Oh, the comfort - the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person - having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away. ~Dinah Craik, A Life for a Life, 1859

We live in a performance driven culture with stress that can make even the most emotionally steady person start to pull apart at the seams.  One wrong word or false step can get us plastered on someone’s blog, YouTube or some other form of wide spread communiqué.  Corporations are down sizing and the pressure to “get ahead” is greater than ever for many in the business world. 

While the Bible gives us truth to handle these high pressured situations, a great source of relief to our spouse can come from our marriage relationship.

I started thinking about the importance of being a “safe place” when my husband became a source of comfort and truth after I recently found myself rather unbecomingly plastered on one of those wide spread communiqués. He reminded me of the truth to help me get perspective, prayed for me and gave me what this girl always needs when she’s down -- a good hug. 

As my mind turned over how important it is for marriage to be a source of comfort, I started noticing how many times people share marital problems that have a common root -- one spouse has an insecurity/weakness and the other is throwing salt in the wound. 

Marriage was intended to be a relationship of intimacy and that means vulnerability. After God, your spouse is the one who sees nearly every flaw. How we respond to each other’s weaknesses and insecurities can make or break the trust so vital to the intimacy of marriage. 

Responding with compassion and understanding creates an atmosphere of comfort, safety and trust.  Not only will your marriage be stronger, but as individuals you will be able to conquer more of those daunting tasks in life because you know you have a cheerleader right there beside you. As a husband or a wife, you have a place of influence that no one else has! We are wise to learn how to be our spouse’s safe place.

The following are some of the ways God prescribes we offer comfort and encouragement to our family in Christ:

2 Corinthians 1:3-5: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.  

All of us feel overwhelmed or discouraged at times. When you see your spouse in that predicament instead of reminding him that he needs to work harder to climb the ladder of success or poking a finger at her struggle to juggle the demands of kids, the house and work, choose to comfort them with grace and love. God allows us to experience trials for many reasons, but one of them is because he wants us to reach out with compassion and understanding to others.

2 Corinthians 1:7: …knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort.

The context of this verse describes a ministry partnership relationship, but doesn’t it also well describe how our marriages work? We ought to experience each others sufferings, but also share our comforts. 

2 Corinthians 2:7: …forgive and comfort him, otherwise such a one might be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.