"Keep scribbling! Something will happen." Frank McCourt

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wednesday Inspired

God Has Never Told Me What to Wear to Church

I have a confession to make. It could take you by surprise. I certainly don’t know how to break this news to you. This straight laced wanna be Cinderella…Cowgirl has now worn jeans to her church’s Sunday worship service.

Back Story

Now I don’t know how the rest of the world wheels and deals with Sunday clothing. But when you’re my age, and you grow up country and Baptist you take your outerwear on Sundays very seriously. All of my life I have entered church buildings everywhere with the best clothing that I own on my body.

As a young girl, I wore frilly dresses with black patent shoes. A little older there were more beautiful dresses. As a teenager (I rebelled some) I wore very cute trendy but very short dresses. As an adult I continued my devout pilgrimage. I wore dresses then dress pantsuits. (If you are making fun of me, your monitor is going to explode right now in your face. Shame on you!)

I have worn jeans to many church functions: Sunday evening church, Wednesday church and church socials. But I can’t remember ever… not even in my wanna be “hippy” stage in high school did I don blue jeans in Sunday morning church.

God has never told me not to wear jeans. 

Jeans just never crossed my mind.

Recently, our church started two worship services and I have been going to the later service which is contemporary. I wasn’t sure about it at first with all the psychedelic light shows (which they toned down) and the loud band on stage (which I now love).

But two times now I have worn jeans. I apologized to my daughter the first time I wore them giving her some excuse.

She chuckled.

I apologized the second time, last Sunday, and gave yet another excuse. She told me many people had dressed that way.

I felt guilty.

This is what I have decided about wearing jeans to church on Sunday:

1. The church walls did not cave in.
2. I was not sent home for indecent exposure.
3. I didn’t feel the wrath of God come down on me.
4. My attention was on the service and not on my uncomfortable clothing.
5. I wasn’t adjusting my pantyhose without anyone seeing me. (Yes on occasion I wear them…not too often.)
6. My Bible still opened when I needed it.
7. The church bells did not ring out of protest.
8. The pastor didn’t point me out as a charlatan.
9. There were others…wearing jeans…and they weren’t …teenagers.
10. It was great.

Worshiping God has nothing to do with our clothing, but then you knew that. Our worship is a refection of our soul. It is the pouring out of love in song. It is the surrender of ourselves to someone we don’t understand, but need desperately to fill our empty places.

I will wear jeans again to worship God that's a given …probably not next Sunday, though. Baby steps, People, baby steps.

Is there an "outside the box" for you?


24 comments:

  1. I have been privileged to experience many different churchs.

    The one my family stayed with was a small country church where the men wore bibbed overalls and the women wore what they had. We were very comfortable with who we were, there was no judgement, as it should be. To this day, many of these long gone people still have the biggest influence on my life.

    Dad was not a church man. His church was the great outdoors. Dad always declared, when Mom would try to get him to attend, that he was closer to God in the great outdoors when in any building.

    God does not care what you wear, only that your heart is true.

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  2. I've always dressed really formally for church...but I wore slacks for the first time EVER a couple of Sundays ago. This was just me--there have been plenty of slacks-wearing ladies at church for YEARS. It just goes to show how hard it is to ditch a habit when you've been doing it your whole life! You're right...God doesn't care a whit about it.

    Elizabeth
    Mystery Writing is Murder
    Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen

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  3. Gail, You are so right. He looks at your heart.

    Elizabeth, I know! It hard to break out of patterns I have set for myself. I need to use this for one of my characters.

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  4. we've really done a 180 I remember loving to dress my boys up for church. Now, they have friends staying over often on Sat- so they end up going to church w us- usually wearing the same tshirts they rolled in here w on Sat afternoon. I've let my guys just start wearing jeans- and I've relaxed my attire quite a bit too. Seems better to have them feel welcome, comfortble and "ya'll" fit right in

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  5. Cute post! Pant suits and screen exploding...you make me laugh, Teresa :-)

    I wear jeans to church every Sunday. We have a very contemporary church. OH, and we rock out too!!! Light show...not so much. But that would be quite interesting.

    And yes, Jesus doesn't care what we wear. And yes, our Bible does still open. Good for you! Enjoy your newfound comfortableness.

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  6. I have worn jeans, but was raised a practicing Catholic and remember the days girls had to wear a hat on their heads in church! But there always a "Sunday best" feel to churchgoing clothes those days, and to this day, I still have a little of that dress-down feeling when I wear the jeans. It's just ingrained in me.

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  7. For me, worshiping has always been from the inside. I see no problem with wearing jeans if worshipping is your goal. If sporting a sexy look is the goal, however, in the house of God, then I would wonder about the choice. Know what I mean?

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  8. I love your post. I've got to find a little story someone e-mail me years ago about a cowboy in church and the preacher saying something to him about his clothes. You'd love it.
    I agree, God doesn't care if you wear formal or casual, just as long as you're there.

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  9. I'm full blown Baptist, so I can relate to how you may have had a hard time. What I'm learning is that we place too much on tradition and not scripture. God is more concerned about what I'm wearing on the inside. If I can allow Him to transform that- the outside will take care of itself.

