Sunday, February 9, 2014

5 Ways to Be Safe for Your Spouse

{A great big welcome to sweet Beth and the incredible Messy Marriage gang today ... }
Life's not easy, is it.
There's plenty of push and shove in the workplace and you're wondering when that pink slip's going to appear on your desk.  You're scared at what your kids are being exposed to and you're concerned for your aging parents.  There's political wrangling at the church.  Health issues alarm with their unexpected arrival.  The cupboards are looking mighty bare while that mounting pile of bills threatens to completely do you in.   
Most of us seem to be able to muster up the ability to be polite and gracious to those we run into during this daily grind.  So how come our spouses too often get the short end of the stick?
When we finally meet at the end of the day, exhaustion's the hallmark.  We are preoccupied and often impatient and rude toward the one we've committed our 'for better or worse' life to.
We all need a safe place to fall, a secure arena where we're fully accepted and appreciated for who we truly are.  Our heart's desire, male or female, is to be held, to be cherished, to be heard, to be safe.  And marriage is the optimum place to have trust flourish by having these needs nurtured and tended to.  Tenderly.  Faithfully. 
Chances are if you extend this lovely grace, you will most likely receive it.  But if you are unwilling or unable to offer this life-giving gift, be sure that your spouse will sooner or later do one of two things.  Either check out.  Or find someone else who'll supply what they're yearning for. 
What's it mean to be safe for your spouse?
{I am using the word *him* below to avoid the awkward *him/her* thing}

1.  You are fully present.
You walk away from your screens or your unfinished tasks.  You build trust by being still as he speaks, looking straight at him, gently tracking and listening closely not only to his words but the cry of his heart.    

2.  You do not butt in.
You refuse to throw your two cents in at every opportunity, instead giving him the gift of being able to be a verbal processor as he thoroughly sorts through what's on his plate.

3.  You are non-judgmental.
You are grace-filled and don't morph into judge and jury at the first opportunity.

4.  You don't lecture.
You don't preach or lob Scripture at him.  You discern when to offer words of comfort or direction, and ask permission before going there.

5.  You are respectful.
You don't put him down ... to his face or behind his back.  You refuse to make jokes at his expense, use your kids as weapons against him, or use your marriage problems as fodder for conversation with friends over coffee.
What other ways can you be safe for your spouse?
~~~~~>  And here's a sneak peek ... coming in a few days ... A GIVEAWAY!   <~~~~~
Are you trying to change your spouse?   Do you know what it means to really love someone?
Do you feel ignored or even alone in your effort to improve your marriage?

image source  -

-  safe with Kristen -


  1. Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom and depth with us here and over at Messy Marriage, Linda. I love all of these, but especially like #1, 4 and 5. A great reminder and challenge for all of us!

    By the way, I failed to mention it earlier, but congrats on being mentioned and quoted in the book's promotions! That is a blessing and joy! Hugs to you!

    1. #2 is my biggest challenge. Believe me, if I were to ask him, I KNOW my husband would agree! Who wants to be married to a know-it-all?

      Poor man.

      And yes, it was a blast to champion Anne's BEATING BURNOUT book this past week. Thanks for your sweet words.

      Continued love and prayers as you make your way through radiation, my friend.

      Hugs from all of us at Creekside!


  2. Thanks a lot Linda! I am so blessed to be reminded of these, I am guilty of some and have been working on them. I am glad Beth brought me here so I can keep working to be safe for my husband.
    Have a super blessed week!

    1. Yes, we're all still works in progress, our marriages are still forming, no matter how long it's been since we said 'I do.' And that truth gives us HOPE, doesn't it!

      I'm so glad you are here today, Ugochi ... have a wonderful week ...

  3. All five of these--all 5!--are so good, Linda. If we could practice these consistently on a daily basis, not only with our spouses but in all our relationships, this world would look like a different place. Jesus will empower us if we'll desire it. Thanks for sharing this. Good stuff!

    1. Great point, Lisa ... being safe isn't just limited to marriage or to interactions with counseling clients! You've invited me to consider my kids, friends, family members. Thanks for the insight, my friend.

      And yes, our desire to be this kind of person only makes us realize how much we need the Lord to give us what we need ...

  4. Good list. Two suggestions I would make, as additions -

    * Be interested in what your spouse is doing. There's nothing more discouraging than trying to share something that's important to you - and getting brushed off.

    * Extinguish old flames. This should seem obvious, but in this day of Facebook and very private communications via cell phone, a lot of people are maintaining contact with former romantic 'interests'. This can be an absolute disaster for a marriage.

    1. I appreciate the man's point of view, so THANKS, Andrew for jumping into this discussion tonight. And I wholeheartedly agree about the whole Facebook thing ... I've heard too many stories of reconnections that never should have taken place. A bad scene for sure ...

  5. What great thoughts Linda, I can pick out several areas i need to work and improve on! Thank you for sharing these.

    1. It means so much to me that you came by from Beth's site, Ngina. I know you are a faithful fan of hers just like I am! And I'm so glad that these words have offered you a bit of encouragement ...

      Have a wonderful week!

  6. These are great tips. Thank you for sharing. Visiting from Messy Marriage link up.

    1. Hey Steve ... I always appreciate when a man checks in and says something's working for him. This post has gone through the roof this week ... I'm amazed and oh so thankful. Something seems to have resonated strongly with our readers.

      Blessings on your marriage!

  7. such great reminders!! something i am working on mastering! thanks for this truth!

    1. It'll probably take a lifetime for us to learn to love well ... but we can keep on heading in that direction ... and enjoy the journey there! Thanks for taking the time to leave your thoughts, Robyn ... I love that you've done so!


Welcome to the table, friend!

This is where we gather and hang out. I'd love for you to pull up a chair and jump right into the conversation. Or simply say 'hello.'

l'll be dropping in to visit you sometime soon ...


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