What comes to mind when you envision dancing with your husband?
- a) Fred and Ginger
- b) Dancing With The Stars
- c) Arguing in the parking lot outside the dance instructor’s studio
If you answered a) or b) – congratulations! If you chose c) – read on.
It all began so sweetly. My thoughtful husband surprised me on Valentine’s Day with a certificate for ballroom dance lessons at Madame Fifi’s European Dance Studio. We were so excited at our first lesson, giggling like middle schoolers. But something happened when he took me in his arms to learn the Cha Cha.
You see, I know the Cha Cha.
One hates to brag, but I was the Cha Cha Champion of my Seventh Grade cotillion. I still remember the thrill of winning, walking in front of all my competitors…I mean, classmates, to go select my prize: a 45 record of “Delta Dawn.”
So when the music began to play, I took matters and my husband into my own hands. I clutched his shoulder in a vice grip and clutched his hand like a stick shift to steer us properly around the dance floor. Look at what quick students we were! The other couples were fumbling around and we were Cha-Cha-ing away.
Madame Fifi made a bee-line over to us, I assumed to ask us to come up front to demonstrate our model moves. She looked at me and said in her French accent, “Vat are you doing?” I explained demurely, that I had vast Cha Cha experience and was helping my novice husband to do the dance correctly.
That is when she rocked my world. She looked at me – ME – and said, “YOU are ruining ze dance! It does not matter if he does it wrong. HE MUST LEAD.” I was stunned into silence. And my husband tried to hide his smile. Oh, we would finish this conversation in the parking lot!
In this dance of married life, we wives may be less than thrilled that our husbands have been assigned the role of leader. We are gifted and perhaps more learned in Biblical matters than our husbands. And we may be more motivated than they are at this point in time.
But when it comes to marriage, giftedness does not determine roles. God does.
God determined that the husband should take the lead and the wife should follow – with delight! She would bring her gifts and experiences to help him lead, not to belittle or compete with him.
It bears repeating – husbands and wives are equal. But in marriage and ballroom dancing, our roles are not interchangeable. The Trinity demonstrates this equality and diversity perfectly: God is the boss; the Son is the Savior; the Spirit empowers us to be more like Jesus.
C.S. Lewis always explains it better than I can:
…the kind of equality which implies that the equals are interchangeable…is, among humans fiction….One of the ends for which sex was created was to symbolize to us the hidden things of God. One of the functions of human marriage is to express the nature of the union between Christ and the Church. We have no authority to take the living and sensitive figures which God has painted on the canvas of our nature and shift them about as if they were mere geometrical figures…
Madame Fifi set me straight that I did not have the authority to shift my husband’s role from leader to follower because of my perceived dance prowess. Fortunately, she rescued him/us before I ruined dancing for us forever! Beloved wife, ask God to show you how you can enhance the dance by embracing your God-given role and trust the Lord of the Dance to lead through your husband.