So God Made a Mother Collection ➔

“Don’t worry, Mom, I’m an expert.” I think this must be one of my elementary kids’ favorite phrases to say. Said with their toothless grins and boyish gusto, I often laugh at their daring scooter tricks or air defying ninja moves.

And I, my friends, while not an expert, have some fun tips for date nights at home. You see, long before talk of quarantine or a virus or social distancing, my husband and I committed to dating each other inside the four walls of our own home.  

As with most major life decisions, a story lies behind it.

For 10 of our first 11 years of marriage, we lived states away from family, were on a single income, and had eash of our four children two years apart. (Crazy, I know. But we knew we were on the path God called us to, and we wouldn’t trade it, or them, for the world.) And although we would occasionally depend on the gracious generosity of responsible high school girls from our youth group or trusted moms from our church, dropping the kids off at grandmas for the evening was never really an option. So we invented our own options. As a couple, we discovered new, fun and exciting ways to keep each other first in our marriage and date each other no matter the circumstances.

Those simple, home-bound nights when I pushed aside the pile of unfolded laundry or walked away from a sink full of dirty dishes to date my husband, I wouldn’t trade for the world of movie screens or fancy restaurants. Even now, my favorite date nights continue to be the ones we invent together in our kitchen and living room after our kids are in bed for the night. 

For such a time as this, all hope is not lost in the world of romancing your love.

RELATED: Dear Husband, I Need Us To Be a Team Now More Than Ever

You can still date your spouse in your living room. 

And you can still create memories together that rival being at the most scenic dating spots.  

Try out one of these tips, or create your own, and watch your love life with your spouse continue to grow and flourish. You can still love each other well. 

1. Be intentional. 

Like any great date, this takes planning and effort. But there are no rules. Your creative ideas are the only limit. Sometimes our date night in we’ll plan together the week or even the day before. Sometimes it’s a surprise for one of us. But intentionality takes it from a great thought to a great date. Whatever you decide to do or space you create for the night, make it intentional. Intentionality creates a great dating atmosphere. 

2. Wait until the kids are in bed for the night (and make it easy on yourself to get them there). 

Can I just say, I’m a huge fan of chicken nuggets, boxed mac and cheese, and paper plates? Every date night in, my kids get to eat this for dinner, and they love it. And I love it because it’s easy preparation and cleanup. Easy equals on-time bedtimes. Easy equals calm bedtimes. Easy equals intentional, loving time to tuck the kids in without making them feel pushed aside for something better. Make it easy. It will set the mood for the rest of your date night.

3. Learn something new together.  

In our house, this looks a lot like cooking new meals. I love to cook. My husband loves to eat. It really is a match made in heaven. For many of our date nights in, we have taught ourselves how to make homemade pesto for shrimp fettuccine, tikka masala to go with our favorite naan bread or mushroom risotto to pair with steaks. Cooking a new recipe is fun, relaxing and something we discovered we love learning together.  And we would have never known we loved this about each other unless we started date nights at home.

4. Don’t set expectations. 

Sometimes we eat by candlelight all dressed up with grandma’s fine china. Sometimes we sack out on the couch and watch a movie in our PJs. Sometimes we have deep and meaningful conversations. Sometimes we just have fun laughing while playing cards or a game. Sometimes we collapse in bed after tucking in the kids and end up falling asleep in the silence. If your only expectation is to spend meaningful time together, each date night in could look and feel completely different and yet still be a night that is good for your hearts and marriage. Don’t let the tyranny of expectations ruin the opportunity for a great date in your living room.

RELATED: Dear Husband, I Loved You First

Whatever you decide to do for your date, I wish you and your spouse a fun-filled night full of love and laughter. May you take the time to push aside the laundry and walk away from the dirty dishes and love your spouse well while you are at home.

Beth Sickel

Beth Sickel is a God-seeking pastor's wife and mama to her four favorite little people. She loves coffee, cooking, and all things outdoors. Beth blogs and speaks about creating space for Jesus—conversations to burst in wonder in your hearts and homes.

A Medical Diagnosis Challenges a Marriage

In: Cancer, Living, Marriage
Bald woman holding clippers over husband's head, color photo

It is no secret now that Albert Pujols and his wife have announced their divorce shortly after she had surgery to remove a brain tumor. As a breast cancer survivor, this news hit me in a special way. As I was reading through an article from Today, there was a quote that hit me hard, “But a marriage falling apart is far more common when the wife is the patient, researchers have found. A woman is six times more likely to be separated or divorced soon after a diagnosis of cancer or multiple sclerosis than if a man in the relationship is...

Keep Reading

Dear Husband, I Don’t Want To Fight

In: Marriage
Husband and wife facing away from each other on bed

Dear husband, It seems like every month, we are embroiled in the same “discussion,” which inevitably turns into an argument, and if we go down the well-worn path, eventually becomes an ear-splitting match.  Talking over each other’s voices, we battle it out in an attempt to be heard. The more we try to explain ourselves to each other, the farther apart we push each other. Still, we persist. We want so badly for each of us to try to understand where the other is coming from, but we can’t seem to do it at this moment. You think, If only...

