Cattails, Rabbit Trails, and Thistlefish: Marriage is Teaching Me... To Wash Feet (and floors)

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Marriage is Teaching Me... To Wash Feet (and floors)

In a world that tells you to "Stand up for yourself!"
Jesus tells you to "Follow Me; get on your knees; wash their feet."

The Big Picture:

"If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you." John 13:14-15

I think it is really powerful when people take this literally and they wash someone else's feet. Some couples have done this in the middle of a marriage ceremony, which is really cool.
But I think it becomes even more applicable when we read this story and see Jesus' example and just an example that can be used in other ways.

Foot-washing was an every-day thing, typically done by a servant. It was a gross thing to do because people wore strappy sandals and walked everywhere.
It was a dirty job
a lowly job
a daily job
an unappealing job
a despised job
a job you could probably take for granted
an unglamorous job.

Why was I so salty?

(Sidenote: Before you read this, know that Jon does a lot of housework and most of it without me even bringing it up, so don't read this as a complaint about what Jon does/doesn't do around the house! Me doing the cleaning was way overdue;)

I was washing the floors today and scrubbing the bathroom while Jon was gone, and I was tempted to get a little salty that I was the one doing it. Not because of anything in particular, it just really wasn't something I wanted to do today! I didn't necessarily mind doing it, but as I prayed and thought a little deeper, I think I was actually more than a little irritated that I was the one doing it.

In fact, I felt a little offended that I was laying down what I wanted to do today - laying down my rights and my plans and my selfishness - to, for what felt like the 1,000th time, do something for him.

This is the moment I realized that I was following what the world says ("Stand up for yourself!") instead of following Jesus' example when He says "Wash his feet."

The Turn-Around

(Another sidenote: processing why you are feeling the way that you are is crucial for being able to address the problem.)
Once I realized who I was listening to and who I was letting define my identity in the moments I was Swiffer-ing the floors and vacuuming the living room my heart had the opportunity to repent and turn around.

And it's funny how quickly my heart's attitude turns around when all I do is choose Jesus' way over my own... because it seems like as soon as I realized the sin in my heart that was stealing my joy today, God gave me the grace to bless Jon - and, in turn, bless myself - with my work instead of growing bitter.

The World's Example vs Jesus' Example:

We, as women, are constantly bombarded with influences that wants to see us stand up for our rights as equals instead of lay down our rights to serve our brothers/husbands/sisters/families/etc.

We live in a world where putting other's first looks weak.
We live in a world that tells us to fight for what we want.
We live in a world where serving others is lowly, unappealing, unglamorous.
(Just like washing feet.)

But I argue that if Jesus - the King, the Creator, my Savior Jesus - is willing to lay down His dignity, His clean hands, His rights, to wash His creation's feet, how could this lowly, dirty, daily, unglamorous work be pointless?
Yes, it looks way less fun, and way less productive... even look foolish!
But if this is how Jesus has chosen to accomplish His work, I want in.

"But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world... so that no human being might boast in the presence of God." 1 Corinthians 1:27-29

Your Opportunities to Wash Feet

These unglamorous housewife days are days that nobody cares about except for Jesus, and He uses every moment of them for character development.

And maybe you aren't a housewife, or a wife at all! But I guarantee you that Jesus has put people in your life to serve, and given you lowly, dirty, unappreciated, despised, daily, unappealing, unglamorous ways to serve them.
Will you let these opportunities slip by because you would rather stand up for yourself and claim your rights? To insist this work is below you? To object that you have more important things to do?

Or will you see these moments are also opportunities to walk directly in His footsteps?

Praying you and I will both have the humility and the boldness to choose His ways over the world's ways. (Even when it means housework.)
Linking up with MomfessionalsSept FarmBright on a BudgetMore Pieces of MeElegantly Fashionable, & My Bows & Clothes


  1. This is a super great post, Casey! Thank you for reminding me to be humble and that the menial tasks are what prepare me for the great ones!


  2. Great post! I know I'm terrible about complaining my way through my less-than-favorite tasks, so I'll definitely have to keep these thoughts in mind! I know I struggle to "do all things without grumbling or complaining," but it's something we're commanded to do, isn't it?!
    Thanks for sharing at the Grace + Lace Linkup!