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3 Life Lessons I Learned from Dance Class

Who would have thought that dance instruction could offer so many life lessons on dating and marriage?

Now that Laura and I are one child shy of becoming empty nesters, we have taken on a new project…dancing. Don’t judge me. Ever since Laura and I have been married, she’s wanted to take some dance lessons, and I’ve always been able to put it off...until now.

As a preacher, I don’t always go looking for stories and sermon illustrations, but they often seem to find me, and dancing was no exception. Since we’re on the eve of the day of love (a.k.a. Valentine’s Day), I thought it fitting to share 3 relationship lessons that came from a studio of dance.

  1. Our dance instructor told us that the better you are at communicating, the better you’ll be at dancing. Good dancing requires good communication. How well do you “read” each other—your eyes, movements, and expressions? And how do you learn to read each other better? Practice. In dating and marriage, the only way to improve communication is by more, and better, communication.
  2. Someone has to lead, and someone has to follow. I was amazed that a secular dance studio teaches what the Bible has been saying all along. The times when Laura and I stumbled most in our dancing (and in our marriage) have been when I did a poor job of leading. I didn’t make it clear which direction we were going, or she didn’t trust that I knew what to do next. Good leadership, based on healthy communication, gentleness, and clear direction, creates an environment for good dancing…and marriage.
  3. Dancing is a lot of work, but it can be (and should be) a whole lot of fun. There are many steps to learn and much grace to give as some steps land on each other’s toes. To grow in your dancing, dating or marriage, you have to know where you’re headed and be committed to working towards that goal. And over time, you will discover joy in the dance, even if you or your partner makes the occasional misstep.

Whether you are in a dating relationship or marriage, or simply celebrate those who are, be grateful for the Lord of the dance who invites us all to His wedding feast (Matthew 22), where we will even get to praise Him with dancing (Psalm 149:3). It might be a good idea to start practicing now.

Posted by Rick Grover, Lead Pastor with