(From a blog post written for the Unite Marriage Conference at Seacoast Church coming this October 11-12th).
Seventeen years ago this summer, I got some advice on my wedding day that has kept me, more times than I care to admit, from making a huge mistake.
A wise woman told me, “When you climb in bed each night, make sure that your feet touch. It’s hard to be mad at someone and touch feet.” This simple act has become something in our marriage that helps to keep us not only in alignment with one another, but with the Lord as well.
In Ephesians 4:26 it says, “Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry.” (Oh trust me, I’ve done it plenty.) And, in Romans 12:18 it encourages “Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone”. What’s our little secret to a healthy marriage? It’s our little marriage-proofer… touching feet.
So what does this look like in our house? Well, at the end of the day when we climb in bed, we let our feet touch as a symbol that everything is OK between us; that there isn’t anything that feels frustrating or upsetting and there isn’t any reason to be angry. Now, there are those nights when we don’t touch feet and one of two things happen. Either #1) it’s a LATE night getting everything all sorted out or #2) we climb into bed fired up about something, back to back, silently wishing one of us were selfless enough to make the first move – and we don’t – and sleep finally comes, and when we wake and go about our day, we realize we wasted not only the joy of being in fellowship with one another, but realize we’ve broken fellowship with the Lord by disobeying what he has commanded us to do. Time to repent, make it right, and touch feet.
When my husband is traveling or after a hard phone conversation or sometimes when we’ve just had intense fellowship in the middle of the day, we will end our conversation with ‘Are we touching feet?’ and it leaves us in a place where we know that we are honoring the Lord by choosing to be at peace with one another.
Life is short. We aren’t promised the next minute, much less the next 50 years. It’s important to get this right and make the most of the moments and days we are given. Although we fail at it and get angry and want our own way, most nights, we’re touching feet and resting with the peace of Christ in our hearts knowing we’re honoring Him…..and we’d love to encourage you and your spouse to do the same.
Tara is Greg's girl, mom to two sons of thunder, a hunger fighter, big dreamer and worship pastor at seacoast church.