Separate but Equal, part 2

In God on Sex, Daniel Akin writes:

Men and women really are different. … We are different and different by design; it is the way God made us and the way God intended. He did make us male and female and declared it a good thing. (Gen. 1:27)

According to the design, scripture assigns separate roles and gives distinct instructions to husbands and wives. Traditional partner dance reflects the difference as well by giving separate roles to men and women.

When one role is considered more important or prestigious than the other, it becomes controversial, particularly in the current American culture. In fact, it is the man who is given the leadership responsibility in scripture and in dance. Does that outrank the follower’s role?

In Love and Respect, Dr. Emerson Eggerichs addresses the controversy often associated with the reference to women as the “weaker partner” in 1 Peter 3:7. He writes: “… Peter makes a comparative statement, not a qualitative one.”

Eggerichs continues this discussion by using the example of two bowls: one made of porcelain and the other made of copper. “The husband is copper; the wife is porcelain. It’s not that she is of less value—in fact, a porcelain bowl can sometimes have greater value than a copper bowl,” he writes. “The bowls are different and have different functions in different settings.”

Likewise, in the dance partnership and in marriage, men and women have distinct functions. Their roles are different, but each role is equally valuable and integral to the dance and to the relationship. When the differences are embraced in a complementary partnership, the result can be beautiful.

Copr 2009 MarriageDance

Separate But Equal

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.

Copr 2009 MarriageDance