Several years ago, Bob and I were taking a private dance lesson from our teacher, Steve. It’s amazing what wonderful applications dance has for your marriage relationship.
On this particular night, Steve was teaching us to pivot. The pivot is a difficult step. First, you have to get the lead-in right. Second, you have two people taking a step between their partner’s feet while simultaneously turning 180 degrees around each other and traveling across the floor. All of this is supposed to be done smoothly and gracefully. That’s not how it was being done. We started back at the corner and attempted the lead-in steps—then the pivot. Bob brought me around him for the first half of the first turn, but no matter what we did, I couldn’t get around Bob and everything came to a crashing halt. Our version of the pivot looked like a game of circular hopscotch.
What did we do wrong here?
I asked Steve, “What are we doing wrong right there?” (It turned out that was the wrong question—but he answered what I asked.) “Roxann, you’re going to have to provide the power on the back half of the pivot.” I had not understood that. But I’d been working out at the gym and I’d been concentrating on my obliques. They were nice and strong. I figured I could provide the power, but I didn’t share my thoughts with poor, unsuspecting Bob.
We started back at the corner of the room—stumbled through the lead-in steps and started the pivot. I stepped between Bob’s feet, planted my feet, gave my body some torque, and—launched Bob.
Eventually Bob came to a stop—on his stomach—about 20 feet away. After we’d established that nothing was broken, I asked, “Now what did we do wrong here, Steve?” His wise answer gave us insight into much more than pivots. It gave us insight into the recurring problems in marriage as well as life. “It’s not what you did wrong here. It’s what you did wrong way back there. And until you get that right, you’re never going to get this right.”
What did we do wrong way back there?
Do you have recurring problems in your relationship? Do you have an argument that erupts every time a certain subject is mentioned? Are there particular activities that always cause irritation? Do you wonder, “What did we do wrong here?” “How do we step around this land mine so we won’t keep arguing or avoiding each other?” It’s almost certainly not what you did wrong “here.” It’s what you did wrong “back there.” What did go wrong back there? You’ll never fix the problem stepping farther or turning harder. You’re going to have to go all the way back there and figure out what went wrong and fix it.
Let me give you a couple of questions to ask God the next time you start feeling hurt or angry with your spouse:
“Lord, what am I feeling?” God has a way of being very specific. Are you feeling uncared for? Disrespected? Not heard? What is the specific feeling? Keep asking until God puts His finger on it for you.
“Lord, when have I felt this way before?” So often we get bent out of shape in a particular area because we have been hurt there before. Have you been hurt there before?
“Lord, what is Your truth?” Ask God for a verse of Scripture or the words to a spiritual song. Ask God to show you what happened through His eyes.
You can “handle” a problem by putting provisions and boundaries in place. But that doesn’t actually solve it. You need to go back and let God show you how to correct, resolve, and heal the original problem.
You can find more Biblical answers to many of your marriage questions in our book The Marriage Dance, available at Amazon. The helps in this marriage blog as well as weekly marriage tips are available to you for FREE by signing up on our website here. (We will never share your information and you can unsubscribe at any time.)