Celebrate Catholic Marriage with Romance. Discover the Fun of Dating your Spouse!
Your second step on the CCME journey is to spend special time together to enkindle romance in your relationship - with great "date night" ideas. You are invited to enrich your marriage with activities and outings - along with two sets of movie recommendations for quiet evenings at home. The key to success is being intentional in planning time to cultivate warmth and camaraderie as a couple.
This resource list aligns with the SECOND of the seven themes in: The Seven Days to a Marriage Worth Celebrating Workbook.
Celebrate Catholic Marriage - Date Your Spouse Activity Ideas
ACTIVITIES: Sources for enjoyable and creative date ideas:
1) Adventure Challenge for Couples: (Books) A collection of products created to encourage a lifestyle of adventure - to explore outside of your habits, dive deeper into your relationships, and create meaningful connections and memories. https://www.theadventurechallenge.com/collections/products
2) The Catholic Gentleman: (Articles) Great reasons why and how married couples need to make time and effort to keep “dating” each other.
Keep Dating Your Wife https://catholicgentleman.com/2014/09/keep-dating-wife-10-ways.
3) Catholic Digest: How to Say I Do Every Day
(Article) Great encouragement and ideas that include fun ways to spend time together as a married couple.
4) Messy Family Project: Virtual Date Night
(Virtual events) This is not your average “date night”. It’s a way for a couple to spend an evening at home with a special dinner together and virtually connect with a Catholic couple who has extra-special wisdom to share (like Dr. Scott and Kimberly Hahn, or Jeff Cavins and his wife, for example). Provides some great food for conversation that enriches the marriage after the screen visit is over.
5) Focus of the Family: Why it is Important to Date your Spouse
(Article) Married couples can learn how to recapture the wonderful aspects of the dating experience - the romance, the surprise and more.
6) Date your Spouse From Your House - Book by Sarah Excell
With little kids and little money, it might be time to redefine how you do date night. Inspired by an episode of The Bachelor, Sarah set a goal to date her husband every Friday night—without the help of a babysitter or anyone to plan the dates for her. Over time, she accumulated a year's worth of no-fuss, at-home date ideas—complete with playful titles for each idea that can double as a date card...if you want to go full Bachelor with it! Reconnect with your spouse through simple but meaningful activities by joining Sarah on a road where the limos are transformed into mini vans, the mansion is the roof over your head, and the helicopter rides are largely powered by creativity. The good news is the only people who risk interrupting your one-on-one time are the people who call you mom and dad...but if all goes according to plan, they're tucked soundly in bed. The best news is...your first date card is knocking!
7) Do You Date Your Spouse?
(Article) Good thoughts to consider. Are you intentional about the time you spend as a couple?
For nights when you choose to stay in and share a movie night together,
here are 7 enjoyable movies that celebrate or honor marriage:
(Below the description is a link to VirtueSearch.com for more information and reviews of each film.)
1) Life is Beautiful
This movie is one of the most dramatic depictions of a man's love for his wife and son ever filmed. This bitter-sweet fictional story masterfully weaves romance, comedy, and drama into a heroic portrait of a marriage in which a husband goes to extraordinary lengths to show love to his wife...and who shows the same creativity in loving and caring for his son. Recommend to watch in the original Italian and read the subtitles to best appreciate the personality of the characters.
2) Cinderella Man:
This under-seen gem has Russell Crowe and Renee Zellweger as a Depression-era couple trying to make ends meet. Very inspiring. The boxing theme adds masculine appeal to the the film. It truly is a powerful portrayal of a Catholic marriage, enduring tremendous trials and emerging with heroic joy...as a family...at the conclusion.
3) Mom’s Night Out
All Allyson and her friends want is a peaceful, grown-up evening of dinner and conversation… a long-needed moms' night out. But in order to enjoy high heels, adult conversation and food not served in a bag, they need their husbands to watch the kids for a few hours — what could go wrong? Moms' Night Out is an endearing, true-to-life family comedy that honors the challenges, chuckles, and charming moments in married life.
This beautiful story of marriage is based on a book written by Pope St. John Paul II. His philosophy of “love and responsibility” in marriage comes to life in poignant ways through the relationships of three couples portrayed in the film. It’s a beautiful reminder of how our actions affect those around us.
(In which the husband learns to heroically fight for his marriage) Lt. Caleb Holt lives by the old firefighter's adage: Never leave your partner behind. Inside burning buildings, it's his natural instinct. In the cooling embers of his marriage, it's another story. After a decade of marriage, Caleb and Catherine Holt have drifted so far apart that they are ready to move on without each other. Yet as they prepare to enter divorce proceedings, Caleb's dad asks his son to try an experiment: The Love Dare. While hoping The Love Dare has nothing to do with his parents' newfound faith, Caleb commits to the challenge. But can he attempt to love his wife while avoiding God's love for him? Will he be able to demonstrate love over and over again to a person that's no longer receptive to his love? Or is this just another marriage destined to go up in smoke?
6) War Room
(In which a woman learns to heroically fight for her marriage) Tony and Elizabeth Jordan have it all—great jobs, a beautiful daughter, and their dream house. But appearances can be deceiving. Tony and Elizabeth Jordan’s world is actually crumbling under the strain of a failing marriage. While Tony basks in his professional success and flirts with temptation, Elizabeth resigns herself to increasing bitterness. But their lives take an unexpected turn when Elizabeth meets her newest client, Miss Clara, and is challenged to establish a “war room” and a battle plan of prayer for her family. As Elizabeth tries to fight for her family, Tony’s hidden struggles come to light. Tony must decide if he will make amends to his family and prove Miss Clara’s wisdom that victories don’t come by accident. WAR ROOM is a vivid reminder that prayer is a powerful weapon.
7) The Sound Of Music
When the Sound of Music was released in 1965 it took the world by storm, earning five Oscars. For millions of people, the film is the rare combination of a powerful and moving story, memorable music, and breathtaking scenery of Salzburg. It tells the story of Maria, who takes a job as governess to a large family while she decides whether to become a nun. She falls in love with the children and their widowed father, Captain von Trapp. (This iconic film is a celebration of Catholic marriage, family, and religious vocations…with memorable music as a bonus.)
And if "life happens" and your movie night date becomes family movie night instead...try these marriage-affirming films to plant good seeds in the imagination of your children.
8) Little Boy:
(Consider watching along with your middle-grade kids)
A powerful, moving, and heartwarming film about a family awaiting a father’s return home from World War II. LITTLE BOY is a cinematic classic that captures the wonder of life through the eyes of a 7-year-old child and reminds us of the power of faith, hope and love in the face of adversity. In a powerful subplot, the child learns about overcoming prejudice through acts of mercy - and those moments are portrayed with charm and comic surprises. LITTLE BOY stars Academy Award Nominee Emily Watson, who as the wife, must manage raising two sons in her husband’s absence - while a doctor in town tries to tempt her to abandon her faithfulness. Tom Wilkinson (Selma) brings his star power to his portrayal of the wise parish priest.
8) The Incredibles:
(Have a laugh with your younger kids)
In this Pixar animated film, married superheroes Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) and Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) are forced to assume mundane lives as Bob and Helen Parr after all super-powered activities have been banned by the government. While Mr. Incredible loves his wife and kids, he longs to return to a life of adventure, and he gets a chance when summoned to an island to battle an out-of-control robot. Soon, Mr. Incredible is in trouble, and it's up to his family to save him. This film is a great tribute to the teamwork of a husband and wife in marriage.