The other day my girls were playing in the yard and I called them in because we had to go somewhere. I told them they needed to change their clothes because they couldn’t wear what they had on to this event. So I got a round of questions from my girls about clothes and why we have to wear certain things at certain events. Why?
And the truth is……I don’t know. The best answer I can come up with is, “we just don’t do that”. Society has decided what is acceptable to wear to funerals, weddings, church, ball games, grocery shopping, etc. And whatever circle you run in has further defined that. But I don’t know why?
The other Sunday morning I was trying to get dressed for church. The extra 15 pounds I have gained in the past 6 months wasn’t making this task easy. My jeans fit great and my Nikes fit even better. But it was Sunday morning and I’m the “preacher’s wife” after all, so I tried on about 3 pair of pants and some high heel shoes trying to find the “acceptable” clothing to wear for a preacher’s wife on a Sunday morning. But mostly I was just aggravated. Why are my $3 yard sale high heels more acceptable to wear than my more expensive running shoes? My $3 yard sale high heels are acceptable but they kill my back and hurt my bad foot and I feel like cursing before church is over because my toes are in so much pain. Why are my black pants that are too tight and restrict good breathing while trying to sing worship songs more acceptable than my comfortable jeans that give me the freedom of……oh, I don’t know…..movement!……so I can focus on what’s really important?
I’m with my girls on this one. Why? As I went to church that morning I was armed with a load of information about 3rd world countries to share in Children’s Church trying to show our kids about gratitude and the many blessings we have. Amongst that info was this picture of a person wearing bottle shoes.
As I shared with the kids, I was struck by my struggle to “find something to wear” to church and the complaining that went along with it. In my lesson to the kids about gratitude, I found I was a hypocrite. And then the question of why do certain shoes or clothes make me acceptable wasn’t really the issue any more. After looking at this picture, the question was, “why do I even care?”
Seriously, how many pair of shoes are under our bed? How many clothes are in our closet? And how much do we stress over what others think about what we wear? We live under the pressure of being acceptable to others while these people live under the pressure of trying to survive another day. We live with the stress of what others think and they live with the stress of not what to wear, but having anything to wear. I really makes me feel sick to my stomach to think of our pettiness in the face of their great need.
I’m not ready to throw our social customs out the window, but I do think it’s time we stop spending our energy trying to please others and spend our energy on helping others.
Galatians 1:10 – “Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant”.