The Sweet Christian Bride

Dancing in the Mine Fields

by admin on November 16, 2011 in Faith, Music, Relationship with No Comments

Marriage is a story.

Like any good story, there is an opening—the engagement—that hooks you in.  There is rising action where two learn to become one.  This leads to the conflict which creates the ultimatum for one or both to change in order for life together to continue.  Once the decision has been made to change, there is the falling action where humility and grace wins, and the conflict changes from an issue of despair to one of promise.  And, of course, the resolution is hope for the future in light of the conflict previously faced.

I suppose more accurately, marriage is a series of stories, for as one story ends another is just beginning.  Marriage is dynamic, full of conflict and resolution, despair and hope, challenge and reward.  It’s messy, but it’s beautiful, like a work of modern art that speaks profundity in its appearance of simplicity and that reaches the deepest corners of one’s heart and soul.

Weddings are certainly occasions for celebrating the joy, the bliss, the unity, the grandeur, the passion, and the benefits of marriage.  It’s a joyous occasion!  But when a pastor teaches that marriage is also a time for enduring, for sharpening, for sacrificing, and for changing, I am always comforted that this bride and groom know what they are getting in for.  And when the vows speak of the persevering by Christ’s strength through the difficult times as well as the easy, I am assured that the bride and groom are making a promise that will withstand the mine fields of marriage.

Marriage itself isn’t always a mine field, but it will always be surrounded by them.  Culture, temptation, money, lust, selfishness, and all other sorts of bombs are waiting for a husband or wife to trigger them.  The enemy targets marriage.

And so, it is easy to fall.

The beauty of falling in marriage is that “two are better than one because […] if they fall, one will lift up the other” (Ecclesiastes 4:9).  Hope always wins and redemption always trumps failure when Christ is the One leading the charge in a marriage.  He is the One Who turns chaos, danger, and despair into peace, safety, and triumph; He is the One Who allows you to dance in the mine fields.

Andrew Peterson sings “Dancing in the Mine Fields,” to illustrate this messiness of marriage.  He gets it.

“I do” are the two most famous last words
The beginning of the end
But to lose your life for another I’ve heard
Is a good place to begin

‘Cause the only way to find your life
Is to lay your own life down
And I believe it’s an easy price
For the life that we have found

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

His lyrics tell the story of a young couple who marries under the blissful naivety of love.  15 years later, they have gained perspective that marriage has been a mine field.  It is in this mine field, however, that they have learned to lose their lives for the sake of the other only to find it again.

Of course this counter-intuitive perspective on love and marriage is only given credence by the very precedent set by Jesus Christ Who lost His life for us so that we may have life in Him.  It’s by the power of the Holy Spirit that whoever wants to find life must first lose their life for Christ’s sake.


Marriage is a story of humility that brings beauty.  When one is brought low, there is possibility to become lost, broken, disillusioned, and bitter.  Peterson acknowledges this inevitability, but he also addresses the possibility of wholeness, healing, hope, and joy that comes with the support of a spouse:

So when I lose my way, find me
When I loose love’s chains, bind me
At the end of all my faith, till the end of all my days
When I forget my name, remind me

And he concludes the story of marriage told in his song with the recognition that Christ alone makes it all possible:

‘Cause we bear the light of the Son of Man
So there’s nothing left to fear
So I’ll walk with you in the shadowlands
Till the shadows disappear

‘Cause he promised not to leave us
And his promises are true
So in the face of all this chaos, baby,
I can dance with you

Listen to this song with your fiancé.  Talk with him about your expectations for marriage and about the models of marriage you have had.  What plan of defense do you have if a mine explodes?  What plan of offense do you have knowing that you are entering into a mine field?  From where does your hope for dancing in this mine field come?

Had I known of this song, I would have probably used it for my husband and my first dance or maybe for our slide show or unity ceremony.  Maybe it has a perfect fit in your wedding ceremony.  Or maybe it’s simply an audio devotional that can help you and your fiancé map the outline for the overall story arch in your series of marriage stories.

[ Lyrics from: ]

By Lindsay

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