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January 17, 2019

A bowl of vegetables with someone you love is better than steak with someone you hate. 

Divorce is the result of a lack of preparation for marriage and the failure to learn the skills of working together as teammates in an intimate relationship - Gary Chapman.  

If you are both foodies, you likely won't need much prompting to give the Culinary Date a shot. If, however, one of you is a stranger to the kitchen, you may be a little reluctant. In that case, whoever is more experienced may need to serve as a mentor of sorts to the other. As long as that mentoring is given and received with a good attitude, you shouldn't have a problem. You'll find that cooking together involves no small amount of cooperation and teamwork. The Culinary Date should give you a pretty good idea of how well the two of you work together.   

You can take your Culinary Date in one of a couple different directions. The first option is to prepare and enjoy a meal together. Obviously, the meal should require a little more effort than opening a jar of tomato sauce and a box of angel hair pasta. Beyond that, though, you can decide how complicated or time intensive you want your meal preparation to be. After you've decided on a menu lineup-appetizers, main dish, side dishes, and dessert-come up with a plan of attack. Here are a few things to keep in mind. 

1. Do the shopping together. There will be no solo ventures where this meal is concerned. Every step along the way should be taken together. That means a joint trip to the grocery store to get everything you'll need. 

2. Work as a team until the job is done. This is not a place for the more kitchen-savvy of the two of you to do all the substantial work while the other person is relegated to table-setting duty. Both of you should be equally responsible for the meal's success. That may require more than a dollop of patience and cooperation, but since when are those bad things? 

3. Do the cleanup work together. Remember, the date doesn't end when the food is consumed. Cleanup time is a great time for conversation. For example, you might talk about how your relationship-and, if you're married, your household-would be affected if you started doing more daily tasks together. Your second option is to enroll in a one-day cooking class together. You can find information online regarding classes that are offered in your area. Once you know your options, you can choose a class that looks interesting to both of you. 

Before you end your Culinary Date, talk about the experience as a couple. Use the following questions as needed to guide your discussion. What qualities did God see in us when He decided that we would make a good team? What are some of the challenges we face when it comes to working together? How could we put our teamwork to use in a volunteer ministry setting? 

If your date's primary love language is Acts of Service, you can make a huge impression by preparing one special item just for your date. Choose one of your date's favorite dishes and locate the recipe. If it's a childhood favorite, you might check with his or her family to find the recipe. Don't change plans to cook the rest of the meal together, but consider preparing this dish ahead of time and bringing it out just before you sit down to eat your special meal. 

Before your Culinary Date, spend some time in prayer together. Thank God for the abundance of His blessings. Thank Him for supplying your needs every day. Ask Him to help you maintain a spirit of gratitude for what you've been given and what you have access to; bless and watch over those who don't know where their next meal is coming from; bless your efforts to work as a team-during the Culinary Date and beyond. 

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