I haven't done a very good job of keeping you apprised of our dancing adventures, although judging by the overwhelming absence of feedback that hasn't bothered you much. Nevertheless, it's important that you know that following our Introduction to Ballroom Dancing class we felt comfortable enough with our newly-acquired skills to sign up for the next Introduction to Ballroom Dancing class.
Yes, that's right; we repeated the class. I suppose that there are genetically-superior, rhythm-enhanced bipedal organisms who can master the steps to seven dances in just four classes, but MLB and I don't fall into that category.
So, anyway, we've just completed the second four-week intro class, and we feel good enough about our progress that we're going to sign up for a third round when it's offered again, probably in January.
We missed our Sunday School Christmas party because it fell on the same evening as our final class meeting, and we were quizzed about it at another social gathering of our Sunday School class a couple of weeks later. Interestingly, before the evening was over, most of the couples in attendance had convinced themselves that they wanted to join us in the next class. (OK, to be honest, most of the wives had come to that conclusion; the husbands adopted that gritted-teeth grin that has appeared in the face of lost marital causes for millennia.)
I don't expect that everyone will follow through, but the idea of an all-Baptist dance class has a certain oxymoronic appeal. After all, it's been only about a decade since our church's deacon covenant contained a prohibition against engaging in "the social dance," and I'm sure that there are any number of churches which continue to frown upon the practice, if not outright condemn it. (I've always wondered about the Biblical support for this view, by the way. I realize that one of King David's wives, Michal, "despised" her husband for dancing, but I think it's because she thought he looked silly, a standard which I hope no longer applies as it would effectively end the dancing ambitions of about 90% of the male half of the public.)
Contemplating the possibility of a Baptist dance got me started thinking about how to explain this to those who might fall onto the slightly less open-minded end of the spectrum, and it occurs to me that ballroom dancing is actually a good metaphor for a healthy Godly marriage and life in general. No, really. Here are a few examples:
- The responsibility for leading the dance steps belongs to the man; the woman follows his lead. That's the rule; I didn't make it up. So, too, with marriage, where Scripture tells us that the husband is the head and the wife is to submit to his leadership.
- But this leadership role carries great responsibility, both in dancing and marriage. In the dance, the man's every move should be to make his partner look good and feel secure. When he does his job in this way, they both benefit. That's the model for a marriage, too.
- In dance, the music dictates the steps, and trying to force different steps onto the music leads to confusion and disarray. Just try waltzing to a tango if you doubt this. In life, God has created a set of rules, designed with our good in mind. Attempts to bend or bypass those rules inevitably leads to sadness and confusion.
- However, even within a given dance, there's freedom to embellish the steps, provided the basic rules are not violated. And, contrary to popular belief, God provides us with a significant degree of freedom to live our lives within the general context of His will.
- And last, but certainly not least, the dance is supposed to be fun and full of joy. I believe that's God's desire for us, as well.