My husband and I took dancing lessons early in our marriage. I wanted to feel free and happy as I danced with him, but was hampered by my unwillingness to be truly vulnerable. I often stepped on his feet and was so nervous I was a little stiff. I remember concentrating on keeping the right beat while he patiently whispered in my ear, “let me lead!”
The married life is one of sacrifice, sharing and of joy. Marriage is an emptying of self to another, through co-operation and giving, a dance of love as each gives their life for the other. The relationship between husband and wife is one of intimacy and honesty, allowing each to grow more and more into the person God created them to be.
The dynamic of the monk coming before his elder, seeking spiritual guidance and direction has its married life counterpart in a husband and wife sitting up late into the night, working out a disagreement. The result of both should be the same- humility, repentance and unity. Fr. Marc Dunaway
God has given us the tools needed to learn our dance of love including prayer, confession, and seeking the guidance of a spiritual father. Strategies that enrich communication skills and develop an awareness of how we relate to each other will decrease misunderstandings. The small daily joys and challenges of married life, as well as the major life events we navigate give opportunities to grow closer together, learning more about ourselves as we relate honestly with each other. Faith provides a safe haven for the relationship to bloom, and space for each person to become what they’re meant to be.
We dance together and swing apart, but hold hands the whole time. Fifteen years later, I love dancing with my husband. It’s fun and easy, not because my dancing skills are better, but because I’m comfortable with my dancing partner. Trusting him on the dance floor is simple after trusting him in daily life, but then again maybe it’s almost the same thing.
Fr. Marc Dunaway. The Arena of Marriage. AGAIN Vol. 18, No 4: 1995.