Romantic couple
Will you add this one element to your next date? (iStock photo)

In the "dating" universe, predictable is synonymous with forgettable. But research shows that unpredictable and risky brings great rewards for the relationship—mainly memory muscles!

Any man who wants a serious win with his woman (the bragging-to-friends kind) must understand this one thing: She loves thoughtfulness and imagination. They are the two main ingredients of unforgettable memories.

New girlfriend? Wife of many years? This reality with you never goes bad, spoils, or fails to elevate her relational adrenaline and connection with you. Now, add God.

After unconditional acceptance and emotional intimacy, women rank spiritual intimacy at the top of what they want and desire from a man. That's right, they like to see and sense a man of faith for sharing what's most valuable with them interpersonally. So for your next date do the math before that nice(ish) dinner and movie.

Thoughtfulness + imagination + God's purposes = unforgettable

The "anything-but-typical date" might look something like this: 

  • Decide your next date will have a purpose, beyond the usual dinner and entertainment. Establish your intention to do good as a higher priority than doing the typical.
  • Pray together before you go. Thank God for "this night, this girl, and this opportunity to be together."
  • Then, go somewhere. Eat something. Do something. But, this time go with God as your chauffeur. Open your eyes and hearts to people, situations or issues that come up where your presence may be a pleasant surprise. Think modern-day "Good Samaritan"on a mission to do random acts of kindness.
  • Afterward, reflect on the date.

Be prepared to exercise your faith muscle. Don't be afraid. Just do good. Let God lead your time, and be available to help with one, or any combination, of these ideas: 

1. Pray for someone. You may decide to take a walk. You may come across someone struggling with a major life issue. You can see it on their faces sometimes. You may offer to pray for that person at that moment, asking "is there any way I can pray for you tonight?" Or you could just pray with your partner for that person, and let them know you did. Another idea is to do a prayer walk, and just walk through your neighborhood or downtown area in prayer. You will be amazed at what happens.

  • "...pray for each other ... The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective" (James 5:16).

2. Bless someone. God may lead you to an individual with whom you feel some sort of kinship. Say you come across a musician playing on the street, and God gives you a nudge to do something. Maybe you could throw in a few bucks, but how about something different. Ask God to bless that talent for his good. Pray to yourselves, asking God to use you somehow. Then, simply lean over to tell that person, you have prayed a prayer of blessing on their lives and talent. That's all. It's a form of encouragement that has legs. Then, see what happens. 

  • "Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing" (1 Thess. 5:11).

3. Help someone. With your eyes wide open, you never know what or who may come into your path. Be on the lookout for ways to help. Maybe it's stopping to help a roadside tire change, or carrying grocery bags for someone at the store, or paying for someone's coffee behind you, give your parking spot away, let someone cut in front of you ... Let God guide you and be willing to pitch in. 

  • "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ... A man reaps what he sows... whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good...Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers" (Gal. 6: 2-10). 

4. Feed someone. Buy someone a meal, and bless it with them. Bring food to a shelter or a friend in need. Serve food at a rescue mission. Food is a blessing, and for some people, food is luxury. See someone hungry? Feed the hungry, and you will be blessed.

  • "...and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday" (Is. 58:10).

5. Tell someone God loves them. This one can take some guts, but you will be surprised that God is working in people's lives before you ever mention God's love. Many people are yearning to hear about God's love and hope. Don't be afraid to love someone enough to share God's love. It's powerful, paradigm-shifting and an awesome work. You will be blessed, and pleasantly shocked at the welcome reception.

  • "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" (John 13:35).

6. Invite someone. So often, all it takes to bring someone to the Lord is a simple invitation. On your Adventure Date, bring some fliers from church, or make up some business card-sized invitation cards, and just hand them to as many or as few people as you like during the date. Or invite someone to your next small group gathering. Don't be surprised if someone says, "I've been looking for a good church." 

  • "For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in ..." (Matt. 25:35).

7. Meet someone. What ever happened to the tradition of going to a new neighbor's front door, bringing a plate of goodies, just to meet them? Revive that tradition on your date, and introduce yourselves to your neighbors. Or, strike up a conversation with random people on your date. You never know who it is you are meeting, or what circumstances brought them into your path. If you frequent the same establishment, soon you will know others and be known. And, opportunities will arise from there.

  • "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me" (Rev. 3:20).

We are more than pew warmers. So try an Adventure Date and see where God leads you, and who He leads to you. Then, do something different, something simple for God's sake. You may or may not feel like you've done much, but you may have also done everything for someone.

  • "In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive'" (Acts 20:35). 
  • "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets" (Matt. 7:12).

Kenny Luck, founder of Every Man Ministries, men's pastor at Saddleback Church, and ChristianMingle advisory board member, provides biblically oriented teaching and leadership for men and pastors seeking relevant, timely material that battle cultural, worldly concepts threatening men and God's men. Follow Kenny and Every Man Ministries now on FacebookTwitter (@everyMM) and YouTube.

For the original article, visit everymanministries.com.

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