Here are some fun date ideas to incorporate serving into your relationship!
I just finished two books—The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp and Listen, Love, Repeat: Other-Centered Living in a Self-Centered World by Karen Ehman—and both inspired me to live more alert to others and to serve more with my guy. One of our first dates was helping serve a meal to the community, and it was so fun and rewarding!
I’d love to share some fun ideas sparked from these awesome books that you MUST read. (P.S., see below for details on how you can win a copy of them!)
10 (+1) Fun Date Ideas That Involve Helping Others
- Serve a meal in a soup kitchen. As someone who has gratefully enjoyed these free dinners, I know how much a warm meal and a smile can mean to the person being served. Food can be nourishing not only to the body but also to the soul.
- Help a child in need. Pick a child’s name from the angel tree at church and shop for the gift together.
- Get involved with a great charity organization. What about packing a shoebox or helping at a packing event for Operation Christmas Child? (Can you tell it’s close to the holidays, and I’ve got Christmas on the mind?)
- Pick someone who would benefit from a visit. Perhaps an elderly relative, neighbor, or church member, or a neighbor who lives away from family or who seems lonely. Take over some cookies, or even bring dinner. (Baking cookies or cooking dinner adds another fun date idea!)
- Together pick one person you want to bless and go all out celebrating this person, making it a “Mr. or Mrs. So-and-So Day.” Really fun is choosing a perfectly random day to do this, not just a holiday or birthday. Karen Ehman and her children chose the mailman and put together a package of treats for him, surprising him one normal workday. It touched him so much, and he told Ehman that in his thirty-three years of working, no one ever celebrated him like they did.
- Have a random-acts-of-kindness date in which you do little things throughout the day to surprise-bless others. Ann Voskamp did this with her children on her birthday, and they had fun doing things like leaving dollars with notes on the dollar store shelves and watching the expressions of those who picked them up, leaving cookies for police officers, paying for a family’s meal, paying the parking bills in hospital parking lots, and sticking quarters in the candy machines at Walmart. So many possibilities here! Maybe start with a list of five random acts and act away! This will probably become something you do often because giving and kindness are contagious!
- Say thanks through letters. Take your computers or notebooks and pretty pencils and pens to a local coffee shop and spend an hour each writing a letter to someone who’s made a difference in your lives. I highly recommend you mail these letters because getting a letter in the post is so rare and special these days.
- Offer to babysit. Parents could really use a break. Bring out the board games!
- Mentor. If you’ve been dating for a while (read: your relationship is steady and healthy), consider “adopting” a kid or serving as mentors, maybe someone whose parents are going through a divorce or whose single parent works long hours, or one who is having trouble in school or in making friends. Go bowling, out for coffee, to a movie, even do a Bible study together. Build a relationship.
- Shovel the snow for an elderly neighbor or a family. If you’re not too frozen, finish up with building a snowman or making snow angels or having a good old-fashioned snowball fight. Then warm up with some hot cocoa!
- Put together care packages. (Number 10 for those like me who don’t live where there’s snow) Put together treat boxes for deployed service members, college students going through finals, new parents—there’s a lot of people who would love to be thought of!
This past Saturday night over coffee (Christmas blend!) I was sharing with my guy the story of how Karen Ehman and her kids put on a special day—Mr. Brown Day—for the mailman and mentioned how fun it’d be to do this for someone we knew and cared for. Immediately, without a moment’s thought, he blurted out a name, the same name that came to my mind when I read Ehman’s chapter, the name I was quietly hoping he’d pick! We both can’t wait to bless this person!
Have fun coming up with your own service-date ideas! Share your ideas and experiences in the comments. Kindness is contagious!!!
Have a wonderful week, and be blessed as you bless others.
“Don’t shine so others can see you. Shine so that through you, others can see Him.”
—C. S. Lewis
“I once heard it said that Jesus’ real ministry was the person he found standing in front of him. Who is that for you today? Rather than trying to do something grand for God, perhaps we need to embrace the obscure instead. To stop trying to be profound or important and instead just be obedient. To quickly and humbly obey when we feel God calling us to engage with another or to cheer and hearten a weary soul. Are you willing to mimic the behavior of Jesus?”
—Karen Ehman (Listen, Love, Repeat: Other-Centered Living in a Self-Centered World)
“There are people Giving It Forward Today, and don’t think that every gift of grace, every act of kindness, isn’t a quake in a heart that moves another heart to give, that moves another heart to give, that grows into an avalanche of grace. Don’t say this isn’t what a brokenhearted world desperately needs, don’t say it isn’t how to change a broken world. What if the truth really is that every tremor of kindness here erupts in a miracle elsewhere in the world?”
—Ann Voskamp (The Broken Way)
To win a copy of The Broken Way by Ann Voskamp (and an advance copy of the study guide with DVD), share the post “Singleness, Holidays, Starbucks, and How God Redeems Our Parking-Lot Tears” AND comment on the post where you shared it. Winner will be drawn December 12!
To win a copy of Listen, Love, Repeat: Other-Centered Living in a Self-Centered World by Karen Ehman (and an advance copy of the study guide with DVD), share the post “Listen, Love, Repeat: How Can We Show Jesus to the Necessary People”? AND comment on the post where you shared it. Winner will be drawn December 12!