Master The Skill

To master Ballroom Dancing, you have to practice to learn the dance steps.  It takes a lot of practice before you feel comfortable out on the dance floor.      

For those of you who have learned to play a musical instrument, master a sport or speak a foreign language, you know you have to practice to become better.  You can’t go to class and play in the orchestra if you have never practiced at home.  You can’t run a marathon if you have never taken a run. You can’t go speak a foreign language to someone if you have not practiced beforehand.  A skill takes continual practice.  The more you practice the better you become. 

It takes action.  You can not watch Youtube or read a book and expect to become better at something.  Visual aids are tools that can help but action has to be a part of the learning experience.  

You also have to set aside time if you expect this to happen. It takes discipline.  If you don’t want to put in the time, it’s best you don’t start. 

Dan and I practice every Wednesday morning, at 6 a.m.  We have a playlist of different songs that we practice our ballroom dance steps to.  Going to area dances also gives us a chance to practice our steps. We have learned many steps over the years, but if we don’t practice they tend to disappear from our memory.  It may still be there in the old noggin , but you have to work on refreshing the skill all over again. 

Muscle memory converts a short-term memory into a long term memory.  Practice is what makes it long term.  Then you will dance without thinking so hard.  It will become more natural and fun.

Dan and I can teach a step to our dance class, but it is up to them to practice at home. It is up to the couple to master the skill.  We can’t do that for them. 

God’s Word-Proverbs 12:1 -The Message

If you love learning, you love the discipline that goes with it— how shortsighted to refuse correction!

Fall Dating

 

The Girl In The Mirror

Have you ever wanted a book to understand the inner life of your husband or your wife?  Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn interviewed and surveyed thousands of men and women to write their two books ‘For Women Only and For Men Only.‘  When we can better understand our husband or wife, our marriages can be happier. 

Dan and I led a book study on these two books as part of our dance ministry.  Following is an excerpt from the book, For Men Only.

The Girl In The Mirror Written by Jeff Feldhahn

 As I write this, our daughter is five years old and definitely at that ”Daddy’s girl” stage.  She can whack a pretty good line drive for her age.  But she’s happiest, I think, when she’s dancing for me in the consignment-store costume dress Shaunti bought for her last year.  It’s pink, and has a twirly skirt. 

Pink and twirly matters a lot when you’re five.  You should see her twirling around our living room.  She absolutely beams with delight.  Twirl left, pause.  Twirl right. 

“Daddy, watch!” she calls as she spins and the skirt does its thing.
Daddy, look at me!  “Do you think I’m pretty?” 

If you’ve ever had a little girl twirling around your house, you know what I’m thinking right then.  Lord, just let me hold on to this moment!  Please…don’t let my little girl grow up.  

That’s what this chapter is about.  Because you see, in a way little girls never really do.  

Would it surprise you to know that your gifted, hardworking, secure, grown-up wife is still (silently)asking the same question:  “Do you think I’m pretty?”  Only now it’s you watching.  It’s you she’s asking, and you who will decide her haunting question.  Not just “Am I beautiful?” But “Am I beautiful… to him?” 

In a culture where women are bombarded with expectations to lose weight, look younger, look sexy-actually, look perfect-that question has killer consequences.  But it also gives clued-in men an opportunity that we didn’t even know we had to affirm our wives in a very important way. 

In our survey most women told us they had a “deep need or desire” to know that their husband or boyfriend found them beautiful.  

Women need to be reassured often that they are beautiful and they are loved.

”Could I Have This Dance?”

It was a formal dance evening. I sat in my chair, waiting for the next song that Dan and I wanted to dance to.  A young University of Northern Iowa dance club student came over to our table and asked me if I would like to dance with him.  Most generally, I dance with Dan only, but his approach made it more appealing.  

He put out his hand and said it this way, “Would you please like to dance with me?”

So with Dan’s encouragement not to ruin this young man’s dance experience, I accepted his offer.  

He put out his arm and escorted me to the dance floor.  We introduced ourselves to each other, then did a ballroom dance together.  He led gently, not knowing my dance level.  Then as the dance ended he thanked me for dancing with him.  Again, he put his arm out and escorted me back to my chair.  I have to say, I felt special.  I was wondering what my husband was thinking.  

