When was the last time you and your sweetie went on a date? Has it been so long you can't even remember?

Marriage experts across the country consistently say that one of the best ways to keep your marriage strong, healthy and adventuresome is to spend time together on a regular basis doing something you both enjoy. When couples are intentional about dating, they often are shocked at the positive impact it has on their marriage and children.

Research shows that a marriage most at risk for distress is one that makes children the No. 1 priority instead of the marriage. And 80 percent of marriages fall apart not because of something huge but because they say they have become disconnected.

Could your marriage use a little pick-me-up?

Here is a chance to do something fun. Chattanooga's Great Date Night is coming to the Chattanooga Convention Center on Tuesday.

The night is designed to help couples rediscover the joy of dating and strengthen their relationships.

Studies show that the most prevalent problems in our country -- poverty, drug abuse and domestic violence -- are the unfortunate outcome of fragmented families. This is an opportunity for couples to take a step back from their busy lives to celebrate the importance of family and examine their priorities.

This will be an evening of music, laughter, excitement and inspiration. Recording artist Michael O'Brien and his band will set the tone with upbeat renditions of songs people will recognize as well as some romantic tunes.

World-renowned marriage and family expert Mark Gungor will bring laughter and inspiration as he shares helpful insights about marriage.

One husband had this to say after hearing Mark speak, "This is by far the best marriage conference we have ever attended. Mark is so real and passionate about marriage. His no-nonsense approach ... gift of humor and showmanship, hit the heart. We were truly blessed by attending. Thank you."

Additionally, Dan and Bubba Cathy, sons of Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy, will be on hand, and there will be great door prizes including cruises, weekend getaways and free Chick-fil-A for a year, all with the intent to help couples continue to be intentional about dating.

The high-energy evening will be lots of fun at just the right price -- free -- thanks to area Chick-fil-A operators. But you need to register to attend at

Don't lose sight of the things that made you fall in love with your mate. Make the effort to stay connected and never stop dating each other.

Email Julie Baumgardner, president and executive director of First Things First, at