another
  11. Date like lumberjacks with axe throwing, pancakes, and lots of flannel
  12. Create a scavenger hunt around your town
  13. Have a DIY paint night 
  14. Find a new spring recipe and make it together
  15. Chat while you lie on a blanket looking at the stars
  16. Fix a gourmet breakfast for dinner, then eat it in bed
  17. Choose an odd holiday to celebrate
  18. Perform an epic duet at a karaoke spot
  19. “Kidnap” your spouse and go somewhere special
  20. Challenge one another to a nature walk photo shoot 
  21. Watch fireworks and share a banana split
  22. Join in on a few rounds of trivia at a local dive
  23. Go crazy with a spa night in
  24. Throw a fiesta with mariachi music and Mexican food
  25. Hit the road for a scenic drive and eat wherever you wind up
  26. Start a new book together
  27. Have dinner on the beach
  28. Play the newlywed game to see how well you really know one another
  29. Try a dessert tour around town
  30. Visit an orchard and pick your own berries
  31. Face off in a game of laser tag
  32. Serve together at a soup kitchen—then go out for coffee afterwards
  33. Find the most romantic local event you can and attend it
  34. Theme the night’s menu on a favorite movie, then watch it as you eat
  35. Create some sidewalk chalk art together in a nearby park
  36. Plan an intimate lakeside BBQ
  37. Hold hands and stroll through the fair
  38. Set up a tent and have s’mores 
  39. Enjoy an Instagram-worthy picnic somewhere beautiful
  40. Head to the drive-in
  41. Pick your favorite decade and plan a theme night
  42. Create some fall coffee shop vibes at home
  43. Find a craft on Pinterest to make together
  44. Indulge in a candlelit fondue feast
  45. Take an autumn foliage tour while listening to sappy love songs
  46. Assemble a caramel apple bar
  47. List what you’re thankful for about one another, then read them aloud
  48. Snuggle up for a Christmas movie marathon
  49. Hold the ultimate cookie bake-off 
  50. Stuff a shoebox for a child overseas or shop for an angel tree recipient 
  51. Gaze at lights on a late-night drive
  52. Review the year’s pictures, videos, and highlights together

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