3 ways dating your spouse is like prayer; and 2 keys to getting better at both! {WW Linkup}

Dateyourmate

Steve PareI’m grateful to have Steve Pare from Spouse Dates guest posting with us today! Steve has an incredible and much-needed vision to encourage couples to pursue their mates through dating. You’ll find practical resources like – testimonials from couples who’ve found dating to be crucial to their satisfaction, as well as, a free e-book, 75 Micro Dates over at his blog. Look for the link to Steve’s freebie below!

Dating your spouse like prayer? Yes. They are alike in at least three ways.

 

Three ways dating your spouse is like prayer . . .

1. Both are relational practices.

Prayer has to do with your relationship with God. Dating has to do with your relationship with your spouse. Both are about pursuing a relationship. Both practices demonstrate the pursuit of a deeper connection.

2. Each can take many different forms.

Prayer can be individual or corporate, spoken or silent, spontaneous or memorized, personal or a ritual, a single breath or a 40 day fast.

Dating can be free or costly, spontaneous or planned, exciting or routine, a big date, a small date or a Micro Date {freebie Beth was talking about!}.

3. We encounter the same problem with both.

We may initially think that by dating or praying we will automatically be led to a deeper and more loving relationship. But the pathway both these practices lead us on is not that easy.

Neither prayer nor dating will automatically lead to anything. The problem is that we inevitably encounter resistance.

A deeper look at the common problem . . .

With both dating and prayer, when our pursuit is challenged we are tempted to accept that the resistance is simply the way it is. Once we accept this, our pursuit slackens and our initiative slows.

We tend to settle for things the way they are instead of continuing to pursue the desire of our hearts. The chasm between what is and what should be is accepted and we conclude that the chasm cannot be crossed.

Discouragement settles in. We think things like: “I tried and it did not work.” “Things will never change.” “Prayer is useless.” “My marriage is what it is and there is no point in pursuing anything different.” “Why try since it will only lead to more disappointment.”

Two keys to overcome the problem of resistance (and get better at prayer and dating your spouse)

Two keys to improving both your dating and prayer practices are implied in what Jesus said in Matthew 7:7-8

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” {v. 7}.

Ask. Seek. Knock. These are intentional acts.

Key # 1 is to set your intention to pursue regardless of resistance.

What if you imagined prayer and dating as if they were a game of tag, and when you meet resistance you are “it”? It is your turn to “seek”.

Just because what you seek is not easily found does not mean you stop “seeking”. The object of your pursuit is a person who loves you and wants to be loved by you.

“For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” {v. 8}.

Key # 2 is to adjust your expectations to include resistance being overcome.

Feelings of disappointment, discouragement and disillusionment often have to do with our experience not matching our expectations.

Expect resistance and embrace its benefits.

“The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something.” ~ Randy Pausch

Dating your spouse and prayer are both relational practices that encounter resistance, which when overcome expands our capacity to love and enjoy our relationship.

Press through the resistance.

Tag! You are it!

 

What are the benefits of pursuing your spouse even when and if they resist moving closer to you?

 

How has dating your spouse improved your marriage?

 


Joining with my friends at Giving Up on Perfect, Wifey Wednesday, Mondays @ Soul Survival, Coffee and Conversation, So Much at Home and Wholehearted Wednesday.

Now it’s time for Wedded Wednesday . . .

Find our other WW buttons and guidelines here.

Messy Marriage

And don’t forget to include a link back here, because the easier people can find me, the more traffic I can send your way!

  • We learned the hard way that dating isn’t just for us – it’s for our kids, too. They need Mom and Dad to be strong and in love with each other. We’re the foundation of the family. Great thoughts here, thank you!

    • Thanks, Becky! You are absolutely right about how dating is for the kids too. That is not easy to get at first since the two can seem at odds, giving attention to the kids vs. giving attention to our spouse. Our marriage is the backbone and needs to be kept healthy and strong for the kids sake too.

  • Thank you for these reminders Steve! It is much needed. Have you ever heard of the escape velocity as it is referred to in the book The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson? He talks about any new habit having a certain amount of resistance. Your key points reminded me of this. Thank you for guest posting here and sharing with us!

    • Cassie, I have not read the book (yet) but I have studied habit formation quite a bit and know what he is referring to. Discipline and will power are short term solutions and should be applied to the building of habits that can become strong with out much added effort. That runway may be challenging but once we are in the air, so to speak, it becomes much easier. It does apply to prayer and dating habits too.

  • JosephPote

    Good exhortation! Thanks for sharing!

    • My pleasure. Thanks for your encouraging words, Joseph!

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  • Amen! Backing out of prayer and dating our spouse is only an option when we lose sight of what in both cases the people we pursue mean to us.
    Thanks so much for this exposition Steve. And thanks for sharing this with us Beth, have a super blessed day!

    • It is really about loving pursuit in both cases. Thanks, Ugochi!

  • Mary

    I love the comparison of dating and pursuing your spouse with prayer. Great practical ideas! Thank you!

  • Thanks for the opportunity to share, Beth! I really love what you are doing with Messy Marriage to champion healthy and strong marriages! I look forward to more collaboration in the future.

    Blessings,
    Steve

    Just to clarify for anyone who may have missed the link in the post, my free ebook can be found at http://www.spousedates.com/welcome.

    • You are quite welcome, my friend! Your encouragement and kind words mean a lot to me, Steve, but especially your similar heartbeat for marriage. That’s where I love linking arms with you and other bloggers as we seek to be those vessels that God uses to bring healing and help. It’s a privilege to highlight your “voice” in the “choir” today! Thanks also for clarifying about your freebie. I will add a clarification above too. 🙂