It Takes Three to Tango

This post is short and sweet, about the length of a tango song. Have a listen HERE while you read along. 

My husband surprised me a few weeks ago with a couples dancing lesson. We learned some country line dance steps (we’re in Texas, y’all) and a few tango moves (since I grew up in Argentina, the birthplace of the tango). We had a ball! Yes, pun intended.

Our date night of dancing got me thinking… marriage is a lot like the tango.

IT TAKES THREE TO TANGO. 

Three? Isn’t the correct saying, “It takes two to tango?” The popular idiom, “It takes two to tango,” refers to the understanding that a tango dance, much like a relationship, requires two people, not just one, to keep it moving and to produce an outcome (good or bad). The two dancers are intertwined at the hip, rarely separating from each other’s embrace. Where one goes, the other goes, and so on.

For a marriage founded in Christ, however, I firmly believe it takes three to tango.

The Bible says, “A cord of three strands is not easily broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12. Within the context of marriage, the “cord of three strands” signifies me, my spouse, and God. When I said “I do” at the altar many years ago, I not only made a covenant with my husband, I also made a covenant with God by surrendering and entrusting my marriage to Him. 

Note how the verse says, “not easily broken.” That means the cord can still break. Not easily, but it can break. And so do marriages.   

A strong marriage takes hard work from both spouses. It’s a daily commitment— a daily choice to choose your spouse. It involves grace, sacrifice, unconditional love, and forgiveness.

Like with the tango dance, marriage can be a beautiful, passionate, and mesmerizing dance between husband and wife, but even so, the steps can be difficult to follow at times. Maybe some parts of the dance start out slow and easy at first but then pick up speed and difficulty as it progresses. As life-long dance partners, we often have to adjust our moves from time to time and take turns leading each other. It requires trust and patience. Closeness and vulnerability.

Sometimes we don’t know where the music will take us, and we don’t know when the tempo will hasten or become steady. Or sometimes we lose focus, and we inevitably end up stepping on each other’s toes or getting tangled up in a web of confusion, anger, and disappointment.

Let God be the music that guides your marriage dance. Let His third cord bind you and your spouse together in unity. “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6.

Just like a choir or orchestra look to the conductor for direction, we must look to our Lord and Savior for guidance in our marriage and in our relationships with others. Learning how to dance requires lessons, at times, and what better lesson for marriage and relationships than to turn to the Word of God, His love letter to us. “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105.

God wants us to seek Him and His wisdom daily, not just as a couple but also as individuals, so that we can be in tune to His guidance. The more in tune we are with Him, the easier is it to hear His music and to flow with the tempo changes. The easier it is to give grace and to honor and cherish our spouse and loved ones.

And even for the times when it’s not easy, as long as we keep looking to our sovereign conductor, our Lord of the Dance, and we surrender our lives to Him, God promises to stay by our side, holding us in His loving embrace, as we learn to trust Him on this winding journey of life, this side of heaven.

If you clicked on the song link at the beginning of this blog post, it is about to end, but your marriage dance and dance lessons don’t have to. I encourage you— and myself— to keep trusting God and to keep cherishing your beloved dance partner, as you strengthen your marriage’s three-cord bond, day after day after day.

And, if the cord does weaken or break, God can help you put it back together, if it’s in His will, and if you put in the work, one dance step at a time.

Keep on dancing,

Amy

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