Dresses? Not at church!

I am tired of being the only woman at church on Sunday in a dress. Lately, it seems every other female at church is wearing pants. Now I’m not dresses only, but I do think a dress or skirt is more feminine. It’s more ladylike. So why am I the only one wearing one?

I’m not saying it’s sinful to wear pants to church, but it’s not dressy. It’s not as feminine. God designed us to be male and female. What better place to show those differences? I wonder if it’s not pants so much that are the issue, but the lack of “dressing up” at church now. I realize that there are people who are wearing the best they can. If jeans and a t-shirt are the best you can, wear it and don’t be ashamed. But those are not the people I’m talking to. Why are we treating church as some other thing we do, like going to the mall or the grocery store? Shouldn’t we dress up a little to show some respect? It’s not like going to the mall or the grocery store. It’s a place of worship. I think it’s great to be comfortable at church, but we should never forget we’re in the house of God. Do we want God to see us dressed in ratty shorts and a t-shirt in His house, when we know we could do better? Yes, God looks at the inside, but man looks at the outside. Man sees us dressed inappropriately and thinks Christianity is no different that any other religion.

I know some will say casual dress at church makes seekers feel more welcome and not worry about standing out. I understand that. But if you’re a Christian, you are called to be different from the world, not to make the world feel better about themselves. I don’t think we should make anyone feel bad about not being dressed properly. But if we’re Christians, we ourselves do need to dress properly. I’m tired of seeing women who have nice, expensive clothes in their closets wearing ratty jeans and a t-shirt at church. They’d dress up to go to a wedding. Why not the house of the Lord?

Maybe we’re just too casual in everything. Maybe it’s not just church. Look at the average person you see anywhere–even the grocery store or mall. Very few people are dressed appropriately. I have a kid. I know it’s hard to get out the door looking decent at times. Sometimes it’s impossible. But this is a trend, not something you see every now and then. I think it goes back to the lack of modesty in general. While shorts may be appropriate at the gym, they’re not a good way to set an example of modesty at church.

At a church we attended a few years ago, there was a huge controversy over swimsuits in the service. Yes, swimsuits. The youth group was on their way to a water park that afternoon and many of the kids were wearing swimsuits (with shorts over them) in the morning service. I’m glad the youth were there. I’m glad they were in the service. But they shouldn’t have been wearing swimsuits. (And I’m not sure a mixed group of youth at a water park is such a good idea, either–call me crazy, but I’ve been a youth, too. Parents would be shocked if they knew what was going on on most youth trips.)

This can be a controversial issue. But I think we need to take a closer look at the message we’re actually sending by dressing down at church. It may not be the message we’re intending to send.

Published in: on April 13, 2008 at 8:22 pm  Comments (1)  

Quiet time with kids

One thing I’ve struggled with since having Curly Haired Baby is quiet time. Before I could find a few minutes in the morning to read and study the Bible, or at night if I missed it in the morning. Now that’s a lot more challenging!

Here is a link to a guest post on Biblicalwomanhood about this very subject. It’s excellent.

And here is Stacy McDonald’s take on it. I think she has it right!

Personally, what I do for quiet time can vary a lot. Curly Haired Husband often works a swing shift, so the days he is up and eating breakfast when we are, he and I usually have our study time together during breakfast. This is my favorite because we can read and discuss it together. Curly Haired Baby either eats or sits with us, too. (Usually…) On other days, I’ll try to read during my breakfast. Often I’ll put in a Praise Baby dvd for Curly Haired Baby while I’m studying. That way, she’s at least hearing Christian music. She’ll usually recognize the songs when she hears them at church later. If none of this works, I’ll try to read at night. I really prefer to start my day off reading the Bible, but when I read at night, it’s a nice ending to the day, too.

Published in: on April 10, 2008 at 7:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

Modesty Monday

I’ve decided to make Mondays Modesty Day here on my blog. (If there’s already a Modesty Monday somewhere, sorry, I’m not stealing your idea, I just don’t have time to Google.) So today I thought I’d share some general sites on modesty. (And no, technically it’s not Monday yet. Deal with it.)

