Sunday, May 24, 2015


I teach at an Arts Academy. My sixth graders had been working on a play that included a little dancing....more accurately...a little "Tango."

I am not much of a dancer. Besides the fact that I tend to be highly uncoordinated, and have had some unfortunate run-ins with dance instructors and choreographers, I was brought up in a strict legalistic church where dancing was considered a sin. It kind of stunts your growth in the skillz department when your church teaches you are going to hell for it. I always felt I was born to be a tap-dancer.....but anyway...

I asked one of the choreographers where I work to come in for a couple days to work with my kids to teach them how to Tango. The kids loved it! But as I observed the choreographer teaching the kids how to dance together, I found myself wishing that my 6th graders would take what they are learning from their mini tango lesson, and apply it to their future marriage relationships.

My favorite date John has ever taken me on was to go swing dancing. He knew I loved swing dancing, and it was 100% out of his comfort zone.....but he did the research, and took me. It was so much fun! And even then, as I was helping to teach my future husband how to swing dance, I was being taught the lessons of our collaborative relationship.

We've been married for 8 mos. now, we are moving into a new apartment and we irritate each other to no end. Sometimes I wonder how I can respect someone who doesn't treat me with love, and I'm sure that John sometimes wonders how he can love someone who doesn't treat him with respect.

I wonder what it looks like to respect someone, to help someone be a good leader in a relationship, without becoming the lead myself.

And then I look back to the swing dancing lessons, and the tango lesson taught to my sixth graders by my colleague.

A good dance partner makes dancing easy.

The man leads. He does not pull or, jerk, or yank. He gently guides with a pressing of the hand on the small of the back, a gentle motion from the palm of the hand. Both dance in step. The woman, submits to the motions of the man, because if she goes the wrong way, and tries to do her own thing, they end up stepping on each others toes, or getting tangled up in arms and limbs.

But we have to spend hours upon hours of training to get this right in dancing, and I'm sure near a lifetime to get this right in marriage.

It is so difficult to submit when someone is pulling and yanking. It hurts. And it is hard to lead when the other is doing their own thing and going their own way. But when both are working together in tandem, leading and submitting, collaborating, it is a beautiful, fun, breathtaking experience.

The Hubs and I are not very good at this yet. Like our dance lessons, we are clumsy, trying to learn new steps, where hands and feet go, when the next turn is. Sometimes I have to remind him how to lead. At our lessons I was much more patient than I am at home. I would tease, or gently guide his hand back to the small of my back, and readjust our hand positions. At home I get impatient, it is easier to decide to do things myself because I have gotten by on my own for so long.

But if I do things myself, we both get hurt. When he tries to abruptly yank me in the direction he wants to go, I get hurt. It isn't fun anymore.

I look forward to a time when our relationship resembles a more mature one.

You have turned for me my mourning into dancing: you have put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; 
Psalm 30:11

I look forward to a day, when our marriage is a full expression of joy, and a reflection of God's love. 

This is The Hubs Aunt and Uncle. They participated in a Tedx and their talk and illustration are way more eloquent, and experienced than anything I could say on the matter:

Share this Post Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Pin This