When my husband and I were planning our wedding, we decided (or rather he decided), that we should take dancing lessons for our first dance as a married couple. And so we did, for six weeks, we showed up, awkward steps and all.
He didn’t know how to lead that well and I’m not sure I knew how to follow because I had zero confidence in myself.
I remember being stiff and totally freaking out that I would disappoint him, but on our wedding day with an enormous bustle, floor length gown, and 4-inch heels,
we danced beautifully to our first dance.
Even today, it’s one of my sweetest memories of that day. The way he held me, the sense of pride that we finished (and that I didn’t trip him), but mostly, the look in his eyes of adoration. Six hours of lessons and we successfully danced for a few minutes, but then we faced the rest of our lives
to learn how to dance in marriage.
When we fell in love, I felt I was marrying my Prince Charming, but
I failed to see the beauty of the man behind the “charming”.
I married my ideal, but my ideal couldn’t keep step with reality, because
I didn’t realize how human my Prince was.
In the process, I forgot all about dancing because I was so busy trying to make him fit my image of what a prince should be.
I felt I was entitled to a few things
that he didn’t seem to do quite right (I know….crazy!).
But holding onto my expectations only led to my own frustration and discouragement. When I finally came to a place of being willing to let go and stop forcing a mold in my head, I heard the tender whisper of my Father’s voice, “I will teach you to dance.”
And in that moment, I realized that dancing is less about perfect steps and more about really leaning in to the Father’s very good heart when our partner doesn’t fit our expectations.
Choosing to trust the abundant, perfect love of God frees us from becoming arrogant and self-focused when it comes to our mate, while also freeing our spouse from being tied to our own, sometimes ridiculous, expectations.
So, to the one my heart loves,
my Best Friend, my Prince Charming,
When you feel like you’re strong enough,
and when you feel weak,
When you lead well
and when we go down a path that we shouldn’t have.
When your arms are raised in praise,
When your heart is humbled before the King,
and when your voice raises in anger,
and when your pride gets in the way.
When I’m proud of you,
and when I wish we were in a different place than we are.
When you pour into the kids at bedtime
and when you simply say, “goodnight” and “I love you” to them,
When you pray over us
and when other things come first.
When you love me well
and when I feel lonely.
When you’re courageous
and when you’re afraid,
When you’re happy
and when you’re feeling empty….
I choose you, every time.
I choose loving you.
I choose to keep leaning in to the dance because I know God is still growing us.
I love you for you.
I love you because I know how ridiculously imperfect I am and despite it all,
you’re still here, loving me.
For all the times I’m gentle
and for all the times my attitude comes first.
When I’m generous
and when I’m selfish.
When I listen to your heart without jumping ahead
and for the times I only want my own words heard.
For the times I speak life into you
and walk beside you, holding your hand,
and for the times my words speak anger,
and I tear us down.
When I’m confident and I love you well,
and when I wallow in self-pity and then blame it on you.
When I run our home well
and when you don’t have any more clean clothes or tea for the Keurig.
When I encourage you, pray for you, and bring you coffee,
and for when I’m rude and my body language speaks disrespect…
Thank you for loving me and learning how to dance.
Our wedding song was, “May I Have This Dance”
to which my answer will forever be yes!
Thank you for dancing, Love!