Intentions vs. Actions

In dance, as in marriage, we often have to be….well, somewhere between “helpful” and “constructively critical” with our comments.  Is that delicate enough? I’m sure all of you have at one point have been in that situation with a friend, a lover, or a dance partner. Somehow co-workers should fall into that situation as well, but it seems that they are a little more insulated from the problem, perhaps because of the work environment.

Sheila Wray Gregorie, a well known Christian author and speaker wrote in her book “to Love, Honor, and Vacuum”

“In marriage, we tend to judge ourselves by our INTENTIONS and our spouses by their ACTIONS. We give ourselves credit for thinking good thoughts, even if we don’t act on them. What would happen if we started giving our spouses the BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT too?”

How true that is! I expect it’s simply human nature, and for most people not intended to be so disrespectful. But unfortunately it does happen. As a dancer it’s easy to try harder and harder, to the point of frustration, and if we fail, we at least congratulate ourselves on our good intentions. But with our dance partner, we tend to be more harsh with our judgement, and depending on our personality, more harsh with our words and criticism.

With our spouse, that tendency may be exacerbated because of the closeness and familiarity that’s involved. In either case, it’s a habit to be aware of and avoid whenever possible. From a Biblical viewpoint, this can be emphasized in Luke 6:37:

“And do not judge and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon and you will be pardoned”

Clearly, when you look at this verse in a personal way, considering your dance partner or spouse, it makes a lot of sense. To put it in a more common way, “bite your tongue” . Just relax, take a “chill pill”, and don’t be so quick to condemn. Another complementary verse to this is in Proverbs 15:1

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger”

Can you think of any better advice for Dance and Marriage? Enough said!