Do you remember dating your spouse? If you were like us, there was some attempt to be creative and interesting on dates. After all, we were trying to impress each other. Fast forward a few years and with children, you are lucky if you even have a date night. When you do, who has the energy to be creative? So, most of us end up eating out and talking about the kids and what needs to be repaired or falling asleep in a movie theater.
The set-up is a little unique compared to similar books. Each date has a theme, but most include several suggestions for where to have the date. My favorites were the ones that encouraged the couple to step out of their comfort zones during their time together. They even suggested some specific activities and one-time classes if you have trouble thinking of ideas within a category. (They even have ideas for “at home – no money” dates).
When my daughter was younger, my husband took her to lunch at the revolving restaurant in our city. I will never forget how animated she was on their return, describing to me the pros and cons of eating while the restaurant moves in circles. I loved the years when the local Girl Scout Council threw a 1950’s daddy/daughter event. The pictures of them dressed in their ’50’s finery are some of my favorite ones of them together.
There is nothing more special than the bond between a father and daughter. That relationship can change everything from how your daughter views her body to the husband she chooses to how she sees God. Yet, many fathers have only a passing relationship with their daughters. They know nothing about the young woman their daughter has become and as a result have much less influence in her life than is best for her (or her father).
Years ago, someone started the idea of dads taking their daughters on “dates” – doing something special together. A special time when fathers can really get to know and bond with their daughters while creating lasting memories.
When I learned Robin Jones Gunn had paired with Cindy Hannan to write a devotional book for “sister chicks” (A SisterChick’s Devotional: Take Flight), I was curious. Would the book appeal to mothers and daughters? Could it encourage mother/daughter devotional times for teen girls and their moms?
Gentle is the word that comes to mind after reading this devotional book. Now, I am the first to admit, most devotional books don’t do anything for me. I think it has something to do with the hurried feeling many of them have. Sisterchick’s was different. Instead of feeling restless after reading several entries, I wanted to continue reading to see what was next.
Trips to bookstores are one of my favorite ways to relax and even splurge occasionally. I enjoy lingering through many sections just to see what interesting books are being published. I have even been known to purchase a children’s book so I could read it for myself.
There is one section though that disturbs me. The next time you walk into a place selling books, amble over to the teen section. Most likely, you will find it overflowing with very dark books. Yes, the covers are almost all dark now, but what lies inside the covers is often worse. Stories are crammed with demons, wizards and dark magic. Not to mention the ones encouraging ugly behavior or making girls think they are somehow defective if they aren’t experimenting with alcohol, sex and/or drugs.
Remember when you and your spouse started dating? If you were like us, you spent hours talking about everything under the sun. You learned about each other’s families, shared hopes and dreams and eventually decided to share your lives permanently.
Fast forward a few years and now you have a child. Or children. Perhaps lots of children! Each child seems to come with his or her own set of needs and dreams, which often keeps us in constant motion. Some days, you are lucky to give your spouse a quick kiss before collapsing in exhaustion. An actual meaningful conversation seems an impossible dream.
Our marriages aren’t necessarily bad, but over time couples with children can slowly start drifting apart and may even divorce. Yet study after study teaches us children fair better in homes with healthy marriages. I would imagine the stronger the marriage, the better the possibility for positive results.
We know the health of our marriage is important, but that requires work we don’t think we have the time to do right now. All of those meaningful conversations during dating have long sense dissolved into discussions of who will take whom where and what needs to be fixed around the house. You are not even sure you have time to know yourself anymore and your spouse is slowly becoming an acquaintance.