Leading In The Marriage

What does it take to become a good husband in your home?

  • He is the protective covering for the family
  • He takes responsibility for the health of the marriage  
  • He is a Spiritual Leader -worshiping, praying and being in God’s Word 
  • He leads with his heart.  He is not domineering, but leads in a loving way. It does not come with force. 
  • He is a servant to his wife
  • He is dependable
  • He shows her off.  Makes her look good! 
  • He is humble
  • He shows her unconditional love
  • He fights for his marriage-he doesn’t give up
  • He seeks her input and considers her feelings 

God’s Word-It was because of Adam’s disobedience, not Eve’s that sin and death entered the world.  Didn’t Eve eat the apple first? But God went to Adam, because he was the leader of this union. 

Romans 5:12-14

12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—

13 To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come.

Marriage Harmony

Two individuals that have come together as one.  We are working together to get through the journey of marriage.  God’s design is that the man is to lead and the woman is to follow.  This will bring harmony to our marriage.

We each have our important roles.   We compliment each other. 

It does not work to have two leaders or two followers.  It will not look good.  It will bring more conflict in your marriage. 

Ballroom dancing is a beautiful illustration of the lead and follow principle that should be at work in our marriage. 

Just like in the dance frame, your marriage will suffer if there is poor communication. We need to take time for each other. 

Ballroom Follower

What does it take to become a good follower of Ballroom Dance?

The Ballroom Dance Follower-

  • respects her leader 
  • is patient and knows her leader is not perfect. 
  • is encouraging and a cheerleader  
  • does not  think or anticipate what the leader is leading
  • Knows her dance steps 
  • is aware of her surroundings.  She will see things the leader won’t.  
  • will work together to make sure the dance goes smoothly 
  • she does not cling-leaders can not lead a step if she doesn’t let go. 
  • stays connected with the leader at all times. She knows where he is. 
  • does  not criticize or compare him to others.  Our words can determine if the dance continues. 
  • gives feedback in a respectful way.  
  • communicates if she does not understand his lead.   It is Okay to do a step over again.  

If you want to dance,  you will learn what it takes to be a good follower.

Ballroom Leader

What does it take to become a good leader of Ballroom Dance?

The Ballroom Dance Leader-

  • has a good dance frame.  
  • suggests to the follower what step to do through their frame
  • knows where his follower is at all times 
  • knows his steps and then how to signal to lead the follower
  • Practices
  • makes a commitment to the follower to practice together 
  • knows his surroundings- A dance venue can be challenging with upcoming obstacles including other dancers. 
  • The leader does not let failure or mistakes stop him from dancing.  He learns from them and moves forward. 
  • The leader’s job is to show her off
  • He leads gently, not with an iron grip 
  • He leads with his core, center or heart. 
  • He is patient with the follower if she is struggling.  
  • The leader sets the tempo with the music.  He needs to know the beat of the music. 
  • The leaders never stop working on striving to become better.  He doesn’t give up

When you have a good leader, it makes following a pleasure!! : )

Our Connection

To begin the lead and follow of ballroom dance you need to learn about the dance frame.  The dance frame is your connection.  The connection points in ballroom dance are where your bodies touch.  The leader will communicate his next dance step through these connections.  If it is led well, the follower will respond.  He does not verbally tell the follower what to do.  Dan and I have been dancing for over 13 years and we still are working on it.  We continue to learn.  

 Four connection points:

o   Man’s left hand holding woman’s right

o   Man’s right hand on woman’s left shoulder blade (men:  keep elbow up, parallel with the floor and fingers together!)

o   Woman’s left elbow on man’s right elbow

o   Woman’s left hand on inside edge (near top) of man’s right shoulder(I put my thumb in front of Dan’s deltoid muscle)

The leader cannot lead without having a good dance frame. The follower cannot follow without a good dance frame.  The leader uses these connection points to lead the next step.  He gently signals the next move and she follows.  It is never done with force.  

The man’s ability to lead is the predominant factor in determining the skill level of the couple.  

·        If a beginning leader is matched to an advanced follower, the couple will only be able to dance at a beginner level (leader will not know how to signal nor dance the advanced movements)

·        An advanced leader can dance with a beginning follower and by doing proper lead movements, get the follower to do some movements that are above her skill level

Just because a man knows some advanced dance movements doesn’t mean he will be a good dancer – the question is, “Can he also be an advanced leader?”

The Lead and Follow

Ballroom dance (Latin, Ballroom and Swing)is a lead and follow dance.  The dancing Dan and I did before ballroom was a ‘shake your booty’ type of dance. We just shaked our bodies to the music. Our first date in 1980 was New Year’s Eve.  This was the style of dancing we did.  There was no lead and follow. This is not ballroom dancing.  

We have also done a little bit of line dancing.  Line dancing is done as an individual, in a group setting.  It is all choreographed.  You know what step comes next.  Many steps are repeated.  Everyone learns the steps and does them together.  This is not ballroom dancing. 

When Dan and I began taking ballroom dance lessons , we found out quickly that the lead and follow of the ballroom dance was much more difficult.   It is two individuals, learning their specific part, then coming together to dance.  To make the dance look good,  it takes lots of practice and patience.  The men learn the leader’s part and the women follow.  We compliment each other.  We each have our role and importance. 

