Before getting engaged, my soon-to-be husband and I went ring shopping. After choosing our rings, we were given the option to get them engraved. But we couldn’t really think of anything profound. “I love you” seemed a little too cliche, so we decided to wait. After we got a little bit of life under our belts, maybe we would see a theme emerge from our relationship.
And my experience was wonderful, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what made it so nice. Then one day he put into words what I had been feeling. He said: “you are my safe place”. I felt the Spirit when he said that–those words really encapsulated what we felt for each other. I felt safe being around him, being his companion, living with him, talking to him, sharing my heart with him. I felt like I could just be myself. . .and still be deeply loved. We had created something great in our marriage–a safe place. For our one year anniversary I got those words inscribed on his ring “you are my safe place”. How I treasure that truth!
This was all said and done before knowing that we would one day teach marriage classes that set this very thing as the foundation of a happy marriage: safety. These marriage classes use a curriculum called PREP® (created by Scott Stanley and Howard Markman) which outlines four types of safety:
- Physical safety: Freedom from physical harm
- Commitment safety: Feeling like your spouse won’t leave you or threaten the solidarity of the relationship
- Community safety: Knowing you have resources to rely on in times of need–help from friends, family, neighbors, businesses, the government etc. (note: these classes can actually be a form of community safety because they supply couples with a resource to strengthen their marriage!)
- Emotional Safety: Feeling loved and accepted unconditionally and feeling like you trust your spouse completely. This is the type of safety that means the most to me and makes me feel at ease in my relationship, less anxiety about myself as a person, and an abundance of joy in life in general!
The “Passport 2 Love” marriage classes help couples build emotional safety in their relationships. Some of the skills that couples learn that are conducive to emotional safety are:
- Being aware of and steering clear of “Communication Danger Signs”
- Using a special communication technique to increase understanding and reduce conflict
- Understanding more about who your spouse is and how they feel
- Steps to problem solving
- Being aware of/acting on your spouse’s loves styles
Of course, all of these things are learned in a safe environment–most of the sharing takes place during fun activities between spouses. We remind attendees not to share anything in front of the class that would make their spouse feel embarrassed or uncomfortable. We want each of the couples that attend the classes to feel that their marriage is their “safe place” and we start by striving to make the date nights as such.
A new series of free date nights/marriage classes will be starting in March. See the links below to register. Please note: We ask that you only register if you are able to commit to all five weeks. There will be more classes starting in April. So if you are not able to commit to all five weeks this time, there will still be a chance later on!
Click on the date you would like to start your 5-week series:
Saturday, March 5 and continues every Thursday in March taught by STF contributor, Klea Harris and her husband, Mike.
Saturday, March 12 this is the class my husband and I are teaching!