Valentine’s Day has come and gone for the year. Hubby and I have been working odd shifts but we found time to have a dinner, walk and prayer outing. On the day itself, we each prepared a little surprise – one is blooming beautifully in a vase, the other we are still completing. I love my husband. I love doing activities, planning outings and meeting people with him. I love his presence in the house; just knowing he is nearby as I do whatever I might need to do. I love his embrace and the warmth of his words. I wait expectantly for his return from work. As soon as I hear his car enter the driveway, a smile is on my face and any tiredness I might have had evaporates. My love for my husband, and the knowledge that he loves me, affects my mood, and the way in which I choose to organise my life.
Jesus is my bridegroom. How much more does my love for Jesus, and my knowledge of how much He loves me, influence the way I live! I cannot live without Him. I do not want to do things, or meet people unless His spirit is with me. I love His presence and I just want to draw closer and closer to Him. Nothing can separate us, and I long for His return. The thought of my Lord and God fills me with joy and energy – He gives me an exuberance of life, one which stretches into a glorious eternity.
While my husband and I enjoy our quiet moments at home, we also occasionally plan some special dates. It might be a picnic, a trip to the beach, dinner at a nice restaurant or a little getaway trip. Sometimes it is spontaneous, and sometimes it is planned well in advance. We talk to each other about it, get excited about our planned time together, and always enjoy the time we have together – just the two of us. Planning this year’s Valentine’s surprise, I thought about my dates with hubby, and I wondered about the dates I have had with Jesus – the times I have put aside specially for Him whether in advance, or spontaneously. What kinds of dates do I have with Jesus?
Dates are fun, special and memorable moments. Birthdays and anniversaries are always good excuses to plan a date and reflect on our growing closer together, but there are also many other date opportunities. We celebrate our little victories, experience new things, and spontaneously decide to do various things together. It is a journey of walking together, and it is wonderful. I love the spontaneous, the ordinary, the special outings and the everyday joy of marriage. Likewise, I love being with Jesus in both ordinary and extraordinary moments. His presence and His revelation make the ordinary and the extraordinary glorious in their own ways. The heart of it all really, is that I cannot live without Him! I want Jesus all the time, and it doesn’t matter if I’m washing the dishes, or flat on my face with a magnificent revelation.
It is nice to plan “date time”. When I think about “date time”, I think about time in my day which I have specifically set aside for just me and Jesus. Sometimes, I have spontaneous date times, and sometimes I plan it to be something special. I encourage you to find your own “date time” with Jesus. Make it just you and Him. Let Him speak to you, and allow yourself to listen to the sound of His voice. Take time to gaze at His face, to look into His eyes, to know His desires and to speak to Him of yours. I have listed six ideas below to kick-start your date planning! Have fun, and enjoy the presence, and beauty of Jesus, your Bridegroom.
- Picnic in the Light
- Grab the picnic basket, set out the blanket, and maybe even the portable speakers! Enjoy the sun and reflect on God’s light. Talk to Him about the brightness of His countenance, the fire in His eyes, and the glow of His radiance
- Scripture: Revelation 1:14-16, Revelation 21:23
- By Sand and Sea
- For even warmer weather, head out to the beach. Find a quiet or more isolated spot and notice the vastness of the sand and sea. Speak to God about the vastness of His nature, the vastness of His love and the vastness of His glory. Experience the vastness of God’s love for you, and the vastness of His thoughts towards you.
- Scripture: Psalm 139:17-18, Ephesians 3:17-19
- Exercise Date
- I’m not a huge gym fan, but maybe you are. Plan a walk, run, swim, bike trip, gym session or other similar activity. As you persevere in reaching your goal (top of mount lofty, completing a set number of kilometres, best a best time etc.), remember the spiritual race you are running. Remember God is your running partner, and that he is rooting for you.
- Scripture: Hebrews 12:1-2, 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
- Walk and Talk
- Take a leisurely walk around your neighbourhood or a nearby park. Pray with Jesus about the things on His heart, or ask Him what He thinks about you. Time for a good D&M (deep and meaningful).
- Scripture: Psalm 25:4-5, Psalm 139:23-24
- Music to my Ears
- If you like to sing, dance or play an instrument, have a jamming session! Sing/play songs to Jesus and let Him write His own songs through you. Dance with Him, sing with Him and declare His praises.
- Scripture: Psalm 27:6, Psalm 149
- Love Letters
- Do things the old fashioned way. Write Jesus a heart-felt love letter or poem, and ask Him for one too. He might point you to passage in His Word, give you a picture, speak some particular words to you or simply give you an impression of how He sees you and what He is doing.
- Scripture: Psalm 45, Song of Songs 4