I’m not one to write often about marriage. And I’m certainly not one to give advice. Because I know from experience there is no perfect recipe for a long and happy marriage. Sure, there are the core elements of forgiveness, honor, grace and sacrifice, but how these ebb and flow through each marriage is different.
We are different.
And sometimes when all the words have been emptied out and the tears have been dried, the best marriage advice is found in the most unusual of places. Not in books or therapy sessions. Not in renewing of vows or marriage retreats.
Sometimes the best marriage advice seeps into our hearts one step at a time and one twirl at a time, on the dance floor.
Where there are only two roles, the leader and the follower. Where there is no room for ego and no space for overlap or confusion. Only the precision of two bodies flowing instep with one another, yet distinctively different. Each defined specifically by a basic set of rules, which result in a beautiful display of complete unity of movement.
Week after week we showed up, never expecting to learn more than a few new step, make a few new friends and enjoy something new-together. We’d been on a bumpy road lasting more than a few months, and dance lessons seemed like a good idea.
It didn’t take long for us to realize we had some unlearning to do. We had to get back to the basics and learn how to fully embrace each other’s differences on the dance floor. When one role crashed into another, we were required to hold our tongue and show grace. And quitting because we were frustrated with our partner making the same mistake simply wasn’t allowed.
Within each dancing couple, the man holds the supreme responsibility of always protecting the woman. His role of leading her requires he know the destination and how to get her there. Each woman carries the challenge of not anticipating and not leading, even when the man doesn’t get it right the first or second or third time.
The woman is charged with the responsibility of keeping the rhythm and creating momentum. Of being confident and always willing to move forward. She demonstrates her trust and committment by always keeping connection with the man’s hand unless it becomes clear he is going to hurt her.
–He is the anchor, the support and the protector, leaving her confident to spin and flourish and know she will always be held.
–She is willing to trust his heart and his intentions, leaving him free to direct and lead and create something strong and beautiful.
–They both celebrate the diversity of their roles and embrace each other’s differences, displayed in a splendid act of grace flowing across the dance floor.
One by one, these lessons began to translate into our marriage. Before long, some of the issues continually tripping us up became clear. We began learning how to navigate them with a new kind of grace and mercy. Guarding our tongue took on new meaning. The option of letting go – for good was no longer spoken. Taking care of each other instead of ourselves became a better goal.
And although we’ve taken a brief break from the weekly lessons, we are still processing and putting into practice some great advice which has helped us get through our bumpy period.
Because sometimes, when marriage gets a little messy, and we find ourselves barely holding our head above water, we need to get back to the basics. We need reminded of how magnificent marriage can be.
We need to see and experience the beauty of two flowing as one, once again.
And what better way but on the dance floor~
Before you leave…
Be sure to visit our Featured Fresh Find – Belinda, over at Live Life With Your Kids as she shares her passion for family and home through intentionally viewing the task of housework as gift, not a chore. She encourages us to look beyond ourselves to create a place of grace and peace and comfort by embracing the ordinary as extraordinary. And she reminds us of how fulfilling the simple things in life can be.
Won’t you please visit Belinda’s and leave her some Fresh Market Friday encouragement…because we all need a little encouragement!
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