Last Friday I went to see Joe Satriani, one of the finest guitar players of these days, in the Paradiso in Amsterdam, together with a friend of mine. Joe was wearing a t-shirt with the text “Real Men Don’t Dance,” which I thought was a provocative and interesting line. And I must admit that the remainder of the show I was contemplating the truth of that statement. (It goes without saying that it didn’t interfere at all with me enjoying his marvelous guitar playing, the ambiance that the Paradiso brings – it being an old church building – , the songs that provoke you to all least tap along, etc).
But, do real men dance? Obviously the first question that needs answering is: what are real men? The answer should be simple. Real men are men that love God with all their hearts, that have the courage to accept Jesus into their lives, lay down their lives for their king and savior and their wife and family, and who desire to walk in true spiritual integrity every moment of every day.
With that definition set, the remaining question is if these type of men dance or if dancing is not manly enough? Well, let’s look at a real man from the Bible: David. David was a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14). Why did God consider him a man after His own heart? First, he always tried to put God first (1 Samuel 24:6-12, 26:11). Secondly, when confronted with sin, David confessed his fault, turned from his offense, and sought forgiveness (1 Samuel 25:32-35, 2 Samuel 11:27-12:23, 24:10-14). Two great characteristic of a real man!
So, did David ever dance? Yes! It is recorded in 2 Samuel 6:13-15 that when the ark of the covenant was brought back to Jerusalem that David was dancing before the LORD with all his might. “And so it was, that when the bearers of the ark of the LORD had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fatling. And David was dancing before the LORD with all his might, and David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel were bringing up the ark of the LORD with shouting and the sound of the trumpet.” (2 Samuel 6:13-15).
David’s son Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes 3:4, “A time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance“, and the psalmist of psalm 149 writes “Let Israel be glad in his Maker; let the sons of Zion rejoice in their King. Let them praise His name with dancing; Let them sing praises to Him with timbrel and lyre. For the LORD takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the afflicted ones with salvation.”
So, do real men dance? Yes, they do. But it is always to honor God, an act of worship towards God. Could I have danced at Joe Satriani’s show? Yes, to praise God for giving us ears to hear, for giving Joe Satriani to ability to play guitar that well, for giving us the gift of music for enjoyment and worship, for providing me resources to go see Joe Satriani, etc, etc. The list is endless. Does this have to change the way I enjoy go see something like Joe Satriani? Not at all, as long as I don’t elevate the musician to the position of God and start worshiping him as God. But I can worship God through the musician. It actually makes the experience even better, because I can enjoy both the music and God through it.
So, real men, put on your dancing shoes!