This is Wendy Shalit’s site for “Girls Gone Mild”, which I hope to be reviewing soon. It’s an excellent look at the “modesty movement” in our culture. Shalit also wrote “A Return to Modesty”, also a great read. This site is geared more towards older (high school) girls and college-age women.

Here, a post on whether modesty today is actually do-able. The blogger also has an interesting list of dress requirements from Bob Jones University. I’ve heard many times how strict Bob Jones is, but, like the blogger, I actually thought these were pretty reasonable.

That will have to do it for now. Hopefully, I’ll have more time next week to put together more resources!  The first words of each sentence is the link. For some reason, it doesn’t look clickable, but it is!

Published in: on April 6, 2008 at 10:22 pm  Comments (2)  

A Review–“Shopping For God”

This is one of those books that I’m not really sure why I picked up. It’s “Shopping for God–How Christianity went from in your heart to in your face” by James Twitchell. I think it was the second part of the title that caught my eye. I was thinking it would be from a Christian perspective, but I guess I should have known better.

Twitchell describes himself as an “apatheist,” which he says basically means “a disinclination to care all that much about one’s own religion and an even stronger disclination to care about other people’s.” Other than that, I’m not quite sure what he believes. He definitely does not consider himself a born-again Christian and that’s clear from the book. That perspective colored the whole book. He is very negative towards most Christian demoninations. It’s like studying Christianity is a hobby to him, the way studying baseball or sewing would be a hobby to someone else.

There were many times I got mad at this book and thought about putting it down. I didn’t, because it is a fascinating look at what unbelievers really think of us. It’s sad. You can tell Twitchell’s eyes have been closed. I think reading it is a good way to figure out how we can take some steps to reach unbelievers. I was raised in the Bible Belt, with Christian parents, friends, etc. It’s hard for me to see how the world looks at us. I guess I’ve been sheltered that way.

For instance, the author states that “The New Testament says nothing in favor of tithing.” I guess he forgot to read 1 Corinthians 16:1-4. He also describes Ananias and Sapphira as being struck dead for failing to give 100% to the church. This is not true. They were struck dead because they lied to the Holy Spirit, not because of failure to give.

He does make some good points about the feminization of the Church and why a lot of men are uncomfortable with church. It’s interesting to me that even an unbeliever can see that. If you’re a Christian, this book may make you mad, like it did me. But it was worth seeing how deceived unbelievers can be. I was especially troubled by the way the author only went to various churches to ridicule them. He claims he was studying them, but it comes across more like ridicule in the book. I don’t want to run down this author, but he is clearly greatly deceived. I’m sure M. Twitchell’s intelligence and skills would be a great asset to the Kingdom and I hope one day the Message he’s hearing during his “God shopping” will get through.

Published in: on April 5, 2008 at 8:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

Modesty–A lost art

Unless you’ve been living in a cave, I’m sure you’ve noticed the lack of modesty today. I’m sick of this. I’m sick of seeing body parts that only one’s spouse used to see. I’m sick of the “hooker” clothes for little girls. I’m sick of moms trying to out-dress their teenagers. I do not want to see anyone’s navel ring, bra straps, underwear or lack of underwear.

As Christians, the Bible says we’re called to be different. It says women are to dress modestly. Note, it says modestly, not frumpy. We don’t have to look bad just because we’re modestly dressed. I’ll admit, it’s hard to find the right balance. I’m not sure I’ve found it yet.

In some cases, church is last place one finds modesty. This is truly sad. We were members of a church where status was very important and every Sunday was like a fashion competition. (One reason we’re no longer there…) I often saw more immodestly dressed women (and yes, it’s usually women) there than the mall. Even the little girls were too “adult” in their dress. After one particular Sunday, Curly Haired Husband remarked, “No one told me it was Cleavage Day.” 

So, for those of us who appreciate modesty, I’ll be blogging about the issue as it comes up and hopefully offering some helpful links. This one, by Mrs. Lauren Christine, is very well-written and expresses her convictions on modesty. (She also has a great site, by the way. Check it out.)

