Making Marriage My Sacred Shelter

I discovered a new resource of Christian women writing about marriage for Marriage Monday, on the first Monday of each month. Today Andrea at Embracing Him is hosting all those who have something to say on the December topic—The Sanctuary of a Christian Marriage.

Sanctuary: n. 1. a. a sacred place, such as a church, temple or mosque. b. The holiest part of a sacred place. 2. a place of refuge or asylum.

I don’t think I was more than a few weeks into married life, almost eighteen years ago, when I realized marriage isn’t magic and that happily ever after requires work. While it helped to marry a man with a similar background who was also a member of my own Christian faith, even those characteristics did not automatically ensure that our marriage would be a sanctuary. Instead, we’re trying to create a sacred place of refuge over time according to this pattern.

Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities.

The Family:A Proclamation to the World

Several years ago, we embarked on our dream of building our own home. My husband, an architect, designed it and acted as the general contractor. Despite giving our best efforts, the building process seemed like one of those movies where everything that can go wrong does.

The climax came on a day when we had a 30-foot hole in our front yard for the sewer line, and the masons showed up with 7000 lbs. of stone for the wood stove. My husband was on another job site for work, and all the sub contractors at the house were asking me what to do about getting the stone over the hole to the front door. On days like these, I picked up a broom and swept my frustration into the piles of debris.

The harder temptation to clean away when unforeseen problems came was the desire to blame. We had to consciously choose faith, prayer and forgiveness as our building materials. Through that experience I learned that just being Christian won’t save our marriage, but living Christian principles shelters us against the stresses of our own weaknesses and everyday adversity. The sanctuary of our marriage keeps on growing, in both holiness and strength, and now, I think we may even have a roof over our heads.


  1. Andrea
    Dec 1, 2008

    Welcome to Marriage Monday and thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. You’re so right; it doesn’t take long to discover that marriage is not the magical matching portrayed on TV and in books. But thank the Lord that He has given us instructions on how to make our marriages true sanctuaries. I’m so glad you and your husband are committed to creating and maintaining a marriage that honors Him!

  2. Denise
    Dec 1, 2008

    Welcome to Marriage Monday, I enjoyed your post sweetie.

  3. Vanessa
    Dec 1, 2008

    This is great post I needed to hear it today, thank you!

  4. L Jensen
    Dec 1, 2008

    The work of creating the kind of marriage you write about continues whether you have been married 18 years for 41 years. The peaceful results are well wortht he effort. May God bless you both in your efforts.

  5. BP
    Dec 1, 2008


    The quote you posted is so true. It does take work but it is so worth it!

  6. e-Mom
    Dec 1, 2008

    Wow, beautiful! I loved this: “just being Christian won’t save our marriage, but living Christian principles shelters us against the stresses of our own weaknesses and everyday adversity.” How true that is.

    Thanks for joining us for Marriage Monday today, TJ.

    Blessings, e-Mom

  7. Miriam Pauline
    Dec 2, 2008

    Great post! Love the analogy of the building materials we must choose to build a sanctuary. Thank you for joining us at Marriage Monday!

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