The following 2-part guest series is contributed by Jake Waits. He has some great ideas for romancing your spouse and keeping your marriage alive throughout the demands and pressures of ministry. Oh, and you men, remember Valentines Day is this Saturday!
Mission: Cheapest Date Ever!
Yes, this sounds really “cheap” but it was a lot of fun! One week I was planning a date for my wife who was at that time almost my fiancé! She didn’t know that I happened to be a bit tight financially that week but I decided to not let that hold us back from having a good time. I decided to have fun with planning the date around the idea of being as cheap as possible. I went to a local dollar store and picked up a candle and candle holder. I also got a card and a single rose before the date. I used to make a cd for each date as well that had some crazy title or word that maybe we had talked about before. I tried to pick songs on each cd that I knew we would enjoy together. Some cd’s were very silly and others had a more serious tone to them depending on the tone of the date that I was going for.
Once I picked her up for our date, I explained the whole concept of having the cheapest date ever. We went to a local carousel that only cost a dollar donation to ride, rented a cheap movie together, then ordered food off of a dollar menu at a fast food restaurant. We then went and parked (not the kind of parking you are thinking about!) in a theater parking lot, had a cheap dinner by candlelight and watched our movie rental on my laptop! This date is still one of our favorite dating memories that we share together to this day!
Cost for the date: $10-15
Extravagant, But Not Too Extravagant
This date requires you saving some money over the period of a few weeks or even month or so depending on how much you want to put into this date financially. I really didn’t have to spend a ton of money to do this date but it did require me saving some before I pulled it off. I let my wife know near the end of the week of the date that she needed to have her bags packed for an overnight stay somewhere not too far away from home. It was fun to keep her guessing until the night of the date. A few weeks before, I made reservations at a Hilton Garden Inn that was only twenty minutes from our home. This was convenient for us since my wife and I had a newborn child. My in-laws were already planning to baby-sit for the night of the date! The hotel stay for a suite room was only around $130.00. The day of the date, I checked in at the hotel early and set the room up with roses, small gifts that I worked on myself that were fairly inexpensive and with a song I had written that was displayed in a picture frame. My guitar was placed near the framed song. I also gave her a blank picture album that evening so that we could take pictures on our date and fill the album up later! I spent some time compiling music and pictures that I put together to make a sweet slideshow of us and our baby on Windows Movie Maker.
The night of the date, we went out to eat at a fairly nice restaurant then we retired for the evening early and went to the hotel to enjoy everything that I had put together for her in the hotel room. She walked in, surprised to see that I had already been there and had the “mood” set! I played the song that I had written for her that evening, we watched the movie I put together on our laptop and we had a great time enjoying each other and the luxurious room for the evening. Breakfast was off the chain at the Hilton the next morning too!
Cost for the date: $200.00
Movie Night In The Church Choir Room
About a year ago, I set up a couch, candles, a coffee table, etc. in our church choir room. We have a really sweet and BIG flat-screen tv in this room so it made for yet another great cheap date for the evening! I love the element of surprise so she had no clue that we were about to have a date in the church that night! I told her that I had forgotten to turn off a light in the church and asked her to come in with me for a minute. She came in and noticed the set-up when we walked into the room and was completely caught off guard. I had candles lit, the tv ready to play the movie and everything in place. We popped popcorn and had some cold drinks while we enjoyed our movie together!
Cost for the date: $3 or $4 for the movie rental
Jake Waits is the Student Pastor at East Philadelphia Baptist Church in Philadelphia, MS. He has a passion to actively disciple students, loves his wife (Dian) and baby (Emma Grace), and loves pizza more than any other youth minister he has ever met!
Posted on February 10, 2009