Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Dating My Wife

I recently had the pleasure of taking my wife out on a very nice date.

It began a few months ago, when I saw a billboard offering tickets to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra at a very reduced rate. I checked it out online, hoping for some orchestral jazz (Branford Marsalis is one of the featured artists this season), but due to scheduling issues, ended up choosing a night when the featured performer was piano virtuoso Yefim Bronfmann playing Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3. Then, I simply told my wife, "Don't make plans for May 25. We're going out, and you'll need to dress up."

There is enormous power in the anticipation of the unknown.

As the date approached, some other things providentially came together. I emailed some close friends of ours, mainly just to let them know that this deal was going on, and told them if they happened to want to go to the same event we were going to, this was the date and here were our seats. They emailed me back: "We're two rows behind you." I was also recognized for going a bit over and above at work, and my boss gave me a gift card to a local restaurant. And Cecile's sister graciously offered to stay with our boys at our house, so we wouldn't have to worry about picking them up from somewhere else and we wouldn't have to worry about how late we were staying out. So now I had the prospect of a nice dinner and then an evening at Orchestra Hall with dear friends, and surprising my wife with all of it.

As we got closer to the date, the anticipation grew. Cecile got me to tell some mutual friends where we were going, so that those friends could tell her what kind of "dressy" she should go with. She ended up choosing something eminently suitable, and the day finally came. I took her out for the first leg, and I highly recommend the prime rib at Marinelli's. It was a nice time of just relaxing and talking. She still didn't know where the evening would end up. Finally, we went down to Orchestra Hall. I got my directions a bit mixed up and ended up driving into the Wayne State University campus. Eventually I figured out where it was, and when we got to a place to park, we saw our friends already parking in the very next space. Again, providential.

The music was gorgeous. Seeing the orchestra was amazing; intricate bowing and plucking techniques were performed by thirty or forty string players who sounded exactly like one. Bronfmann was amazing on the piano. The sound in Orchestra Hall was superb. Cecile was thrilled, and my friend Bob knew some things about the musical history involved. We went out for dessert afterward, and then home. It was a lovely night.

The point of all this is, how many of us seriously put the effort into dating our spouses that we did when we were trying to win them? It's not easy, when you're living together and sharing a bank account, to truly surprise someone. And outside-the-box opportunities like this don't happen every day. But if we take our spouses for granted, we shouldn't be surprised when they begin acting like they're being taken for granted. I'm not trying to take undue credit; this fell into my lap, and I just took advantage of opportunities. Maybe a night with the orchestra isn't your type of thing, but find something, some way to bless that person that God put into your life. It'll be well worth it. I guarantee it.

For more on marriage, check out my book, Marriage, Family, and the Image of God .

Marriage, Family, and the Image of God


  1. Keith: how grand! you are a prince among men! selahV

  2. Do you have children and if so, how old? It is REALLY tough to get out when my wife is at home all day with the little toddler, then doesn't have much energy at night to go out on the town either.

    But thanks for the hint. I will work harder at this.

  3. Hi, Albino,

    Yes, I have children--pre-teens/young teens. I try not to be too specific on this blog about them, to protect their privacy. But yes, I remember the days you are speaking of, when the children were little. It is really difficult.

    Everything doesn't have to be the big deal I blogged about. (I couldn't afford it!) But if you can arrange time to get away from the kids, even for a couple of hours, and maybe just have a relaxing meal together and reconnect, it can truly be a blessing.