Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Letting Him Lead

My husband has started taking me ballroom dancing. It was his idea.

Settle down, ladies. He's taken.

Dancing has always been my thing. That's probably why he thought to suggest it. I'm not a dancer, per se, but I like to dance. I've been in musicals, taken a few classes. My phys ed credit in college was Intro to Tap Dancing. Holla!

So I like to dance. I've done it before. It's all new to my darling husband. He researched the dance studios, he found a coupon for a free lesson, and I made the appointment. You know, because chicks keep the social calendars.

When we showed up for our first lesson, I was so excited to go out dancing. I felt like we were grown-ups! Dinner and dancing, just like in the movies! We met our instructor, Colton, and he started teaching us some basic dance steps.

We're awesome. I mean, not Dancing-With-the-Stars quality just yet, but pretty good for beginners. Colton praises us up and down, and he even teaches us more advanced moves than he'd typically teach newbies, since we're doing so well. We've been going to lessons for almost a month now. We can do hustle and swing with several turns, and the basic steps of waltz, rumba, and salsa, each with one turn. Not bad!

Sunday afternoon, my husband and I took time to practice. He's big on practicing. He likes to feel prepared. What struck me during our practice is how far we've come when it comes to leading.

At first, dancing was my thing. In my head, anyway. My poor husband couldn't possibly know what he's doing, I thought. I don't want him to fail or get frustrated, so I'll help. I found myself leading every dance. Not by his choice, but by my force. I'm not even sure he noticed. I'd gently push or pull him into the steps. I'd dictate when it was time to start the dance with my step instead of waiting for his.

While we were dancing on Sunday, I realized that he leads now—and he knows the difference when I try to lead. He gives me an admonishing look and then pulls me back into place. For turns, he sends me out and pulls me back in. Now that he's getting good, he can stick turns in whenever he wants! Willy-nilly and helter-skelter! I don't know what's coming next, so I have to watch for his cues and do my part when the time comes. I feel good when he's leading, and he seems to enjoy dancing more now that I allow him to lead.

It's a perfect metaphor for our marriage.

My husband is the leader. Yes, it's a partnership, but, ultimately, he's called to be the leader of our household. I'm kind of a strong-willed individual. Sometimes it's difficult for me to trust that he'll take care of me, since I've always been used to taking care of myself. I need to learn to watch his cues and go with him instead of against him. When both of us try to lead, we end up stepping on each other's toes. When he's filling the role God ordained for him—and when I'm allowing him to fill that role without hesitation—he's successful. He's happy. He feels respected and loved. And what wife doesn't want her husband to feel like that?

I think we're really going to like dancing. Watch for us on Dancing With the Stars! In ten years or so...


  1. Love the post and a perfect metaphore. I would love to learn to ballroom dance.

  2. You guys are so cute! (I hope that's the look you're going for...)

    You said SO much when you said, "..when I'm allowing him to fill that role.." In our relationship, I'm more outspoken, more extroverted, more, well, loud and so it's taken some self control on my part to LET Aaron take the lead.

    Also, it always cracks me up b/c people ASSUME that I wear the pants in our relationship (b/c our personalities suggest that) but that's not true at all!

  3. Hi Rachel, you lucky, lucky girl you. Every single woman who reads this will sigh, and then ask their husbands to take them to ballroom dancing lessons. I just did. Seriously. He must have seen the spark in my eyes because he told me to investigate! (Pardon me while I swoon!)

    I love this post. I love how God has used the whole dancing thing to speak about marriage, and I think most wives can relate to the struggle of letting our husband's lead.

    Oh, and I think I've said this before, but I love, love, love your writing style. I love your humor and your authenticity. It's a breath of fresh air in the blogosphere.


I wrote the thing. You read the thing. Don't be too lazy to comment!