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On my most recent post, The Great Adventure, a reader commented: “Marriage provides constant opportunity for emotional risk-taking.” His words provide the perfect segue for this new post on intimacy.
Now each reader most likely has his or her own definition of and associations with that term, so for the purpose of this blog post I am using the term to refer to close familiarity or relationship; closeness. That’s intimacy in the broadest terms which can encompass the more specific aspects of emotional, spiritual and physical intimacy.
I believe the blog comment introduces this topic perfectly because emotional risk-taking is necessary for intimacy. Deep down, we all crave close connections with others (including God and our spouse) yet we fear it at the same time. Continue reading →
Whether in dance or marriage, effective communication between partners is fundamental.
A couple recently learning to dance discovered the “secret” was in the communication which comes from the connection or dance frame.
The frame is created by four points of connection between the dancing couple. When these connection points are solid and secure, better communication – and dancing – will result. The connection points create the channel through which the leader indicates the dance steps he is planning.
To keep these connection points working and the lines of communication open, both leader and follower must have the proper posture and muscle tone. Neither partner can shoulder the entire responsibility for maintaining open lines of communication; it must be a mutual endeavor.
This connection, and a unified effort to respond to the music, creates the dance. The specific steps are insignificant as long as the leader is leading, the follower is following and both are dancing to the same song.
Communication is a lifeline in a unified marriage as well. “We need to be solid together in the core of our union and let the dance flow from there,” said one partner in the couple learning to dance. “Becoming one … on the dance floor and in our unions as husband and wife … is the only way to truly be successful in either endeavor.”
Dance, like marriage, is about giving and taking … a cooperation of two people in balance as a unit. The balance of give and take creates a cooperative environment wherein each works with the other in complementary roles to dance in unison.
I received these comments from a dancing friend in response to one of my posts. They remind me that an inviting lead and a receptive follow are integral to the dance. The two roles are clearly distinct and equally valuable.
Imagine the results of one dance partner “gone bad.” Without a clear leader, the dancing couple would not move or, in the case of a contest of wills, the dance would become a tug of war. Without a willing follower, the leader would resort to pulling, pushing or dragging or else give up the dance altogether.
But when partners fulfill their individual roles with a spirit of cooperation, the result is graceful movement across the dance floor as a single unit.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27 (NIV) Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” Genesis 2:18 (NLT)
Purposefully and in his image, our Creator crafted men and women distinctly, separate but equally valuable, intended to work together in a complementary partnership.
An acquaintance once told me he was inspired to learn to ballroom dance after seeing a couple move “effortlessly” across the floor as a single unit. Couples competently doing a progressive dance (one that moves around the floor such as waltz or foxtrot) truly appear to be a single unit. Though this may look effortless, it is achieved only with the necessary body posture, balance, muscle tone and foot placement of each dancer thereby creating the vital connection between them. The dance partners move from a common “center” and communicate with each other through the dance connection.
This description of a dancing couple moving in unison brings to mind another comparison to Christian marriage. A common scriptural reference in wedding ceremonies, Genesis 2: 24 says: For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
The dancing couple is a picture of this “profound mystery” described in scripture. Each individual fulfills a designated role with a cooperative spirit. Each one depends upon the other to independently execute his or her steps. Being united in Christ, the partners share a common focus or “center” which enhances communication and coordinated movement.