A few years ago while we were speaking at the International Marriage Conference in Phoenix, AZ, we ran into Ted Cunningham for the first time. Every evening before the main event they prepared a meal for all the contributors of the conference. As we were finding a place to sit down to enjoy our meal, little did we know that we would land next the keynote speaker for that evening who just so happened to be Ted. We laughed and joked with him about things we had in common such as living in the Ozarks of Missouri. We also had a great time getting to know one another and discussing marriage ministry. The following year we ran into Ted again at the same venue, and he greeted us warmly as if no time had ever passed. I must say he made a definite positive impact on how I viewed certain aspects of marriage from that first meeting, and his wisdom sticks with us even today.
As Kate and I were on the journey of building our marriage ministry, we were put on the path to meet Roger Gibson. We quickly realized that he shared a mutual passion to reach couples for Christ and a desire to create a movement in the culture to honor marriage the way God intended. We met in his office regularly to brainstorm and whiteboard ideas that would make a difference in our community. One day Roger mentioned some projects that Ted was working on. It was a date night comedy show for couples. That sounded interesting and a lot of fun. He put me in touch with Tim Popadic who produces their national show. After talking with Tim and getting to know him, he invited me down to Florida for a special event they were having with the comedy show.
At Datenight Comedy they have a great show and a great vision. Of course it is insanely funny, but the show is also truly brilliant and produced with the highest quality. It was encouraging to see that there were other people out there who shared similar desires for marriage ministry and they are also extremely talented as well. The first event in Florida was a show just for local area pastors. Their hope was that they could cast their vision before them so that they could get excited about what they were doing for the community, and maybe even bring this show back to their local venue.
The next day in Orlando while they prepared for the main event that evening, Focus on the Family began working on their “Honoring Marriage” project. It was quite an honor to be able to go behind the scenes while they shot live video for their new DVD series. This was a lot of fun to watch all of this unfold before my eyes, and I learned a lot. It was also neat to be able to get to know the comedians and all the people who make the show what it is today. After experiencing the show first hand, up close and personal, I knew this was something I wanted to bring to the couples of the Springfield, MO area.
Over the next several months, I continued to observe a couple of shows in Branson, MO and Broken Arrow, OK. We invited several people who were interested in helping us bring the show to Springfield, MO. They were excited at the opportunity to be a part of the event like I was. After much prayer, meeting with several people discussing strategies about the show over the course of several months, Date Night Comedy – Springfield was born! It has been a long journey getting here, but our purpose is clear. We want to provide an opportunity for couples in the community to have a great date night experience. We want to provide an example and encouragement of why it is so important to keeping a regular date night sacred in your marital relationship. We hope that you are able to join us for some great fun and even some prizes on Saturday, September 10, 2016 at the Gillioz Theatre in downtown Springfield, MO. Even if you can’t join us that night, maybe you can encourage a couple you know that could use a night out. If you don’t already have them, get your tickets by clicking HERE.
Every date night doesn’t have to be such an elaborate production (like this show), and it doesn’t even have to cost you any money. As long as you are intentional on setting aside time with your spouse on a regular basis, that is what matters. Studies suggest that married couples who invest in their relationship by having at least one date night per week experience: a significant increase in happiness, relationship satisfaction, communication, and sexual satisfaction by about 350% or 3.5 times higher than couples who aren’t regularly dating. By doing this one activity regularly, it WILL impact the quality of your marriage. The study mentioned above was done by Dr. Greg Smalley of Focus on the Family. They concluded this from scientific research done by: the Survey of Marital Generosity (SMG), a national study of more than 1,600 married couples aged eighteen to fifty-five that was conducted in 2010 and 2011 by the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia. You can read all about this and more from a sample portion of their book, “Take The Date Night Challenge“.