We love to demonstrate in our dance class what it looks like to have 2 leaders.  We are each directing the other on where to go and what to do.  Let’s  just say, it does not go well.  You need one leader to move down the dance floor. 

Then we demonstrate what it looks like to have 2 followers. We both just stand there, waiting for the other to start the dance.  We do not move about the dance floor.  We just look at each other. We get nowhere.  There is no leader without a follower.  

Ballroom dancing is lead and follow and this is the only way it will work!  When it happens it is beautiful! 

God’s Word- Genesis 2:18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” NIV

Summer Dating

Part 5

Don’t forget to take time for each other! A few summer dating ideas!

  • Bicycling

Ely Try Dan and Debbies Creamery. https://dananddebbies.com/, Cedar Valley Nature Trail, Heritage Trail in Dubuque

  • Hiking
  • Botanical Gardens

Dubuque Arboretum-https://dubuquearboretum.net/(be sure to check out the Ace Hardware near the entrance of the arboretum)https://stevesace.com/ 

Bickelhop Aboretum in Clinton, Iowa https://www.eicc.edu/about-eicc/colleges-and-centers/bickelhaupt/

Morgan Creek Park in Cedar Rapids-Aboretum https://www.mycountyparks.com/County/Linn/Park/Morgan-Creek-Park.aspx

  • Summer Outdoor Dancing
Dubuque Aboretum

Father’s Day

Dance With Me Ministries is all about keeping your marriage close and strong.  This reflects in being a good Mother, Father, Grandmother and Grandfather. With Father’s Day approaching I would like to share a link on the importance of a father in a child’s life.  

God’s Word-Deuteronomy 6:5-9 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

Dan with the Girls-1991

‘Big Max’

Part 4

Praying with your spouse, filling ourselves with the Good News, and memorizing scripture are great foundation builders.  It will not only keep ourselves on solid ground but also our marriage.  The last three blogs share how to navigate life’s valleys and hardships.  By building a strong foundation, we will be able to stay strong when trials come our way.  On earth there will always be foundation shakers!  God does not leave us without a road map or His help.

Let’s take a look at ‘Big Max’.  ‘Big max’ is a pumpkin seedling that I started this spring.  One of the many seedlings for my new sun garden.  The seedlings begin their new life with very comfortable growing conditions. The seedlings are in a protected environment.  A warm bedroom, LED light, shelving, water and a heat mat can get them started.  But are they ready for the real world?  I soon found out that you have to beat them up a bit before they can go outside.  Running a fan on them or brushing them with your hand strengthens their stem.  Their foundation or roots go farther in the soil with roughing them up.  

Then you begin what they call the hardening-off process.  You slowly expose the seedlings to their new outdoor home.  This new home is the beating sun, uneven temperatures, pounding rain and strong Iowa winds.  I put my seedlings in a sheltered spot outside for at least a week.  They will become stronger with gradual exposure. This prepares the young plants, including ‘Big Max’ for life outdoors. 

If they remain in a perfect undisturbed world, they will not be able to survive. 

I was thinking of how ‘Big Max’ is similar to our own life journey.  We can look at the times that we are being roughed up a bit, as a way of becoming stronger.  We all experience trials, but how will we respond?  Will we stand tall or fall over?  Will we turn to the Creator?  Will we be able to survive this world?  

God’s Word-Isaiah 41:10

So do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

‘Big Max’

The Good News

Dancing Shoes

Back early in the pandemic, I remember a day that was full of bad news.  It looked like doomsday for the whole world.  We did not want to touch our groceries, mail or newspaper.  We were not able to even see anyone outside our home.  It looked very hopeless.  I quickly went to my desk computer and engrossed myself in all the bad news of the county and world.  After at least an hour of drinking in hopelessness, I went to get out of my chair and down I went on the floor.  My foundation was gone, and I could not feel my legs.  What I didn’t realize as I was sitting there, I had wrapped my legs back around my desk chair.  Both my legs had totally fallen asleep. (Not one of my brighter moments) : (

Dan was in the basement as I laid there. It seemed like eternity, as I waited for my legs to wake up again.  

This was a real turning point for me.  I realized that soaking in bad news, hours on end, is not good for me!  It is not good for anyone.  I sometimes feel that the news channels want us to feed on the bad news of the world, 24-7.  Of course they want us to be sucked in.  Whatever we feed into our hearts and minds will eventually come out! (Proverbs 4:23 NIV-Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. ) If we feed ourselves hopelessness, despair and negativity, that is how we will feel.  Fear will set in.  This will affect our closest relationships.  We will not be any help to anyone needing it. It will shake your foundation for sure!  Personally, it puts me in a very bad mood. 

I also knew I needed to take steps on feeding myself with good news!  The Good News that comes with our faith!  Hope that comes from reading God’s Word.  Faith is the opposite of fear! In the last few years Dan and I have begun memorizing God’s Word.  I have His promises hidden in my heart, ready at any time I need His assurance.  No one can take that away from me!  This is our hope and another foundation builder.