Twenty-six years ago this summer, I got a tiny piece of advice on my wedding day that has kept me from making a huge mistake time and time again.
A wise woman told me, “When you climb in bed each night with your husband, make sure that your feet touch under the covers. It’s hard to be mad at someone and touch feet.”
I had no idea, all those years ago, how impactful this piece of advice would be and how many times in our marriage this would be the small act that kept us united. This simple act of connecting each evening has become something in our marriage that helps keep us in alignment with one another and the Lord.
Ephesians 4:26 says, “If you are angry, don’t sin by nursing your grudge. Don’t let the sun go down with you still angry—get over it quickly.” That is one of those verses in the Bible that you want to live out, but when it comes to the moment, you secretly wish you had never heard it!
Likewise, Romans 12:18 encourages, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” That verse does not mean you allow yourself to be walked on or your voice is never heard. It does mean that you work, through the power of Jesus, to live in a way that mirrors the Lord’s heart, which is to desire the fruit of the spirit of peace. Touching feet is one way to accomplish both of those mandates.
It’s an end-of-the-day marriage proofer.
Yes, there are other things we must do as husband and wife to work on our marriage: communication, connectedness, and intentionality to love, serve, and honor. However, touching feet has proved to be the physical representation of those verses for us. It has become a daily reminder of our need for each other and to allow the Lord to be the center of our marriage.
Since being introduced to the concept, it has become our go-to recommendation for young couples as they approach their wedding day. “Touch feet—trust us!”
Of course, it never fails that the advice comes with some strange glances and nervous laughter. However, those same couples have repeatedly returned to tell us thank you for passing along that piece of guidance that was passed along to us.
What does this look like practically? At the end of the day, when we climb into bed, we let our feet touch as a symbol that everything is okay between us. Sometimes we make mention of it, sometimes not. But it’s a ritual in our bedtime routine that keeps us grounded. It’s a symbolic way of saying there isn’t anything that feels frustrating or upsetting standing in the way, and there isn’t anger in our hearts toward each other.
Don’t get me wrong, there are those nights when we don’t touch feet.
On those evenings, one of two things happens. Either it’s a very late night getting everything sorted out between us, or we simply climb into bed, fired up about something, back to back, silently wishing one of us was selfless enough to make the first move. But, inevitably, the following day, we are painfully aware that we not only wasted 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. Those are the most challenging times—we must repent to the Lord, make it right with each other, and touch feet again in our hearts.
When my husband is traveling or after a difficult phone conversation or even sometimes when we’ve just had intense fellowship in the middle of the day, we will end our discussion by asking, “Are we touching feet?” Posing this question leaves us in a place where we know 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. So it’s essential to get this right and make the most of the moments and days we are given. Although we fail, 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.