Creating a Safe Place in Your Marriage

After coming home from a girls’ getaway with some friends several years ago, I eagerly greeted my husband and we then conversed about our days spent apart. He asked if I enjoyed my time away. I spoke with excitement, giving vivid details of my time with friends. Of course I asked how he enjoyed his time with our children .

He gave a general account of his experience; then he paused. I asked if everything was okay. 

He responded with hesitation: “Yes, but I have something that I want to share with you.” 

My heart sank and my mind began to race. What was he going to say? 

I began to bombard him with questions: “Are the kids okay?” “Are you okay?” “Did someone die?” 

He said, “Everyone is fine and I am okay, but I would like to let you know about an incident that occurred.”

He proceeded to tell me that he had taken our children to a park to play, and a woman was also there with her children. As the children played, the woman slowly made her way over to the bench where my husband was sitting. She began to engage in small talk and asked general questions. Then there was a shift in her conversation. 

She asked, “Are you married?” 

Up to this point my husband thought this was simply an innocent exchange between parents of young children. Then he began to realize that there was more to this encounter than met the eye. An attractive woman, she was not dressed in casual park attire; instead she was dressed rather suggestively. She then began to make flirtatious remarks. At that point my husband understood clearly what was going on and quickly proclaimed that he was a happily married man and was not interested in anyone or anything that would change that status. 

After my husband and I spoke at length about this situation, we reaffirmed our commitment to God, each other, and our children. However, we became well aware of the forces of evil that work against what God has put together. We decided that some of the weapons we would use to fight for our marriage were honesty and accountability. We developed a new set of standards for our marriage. We decided that if either of us were ever placed in a situation where there was flirtatious behavior toward one of us from someone outside of our marriage, we would let the other know. We also decided that if one of us found someone else attractive either physically or intellectually, we would let the other know. 

Our culture suggests that you can “have your cake and eat it too” because you deserve it. This goes against everything that a Christian marriage represents.

We live in a culture that does not value the sanctity of marriage. Therefore, we are constantly inundated with media and conversations that promote self-centered behavior. Our culture suggests that you can “have your cake and eat it too” because you deserve it. This goes against everything that a Christian marriage represents.

In Ephesians 5:25, husbands are admonished to “love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” A wife is to respect her husband. Honesty and accountability promote love and respect in a marriage. A husband and a wife must strive to be secure in their relationship with God first and then with each other. This will allow them to create a safe place for honesty and accountability without strife and accusation. I realize this can be difficult if there have been past experiences of infidelity, in which case I strongly suggest professional counseling to bring healing and restoration. I challenge you today as a married couple. Strive to create a safe place for your spouse to share his or her struggles. Resist the temptation to accuse or become offended. Seek the face of God and allow Him to shed light on your current struggle. May the peace of God guard your hearts and minds as you entrust your marriage and family into the hands of our heavenly Father.

How to Safeguard Your Marriage –

    • Make your spouse aware of flirtatious behavior toward you from someone outside of your marriage.
    • Let your spouse know if you find yourself inappropriately attracted physically, intellectually, or emotionally to someone outside of your marriage.
    • Ask your spouse on a regular basis what you can do to improve your marriage.
    • Pray for and with your spouse regularly.
    • Embrace transparency with cell phones and computers since you should have nothing to hide.
    • Encourage overall transparency in your marriage that is rooted in trust, not insecurity.
    • Regularly attend marriage conferences, seminars, and retreats for encouragement and refreshing

By Renita Collins

Renita Collins currently serves as an executive pastor alongside her husband, Frank Collins Jr., who is the senior pastor of Breath of Life Christian Church in Harper Woods, Michigan. She is a mother of two and the author of two books, 31 Days of Focus and Persevere. The Collins family resides in St. Clair Shores, Michigan.

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