On being washed.

{The following post is a reposting of what was written for the Sacred Mundane blog on Valentine’s Day.  I wanted you to be able to access the full article in case you missed it on her blog}

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It was a busy day and my emotions were charged, the kids were in bed and I was frustrated. Very loudly, I communicated these things to Josh, as he sat quietly and listened. When I was finished, he carefully asked how I had gotten so upset over the situation. Before I could answer, he then asked if I had taken any time to read my Bible.

One of the reasons why I fell in love with my husband was because he is careful with his words. Being a person who is quick to form an opinion and voice it, I admire his wisdom. But, that day, it felt like an offense. Surly, he was just not listening; I had every right to be angry. But, he was listening. He had heard much more than I was even able to voice.

I was tarnished. The light of my heart was dull and I was trying to live on my own strength. I was clothing myself in rags and I desperately needed to be bathed. Josh loved me enough to gently encourage me towards truth.

Ephesians 5:25-27, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”

When I think about love, I don’t often think about being washed. However, real love is a daily activity stemming from sacrifice. Through washing. It is not loud or flashy; it does not draw attention to itself. Washing is quiet and faithful. The cleansing that comes is deep and refreshing. It renews and purifies.

As my husband, Josh is commanded by God to present me just as a radiant church is going to be presented to Christ, holy and blameless. This does not happen through one conversation or timely word. Josh’s words that day would have been painful to me if they had been said in judgment or detached from his character.

I was able to receive being washed because Josh has been faithfully loving me our whole relationship. It is in his character, because he is pursuing God’s will, to cleanse me.

That does not mean it was easy.

To be washed by your husband is humbling. It is uncomfortable because just as a wound feels sensitive to warm water, sin feels sensitive to the Word of God. Washing is supposed to remove the filth. It takes practice. It becomes more natural with practice and it will become more refreshing. You will desire to be cleansed by the Word.

I wanted to hide my sin and repent only in secret.

In marriage, when one partner is tarnished, the other suffers. My dull heart was defeating to Josh and his heart became grieved. Cleansing with the Word over his bride, also cleanses the husband. Presenting a pure and blameless bride is a blessing that comes from sacrificial love.

I have been cleansed. Once I know that I am pure and blameless, I can conduct myself with radiance. It draws people in and it blesses those in my midst. I can portray the warmth and cheerfulness that comes from knowing I’m cleansed, and go forth in the security it provides.

Is that something you want sister? To be washed and go forth in security? It is a humbling process, but it will change your relationship with your husband. It will transform your relationship with the Lord. Go and be cleansed. Go and become radiant.

{Picture is from Google Images}

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