I apologize for not having this out sooner. I’ve been working on tid bits of this since July so I should, key word “should”, have done it by now…. but I’ve been stressed out and juggling a lot of issues.
Anyways sorry for my sad rant of life, lets get down to business.
Dancing and Jesus. What do they have in common? Even greater is the question is how is dancing, Jesus, and marriage all similar and how examples of each other?
Well I’m glad I got you to ask the question. I’ve been studying a little bit into this and we will dive right into it and see where this leads us.
Lets start off with Dancing:
In my study of dancing I couldn’t find much about how things worked as well as I could the psychological aspects of dating. Which according to many studies dancing, especially with a spouse, is very beneficial to your mental and physical health.
Where I want to focus is more on the protocol, expectation, and practice of traditional dancing. For this I talked to two dance instructors who were gracious enough to answer my questions that led to supporting my conclusions.
I asked basically the same question to both instructors, “How would you describe the dynamic between the lead and the follow?”
“…the lead is always the male and the follow is the female. The lead is to know what he is doing at all times and is there to guide the follow, to support her and to keep her in the right tempo or rhythm of things. He also there to make her look beautiful and elegant. As for the follow, she is to know what she’s doing, however she is to also trust that the lead knows what he’s doing. She’s suppose to understand that he is the lead and not her. If both the lead and the follow try to lead at the same time, the dance will not have that flow and rhythm it’s suppose to have” -S. Rosenquist
To paraphrase: The lead and follow work together, but have different roles, and the lead is responsible for leading the dance to the rhythm of the music.
The other dance instructor I asked said basically the same thing.
“Yes the guy is the one that usually leads. There are different types of follows (that is what we call the girls, the men are the “leads” is what we call). Sometimes follows that have a poor lead and he doesn’t know how to lead the dance will turn into this confusion. Some follows know the dance so well that they do what’s called “back leading” which is where they almost anticipate the leads moves and that is taking away from the dance. That is probably what you would refer to as a “helper” and the follow shouldn’t do that. The follow needs to do exactly that…FOLLOW. She lets him lead completely and she is always “listening” with her body where the lead wants her to move and go. I am VERY good at following a good lead..if he knows what he is doing I will pretty much 100% of the time know where I’m supposed to be. If he doesn’t, I have a hard time following him. If he is off the beat, I don’t try to change it because I am the follower not the leader.” – T. Mckinley
With this whole aspect of dancing being new to me, for I have no skill in dancing and have yet to even try to seriously dance I asked Miss Mckinley to describe the relationship between the lead and follow a little more.
“…It takes a lot of working together and trusting one another. When you dance with the same person you gain that trust, vulnerability, and connection that you move so smooth together. Then when you dance with someone else it’s very awkward and messy most of the time. So that’s why when you see people who dance together and are really good its because they trust each other, they’ve built that connection and they are vulnerable around each other. There’s nothing between them but passion, and love for the sport and for each other. (I’m talking more on a friendship level for singles)” -T. Mckinley
Trust. Vulnerability. Passion.
Do you see the next step?
While thinking and learning about dancing and how deep the relationship and connection goes and how things are to operate and flow I started seeing more, and more connections to a real world relationship: Marriage.
With today’s world so vast in its perception of marriage. The statistics of marriages prone to failure, and the long track record of progressively trampling on traditional morals and values I will give you the point of view we are taking when I say Marriage.
One man, One Woman. As God created it and is accounted in the Bible.
First lets take a look at some of the key verses.
“So God created man in His own image; He created him in the image of God; He created them male and female.
Genesis 1:27 HCSB
Then the Lord God formed the man out of the dust from the ground and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, and the man became a living being. The Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there He placed the man He had formed. The Lord God took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden to work it and watch over it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree of the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die.” Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper as his complement.” So the Lord God formed out of the ground every wild animal and every bird of the sky, and brought each to the man to see what he would call it. And whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all the livestock, to the birds of the sky, and to every wild animal; but for the man no helper was found as his complement. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to come over the man, and he slept. God took one of his ribs and closed the flesh at that place. Then the Lord God made the rib He had taken from the man into a woman and brought her to the man. And the man said: This one, at last, is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh; this one will be called “woman,” for she was taken from man. This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh.
