Years ago, some friends talked me into joining them for several weeks of salsa lessons. It was the first time I danced where women and men had distinct roles. The men would lead and the women would follow.
Growing up as a woman in modern-day America, it was almost ingrained in my psyche that women should not be subjected to man’s dominance. Although the dance roles of leader and follower reminded me of this, I quickly came to enjoy the complimentary roles in salsa dancing. When I consider how God desires to lead us, I think many of us (both men and women) have mistakenly equated leading with dominance, to our own detriment.
In ballroom dancing, the main purpose of the man is to empower the woman to express beauty, elegance, and grace. Through dancing, they aim to wow their audiences. The man’s primary role is to continuously survey their surroundings, determine their course, and confidently guide the woman. He does this by gently pressing his hand against her back. The woman cannot see where the man is taking her. It is the man’s guiding hand that frees her from the fear of colliding. Free from anticipating danger, the woman can yield herself to the enchanting beauty of the music.
I will never forget one particular dance partner. He repeatedly failed to keep his hand strong and purposeful on my back. I found myself continuously looking over my shoulder in fear we might crash. Why? Because I could not trust a guide whose presence and confidence was lacking. It felt like I was dancing blind. But when I was paired with a man who confidently took the lead, careful to guide and protect my steps, I felt safe and secure in his arms. Finally, I was free to enjoy the dance.
Likewise, God desires to lead us. He does this not in order to exercise dominance over us, but to free us to express the dignity and grace He intended for us from the beginning. In turn, when we yield ourselves to His loving lead, embracing our God-given roles, we more accurately reflect His beauty and grace back onto a fearful, lost, and colliding world.
How can we learn to let God lead our lives?
Jesus warns us in Matthew 15:14 to avoid leaders who exercise religious dominance but reject the truth, “They are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.”
Instead, when we yield our lives to a loving, all-wise, all-knowing God, we are free to become all that God intended us to be. We are confident He can lead us there because we have learned to trust in His unfailing Presence, Goodness, and Faithfulness.When we yield our lives to God, we become all He intended us to be Click To Tweet
“You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me…If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.” Psalm 139:5, 9-10