“Gotten up from supper, Jesus took off His garments, and taking a [servant’s] towel, He fastened it around His waist. Then He poured water into the washbasin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the [servant’s] towel with which He was girded.
…For I have given you this as an example, so that you should do [in your turn] what I have done to you.”
John 13:4-5, 15 AMP
The are many applications we could make from this exchange between Jesus and the disciples. However I will forego many so I can get to the point. I will also skip over the multitude of experiences many Christians have awkwardly endured as someone tried to wash their feet.
I want to speak to one specific group in this post – husbands.
Jesus is the standard all husbands should strive toward becoming like. Paul instructs husbands to love their bride just like Christ does the Church (Ephesians 5).
How did Jesus love the Church? He did so sacrificially. In other words, husbands should strive to sacrifice their life for their wife.
Before you go jumping on some cross, let me expound.
Being a servant is a choice to sacrifice your preferences in an effort to serve someone else. Jesus could have done many things after this meal. I mean, He was literally about to give His life up.
What would you do with you last hours of life? Golfing? Fishing? Rent a sports car and drive it like you stole it? Either way I bet washing someone’s feet isn’t on the list.
Yet, Jesus sets an example telling us He wants our lives to be focused on serving. As a husband, how different would your marriage be if your sole focus was to serve your wife? Not so that you can get some, but because you love God and love your spouse. There was no immediate return Jesus received. In fact, I’m convinced He did it expecting nothing in return. Yet He did eventually receive something – open hearts and souls toward Him. Countless lives have been opened to Him over the centuries.
I know, I know. I don’t know your situation. I get it. We all have reasons to not serve our spouse. We all have experiences and hurts and pains. Jesus did too. And He still served. Perhaps your decision to lay down your rights and preferences in order to serve your spouse is the one thing that will eventually turn your marriage around. It will open her heart toward you. After all, that is how Jesus did it. He sacrificed His life and reaped our affection!
So husbands, I encourage us – make the bed, do the laundry, give the kids a bath, run the vacuum, share your heart with your wife, pray for your spouse, and find ways to serve your wife based on her needs and desires. And then tomorrow, wake up and do the same thing again.
Here’s the bottom line: either you will sacrifice yourself for your marriage or you will sacrifice your marriage for yourself.
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