Just a couple of weeks ago, Felicity and I had the privilege of attending Jaime’s brother’s wedding in Virginia. During the reception, I enjoyed an even greater privilege – briefly dancing with my daughter. We both smiled and laughed as we moved to the beat of the music. I could have cared less that I wasn’t the best dancer in the world. I was dancing with my little girl.
Being the thinker that I am, I later processed that moment and painfully realized that the confident, six-foot-three man, now dancing with his daughter had sadly missed too many dances in the past with his wife. Of course, I mean “me.” There was a time when I didn’t think twice about dancing with my girlfriend on a Valentine’s Day cruise, randomly joining her in a tango down the aisle of the grocery store, or leaning over at the Beach Boy’s concert and asking her if she would dance with me. In those moments, it was just my girl and I. My heart and my thoughts were lost in the love that we shared and I could have cared less about what anyone thought.
And then, our hearts and our minds wandered away from the shared dreams we had – from the solid truth of how we KNEW we were meant to be with one another. The confidence we drew from our faith and from our love for one another was shaken in a way that caused us both to question who we were created to be, and instead we focused on the “naysayers” (both real and conjured in our minds) – the group we had always ignored…together. And…so…when Jaime asked me to dance, I told her…”No, I don’t like dancing. I am not any good at it. Why don’t you ask some of your girlfriends to go with you?” Yeah…I really said that. I never had worried about “how” I danced just as long as it was with her. Now, I was telling Jaime to go find someone else to do something with her that she just wanted to do with her husband.
I don’t share that for your sympathy. Actually, I share it as a warning to those who are currently, or those who are thinking about getting married. Jaime and I thought our marriage was impenetrable because of the span of our love and all that we had gone through up to that point (I know! I am thinking what you are thinking! Little did we know, right?). But look what happened when two ambitious people were working towards their goals separately? We grew apart! We stopped dreaming together. Our love grew distant and we stopped finding time to dance. Who am I to give marriage advice? I was only married for 7 years. Actually, I take that back…I am going to give some advice. Husbands and wives, hear my heart – take heed that you do not take your spouse for granted. Remember together what it was like to not care what others thought as you “danced in the grocery store,” and just ignored the world and were crazy about one another. There is no ambitious goal, no promotion, no career, no financial worry, no educational achievement, no NOTHING worth sacrificing the treasure of someone who loves you for being who you really are.
I know this to be true because I used to dance with a woman who was deeply in love with me – who captured my heart and my love – who knew my potential, my weaknesses, and my passions – and continued to dance with me in spite of it all.