In a culture of divorce, broken hearts and broken families, pain often seems far more prevalent than purpose. Hurt echoes through homes so loudly, it’s hard to hear hope. And a dangerous silence always seems to be lurking in tense places, waiting for its opportunity to mute apologies. To hush cries for conversation.
I climbed a family tree of broken limbs. I saw brokenness in my parent’s marriage with the suicide of my father. And I saw brokenness long before the gun’s trigger was pulled.
The world would like to convince us that if we’ve always only ever known splinters and falling leaves, our marriage is destined for the same. That the new family tree we begin in marriage is bound to bend in the storms and crack in the cold. That when wedded bliss turns to “What did I miss?” there is only one way out. To jump from the branches and run.
I pray you stay. I pray you do not run, with your ragged feet and aching heart. I pray that you turn from the world, and look to the Word. It’s breathing pages made from the same timber that creaks beneath you.
I pray you rest in the remembrance that God nurtured the seeds that shaped your love. That He was present in the covenant, the planting of your tree. That He has been with you in the growth, that He has held fast your roots through the storms. That though the winds of life have cracked branches and twisted vines, He has sustained you through the days.
MAY YOUR PURSUIT OF GOD'S UNWAVERING WILL IN YOUR LIVES LEAD THE STEPS OF YOUR JOURNEY AS ONE FLESH.
I pray that your hands and feet, weary from climbing and blistered from gripping onto your fleeting love, find their way back to one another. I pray your knees calloused as you fall to them in PRAYER for your partner. I pray your weathered hands find their way into one another’s palms.
But most of all, I pray your tired feet are washed. Not washed by a stranger whose appeal seems enough to ease your angst. But by one another. Wives, I pray you take a knee to wash the feet of your husband. Husbands, I pray you kneel before your bride and wash hers.
Throughout scripture, a picture of Christ’s humility and servanthood is painted for us in the washing of feet. Early in the book of John, we see Mary wash the feet of Jesus. John 12:1-3 reads,
“Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with Him. Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume … ”
Husband and wife, may you always come together with the attitude of Mary. In the midst of a busy world of expectation and selfish ambition, may you never fail to kneel before the Throne of Grace, offering all you have out of reverence for Christ. May you never fail to kneel before one another in humility and sacrificial love, offering all you have for your betrothed.
May your commitment to your spouse -- physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually -- always mirror that of your commitment to Christ. May those commitments remain your priority, no matter your circumstances or plight. May your pursuit of God’s unwavering will in your lives lead the steps of your journey as one flesh. And when the world is hard and your feet grow weary, may you always return to this position of covenantal love.
We see the picture of Christ’s love completed later in the book of John as Jesus, the One Whose feet had been washed, takes a knee to wash the feet of His disciples. As the scripture tells the story of Jesus’ submission and love for His bride, the Church, one of the most poignant passages winds its way through the narrative. John 13:1 gently reads,
“ … Having loved his own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.”
Husband and wife, may you love one another to the end. May you learn, daily, what it means to love another as Christ loved the Church. And as you fail one another -- may you forgive to the end. And as you grow weary with one another -- may you seek strength to the end. And as you delight in one another -- may you cling to faithfulness to the end. And as you challenge one another -- may you grow to the end. As you learn to love another who is in the world, love them to the end.
May your family tree be strengthened and fortified by the storms it’s weathered and the amazing grace it’s found.