The concept of the histone code posits that histone modifications regulate gene functions once interpreted by epigenetic readers. A well-studied case is trimethylation of lysine 4 of histone H3 (H3K4me3), which is enriched at gene promoters. However, H3K4me3 marks are not needed for the expression of most genes, suggesting extra roles, such as influencing the 3D genome architecture. Here, we highlight an intriguing analogy between the H3K4me3-dependent induction of double-strand breaks in several recombination events and the impact of this same mark on DNA incisions for the repair of bulky lesions. We propose that Su(var)3-9, Enhancer-of-zeste and Trithorax (SET)-domain methyltransferases generate H3K4me3 to guide nucleases into chromatin spaces, the favorable accessibility of which ensures that DNA break intermediates are readily processed, thereby safeguarding genome stability.