A Feet of Commitment

Brad says…
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)

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27 Responses to A Feet of Commitment

  1. Jenni and I both remember the time during our dating years that I washed her feet.  It was a powerful symbol of my intentions toward serving her. 

    I agree with you completely on this!  Thanks for sharing it.

  2. Beautiful!  I'm glad I was at home when I read this, the tears streamed down my face…

  3. My daughter is getting married and she and her fiancé are going to do this instead of lighting candles or pouring sand. I am very happy that they want to do this and have had fun hunting for just the right basin and pictures with my daughter. I don’t care if its awkward or if the guests can’t see good or if they don’t understand. We will laugh our way through like we do in life. What an awesome thing it is that they want to start their marriage this way, serving each other as they follow Jesus!

    • Hi June! That is awesome. It was a part of our ceremony that I will never forget! Blessings to your daughter and her soon to be hubby! Kate

  4. My nephew and his fiance are planning to have foot-washing at their wedding. I’d like to give them special towels for this. Any suggestions for something meaningful that could be monogrammed or a special design?

    Thanks!!

  5. Brad,
    My fiance and I are going to have a foot washing ceremony in our wedding. We were wondering what song you had played during your foot washing.

    Thanks
    Jamie

    • Oh my goodness wow. I’m going to publicly admit that I have absolutely no idea what song was playing. I remember the event very clearly, but I have no idea about the music. I’ll guess that Kate will probably remember. But my 2 cents is that you play something just as background music. The point isn’t the song it is the significance of the act.

      • Ok, confession time-I had no idea either. But for you Jamie, I went and dug out our wedding album to see. We used Steven Curtis Chapman’s “I Will Be Here”! It is a bit 80’s, but such a great song. LOL! Blessings to you and fiance! Kate

    • We played God Blessed the Broken Road by Selah, as it had special meaning for us as we are older and this is our second marriages and we went thru a really hard long journey until we met each other.

  6. I love this idea. I grew up in a church where washing of the feet is a tradition along with the sacrament. So this would be completely natural and a very humbling experience for both bride and groom. As a song suggestion, I would have playing “Order My Steps”.

  7. Wonderful article. We did the foot washing at our wedding also. It is nice to put into words why it is done and the meaning of it to explain to our family and friends.

  8. Indeed, this is a powerful act of giving honor to the one you love.. In fact, I am planning to insert this in our wedding ceremony.. Great job! ^_^

  9. Hello! I loved your article and am planning on doing a feet washing ceremony at my wedding in may. I was just curious, where did you stick it in in your ceremony?

    • Hi Krystal! Goodness, I would probably have to pull out the good ole wedding video to be sure . . . but I think it was after our vows. Hope that helps! Blessings, Kate

  10. I love this article and am so grateful for the information it provides. We will be doing a foot washing at our wedding and I will use some of your info on my wedding programs to help my guests understand why we’re doing it. Thanks so much!

  11. Am humbled as i read you feet washing post i hope all couples getting married carried do this and carry it into they marriage .

  12. […] our wedding day we included a foot washing in our ceremony. It was our desire to show the world and show each other that we […]

  13. What kind of “reading” was done before/during? I’ve googled this and I can’t find anything… they have all kinds of neat little things to say during a sand ceremony but I can’t find anything on feet washing….

    • Hi Marissa, our pastor read John 13:1-17 before and then a friend was singing during the footwashing! Hope that helps! Blessings, Kate

  14. Kate, OMG I am so very glad I came across this post. Not only did it make me tear up, but also an idea in which my future Husband
    and I can use during our wedding. Lol Such a beautiful idea, and the meaning behind it is just beyond me. We are both lovers of
    Christ and this was an idea I thought of, but so happen came across your post for a reminder. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this!
    Blessings and prosperous to you both and your marriage, XOXO!