Neil dances to swing tunes

After my divorce I was broken emotionally; in fact I was so broken that I didn’t realize the extent of the pain. Unfortunately, instead of me turning to positive things to get my life on the right path, I began to pursue the last thing that I needed to pursue: and that was an intimate relationship and having a man to love me.

I was married half of my life ; I barely knew any other lifestyle. I believed in my marriage vows and the preacher when he asked, “do you promise to cleave to one another and cherish each other, as long as you both shall live?” However, I came to realize that those same vows meant very little to my ex spouse.  As Christ is the head of the church, the husband is the head or the leader to his wife. This leadership isn’t meant to dominate and control; but is meant to love, encourage , and inspire. Just as the church is supposed to thrive under the leadership of Jesus Christ, the wife is to mature and thrive under the leadership and protection of her husband. “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the savior of the body.” (Ephesians 5:23)

The ballroom dance that I attend has a lesson at the beginning of each dance for the instruction of those who aren’t familiar with the dance steps. I dance with several partners which makes the experience interesting and educational.

At the dance, my first dance partner was constantly telling me what to do and I kept stepping on his feet and stumbling over mine. When I sat down I said to myself, I will never dance with him again. The next dance partner was to dance the waltz with me. I had never waltzed before in my life, but when I joined hands with this dancer, he swept me up in his arms and began dancing. Because he knew exactly what he was doing, following his lead was easy, and it was a very pleasant experience. I thought to myself, why couldn’t the other dancer be like that? At that moment a light went off in my head and I heard God reveal to me, “it wasn’t you, it was your leader.”

It is the man’s role to lead in dance, as is his role to lead in love. If he is a good leader(in dance as well as in love), following is easy and it is a pleasant experience for the woman. If he isn’t a good leader(in dance or in love), he is often critical of his dance partner(wife), and the experience is frustrating and tiring for the woman.

When a woman attempts to take the lead in a love relationship with a man she becomes exasperated and weary. Women who pursue men rarely catch them; and if they do catch them, it is usually for one night only. In the dance of love as in dance in general, it is the man’s role to lead. In all those movies of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing , Fred is leading and Ginger is doing what he does; she’s just going backwards and is in heels.

As Jesus Christ leads in love toward his church, the husband is to be the primary lover in his home.  A wife isn’t meant to out love her husband. She is to love him; but she isn’t to be the leader in love. The husband sets the tone for how much love is in his marriage, not the wife.

If as a husband you are reading this and you feel that you may have fallen short of loving your wife; God is always waiting for our repentance in any situation, and it is not too late to seek God as to how to love your wife. It is always best to seek forgiveness and start over than to end up in divorce court where so many marriages have ended.

In all my brokenness God showed me that he could still speak to me and still use me. Sometimes it is the broken vessel that can be used the most effectively. I pray for God’s strength to continue on this journey.

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