Genesis 2:7-8, 15-24 HCSB
Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord, for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of the body. Now as the church submits to Christ, so wives are to submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word. He did this to present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless. In the same way, husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hates his own flesh but provides and cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, since we are members of His body. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This mystery is profound, but I am talking about Christ and the church. To sum up, each one of you is to love his wife as himself, and the wife is to respect her husband.
Ephesians 5:22-33 HCSB
Since some of this is so counter culture let me explain.
Men are not created above Women. Women are not created above Men. Both are created equally but have different roles. To be equal you don’t have to have the same rights.
Think back to our dancers, the lead, while important is not more important than the follow because either one could do a dance themselves but you lose the dynamic and order to the dance.
Just like in dance where there is a order and structure to it so there is with Marriage.
Marriage is the union of two people into one flesh. Where a husband is to exercise loving authority and the wife is to exercise willing submission. Not because she is any less but because he, loving his wife, is willing to sacrifice and lay down his life for her, and she respecting this will submit to the guidance in the relationship.
But like one of the dance instructors said earlier, the lead has to lead. Guys, when you don’t lead she will try to lead. This will cause an unbalance as she tries to take on all roles and you get in the way. It becomes an awkward dance of life.
With that in mind lets take the next steps into our discussion.
Have you ever noticed how things in life portray God and His character?
Dancing can easily have examples to show us the complexity of Marriage and how it should work.
Marriage has the complex and unique roll to pull diversity into unity. This is best represented in as Paul wrote in Ephesians, to be the example of Christ and His bride, the Church.
Think about this, as the Church you are called to follow Jesus’ leading, guidance, and leadership. You are to be gladly submissive for He has demonstrated His love by laying down His own life for us. He was before. He is in to be in control. But what happens when we like to overstep our boundaries?
We cause awkward situations, we don’t flow with the elegance that He wants us to have.
See sin nature wants us to fight His headship of the church because we are prideful. We are unwilling to surrender. Interestingly enough in Genesis 3:16 we see God telling Eve her part of the discipline of disobeying:
“To the woman he said, “I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” Genesis 3:16
I find it somewhat amusing that the consequence the woman would suffer, the desire to be the head and leader, is the same sin that the church seems to struggle with. The church wants to lead Jesus, when it should be the other way around.
Even with all of our obvious flaws, and the way sin has screwed up the model of perfection God had put into place it is amazing to see how Marriage represents Christ relationship with the church.
Yet at the same time it also shows us a representation of the Trinity.
God the Father, Son, and Holy spirit, all in one. All of equal dignity, but different authority. How the Father is the headship and the Son willingly submits to the Fathers will. The father guides and leads the Son in all the ways he is to go.
We have Dancing that represents and shows us similarities to Marriage.
Marriage that represents and shows us the relationship Christ has with the Church.
Then all of it points back to how the trinity functions.
Is God not amazing in His glorious wonder that created an order and structure that is mirrored throughout creation? He obviously knew what He was doing and gave us great examples in all ways and walks of life to point back to Him.
I’m hoping as I write this that I am actually putting all my thoughts down and not jumping erratically from one place to another just to leave you behind.
As I’m writing this I’m asking God to give you and I direction and understanding that goes beyond our understanding and penetrates your heart.
There is so much more on how we could keep tying Marriage to the wedding of Christ and the Church. Or even the Trinity and how all that explains and gives light to God’s personality. Unfortunately I do not have all the answers. Come back around and we’ll hit on it sometime. As for now I’m going to leave you trying to comprehend the amazing parallels between these dynamic relationships that are represented just in a few verses and a few quotes.
Thank you everyone who helped with this one! I’m so glad to have had all the help and inspiration for this!
With Brotherly Love,
David Sager of Dcsager Productions