My husband Merritt and I have always wanted to learn to dance. But when he broke his leg two months after we were married, just walking without crutches again became our goal. And by the time his ankle had regained a bit of flexibility, I was too tired and pregnant to do anything but rest my bare feet at the end of the day. I’m thinking it’s time to get that Ballroom Dancing book out again. Meanwhile, I’ve been reading another book about a different kind of dancing. The dance of submission.

Cindy Easley uses dancing as an illustration of submission in her book What’s Submission Got to Do with It? Like dancing, submission takes a lot of hard work and practice to make it come out beautifully. You may have to blindly follow your husband’s lead. It is an act of faith. Sometimes we have to ask our husbands where they are going so we know how to follow them. But when you’re dancing with someone who loves you as much as the dance, practicing the steps will never grow old, and his lead will be easy to follow. As my grandmother has always said of her husband of fifty-four years, “When a husband loves his wife as he is supposed to, it makes it very easy to be a submissive wife.”

What’s Submission Got to Do With It? is an easy-to-read, straight-to-the-point, biblically-sound book. Cindy deals with the knitty gritty theological topics of “mutual submission” and “her desire shall be for her husband.” She even gets into a woman’s role in the church and whether a woman is to be submissive to any man but her husband. But she also shares story after story of women who have learned what submission means in circumstances like the military, serious illnesses, and the African-American culture. And if I thought I couldn’t learn anything from situations that were unlike mine, I was mistaken. Even though I’m not in a position of making more than my husband, or finding myself “home alone with the kids” much of the time, God’s truth holds true in every situation: a wife should submit to and respect her husband, in the big things as well as the little things. And in the pages of Cindy’s book I found a lot of convicting reminders: all shared with concise honesty, packaged in lime green and hot pink.

There’s even a chapter for husbands from Cindy’s husband Michael. He has some great stuff in there, like about how a man is never given Scriptural permission to tell his wife to submit to him. But we’ll leave that chapter to the guys…

Cindy makes it clear that submission is hard work, but like dancing, it is beautiful and rewarding if you do it as unto the Lord. But no two couples’ dances will look the same. “Like a private dance, each couple [must] flesh out their complementarian roles to fit their personal situation” (p. 36).

Could your dancing use a little beautification? Or are you still learning the steps by watching other couples so you know how to do it when your lifelong dance partner comes along? Read What’s Submission Got to Do with It? The steps of your dance may never be the same. And the man leading your dance will be glad to find you can both dance more easily when you follow even the most gentle hint of guidance.

3 Comments

  1. Visionary_Maiden says:

    Because dancing is my favorite metaphor for anything…and a comfort to my heart…I LOVE this post. What a beautiful way to think of submission…

  2. Sounds like a good book!

  3. Clare Marie-Therese Duroc says:

    As a dancer, dancing has always been my favourite analogy to submission. I think in this age of ’empowerment for women’ we lose sight of the fact that submission, as laid out by St. Paul, is not degrading and restrictive, but really very beautiful and freeing.

    I’m not married, but I’ve learned so much from the good example of my mother, and I look forward to one day learning how to dance with my man… he learning to lead with both firmness and gentleness (which are both necessary… the guy shouldn’t be jerking and twisting the girl around the dance floor, but he needs to have a strong lead so she won’t be confused), and I learning to, as you say: “follow even the most gentle hint of guidance.”

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