Have you ever found yourself so in love that you practically forgot about the rest of the world? New couples often enjoy that special feeling; but, sometimes other people and responsibilities get pushed to the side for a season.
There is nothing wrong with enjoying that new relationship feeling, but I do recommend going out of your way to remember life outside of your happy bubble. One of the greatest ways to enjoy each other, connect together, and remember what is happening around you is to volunteer together.
As prosperous as a society may seem, we don’t have to look far to find someone in need. There are soup kitchens, crisis pregnancy centers, Boys’ and Girls’ clubs, animal shelters, and hundreds of additional available volunteer sites.
The need for willing hearts and available hands is great. There is something so special about forgetting your own needs for a while and focusing on someone else. That is what love in action is all about, after all – us putting aside what makes us comfortable, and concerning ourselves with what feeds someone else’s body, mind, and soul.
After you are together for a while, it becomes a little easier to go a few days without seeing each other; but, when a relationship is new, all that seems to matter is being together. Volunteering is a way of spending quality time together while making a difference in the world. As long as you are together, it is a date!
As you spend your energy pouring into a worthy cause, you can bypass the self-centered trap that snares so many new couples. By choosing to spend your time focused on something outside of yourselves, you won’t give yourselves a chance to get so wrapped up in each other that you forget to show God’s love to others.
After your relationship cools off a bit, having a passion for volunteering will help you and your sweetie maintain a strong connection throughout your life together – should you choose to get married.
The Volunteering Date
So, maybe you’re thinking I’d like to volunteer, but I’d also like to spend some time alone with my sweetie! Though I am suggesting volunteer work be a part of your relationship, I’m not suggesting it be the focus of your entire relationship. If you have the time, volunteering together once a week would be a great start! A married couple at my former job would volunteer together at the local soup kitchen every Friday night. It was a needed service, and they got to spend time together. Trust me, when you give your time and resources to help people (or animals) in need, you will likely be more blessed by the experience than the ones you are helping.
If you and your sweetie find working for one organization extremely fulfilling, you may want to branch out and take on another project. However, if you do, make sure you are not neglecting other responsibilities in your life.
Find an organization that interests both of you. If you are not sure, dip your toes into several opportunities. When you agree on one, spend a little time together before and after your time slot. If you are due at the mission at 7pm, see if you can get together at 6pm to talk about your days and decompress before you go. You want to make sure your attitude is right and your body language is calm before interacting with people who need to see Christ shining through you.
After you and your sweetie finish volunteering for the day or night, spend a little more time talking one-on-one. Maybe you could slip into a restaurant and get a light snack together. Talk about the experience, brainstorm ways you can be an even bigger blessing to the people you are serving, and relax together since you may be emotionally charged.
I have a great sense of respect for couples who give together. While so many are roaming about thinking only of themselves and their newfound happiness, some couples are not satisfied with that. They know their time is best spent investing in other people and showing Christ’s love in practical ways.
Get your relationship off to a great start by giving some of your date time to those in need. Ask God to guide you to the right place, and ask Him to make you both worthy ambassadors for Him (2 Corinthians 5:20-21)!
Where will you and your sweetie consider volunteering together?