A Wife’s Secret to Happiness (book club) – Creating a Safe Haven in Your Marriage
When we brought home our second baby, our firstborn was only 16 months old. That meant that our lives had been officially turned upside down. If one baby doesn’t do it, two babies in less than two years most certainly will.
With a tiny baby girl in our arms, and dark circles under our eyes, we sat on the back porch of our little house and had a conversation that changed everything. We acknowledged to each other that we had to fight for our connection, or it would be forfeited. Emotional, physical, and spiritual intimacy, trust, connection, mutual enjoyment, healthy communication – none of that just happens on its own.
The only way we knew to do this was to prioritize time together. So that night, we decided that every night from 8 to 9pm we would “date” each other.
Enter: “Date-night, Every-night”
Nothing formal and nothing that would require planning or a sitter or money. We would simply put our phones away, put laundry, chores or work away, and just BE TOGETHER; on purpose. To enjoy each other. To be present to each other. To talk, to laugh, to rest, to watch a movie, to read books, to sit on the porch, to enjoy a glass of wine, to listen to a sermon, to take an online class, to play a game. It didn’t matter what we did. We just needed to do it together. (Here are 10 simple ways to enjoy quality time in your marriage)
As a result, we have experienced first hand this gift of a “safe haven” in our marriage.
Not because things have not been hard, or we haven’t royally messed up at times, but because we have had a consistent space to work through those hard things. A space to enjoy the seasons of sweetness, a space to cry together during times of loss, a space to process hard things at work, a space to laugh at the beautiful chaos of life…a space to simply love and be loved.
Our “8-9 time” is unquestionably the best thing we’ve done and continue to do for our marriage.
We look forward to it, knowing that with the very colorful, beautiful, crazy chaos of five kids, homeschool and an increasingly demanding job, we have a haven to run into at the end of each day.
Growing a safe-haven within your marriage is a gift to yourself, your family, and to the community at large because of the God-designed goodness and power of a strong marriage that lays the foundation for a strong family unit.
In her book, Jenn talks about several other ideas that allow to your marriage to grow into a safe place. Those include knowing the power of words, forgiveness, adjusting our expectations, and communicating desires in an honoring way.
Growing a safe-haven within your marriage is a gift to yourself, your family, and to the community at large because of the God-designed goodness and power of a strong family unit.
But it is not easy. It requires both parties to invest. It means getting vulnerable and as Jenn says, “bringing our dirt into the light”. It means being ok when things are uncomfortable. Because in those harder seasons, we grow in deeper ways.
We just have to be willing to show up. To lean in. To say yes again, and again, and again. And to trust that God is indeed growing us together as we grow up in Him.
Questions for you: