When reading Kate’s, “Intentional Commitments” I thought back to that day that a very nervous guy was finally able to say “I Do” to the girl of his dreams. While Kate was challenging us to think back to our wedding vows and live them out today, I thought back to another part of our special day. No, not the wedding night, that was special but I was actually thinking about something special that Kate and I worked in to our wedding ceremony, a foot washing.
Trust me you are not the only ones scratching your heads, our parents and families were all a bit confused when we said we wanted to have a foot washing as part of our wedding ceremony. Why did we break the norm and take time to pour water on each others feet? In John 13: 1-17, Jesus washed his disciples feet and instructed that we should do the same. Kate and I decided to start our marriage together with this symbol of humble love. At the time this was based on the idea of service to each other, each becoming less so that the other and thus the couple could be come more. While this is still part of the experience I think there are many other things this act can teach all of us.
Washing your wife’s / husband’s feet:
- Says I love you.
- Shows that you honor and respect your spouse.
- Demonstrates a humility of heart and character, kneeling before your spouse.
- Communicates “I will be here for you through the muck and mud of life”.
- Places you in a position of prayer (on your knees) a great place to be in marriage.
Having your feet washed:
- Says you are loved
- Shows you can receive your spouses support, and won’t “go it alone”
- Communicates, “I will let you help me”
- Places you in a position of power, which we need to remember we hold, so we don’t abuse it!
This single act is so powerful. It communicates so many things on so many levels! I think that is why Jesus encouraged us to follow his example. I encourage each of you to take time to read Jesus’s words and take time live it out in your marriage. Will it be a bit awkward? Maybe, but I promise that it will boost your commitment to each other, and bring you to a new experience of one flesh commitment!
Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end. It was time for supper, and the devil had already prompted Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him. When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.” “No,” Peter protested, “you will never ever wash my feet!”Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.”Simon Peter exclaimed, “Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet!” Jesus replied, “A person who has bathed all over does not need to wash, except for the feet, to be entirely clean. And you disciples are clean, but not all of you.” For Jesus knew who would betray him. That is what he meant when he said, “Not all of you are clean.” After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them. (John 13: 1-17 NLT)