Marriage, a haven and a refuge

Marriage should always be a place of safety and unconditional acceptance. It should be a shelter, and a place where we can find rest from the hardships of life. We should have a place to run when we are in pain, difficulty, or need. That place should be in the heart and arms of our husband or wife.

Most marriage vows contain a provision or promise to "be there" for the other, "no matter what happens". It is not dependent on how we are feeling or if our spouse's behaviour has been perfect. Comments like, "well, it's your fault" or "you had it coming, you idiot", should be completely stricken from our vocabulary in marriage. We should be there for our spouse, especially when he or she is experiencing hard times or setbacks, ready to provide words of comfort and support.

Comments like, "I am here for you" and "you are still my best friend" and "I love you and will love you no matter what", should cover the landscape of your marriage. Marriage involves the initial commitment of exchanging vows and saying "I do". It also involves re-committing yourself to that same lady or man for all of your days, with actions and choices that cause the relationship to solidify and grow stronger. This is not child's play. It is decision making for the sake of another and it may cost you your comfort and convenience. The price of love.

So, marriage for life involves choice, not feeling. The feelings will return and actually grow, but this comes after you have paid the price of dedication. So, be a haven for your spouse. Be the one they can turn to without fear of criticism. If you have made mistakes and have fallen short as a spouse, tell your lovely wife, your awesome man that you are sorry and truly intend to do better. Be the one refuge your spouse can count on, because in this life, you and your marriage are going to need it.