A Challenge to Leaders: Facilitate Brilliance

“As a leader your job isn’t to be brilliant. Your job is to facilitate the brilliance of others,” said Ron Carucci, a consultant and teacher in the field of organizational behavior. His comment was made in the context of business. However, I find the thought applicable to this discussion of partner dance as a metaphor for Christian marriage.

Having difficulty making the connection? Consider this passage from The Message:

Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage. (Ephesians 5:25-28)

Husbands are instructed here to emulate Christ who evokes the beauty of his bride. In other words, a husband – as leader of his household – is to facilitate his wife’s brilliance.

I’ve frequently heard dancers describe roles in this way: The woman is the picture; the man is the frame. While a frame provides structure and protection for the work of art it encloses, it also offers a complimentary element that focuses a viewer’s attention on the art itself. The frame helps facilitate the art work’s brilliance.

In a recent workshop discussing the Ephesians passage, one husband concluded: “When she looks good, we look good.” Another commented: “As I elevate her and she looks more beautiful, I am elevated as well. Leading lovingly is the best thing I can do for both of us.”

Bill McCartney, former football coach at the University of Colorado and head of Promise Keepers, put it this way. “When you look into the face of a man’s wife, you will see just what he is as a man. Whatever he has invested or withheld from her is reflected in her countenance.”

He has the opportunity, as a leader on and off the dance floor, to facilitate brilliance.

Copr 2009 MarriageDance

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