Five Ways to Create a Sanctuary in Your Marriage
In the classic novel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Quasimodo tries to protect his beloved Esmeralda by hiding her in the church and claiming sanctuary. Sanctuary is an old belief that people could hide in churches and be safe from harm. Now, we use the term for any kind of safe place (like wildlife sanctuaries where animals are free from being hunted). Sanctuary, though, still has a deep and godly meaning.
The concept of having a sanctuary takes on a deeper meaning when applied to our marriages. Everybody needs a safe place. Everybody needs a place to which they can come and take their armor off, lay down their weapons from the battle of life, and rest without fear of attack. A healthy marriage provides sanctuary for each person. Having a place where you can tend to your wounds and be honest about your struggles without the fear that what you’re going through will be used against you.
The world is not a safe place. The work place beats men up physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Our world is tough on women. Everything from body image to parenting skills to glass ceilings in their professions, hammers the souls of our wives. And if our wives are stay-at-home moms, they need a safe place where little hands aren’t grabbing for them every minute!
- Your spouse needs to have a safe place—a sanctuary. So how can you make your marriage a sanctuary? Recognize everyone needs transition time. A time to let go of the office and get home or a time to switch from being a mother to being a wife. (And no, these two roles aren’t the same.)
- Respect silence. It’s not always a bad sign.
- When your spouse talks, listen. You don’t have to fix everything, but you do need to listen.
- Hold them. Your hands reaching after them may be the only hands they’ll see without a knife in them.
- Love them—totally and without condition.
Everyone needs a safe place. Make sure your marriage is a sanctuary for your spouse.
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