Many wedding receptions include a dance with the bride and her father. The music is usually slow, and the moment is tender and meaningful. I recently attended a wedding where this traditional dance took place. The bride and her father started their dance to a nice, slow melody. Then, in the middle of their slow dance, the music changed to a fast-paced swing dance, and the bride and her father absolutely knocked it out of the park! The place went wild!
When I see two people dancing well together, I think of the hours of practice required to do that. Good dancing doesn’t just happen. Bad dancing just happens, but good dancing requires a lot of practice with your dance partner. I’m a bad dancer. I never practice. Those two things are related.
Marriage is a lot like dancing. Doing marriage well requires a lot of work
Marriage is a lot like dancing. Doing marriage well requires a lot of work. Good marriages don’t just happen. When you observe a good marriage, you’re observing two people who have worked hard at it. They make mistakes. They step on each other’s toes. They fall down, but they help each other back up. They forgive. Eventually, they get good at marriage.
One of my favorite talks about marriage was given by former Blackhawk teaching pastor Tim Mackie. He called his talk “The Marriage Dance.” I recommend it to all married or engaged couples I work with. In his talk, Mackie unpacks the often-misinterpreted section of Ephesians that relates to marriage (5:21-33). Mackie talks about how the apostle Paul envisioned “a gospel dance of mutual love and submission” within marriage. He challenges some commonly held misconceptions of authority and leadership within marriage. This talk is a great investment of 38 minutes of your time.
Marriage is a complex and demanding dance. To dance well, both partners need to be in step with each other’s needs. Both partners need to be servants. Both partners need to—using Paul’s words—sacrificially love each other and submit to one another. That’s the model Jesus gave us, and that’s how you create a culture of mutual submission in marriage.
That’s how you dance.