My husband and I have taken up swing dancing. I am finding his interest in learning very exciting because I have a background in dance. I studied dance all through school and learned various kinds from my mom as well as dance lessons. In other words I have a lot of background in dance and thought I knew what I was doing.
The revelation came the other day when we were watching a Youtube Howto video about the basic steps. You see I have a lot of "know how" but I was never taught how to follow the leader. In any type of ballroom dancing (including swing) one partner has to lead and the other follows or else you end up with chaos and very poor dancing. My dad never danced so my mom taught me the basics because she loved to dance. She had never learned about having a leader, either in dance or in marriage so she never taught me.
In swing dancing the male and female parts are completely opposite. The leader gently makes small moves to let the female know what the next step is. There are no exaggerated moves, no shoving in one direction or another, everything is small and hidden so that it seems like each knows exactly what comes next--even when new partners are dancing together. In general, females tend to know more about how the actual dance works (as is the case with my husband and I)--it is part of our nature to study these things which is good because it lets us better read our partners signals.
The point is that, no matter how much knowledge the female has, she has to follow the male's lead or they are going to be going in completely wrong directions and in the end not be dancing together at all. (It is very easy to "lose ones partner" while swing dancing since you often let go of hands). However, if she follows his lead, regardless of how "off" it is they will look like they are together and the dance will be much better than if she had tried to lead in the direction she wanted to go.
This was quite the revelation to me. I knew the military version of a leader and how that applied to marriage but the dance version makes more sense to me. The cool thing is that a male, by nature, will try to do his best and is very competitive with other males about doing his best, and if he is in the leader part he will try to learn it the best he can, especially if he KNOWS his partner is relying on him to make good moves.
You are probably wondering what the question is.
Biblically speaking we in marriage are called to take up our roles so that our households will be peaceful. The male role is that of leader--regardless of his preparation or his spiritual state he is to be leader of the household so that there is order. God has placed that on his head and he will be held accountable for it. The female part is to be his second in command or in dance terms, his partner. He is to lead and she is to follow his lead as closely as she can.
In what ways have you taken up the wrong role?
If you are female, have you taken up the leader part? Look for those subtle moves in the direction he wants to go--if you look you will see them and recognize them. What change can you make RIGHT NOW to start
things going in the right direction again?
If male, have you backed up and let your wife lead? Also, have your moves been overpowering or too harsh? How can you subtlety help her see the direction you want to go?
And regardless of gender--have you discussed with your marriage partner to find out what your goals are? If I am waltzing and my husband is swing dancing then we are never going to get it straight.
Ephesians 5:22-32 22Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30for we are members of his body.
31"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."[c] 32This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Thank you Heather. You always encourage me. Lynn
Also, Have any of you been to a DOOT Party? It is funny. Pop over to Laced With Grace and find out about this silliness.