Sanctified Space

Sanctification. It means "setting something apart."

We all have things in our lives that we sanctify, whether it's that one outfit that you only wear for extra-special occasions, or something more abstract, like the exact way you feel about your significant other when they give you that one look that makes your knees go a little weak. You know exactly what that feeling is like, but you don't share it. Those things are set apart somehow, to a greater or lesser degree, and their set-apartness gives them a kind of reverence, a kind of holiness.

But what about an actual place? Have you ever thought about sanctifying a space?

During our trip in Pittsburgh, we stayed with our friend James and had a conversation that lasted off and on through the weekend about things of this nature. James pointed out to us his perception, as a single guy, of the incredible power of a place that is sealed off, only accessible to a select few. His example was the bedroom of a married couple. He said he's sort of disappointed when his married friends don't make their bedroom completely off-limits to visitors, because of the inherent power that comes with the exclusion.

When nobody but you (or you and your spouse, or you and your children, or you and a select group of friends, or whatever) can enter a room, that room becomes sanctified. Much like when families had both a family room and a parlor--one for family, one for entertaining distinguished guests--the room itself becomes associated with a certain feeling.

Have you ever thought about cordoning off some part of your house--even if it's only the size of a closet--and saying that it is completely forbidden to everyone...except for you? It might not feel different right away, but over time, it becomes a haven, a retreat. You get certain habits that you associate with that room.

Not to be overly flip, but I think right now the room that most matches this description in my house is the bathroom. You know what I mean. As soon as I turn that lock, I relax. I know what's expected of me. I know what to expect of the room. I know that nobody else can come in without my say-so. I am totally alone for as long as I want to be, and I'll stay that way until I come out.

Mr. Scrimp and  I are thinking about closing off our bedroom, so that nobody is allowed in except for us. We already keep it fairly private, but there's no hard and fast rule about it. Maybe there should be. I wonder how it would change our day to day lives to have a space that we have set apart by intention rather than by default. I wonder what it would do for us to tell our friends that our bedroom is forbidden to anybody but ourselves, that it is holy because it is in so many ways the base of operations for our lives and our marriage.

Do you already do this? Are you considering it? Leave a comment and let me know. I'll be sure to tell you all when we make a decision about whether to try this or not, and how it goes.


  1. My husb. and I are lucky in that we have a large enough place to have our own separate spaces. He has his office, and I have my room. And, for the most part, we don't intrude into each other's spaces. It has been incredibly helpful to have that space to myself.

  2. We kind of do it unintentionally, especially since we got the dog and we don't want him poking around when we can't see him, but our bedroom door is generally always closed. But it just makes sense. It's our bedroom, it's not really a space meant for hanging out in (friends don't need to see my sad pile of laundry).

    But, like pseudoliterarti said, Dan and I have our own separate rooms in which we have an agreement that we can keep as we please (i.e. I can clutter it up as much as I want as long as I try to maintain order in the other places I spend time).



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...