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  10. One of my favorite contemporary songs has the lines, "Come as you are to worship." I think the dressing up can be part of the "cover up." Still, I like to look nice for Jesus.

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  11. It also depends on the jeans you're wearing.

    Growing up I always had to go to church in a suit and tie. It was years before I ever learned to tie a tie correctly. I recall my father's frustrated breath on the back of my neck as he would tie my tie for me, even as a teenager. I loved the clip on ties.

    I stopped going to church after high school, partly due to the dress issue--after all I was a bit of a hippie then.

    I started going to church again when I move to California and had children of my own who needed a good influence. The dress code was far more relaxed- maybe a bit too relaxed for some. Tee-shirts and shorts are not uncommon. Maybe some of the dress is going a bit too far.

    For me I like clean, neat, and comfortable. I still avoid suits and ties.
    Lee

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  12. Wow. You always stir my gray matter! Love it!!!!

    Yeah, finding my "writer's clothes" put me WAY outside the box! For someone afraid to get her ears pierced until she was near 40, I've made up for it with big hoops, wild colors, lots of dangles. It's just me!

    Way outside the box I crawled into and stayed...for way too long!!

    Patti
    www.pattilacy.com/blog

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  13. Sally, It's hard sometimes to change the way we do.

    CM, I believe the world should live in their jeans.

    Joanne, I with ya on that one-ingrained. Oh and I had forgotten the hats. I loved those hats.

    Mason, I'd love to read it.

    Tamika, Yes for the transformation...make the things important...important. Let the rest go.

    Mary, I love it! I want to look good for Jesus too.

    Lee, I still think Church should be a respectful place and that includes how we dress.

    Patti, However, I do love that box. :)

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  14. At least you GO to church. Your list of non-events might--or might not--apply to me if ever I darkened a church door.


    Best Wishes Galen.
    Imagineering Fiction Blog

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  15. Maybe it's taboo. I think many just assume it's disrespectful. But I've worn jeans, too. Because it's not so much about what I'm wearing (I'm still presentable, well put-together, anyway), it's about showing up, hearing the message, worshipping. Fancy dress or not.

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  16. I grew up Catholic until I was about 12 and then my Mother (without my consent) made me switch to Baptist. She went a little too fervent, making me wear a hat (ooh, way to make a teenager fit in! NOT.) and there was no way I was allowed to wear jeans, even to the Sunday night service. So, I grew up thinking that way. Switch to now. I not only returned to the Catholic church, my whole family chose to join and we attend the most informal service. My kids wear jeans as does my husband and occasionally I will wear them too. I do draw the line at graphic tee's though. I'm still too conservative, I think. Though that is more my nature than my upbringing.
    Good post.

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  17. Eileen, Yes, it can go too far. I doubt if that will ever be me. I still hold with the idea that church needs to be a respectful place.

    Galen, It might be worth a try and who knows the book material you could get from it. :)

    Janna, Exactly!

    Brandy, OH MY! At least you are ok now. A HAT for a teen? Again oh my.

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  18. I wore dresses or skirts all my life to church until just recently. As I get older I am beginning to wear pant suits to church. Very few people seem to wear pantyhose any more. Times are changing and I prefer listening to the sermon and communing with saints over having a fashion show. :-) I hate to think that our stuffiness stops some from attending for fear that they will not fit in.

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  19. I just found your blog through a friend in my Writing Group! I've gotta say that I love it! I'm gonna check back with regularity! Thanks

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  20. Judy, Oh I am sure stuffiness has turned people away from churches. Churches are people and sometimes we are not a good representation of Him.

    Welcome Becki!!! Come back anytime.

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  21. HI JW - my sister-in-law is a Catholic .. and comes in for the Saturday evening service sometimes - when my brother visits my mother - & I'll go with her .. like you I was taught wear your best - Sunday Best - but now it seems anything goes .. I still like to be tidy! & would be for our Church of England Services.

    At least you're going and as you say the world didn't cave in ..
    Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

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  22. Congratulations on moving out side the box.

    The church I attend has a contemporary service which my family attends. I am not a dress up kind of girl so jeans at church are just my normal attire.

    But I know lots of people struggle with those attitudes and traditions that have been ingrained since childhood.

    I think Jesus would be right there next to you with his Levi's on!!!

    Blessings
    Robin

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  23. Dressing up to me seems a bit pretentious in the name of reverence sometimes. It becomes a status symbol of the haves and have nots. All the while God is watching the hearts who enter His house.

    I am from the Northwest, and it is church culture generally, for all to feel welcome however they come.

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  24. Girl I'm with you! I've felt what you feel, and expressed. Growing up Baptist as well, in a small country church...it was skirts or dresses all the way. I had a dream one time that I showed up to church wearing pants, actually came late and as I tried to sneak in and take a seat...the preacher stopped preaching, and all the congregation turned around and gasped out loud with shock. I woke up laughing! I mean really...is it our hearts that God sees or our sense of fashion? Ha.
    I decided that my heart is right, and I'm still the traditional gal at heart, but I will wear pants here and there and God will love me just the same. His love is unconditional!
    As long as anyone dresses decently and has respect for God's house in which they are entering...that's what matters!

    Angela C.

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