“It takes two to tango” – one dictates the steps and the other executes them effectively. That is how a great show is made.”
― Olaotan Fawehinmi, If I Were A Girl, I Would Not…
In order to better understand abstract concepts, I sometimes compare them to concrete things I already have a small grasp on… I was recently challenged to explain the role a woman has in a relationship/marriage, as a very happy wife, I really wanted to convey a positive message, in which I really believe!
Ginger Rogers (Fred Astaire’s dance partner), and a quote we frequently associate her with came to mind:
This just proves that women can do anything a man can, and many times we can do it better—this should be celebrated! As easy as it might be to end my story here, celebrating the value and greatness of a woman, I need to continue.
What this quote fails to convey is that, although she matched Fred step by step (backwards and in heels!), she would have never been able to do it without him. In dancing, the man leads by holding up the frame, and choosing a direction, keeping his partner from falling or stumbling.
I believe that this is what God’s heart for relationships, and ultimately marriage, is a team of two people where one can match the other step by step, and dazzle with the amazing spins and splits she can do (backwards and in heels), all of this while her partner keeps them on course, keeps her from falling and gives her the much‑needed structure.
In ‘What Argentine Tango taught me about relationships‘, blogger Sasha Cagen explains this concept very accurately. I wanted to paraphrase it, but for fear of losing the beauty in her message, I copied it to my blog post:
Tango is paradoxical. The complexity of life is reflected back to us with two opposite things being true at the same time. The beautiful paradox of tango is you have two people who are leaning in toward each other, absolutely connected, exchanging energy through a chest-to-chest heart connection in an abrazo (hug), but each one of them should be so solid in their axis that if the other person disappears he or she does not fall down. He or she stays standing because she is rooted in her axis. When you and your partner have both the connection to each other and the connection to their own bodies in their own axis, you have magic.
For a woman, the search for the axis is a very powerful metaphor. A woman is traditionally defined by relationship to others. (And she is in tango too, it does take two.) As a mother, a lover, a friend. Her value is defined through the other. And yet, when you have your axis too, you know you are also all right on your own. For me, feeling my axis, this alignment of my body that puts me into a stable, independent and yet connected position when I dance, feels like a revelation. I feel heaven open up. I feel powerful and smooth, connected and independent.
Now read this again, but replace ‘axis’ with God. If you have a partner and he is firmly grounded in God as his axis, you will experience a type of wonder that you will never see anywhere else. Your feet will dance faster and smoother than ever before, you will be able to do things you didn’t dare dream of, just because you have someone “holding it all together” for you. Having someone who gives direction and holds the frame for you, gives you, as a woman the freedom to wow and dazzle the audience with daring moves, high lifts and fancy footwork. It will be spectacularly intense and wonderful!
-The end…. Unless you are single – then you should read this last part as well!
When you are rooted in God, you will always be stable, independent, powerful and strong with, or without a partner. When you are connected to God, you will always stay standing, no matter what life throws at you. You might stumble, and you might fall, but you will always be standing by the end of the song. I have firsthand experience of the wonders you can accomplish with the right partner. Unfortunately, I also know of the destruction the wrong partner can create in your life. Therefore, I will always try to emphasize the value of being happy with a solo life, and embracing you before anyone else.
Trust God, as your eternal dance partner, dance with Him, until He lets the right man cut in.