It didn’t take long to know what was rolling around inside his head. The next song, Dan put his hand out and said “Would you please like to dance with me?” He then escorted me out to the dance floor. Just like the young UNI dance student. 

You realize what a polite word can do to motivate.  A kind gesture.  A husband and wife treating each other special in a marriage or on the dance floor.  It works! 

Some might say it’s old fashioned.  But maybe old fashioned is just what a marriage needs.

God’s Word

Proverbs 21:21-Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity and

honor.

The Man is the Frame and the Woman is the Picture

In Ballroom Dance there is a phrase, “The man is the frame, and the woman is the picture. “ The leader’s goal during the dance is to show her off, not to dominate over her on the dance floor!  In the lead and follow of the ballroom dance, the gentleman will lead in such a way that makes the girl look wonderful, not by domineering, but by cherishing his dance partner.  

The purpose of the frame:

  • Enhance the picture
  • Supports and holds the picture
  • Not to be a distraction from the picture.  If the eye goes to the frame it is the wrong frame.  They eye should go to the picture

Is this the picture of your marriage?  Husbands are you treating your wife as your queen?  Do you compliment her? Adore her? Make her look good?  Do you show her off?

God’s Word-Ephesians 5:25-28(The Message)  Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church—a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness. And that is how husbands ought to love their wives. They’re really doing themselves a favor—since they’re already “one” in marriage.

Following in Marriage

What does it take to become a good wife of your home?

  • She respects her husband’s role as the leader of the home
  • She is patient and understanding
  • She encourages him-she is his biggest cheerleader   
  • She doesn’t cling.  It is important for each to have space when needed
  • Staying connected by doing things he enjoys 
  • She takes time to know where her husband is
  • She does not compare her husband to others
  • She continues to work on making her home a happy place
  • She puts effort into the marriage
  • She communicates if she does not understand his lead
  • She knows when to stay silent

God’s Word-Ephesians 5:22-23 NASB-Wives, subject yourselves to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.

Leading In The Marriage

What does it take to become a good husband in your home?

  • He is the protective covering for the family
  • He takes responsibility for the health of the marriage  
  • He is a Spiritual Leader -worshiping, praying and being in God’s Word 
  • He leads with his heart.  He is not domineering, but leads in a loving way. It does not come with force. 
  • He is a servant to his wife
  • He is dependable
  • He shows her off.  Makes her look good! 
  • He is humble
  • He shows her unconditional love
  • He fights for his marriage-he doesn’t give up
  • He seeks her input and considers her feelings 

God’s Word-It was because of Adam’s disobedience, not Eve’s that sin and death entered the world.  Didn’t Eve eat the apple first? But God went to Adam, because he was the leader of this union. 

Romans 5:12-14

12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned—

13 To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law. 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come.

Marriage Harmony

Two individuals that have come together as one.  We are working together to get through the journey of marriage.  God’s design is that the man is to lead and the woman is to follow.  This will bring harmony to our marriage.

We each have our important roles.   We compliment each other. 

It does not work to have two leaders or two followers.  It will not look good.  It will bring more conflict in your marriage. 

Ballroom dancing is a beautiful illustration of the lead and follow principle that should be at work in our marriage. 

Just like in the dance frame, your marriage will suffer if there is poor communication. We need to take time for each other. 

Ballroom Follower

What does it take to become a good follower of Ballroom Dance?

The Ballroom Dance Follower-

  • respects her leader 
  • is patient and knows her leader is not perfect. 
  • is encouraging and a cheerleader  
  • does not  think or anticipate what the leader is leading
  • Knows her dance steps 
  • is aware of her surroundings.  She will see things the leader won’t.  
  • will work together to make sure the dance goes smoothly 
  • she does not cling-leaders can not lead a step if she doesn’t let go. 
  • stays connected with the leader at all times. She knows where he is. 
  • does  not criticize or compare him to others.  Our words can determine if the dance continues. 
  • gives feedback in a respectful way.  
  • communicates if she does not understand his lead.   It is Okay to do a step over again.  

If you want to dance,  you will learn what it takes to be a good follower.