Each new generation likes to push the envelope. Mine sure did. Then, every once in a while, something comes along that makes even the new generation pushing the envelope nervous. Usually that means it won’t make it to mainstream acceptability. In this case, level heads certainly hope not.
Thanks to a music awards show and a former Disney starlet, schools across the country are having to establish new dance policies to keep their hormonally overwrought teenagers from completely losing all sense of decorum. Because of the recent focus on twerking, millions of I-can-do-that-too adolescents are wanting to light each other up on the dance floor, regardless of the personal price to their dignity and self-respect.
For those of you who haven’t heard, twerking is a form of dancing that is designed to deliberately arouse your dance partner sexually. It does this by simulating the act of having sex with them while dancing. For the record, my observation is that if you get a room full of testosterone-filled boys and estrogen-driven girls, just about any way a girl dances is going create a sexual challenge with the young men. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t let kids dance. Those boys have the exact same challenge watching those same girls walk down the hallway at school each day. What it does mean is that we (especially dads) need to talk our kids through (sons and daughters) what to expect in these situations and how to respond nobly. It’s building into their character a keen sense of what’s appropriate.
But kids will be kids. What helps when this happens is that parents be parents. So, after talking about this trap before she leaves for the dance, what if a daughter defies her parents and goes on a twerking rampage at the high school dance (with plenty of evidence for the parents to review on social media before she even gets home)? I wouldn’t panic or go nuts as a parent if that was my daughter. Kids are known to make bad choices. What I would do is make sure that her cell phone suddenly went dark immediately after the dance and didn’t get turned back on for several months. If she didn’t learn the error of her ways as a result of that, I know how to make it stay dark for a year or, for some harder-headed kids, the duration of her life under my roof.
Some things are really worth taking a stand over. There’s a good chance that this is one of them. The point is, I’d take some measures to stand on her air hose until her attitude and will aligned with wiser deportment on the dance floor—all along guided by God’s truth while tempered by His grace. In fact, this is exactly what grace looks like in these situations.
But, if you’ll allow me to take a bit of a reach, one thing I was wondering about in the midst of this is discussion on twerking is the whole point of this brand of dancing. I’m just wondering if there might be another lesson here? Twerking is designed to arouse the person you’re dancing with a certain way. Arouse means to awaken or incline someone toward something they weren’t focused on up to that point. Our Christian lives have been compared to a dance. God picks the music and determines the rhythm. He calls us to let ourselves go in a passionate display of trust, mercy, obedience, grace, and forgiveness. He wants us to dance zealously for him the way he did for us. Maybe if we parents were dancing full out for the Lord, we might awaken and incline our kids so much towards a passionate love for Jesus that the idea of going gutter at the high school dance either never crosses their mind or is quickly dismissed as an option.
I suppose that because twerking has a specific sexual connotation, the word “spiritual” and “twerking” don’t really work together. But, I do think there’s something to be said for living our lives in such a way that the people watching us dance our hearts out for God “see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
Your turn. How is your family dealing with this generation’s inclination to be out there “Dancing Like the Stars”? How do you find God’s grace coming to your aid in these kinds of situations?