Summary: Based on The DNA of Relationships by Dr. Gary Smalley. Every person in the midst of a heated argument starts the fear dance. By understanding the dance steps and our part in it, we can stop the destructive cycle.


The DNA of Relationships (Part 3)

A. We are continuing our series of lessons on The DNA of Relationships based on the book by Dr. Gary



A man was reading his paper early one morning at the breakfast table. His wife came over to him and patted him on the shoulder. She looked at him, smiled, and said, “I bet you don’t know what today is, do you?” He looked at her and said, “Of course I know what day it is!” and went back to reading his paper.

He didn’t have a CLUE, but he was AFRAID that he would make his wife UPSET—she was really SENSITIVE about SPECIAL OCCASIONS. He thought to himself, “Is it her BIRTHDAY? That must be it.” So after he got to WORK he called the FLORIST and had a BOUQUET of WHITE ROSES sent to his wife. Then as the day went on, he began WORRYING that FLOWERS may not be ENOUGH for such an IMPORTANT DAY. “What if it’s our ANNIVERSARY?” So he went to the JEWELRY STORE down from his OFFICE, picked out a beautiful TENNIS BRACELET and had it special DELIVERED to his WIFE. As he started home from work he decided that maybe

he should also stop and buy an expensive BOX of CHOCOLATES to bring to her—just in case.

He pulls into the DRIVEWAY and his WIFE runs out to GREET him. As he gets out of the CAR and PRESENTS her with the BOX of CHOCOLATES, she throws her arms around him and says, “Oh, honey, this is the best GROUNDHOG DAY I’ve ever had!”


FEAR can cause us to do some very UNUSUAL things. What I’m wondering is, how is he going to TOP that next GROUNDHOG’S DAY?

B. We can LAUGH at situations LIKE that, but the truth is in RELATIONSHIP PROBLEMS the FEAR DANCE is no LAUGHING matter.

1. These are DANCE STEPS that we have all done, and if we can learn what they are and what our

RESPONSIBILITY is we may learn how to get out of this VICIOUS CYCLE.

2. The FEAR DANCE began with the very FIRST RELATIONSHIPS that ever existed—the RELATIONSHIPS that involved God and Adam and Eve- Genesis 3:6-10 (READ)


Adam and Eve had a perfect RELATIONSHIP with God and with each other, that is until they CHOSE to DISOBEY God and ATE of the one TREE in this vast GARDEN that they were told not to eat from, “the TREE of the KNOWLEDGE of GOOD and EVIL”- Genesis 2:17.

When that happened, Adam and Eve felt an EMOTION they had never EXPERIENCED before—FEAR!! They are now HIDING from God—they NEVER had to HIDE from God. They had a PERFECT LOVING relationship that has now been SHATTERED by their DISOBEDIENCE.

The PERFECT UNION that Adam and Eve once SHARED has now resulted in CRITICIZING and BLAMING. There’s no PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY here, it’s the other GUY’S FAULT. Neither wants to be the CAUSE of this RIFT

between them and God, so typically they SHIFT the BLAME to someone or something else, and, thus, causing a RIFT between themselves.

C. Adam and Eve started in what Gary Smalley describes as the FEAR DANCE.


They FEAR DANCE is a destructive CYCLE that every person in a STRAINED or SHATTERED RELATIONSHIP gets into. There are FOUR ELEMENTS to the FEAR DANCE.



A. I touched on this briefly last week as DNA TRUTH #1.

1. When an ARGUMENT ensues between two people, there is usually a particular PROBLEM that ignites the ARGUMENT.


An argument may occur between a HUSBAND and WIFE over FINANCES.

PARENTS may argue with their SON about not wanting to GO to SCHOOL.

2. There are INNUMERABLE issues over which people ARGUE—over which WE argue.


We can spend HOURS arguing over these ISSUES and solve nothing. . . . Oh, we might MANIPULATE or FORCE the other PERSON to DO what we want them to do or we might GIVE IN out of FRUSTRATION and DO what the other person WANTS, but it actually does not


The ARGUMENT may STOP . . . for awhile, but we don’t stop THINKING about it and FUMING over it . . . and IT WILL rear its UGLY HEAD once again.

B. Let’s look at an argument that ensued between two Christian leaders- Acts 15:36-41 (READ & COMMENT)


This incident is a little unnerving for some. Here are two GODLY brothers in Christ, one an Apostle and the other known as the “Son of Encouragement,” ARGUING over a CO-WORKER. Two more DEDICATED men could not be found in the First Century. They had been FELLOW MISSIONARIES. Both were EFFECTIVE. Both were SPIRITUALLY MINDED. BUT WHAT AN ARGUMENT!

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