Full disclosure, I am writing this on a Sunday. I should be in church. Instead, I am banging out this post on my keyboard. Yes, the thought that I should be in church is a personal opinion – my own humble personal opinion.
Further disclosure, I tend to skip church the first Sunday of the month. Why? Because Protestants tend to have Communion the first Sunday of each month. Communion Sunday means long services. I know, not very Christian of me, missing one of the holiest acts of faith. However, when I opened my eyes this morning, and I saw the beautiful green plants in my room, I thanked God for waking me to a brand new day. So there.
While I write, my husband and two boys are at church. Good for them. Really. Good for them. My husband rarely misses church. When I met him, I had to drag him with me. Now? He goes – wait for it – religiously. Me? If it is not the month for me to teach the Kindergarteners or 4yr olds, then I tend to skip church.
Today, as the departure time neared, I told the boys to put on their shoes and socks. Charlie immediately went for his sandals, and I said, “Charlie, I don’t think Daddy will let you wear sandals. You better check with him, first.” Donning his sandals (and socks), Charlie walked to where Daddy was dressing, and he asked him if he could wear sandals. Daddy said no.
Though I had already given the boys a thumbs up approval on the clothes they were wearing, Daddy didn’t approve of Charlie’s shirt. Daddy’s disapproval made Charlie cry.
Daddy took two polo style shirts out of Charlie’s closet, and he gave Charlie the choice of wearing either one. Charlie continued to cry. He did not want to change his shirt.
“Why does he have to change his shirt?” I ask. “Because I don’t think it is appropriate for church.” Daddy snaps.
If I agreed with Daddy, I would have stepped in and dealt with the crying kid. If I agreed with Daddy, Charlie would have changed his shirt pronto. But, I did not agree with Daddy. Nor did I keep my mouth shut.
While the two were going back and forth I said to Daddy, “Why does it matter what shirt he wears? He is going to church, and he wants to go to church. You should be pleased with the fact that he wants to go to church.” Daddy huffed, walked to Charlie’s closet, and put the two shirts back in the closet. Charlie stopped crying and went downstairs to get in the car. He did not have to change his shirt.
Daddy, dressed in khakis, a button down long-sleeve shirt and suit coat, joined the boys in the car and drove to church.
Now, I don’t typically butt-in when my husband is trying to lay down the law with the kids. I respect my husband, and I do my best to support him 100% all the time.
Please. I really wish my Mom read my posts on a regular basis, because I can visualize her laughing right about now. Truth be told, I butt-in. I butt-in all the time. Well, not all the time, but I butt-in more often than not. What? I’m opinionated. No worries, I do respect my husband. Honest. Anyway, butting-in and respect is not the point here.
I know traditionalists are likely to say that people should attend church wearing their very best. Growing up, I remember having Sunday clothes. Typically, on Sundays, you’d find me in church wearing a skirt or dress. Jeans and shorts? Never. Ever.
To a certain extent, I believe non-casual attire should be worn to church. However, I think the non-casual attire should apply to adults, not children. I see nothing wrong with kids (under the age of 10) attending church in shorts, jeans, sandals, etc. As kids grow older, I believe attention should be made to their own outer appearance, putting a little effort into looking nice.
I don’t believe halters tops, jeans with rips and holes, t-shirts with graphics or shorts are appropriate for church. Generally speaking, I believe you should mirror the environment of the church. If your church is formal, in the sense that your minister wears a robe, then I believe your attire should be nice. If your church is informal, in the sense that your minister wears jeans, then I believe your attire can lean more towards casual.
But. And, this is important.
If someone’s choice in clothing is going to prevent him/her from attending a place of worship, then I think that person should be welcomed regardless of his/her attire. Because attending a place of worship (church, synagog, temple, etc.) is what is important. (Unless you wake up, see your beautiful green plants and thank God for the new day, of course.)