And for the record, I’m not “dresses only”, though some members of my family are. I think dresses/skirts are more feminine and ladylike, but I also think there are situations where modest pants are appropriate. I’m not talking low-rise jeans here, but there are situations that make dress-wearing very difficult. We need to look very carefully at what we’re revealing no matter what we’re wearing.

Published in: on April 3, 2008 at 8:17 pm  Comments (1)  

A Review of “What Would Jesus Eat?”

I just finished reading “What Would Jesus Eat?” by Don Colbert. I gotta say, the title really turned me off.  I don’t like all the “WWJD” stuff. It’s one thing to think about what Jesus would do in a situation, but to market it so is what bothers me. And it’s so easy for nonbelievers to make fun of. I’ve seen “What Would Scooby Do” and “What Would Martha (Stewart) Do” stuff. All the WWJD stuff was popular when I was in youth group and, invariably, it was worn by kids who definitely weren’t thinking or practicing what Jesus would do.

But I digress…I’m not totally sure why I picked up this book. I’m trying to focus on eating healthier and someone recommended it to me as being more “doable” than “The Maker’s Diet.” I did not see this to be the case, though. While this book has a lot of good info if you’re completely ignorant of healthy eating, it didn’t offer much if you already knew the  bascis. Also, there was very little info about the science behind things and some of it was faulty. For instance, the author states that aerobic exercise is the best of all. Well, I have a degree in exercise physiology and I know that is not the case. Aerobic exercise is great and necessary, but so is strength training. One is not better than the other.

And just because Jesus ate something, does that mean we should automatically eat it? Jesus wore sandals; does that mean we should wear sandals, too? I also don’t know how Colbert can say what Jesus’ favorite food was. How does he know? And again, I think that’s like saying what Jesus’ favorite day of the week was. Interesting, but not really relevant.

The thing that bothered me the most was the lack of info on how to follow the diet. It could have used some recipes and some realistic lifestyle changes. I understand his point; maybe this is ideal. But we can’t all afford this diet and you have to work with people where they are. It would be great if everyone in America had a gym membership and worked out regularly. But we don’t. So we need to find strategies that work where we are. I wish there’d been a little more of these in the book.

I can’t really recommend this book because I didn’t like it. I think there are far better diet books on the market. It’s an interesting read if you approach it from the perspective of what did Jesus really eat, but as a realistic diet, I think “The Maker’s Diet” is better.

Published in: on March 28, 2008 at 7:18 pm  Comments (2)  

You are being watched….

Curly Haired Husband and I have been attending a new church the past few months. We’ve really enjoyed it, but one lady in particular has caught my attention. She’s everywhere; working in the nursery, singing solos, greeting people. She’s very friendly and seems very nice. However, that’s what made me realize how important it is as Christians to be polite in all situations, not just church. I knew this, but this lady brought the point home to me.

A couple of years ago, before I had Curly Haired Baby, I was the manager of a local business. My first day on the job, this lady from church called and blessed me out about something the previous manager had done. Then she hung up on me. I was polite to her (it was my first day!) but I had no idea what she was even talking about. She called back, wanting preferential treatment and for me to pull some strings for her. I explained it was my first day and I’d have to talk with the owners because I lacked that authority. This made her so mad she came down to the shop and tried to intimidate me in person. (It didn’t work.) After that, she wasn’t too friendly each time she was in. I dreaded her coming in because I was kind of scared of her.

Then I see her at our new church and she’s the star soloist, the happy teacher, etc. This is kind of amusing to me, but it also makes me mad. So she can be nice and friendly at church, but not to service people? She was downright rude and ugly to me, but she can be nice at church? This aggravates me, but how would this look to a nonbeliever? If I wasn’t a Christian, this episode wouldn’t make me think too highly of them.

Yes, I realize that she may have changed in the past couple of years, and maybe she was just hormonal or something. But my point is valid. We need to be aware of Who we represent at all times. We’re not just Christians on Sunday. We’re Christians every day. And yes, I’ve done things and said things that were rude, too. (More than I should have!) I’m not trying to pick on this lady. She’s just a good example of how we’re always being watched. Others are always watching to see how we handle tough situations. We need to be different from the world. This was a reminder I needed!

Published in: on March 25, 2008 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment