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The Soldiers' & Airmen's Scripture Readers Association

Helping Military Couples to Reconnect

Gavin with his wife and the Date Night in a Box board game. © SASRA

Gavin and his wife with the Date Night in a Box board game. © SASRA 

So often in today’s world, marriages fall apart for so many reasons. This is especially prevalent in military life. Long courses, demanding work requirements, exercise, deployments can frequently separate spouses for long periods of time. Aside from that, there can be so much uncertainty in military life which in itself puts a strain on marriages.

Date Night in a Box, a bespoke board game from Care for the Family, provides thought-provoking materials designed to help couples connect or reconnect before and after time apart. ASR Gavin Dickson and his wife Pauline took part in it last year, and felt that military couples would benefit from setting some time apart for each other and doing a Date Night in a Box.

The box contains a well-built and good quality board game that lasts about an hour, focusing on various questions, some funny and some deep that either partner must write the answer to on a small whiteboard, before comparing. Questions like: ‘who is most likely to trip over?’ or ‘what is your partner’s favourite colour?’ or ‘when was the last time you went away together?’ There’s also a QR code to scan and then follow to find videos that complement the game. All of this is designed to help build resilience in relationships.

Following the success earlier this year of a SASRA trial with twenty-five boxes at Colchester Garrison, Gavin and the Chaplaincy team have embarked on a joint project, raising funds to buy 900 boxes. Over 700 of these date-night boxes have already been shared with couples in the Colchester Garrison, with the rest to be given out over Christmas and next year.

We have purchased 900 boxes which have or will go to military couples throughout Colchester Garrison. We have experienced significant demand for them, and it is a pleasure to be able to give everyone who would like one a box. One soldier, when I gave him the box, said, ‘This is great. My wife is always saying that we don’t put time aside to talk about our marriage.’ I have no doubt that this has strengthened service personnel’s relationships and given them the means to help it remain so even when they are apart.

ASR Gavin Dickson. © SASRA

Through the project, Gavin and the Chaplains have seen a diverse spectrum of military personnel from across the ranks enjoy the time Date Night in a Box afforded them, with plenty of positive feedback.

One soldier who took Date Night in a Box home not only enjoyed the game and built resilience in their relationship, but his partner was so surprised that he had brought something ‘so thoughtful’ that enabled them to connect.

Another couple said they played in the back garden after a barbeque and ‘forgot we were playing the game and just enjoyed talking things through with each other’. The wife loved the question prompts, which led them to talk more deeply about their relationship.

Thank you so much again for sending it over - we played it last night and loved it! Honestly, we've barely seen each other over the last month because my husband’s work has been so full on. It was great to spend quality time together and to have meaningful conversations that were prompted by the different questions. We look forward to playing again - thank you!

Two military wives with the Date Night in a Box board game.

Two military wives receive their date night boxes.

Date Night in a Box has shown to be a great tool for Scripture Readers as they work alongside soldiers and their families as they strive to help them strengthen their marriages and their relationships in meaningful ways, all the while pointing them to the Creator and Designer of marriage.

SASRA would like to expand this initiative to other military locations where our Scripture Readers witness the gospel. If you would like to support initiatives like this and help in the purchase of items such as date-night boxes, then please use the red donate button at the top of this page.

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