Keep Reading

The Conversation We’re Forgetting To Have About Birth

In: Baby, Marriage, Motherhood
Woman having a baby man holding her hand

My husband lay sleeping, his head resting on a fluffy, down-stuffed pillow in our hotel room. His bag was packed neatly, ESPN was playing quietly in the background, and he had unopened snacks at his disposal on the end table. Our hotel phone rang, and my husband groggily answered, ”Yes? Oh, sorry. Yeah, we’ll keep it down. Sorry.” He hung up and found me miserable and shaky in the shower, the thin shower curtain clinging to my legs.  “Steph, we got a noise complaint. You have to keep it down!” he whispered. This is not how I expected labor to...

Keep Reading

Is Our Love Enough To Withstand the Devastation of Addiction?

In: Marriage
Couple walking hand in hand black and white photo

I lie awake at night listening to my husband’s breathing. He is clearly asleep. I, on the other hand, am wide awake feeling sad and alone. Where did we go wrong? How did we end up here? I look back fondly on those early days when we were madly in love. We couldn’t get enough of each other. It was like there was a magnet pulling us toward each other, insisting that our bodies connect. A caress under the table, a hand on the small of my back, there was always some part of us touching. I felt loved and wanted....

Keep Reading

My Husband Makes Me a Stronger Woman

In: Grief, Loss, Marriage
Daddy standing over hospital crib with infant, black-and-white photo

A little over a year ago, my husband and I went through the unimaginable. We lost our child, Lillian, to a congenital heart defect. The days following that, and even to this day, people will comment on how strong I am. How well I’ve dealt with this darkness. How they can’t imagine what I am going through. The truth is I was never alone. From the day we found out I would give birth to a child who had complex heart defects, my husband has been there. Always in the background of what others saw but ever so present in...

Keep Reading

I’m Mostly a Mom Right Now and Sometimes I Forget How to Be a Wife

In: Marriage, Motherhood

Sometimes it’s easy to take you for granted. Sometimes it’s easy to put my focus on other people, things to get done, places to go. Sometimes it’s easy to assume that you’ll always be there. But sometimes I need to make you a priority. I need to thank you for your hard work, your dedication to me and the kids, your selflessness. I need to ask how your day was, take an investment in your interests, and be more considerate of your needs. The hustle and bustle of everyday life gets in the way and is an easy excuse. Honestly,...

Keep Reading

Dear Husband, Where Did You Go? Where Did We Go?

In: Marriage

When did it all change for you?  When did you stop looking at me that way? You know, the look. The look you gave me when you wanted me. Truly wanted me. I could feel the desire for me down deep in my bones.  When did your smile fade? Actually, I think it has disappeared completely. It used to be so big it took up your entire face. Where did it go?  I remember being unable to keep our hands off of each other. There was a force pulling my skin to yours. It was magnetic. Do you remember that?...

Keep Reading

This Is the Phase of Marriage No One Tells You About

In: Marriage, Motherhood

Before getting married, I remember being inundated with advice. Don’t go to bed angry. Make time for date nights. Cling to your vows. Follow Jesus above all else. I took this as a “heads up” of all the trials and struggles my husband and I would face in our marriage. And while no one enters their marriage thinking it’s going to be full of problems, I understood it was a reality of marriage—a phase that we would go through and tackle together. The wedding also brought on a lot of words of encouragement and excitement. You get to grow old...

Keep Reading

Hardships Can’t Tame My Farmer’s Love For the Land

In: Living, Marriage

Like many young girls in the early 90s, I was obsessed with the Little House on the Prairie books. I collected the books, read them over and over, and even begged my family to visit Laura Ingalls’ house in DeSmet, South Dakota, on a family vacation when we drove across the Midwest.  Back then, I related more to Laura, her parents, and her sisters. As an 8-year-old, I wasn’t thinking about marriage—so the later books when she was married didn’t stick out as much to me. I pictured myself in place of Laura since we were about the same age....

Keep Reading

I Never Knew It Could Be So Hard To Have Sex With My Husband

In: Faith, Marriage

I was brought up in a Christian home and church where sex was never discussed. The only thing I knew was that I was supposed to wait for marriage. Sex was always taboo. Something shameful to hide away and never even be mentioned outside of telling kids to wait for their wedding night.  Now here I am, married for nine years with three kids, and I still feel uncomfortable with sex. I still feel like it’s wrong. I still feel unsure and uncomfortable with the whole thing. But that isn’t what God intended for us. Sex wasn’t meant to be...

Keep Reading

 5 Secrets to Connect with Your Kids

FREE EMAIL BONUS

Proven techniques to build REAL connections