One family’s journey to AFAA
By Brittany Dellinger
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1
The ways we move our body; the words we say and how we say them; the things we make with our hands; it’s all worship. God made man to be His image bearers. He is a creator, and when we create in ways that glorify Him we are fulfilling part of our purpose. We can see this modeled in the form of dance in 2 Samuel 6:16: “As the ark of the Lord was entering the city of David, Saul’s daughter Michal looked down from the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord…” We see creativity at work by the work of our hands in the example of Nehemiah, who used his hands to craft a wall to glorify God. “So I said to them, ‘You see the trouble we are in. Jerusalem lies in ruins and its gates have been burned. Come, let’s rebuild Jerusalem’s wall, so that we will no longer be a disgrace.’” (Nehemiah 2:17) Mary, the mother of Jesus, is recorded in Luke chapter 1 performing a beautiful song for praise in front of her cousin Elizabeth prior to the birth of our Lord.
Art as a form of worship is something that my husband and I encouraged and modeled at home for our children, but not something we have always been able to find in a community setting. I vividly recall a time that my husband and I were invited to a dance recital of a friend’s daughter. I watched with tears in my eyes (I may have been a wee bit overly emotional due to being very pregnant with our third child) as I saw young girls dancing provocatively to songs that exploited them as objects. I vowed then that my daughters would never dance. Both of my daughters had asked many times to dance, but my answer had always been no.
When we moved to Burlington from Western NC I began to look for extra-curricular options for our family. I found AFAA online and called for my husband to come look. It seemed too good to be true! A fine arts studio with a Christian worldview. We didn’t waste any time researching and gathering more information. Everything about AFAA seemed like a perfect fit for our family. Our oldest daughter was enrolled. At the end of her first year I once again sat at a recital with tears in my eyes (this time I was pregnant with our sixth child!) I was not overwhelmed with discouragement this time; I was instead overwhelmed with worship. I was filled with thankfulness that our children had found a creative outlet that aligned with our family’s Biblical worldview.
This year four of our six children will be taking classes at AFAA and I look forward to seeing how each of them grow in skills and creativity this year.