Why Daughters Were Made to Dance
"So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, ‘Abba, Father.’ For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children." Romans 8:15-16 (NLT)
She’s fresh out of bed, still clad in her pajamas, when she finds me outside sipping coffee with my husband.
Her daddy is dressed in shabby jeans and a faded t-shirt, the patron uniform of Saturday morning yard work. But when that song she loves pulses from the radio, our littlest girl turns to him like he’s a tuxedoed prince and asks him if he’d like to dance.
There’s grass to mow and weeds to pull, but he sets down his coffee and accepts the invitation with a regal bow. I clutch my coffee cup and savor the sheen in my daughter’s eyes as her daddy twirls her around with a smile.
And suddenly I remember the woman who once told me she didn’t need a daddy …
We’d met at a church retreat where we’d learned about our identities as God’s daughters. She sat beside me, her hair wound tightly in a bun, with arms folded even tighter across her chest.
On our last evening together, the speaker used a simple metaphor to retell our salvation story. It wasn’t perfect theology, but the imagery resonated with the women in the room.
"Once upon a time there was a Father who created His children to dance. But those kids’ feet got shackled by sin and their hearts stopped beating to the rhythm of Heaven’s love. And, in time, they forgot who they were.
"But their Father didn’t forget.
"While His children stumbled and staggered, He devised a plan to set their feet free and teach them to dance again. He stretched out His arms on an old rugged cross and invited His children to return to His embrace and waltz with Him into eternity …"
When the speaker finished, women jumped to their feet to worship with abandon. Except for the woman beside me.
She sat silently until the music waned. Then with trembling lips she murmured to me, "I don’t need a daddy. I just need a savior."
Her eyes brimmed with a lifetime of hurt, and I asked if I could pray for her. Embarrassed, she shook her head no and headed for the door.
I sat there alone, stunned and sad, and closed my eyes in prayer anyway. Moments later, I felt a hand on my shoulder. "I still think I’m too old to ask God to be my daddy," the woman explained. "But if I ever change my mind, I’ve always wanted to learn to waltz …"
My attention returned to the dancing duo before me. My daughter’s arms flapped happily like a bird set free.
And I see it clearly — how every daughter of God was made to soar in the safety of her heavenly Father’s arms.
Then my husband holds our daughter close as the music slows, and together they sway to the song’s end. Maggie nestles her chin on my man’s shoulder and exhales a satisfied sigh. "I just dance better in your arms, Daddy!"
I smile at my daughter’s declaration and wonder if the woman at the retreat ever learned to "dance." I hope she did.
She was right, of course. We all need a savior. But according to our key verse, that’s not where our story ends. Once we’ve been set free from sin, God invites us to call Him "Abba," a loving and familiar term, similar to "Daddy."
It’s there, in our heavenly Daddy’s arms, where we’ll learn to "dance" freely, living as His treasured children.
Your steps won’t look like mine. And mine won’t mimic yours. But we can all grab our Daddy’s hand and let Him lead us step by expectant step into the life He’s dreamed for His girls.
And, remember, according to my daughter, we all just dance better in our Daddy’s arms.
Dear Jesus, I don’t want to miss the life You’ve dreamed for me. Guide my steps and teach me how to live as Your child: confident, joyful and free. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 30:11, "You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing." (NLT)
Psalm 90:12, 14, "Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom. … Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love, so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives." (NLT)
Proverbs 31 Ministries t-shirts are now available for pre-order until Friday, June 19. Pre-order yours today!
If you’re looking to move forward and find healing for your deepest hurts so you can dance again, Suzie Eller’s book, and our next P31 Online Bible Study, The Mended Heart: God’s Healing for Your Broken Places, might be helpful for you.
Visit Alicia Bruxvoort’s blog for more encouragement and for your chance to win a giveaway just for Daddy’s girls.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What is one step of faith God has been asking you to take lately? What keeps you from saying "Yes"?
Make a point of lingering in your heavenly Daddy’s arms this week. Listen to worship music, write a prayer of praise or watch a sunset He’s painted just for you. Tell Him how much you love being His girl.
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