The Marriage Dance

Lead and follow. It’s beautiful. It’s got all that history behind it, it’s THE way the sexes move, on the dance floor, in marriage, in life.


Why would I want to be an egalitarian where the woman leads as much as a man?  Have you ever seen a woman lead a man in the waltz? Not a pretty sight.

Has complementarianism (a euphemism for patriarchy) got the corner on beauty? Would the marriages in our world be more beautiful if more men lead and more women follow?

It works in dancing, so why wouldn’t it work in marriage and the church? Read more…

Jonalyn Fincher provides a thought provoking analysis of  the dance metaphor commonly applied to marriage in “Is Patriarchy More Beautiful than Egalitarianism?”

As a former quiver full complementarian, Fincher’s Reason #2 was responsible for the most distress in my marriage. Decisions about birth control, where we lived, whether and when we got medical and dental treatments, and financial expenditures- sometimes down to very trivial amounts… were all subjected to his “authority”/control.

Reason #2 – Rubber Stamp or Rowing

In every marriage, complementarians argue, someone will have to have the tie-breaking vote. Complementarian marriages finesse this dictatorial sounding relationship, maintaining the benevolence of the dictator by reducing his tie-breaking vote to 51% (see Emerson and Sharon Eggerich’s book Love and Respect).

But in terms of beauty, what is more attractive, a man taking responsibility for every final decision (lovingly, considerately, sacrificially)


A man and woman feeling free to raise any area of tension with knowledge that no one possesses the rubber stamp to veto funds or emotional support for any outcome?

In unilaterally exiting complementarianism, I cannot control the lack of emotional support (for my theological interests and blogging and for my pursuit of further education for example) but not subjecting myself to “fund veto” has vastly improved my situation and has been a financial blessing to him (eg. We got nearly free ortho treatment for our teenage daughter due to my unilateral decision to pay the 3K bill in full with a Flex Health benefit one day before my husband was laid off.)

Don’t miss this comment on her own blog post where Jonalyn explains Paul’s Eph. 5 head/body intimacy metaphor.

Stay tuned for more “Pearls of Wisdom”.    I anticipate a great harvest of insightful material from Rachel Held Evans’ synchroblog about Mutuality.  🙂

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