Encouragement Date Night

Encouragement Date Night:  Spend time reflecting and sharing with your spouse all of their strengths and talents.  Spend a meaningful evening together on an out-of-the-ordinary date night.  realmarriedlife.comLast week, we went on a date out to dinner, but that was the only typical part of the night.  It was a bit unusual, and it was definitely one of our more serious dates.

After we ate, we planned to linger for a while to write in journals we brought along.  We spent about 30 minutes writing a list about the other.  We listed what we loved about the other, areas where they are incredibly talented, and the best and most admirable traits about the other.  It wasn’t an all-inclusive “what I like about you” list (i.e. your eyes, your smile), but instead we constructed lists of the most profound and meaningful things we notice about the other’s life.

After writing for almost 30 minutes, we each took about 30 minutes to share with each other and explain what we had written.  There’s nothing special about the time frame–I just mention it to give you an idea of how deep we were going and the considerable amount of time that is sometimes needed for genuine encouragement.

This night was important for us in many ways:

  • First of all, it was great for me to have a large amount of time set aside to offer specific and purposeful encouragement to my  husband.  Words of affirmation is one of Ben’s most needed love languages.  And, as life goes, opposites attract, and affirmation is the one I am least likely to give — an area in which I will constantly need to grow.  Sometimes I need time set aside like this to help me focus.
  • Second, the time was just what we needed to reevaluate our purpose.  It’s good to get in the practice of assessing life every 6 months or so and see where your dreams and goals align with reality.  It was also invaluable to see our talents through the eyes of the one who knows us best and realize what we have to offer the world as well as what talents we can further develop.
  • Third, this date night brought us so close together.  Through some really meaningful conversation and time to dream, we left dinner that night feeling really connected as a couple at a deep emotional level.
I want to challenge you to spend some time reflecting about your spouse – first what they do that makes them special, then dig deeper to who they are.  It may be difficult at first.  Take the time and keep going.  Because you are the one who bears witness to both failures and successes, your words mean more than anyone else’s words.  (And that goes for both criticism and encouragement.)  If you’re both up for it, take a night for your very own Encouragement Date.  It may be just what your marriage needs!


  1. Love this!!! When Jason and I first got married – we had a journal where we would write each other love notes so that our messages back and forth would be in one place. I was just thinking of that journal and how we should start it up again! Your post was motivation to do so… thanks! :)

  2. I keep a journal of “reasons I’m glad I married you” for my husband, so we have some of this encouragement going on already.
    However, it might be nice to sit down together and express these encouragements face-to-face.
    Thanks for the idea!
    Shannon recently posted…The Dream in Fulfillment: What My Interracial Marriage Has Taught Me About Racial Harmony in the U.S.My Profile

  3. Great post, Jo. And what a great way to build a marriage. My husband and I are in complete agreement with you and practice these things also to keep our marriage ever strong and oh so sweet. Glad to have stumbled upon your blog from Kendra’s. Blessings…
    Sheila at Longings End recently posted…15 ways to be intentional in your marriage…My Profile

  4. Wow, what a great idea. I love this! Words of affirmation are important to my husband too. We used to have a journal where we would write daily notes to one another and to the kids. Notes of love and encouragement and sometimes cute little drawings. We just got away from it somehow but it was a great way to reconnect!

    Thanks for linking up to the “Making Your Home Sing Monday” linky party!


  1. […] an example: In my post Encouragement Date Night, I shared how Ben and I took journals with us out to dinner and made a list for the other of their […]

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