After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. John 13:5
Last Friday, we had a foot washing ceremony at our marriage connection group fellowship. The exciting thing about the foot-washing ceremony is that it was the wives who washed their husbands’ feet. The idea came from my wife, who shared with me that many women struggled to say sorry. So, she felt that washing their husbands’ feet would be a touchable way of expressing sorrow for any hurt they may have caused.
Many of the couples who participated in the foot-washing ceremony said the experience humbled them and felt their marriages had transitioned to a higher level of intimacy. After I posted the pictures on Facebook, I received many comments and likes. Most of the comments were from women who thought that it was a good idea that could help many marriages.
For me, the women were not only washing their husbands’ feet, but they were also sanctifying and purifying their marriages. Their willingness to humble themselves at their husbands’ feet mirrors Jesus’ willingness to take on the form of a servant to serve and not be served. That was the ultimate expression of the agape love that Paul talks about in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.
In John 13:1-17, we read about Jesus washing his disciple’s feet. He did so as an expression of his love for the disciples and as an opportunity to teach them what it means to be a kingdom- servant. More precisely, this was a lesson in humility and sacrificial love. It taught the disciples what it means to be a servant-leader.
Covenantal marriage is a physical manifestation of the spiritual relationship we have with God through Jesus Christ. Though Jesus was King of kings and Lord of lords, he washed his disciples’ feet in a demonstration of humility. Jesus not only washed our sins with his blood, but his gospel also purifies us so we can live holy.
When we are mindful of washing one another’s feet, we will be careful not to hurt one another. The love that prompts us to wash someone else’s feet is patient, kind, not boastful, and not arrogant. It suffers long and endures all things. That’s the type of love that forgives all things and seeks reconciliation for the sake of unity.
Someone asks me how we can get more couples to love one another with the love of Christ. I told him, by showing them the type of humility Jesus showed his disciples when he washed their feet. Imagine if during couples’ date night while individuals are eating and playing games, someone pulls out a bucket and begins to wash their spouse’s feet.
Many couples invest in retirement accounts. They buy properties and other assets that they will bequeath to their spouses when they die. Yet they would not take five minutes to wash one another’s feet to express the depth of their love for one another.
Instead of buying an expensive gift for your spouse or your children for their birthday or an anniversary, can I recommend you wash their feet so they can see the depth of your love for them? If you have hurt or wound a friend or another believer, pray for the courage to wash that person’s feet in a demonstration of contrition and agape love.
Prayer- Blessed Lord, please teach us to love the way Jesus loved so we can strengthen the bond of fellowship in the Body of Christ.