September 17, 2008
Mrs. Jaynes, You're Leading Again
Sharon Jaynes

Today’s Truth
"Solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil." (Hebrews 5:14 NASB)

Friend to Friend
After ten years of marriage, I convinced my very masculine husband to take a few ballroom dance classes with me. Steve and I had been to a resort in Sea Island, Georgia, and had watched couples as they glided around the dance floor, moving as one to the fluid sounds of a professional orchestra playing music from the Big Band era.  That's what I wanted to do!   I wanted us to be Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire.  So, I signed us up for ballroom dance classes with visions of grandeur.

The first order of business at our initial ballroom dance class was to learn the Fox Trot.  "OK Dr. and Mrs. Jaynes," the instructor began, "today, we will learn a dance called the Fox Trot.  Dr. Jaynes, you place your right hand on your wife's left shoulder blade.  Cup it firmly in your hand."  Then she turned to me.  "Now Mrs. Jaynes, you gently rest your left hand on your husband's right shoulder."  "So far so good," we all agreed.

 She proceeded to teach us to make little boxes with our feet while counting 1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4.  (Floating around the room as one, this was not.)  The instructor smiled at Steve and said, "Dr. Jaynes, you have the hardest part because the man has to learn how to lead.  All the woman has to do is follow."   More than once she tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Mrs. Jaynes, you're leading again."  The problem was, when I led, Steve wouldn't follow and that train couldn't have two engines.

I quickly became bored with the little boxes and asked, "Can we learn to move around the room a little instead of making boxes in the same spot all the time?"  We then learned how to modify our box so it looked like a box with a flap open.  We took two steps sideways and two steps backwards.  Actually, Steve got to move forwards and I had to move backwards, which seemed totally unfair to me.  I understood that we both could not move forward, but why did it have to be the woman who moved backwards?  The instructor assured me that this was the way God planned it, or at least that’s what it sounded like to me.

  I had wanted to feel like Ginger Rogers, gliding in graceful movements across the dance floor but instead I felt like a shopping buggy being pushed through the supermarket, and Steve looked more like Fred Rogers instead of Fred Astaire.  All the while, I was being reprimanded, "Mrs. Jaynes, you're leading again."

Another thing we had to learn was not to look down at our feet, but at each other.  “Concentrate on looking at each other's face,” the instructor said.   “Looking at your feet will not make them do the right steps.  You just need to listen to the music and let your feet move you around the room." 

"Yeah, right," I thought.   I felt better looking down, as if my eyes could will my feet into the correct steps.  Eventually however, I did learn to keep my eyes off of my feet and on my leader's handsome face.

After our first forty-five minute class was over, the instructor warned, "Now you must go home and practice.  If you don't practice, it won't take long to forget everything you learned today."  Let's just say, she was right.

So it goes.  Sometimes it's not fun to learn those fundamental but necessary beginning steps in our Christian walk.  We want to glide through our spiritual journey with the ease and beauty of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, moving as one, effortlessly across life's dance floor.  But without learning those basic first steps and without practice, Fred and Ginger we will never be.  Hebrews 5:14 states that "Solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil."

The truth is, our Leader, God, does have the hardest part.  And guess what. He knows all the steps!  We just need to learn how to follow His lead.  As long as we keep trying to take over the lead, our feet will trip and stumble through life. But when we relinquish control and place our trust in Him, our lives will be a perfectly choreographed dance of beauty and grace.

Let’s Pray
Dear LORD, forgive me for trying to take control of my life.  I want You to be the LORD of my life…all of it.  I release control to You today. Thank You for the Holy Spirit that taps me on the shoulder and warns me, “You’re leading again.”
In Jesus’ Name,
Amen

Now It’s Your Turn
This devotion has a twofold purpose.  It shows the beauty of giving control over to God, but it is also a picture of the beauty of a marriage when the husband is the spiritual leader.

How are you doing in the “dance of life” with your husband?

Do you struggle allowing him to lead?

Did you know that a man who has a controlling wife will eventually give up trying to be the spiritual leader?

What are some ways that you can allow and encourage your husband to be the leader of your home?

If you are not married, what are some ways that you can relinquish control over to your spiritual husband, Jesus Christ?

More from the Girlfriends
Our marriages are meant to be a reflection of Jesus Christ and His relationship with the church.  How are you doing?  Need a little help?  We cannot change someone else, but we can certainly change ourselves.  For more on how to have an amazing marriage, see Sharon’s book, Becoming the Woman of His Dreams – Seven qualities every man longs for.

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