There was a time I felt it necessary to hide this article behind password protection as it contains things which some might assume to be of a personal nature. As of March, no longer do those reasons apply. This is one of my favorite compositions. I’ve been told by some who have read it that portions were helpful to them. For these reasons I wish it hidden no longer.
We stop and ask ourselves those critical questions which we believe we must have answered in the affirmative before we will go Dancing in the Minefields. The answers, if entirely honest, will always be insufficient. We will never start the music; never take hand with a dance partner.
Our ideals exceed the graces of humanity. We men wait on the Proverbs 31 woman. She does not exist. Many women wait for the second coming of Christ. His heart is already spoken for. When He returns it will be to carry home God’s daughter-in-law. And so we wait, rather than begin the great adventure. We stand at the edge of the minefield, staring out across it, alone, yet yearning to dance; for a companion with whom to dance.
We are prisoners therefore, in our very hearts, held captive by fears, clutching tightly to standards of perfection rather than standards of honest, yet often stumbling pursuit of excellence.
“Why am I afraid to dance, I who love music and rhythm and grace and song and laughter? Why am I afraid to live, I who love life and the beauty of flesh and the living colors of the earth and sky and sea? Why am I afraid to love, I who love love?” ― Eugene O’Neill, The Great God Brown and Other Plays
The question then… the second question, bespeaks a more realistic ideal, prompted when we definitively have God. If we have God and His example of Love and Grace to always stand with us, then the second question becomes the one that matters.
The third question becomes then, mere formality. It was answered when we invited God to a place of primacy within our marriage and our hearts.
God will join our hands. God will start the music. Our eyes on Him we will dance with joyous abandon and our feet will find only safe firm ground†, ’til we come to the other side and meet with Him, our Father, face to face.
a James 1:5
b 2 Timothy 1:7
c Luke 12:48
d Isaiah 53:6, Romans 3:10
e Ephesians 5:25
† There is a difficult distinction to make here. I’ve borrowed the metaphor of dancing through minefields from Andrew Peterson’s autobiographical song, “Dancing in the Minefields.” Marriage is always a dance through minefields and always fraught with danger.* We live on a fallen earth of fallen people under the influence of the Bent Oyarsa. We will encounter mines; in those seasons when our eyes waver from God, or when the fallenness of this world (sin by those outside our marriage and sickness being a major consequences of fallenness) asserts. With God in our marriage however, our dance will be more graceful, more beautiful, and less apt to put a foot wrong in clumsy stumble. Moreover, when we do encounter mines, our devotion to God will equip us to better deal with whatever the Bent Oyarsa (Satan) throws at us. Our devotion will mean that ‑we- react differently, and choose to weather storms with one another, storms that shred marriages based only on things earthly. Andrew says it beautifully: “And we’re dancing in the minefields. We’re sailing in the storm. This is harder than we dreamed, but I believe that’s what the promise is for.” These storms are best illustrated (quite literally) here: Family Man — Andrew Peterson
* “Life is pain, highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.” ― William Goldman, William Goldman: Four Screenplays with Essays