Sacramentental Intimacy

Jesus participated in sacraments that some churches—liturgical and evangelical—still practice today. But have you ever considered how these same  sacramental acts could add intimacy to  your marriage?

Practice Sacraments to Grow in Intimacy

  1. Feet Washing

Often I pray, “Lord, show me how to love my husband today.” If we ask, He is faithful to give us an answer. The morning I heard Wash his feet, I wasn’t sure I heard correctly. So I didn’t do it that day. Or the next….

Day after day, I heard the same answer.

What would that even look like, anyway?

The Meaning of Feet Washing

All throughout his time with his disciples on earth, Jesus had demonstrated a deep and tender love for them. The night before Passover, He longed to show them the full measure of his love. (In those days, it was the custom for the house servant to wash the dirty, dusty feet of those entering the house.)

So he …took off his outer robe, took a towel and wrapped it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ dirty feet and dry them with his towel. (John 13:4-8)

Impetuous Peter  couldn’t fathom that the Messiah wanted to wash his feet. But Jesus firmly stressed “But Peter, if you don’t allow me to wash your feet, then you will not be able to share life with me.”

Sharing life is what a married couple does, right?

The church I grew up in participated in a yearly communion and  feet washing service.  For me it was a nervously, going-through-the-motions act.  And I hated it.

That changed when my feet were washed the way I believe Jesus demonstrated. As a dear woman tenderly washed and dried my feet, she prayed the most beautiful blessing  that touched my heart to the core.

This intimate, humble blessing  rocked my ignorant thinking.

On the night I decided to wash Dennis’ feet, I admit I was nervous. I felt self-conscious and vulnerable. Yet I knew it would speak love to my husband in a way I’d not expressed before.

I gathered the items I would need: a basin of warm water filled with scented Epsom salts, a towel, sugar scrub, a pumice stone, nail clippers, and lotion. As I gently washed his feet, I spoke a blessing from my heart and thanked him for being so good to me. His feet (and his heart, he said) were smoothed, massaged and pampered.

What a way to love the one you share life with. Intimacy at its finest.

2.  Communion

Dennis and I regularly take communion after our dinner meal. Years ago we read The Meal that Heals by Perry Stone,  which opened our eyes to Communion’s benefits.

Currently we are reading The Power of Communion by Beni Johnson. She stresses the need to daily remember what Jesus accomplished for us on the cross.

Jesus took some bread …[and] broke the bread and handed it to his apostles. Then he said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Eat this as a way of remembering me!” Luke 22:19-20

Taking communion together regularly  is a way to remember what Jesus did for us. Re-Membering means we realign our soul, body and spirit with Christ.

We remember His broken body and his shed blood;

  • recounting His faithfulness in our past,

  • realizing His provision in the present

  • and anchoring onto His promises for the future.

3.  Sabbath

Jesus observed the Sabbath, modeling for us a Stop Day

Sabbath is good for our bodies, souls and spirits. But in marriage, a sabbath as a couple looks like a date. Getting away together to relax, recharge and reenergize as a couple.

Just as Jesus would often slip away to be alone with His Father, removing ourselves from the busyness of life  to do fun, couple stuff creates intimacy both wives and husbands crave.  Even if it’s just for a couple of hours, the time alone as a couple is refreshing.

4.  Prayer

Many wives tell us  they wish their husbands would pray with them. Nothing is more intimate to women than having their husbands join them in prayer.

Guys, prayer doesn’t need to be hours long. It is as simple as saying the blessing before meals, saying the Lord’s Prayer together, or praying a  short Scripture verse.

Trust me, men. Your wives will LOVE this!

5.  Forgiveness

The hours leading to His crucifixion provided many opportunities to forgive. Jesus was betrayed, beaten, denied, rejected, accused, abused and abandoned.

While they were nailing Jesus to the cross, he prayed over and over, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing.”  

A healthy marriage is one where forgiveness is released and requested over and over.  To have the intimacy you both want and need, please learn and practice these 7 words: I was wrong. Will you forgive me?

As you prepare your hearts  to celebrate Resurrection Day this Sunday, consider implementing these five sacraments to grow intimacy in your marriage.

Do you think practicing these sacraments will increase intimacy in your marital relationship?
How can you “do what Jesus did” to grow more intimate with your spouse?

Photo by James Coleman on Unsplash

 

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