Sunday Dress Code

Standard

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.

Hair style and graphic t-shirt. Not appropriate.

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.

Kid on the left: Not appropriate; Kid on the right: Acceptable.

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 ofย  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.)

The shirt worn to church. (Bunnies and shorts excluded.)

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20 thoughts on “Sunday Dress Code

  1. I went to 2 communion services today. My church has communion every week, but on the 1st Sunday we have a 2nd, family oriented service.
    I went to the 1st because I was reading. I went to the 2nd because my almost 30 year old son was accompanying his God Son & brother to the service.
    Both services were too long (in my opinion).
    The best part was later when my son told me what the minister should have said in the talk to the kids. It’s sad that the minister didn’t say it, but I was proud that my son had listened and thought of how it could have been made much better.
    Oh – and I do sort of get dressed up for church.

    • Thank you for visiting, Dressing Myself. Two communion services in one day – you are a better person than I. Though I suppose, you couldn’t miss a service when you’re reading; and yes, it was appropriate for you to attend with your son. Well done, DM – well done! That’s nice that your son not only attended the service but listened, too. I admit, sometimes I will wander off and think of other things during the sermon. I should work on setting a better example.
      Thanks again for stopping by my blog! ~ Lenore

  2. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. It’s WAY easier to be a Jew. I mean the nonpracticing kind that lights the candles for Hannukah but still gets a Christmas tree. I know. I know. I’m confused. You can’t blame me though. I was baptized for my Catholic dad but he said, “You can raise ’em Jewish, just get their foreheads sprayed for my parents.” Then there’s poor Noah, who’s half-black, half-non practicing Jewish with born-again Christian cousins, Chinese-American cousins and Korean-American cousins.

    What’s next?

    • Kim “the G is silent” you crack me up! As we say in my family, you are a hoot! Pardon me for snorting when you quoted your dad as saying ‘..get their foreheads sprayed for my parents.” Love it! You’ve got your own little melting pot in your family. Do you remember School House Rock? “The Great American Melting Pot”. Anyway, combining the Jewish and Catholic religions is very funny to me. Add a 1/3 of the Muslim religion, and you are completely in the clear for the Rapture. The Rapture was rescheduled to October, by the way. You still have a few months to prepare and add to the family. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Ha! This tickles me. I can’t remember what the instigating factor was, but my partner recently informed me that our son could “do the whole spiel, y’know, including bar mitzvah.” We agree that we’re going to raise our son true to our individual faiths and let him decide–probably much, much down the road–where his heart falls.

      Lenore, I agree with you about clothing. I try to wear something on the nicer end of the spectrum for services (tho’ that’s been downgraded a little since Li’l D was born, ahem) as a show of deference and a reminder to myself what I’m striving toward, but . . . I’d really rather folks feel welcome and know they can come worship and feel lifted up by the folks around them no matter what they’re wearing! (OK, OK, preferably this would not include things like bikinis or chaps, but obviously at that point we’re talking about a whole ‘nother story!)

      • I almost didn’t publish this post. In fact, I had to go back and edit it several times, after it went ‘live’. It was just one of those knee-jerk vents I had to get out, and I wrote quickly. I came close to pulling it, because it was such a rough idea. I’m glad I kept it though, if only to find out the funny tales of Kim, the G is Silent.

        Yeah, I’m with you – bikinis or chaps …. probably not the best, but again – at least they came, eh?

        ~ Lenore

  3. Priya

    I love the hairstyle.

    Though I cannot comment on what’s appropriate for church since I wouldn’t know, but I do like the fact that you believe that going to a holy place voluntarily is quite the thing to appreciate for its own virtue.

    Unless of course “you wake up, see your beautiful green plants and thank God for the new day.”

    May I please repeat? I love the hairstyle.

    • So, Priay – do you like the hairstyle? (smile) The hairstyle was courtesy our day care provider’s daughter. She loved to do silly things to Charlie’s hair. I’d pick him up with a different style every day. It was cute.

      Today was another day I woke up – looked at my beautiful green plants and thanked God for a new day. The only difference? My smile was bigger this morning, because I reflected back to this post.

      Thanks for visiting. So glad you loved the hairstyle. ~ Lenore

  4. Andrea HT

    I have to say I was a tad disappointed because I kept waiting for the line where you told us he went to church with that hairdo! That would have been acceptable, right? So you know my whole (non) church thing and my (sort of) belief in god whole thing, but I love what you said about your beautiful green plants. Because really, does a person HAVE to go to church (temple, etc) to believe in (his/her own) god? If a person lives their life doing good to others, isn’t that enough? Isn’t she/he supposed to love us for what we are?

    Oops…didn’t mean to start a whole thing about this. But. I agree that kids should be able to wear comfortable clothes if they have to go to church. They squirm enough as it is…why make them squirm because they are wearing uncomfortable clothes? And it’s not like Charlie was wearing an AC/DC shirt!

    • Hahahahahahaha – AC/DC shirt. That is funny, Andrea HT.
      You know, I have been looking for a reason to post the picture of Charlie and his hairdo. Good thing Daddy and I disagreed yesterday, so I could finally post the picture. And, as I mentioned to Priya in a previous comment, I thanked God for the green plants this morning, too. ~ Lenore

  5. Ah. Social norms and pressures to conform. I like how you handled the situation. Where I grew up, we always got dressed up for church. Where I live now (3000 miles and forty something years later), some of the churches around here are very casual. They just want people to be there in the seats to hear the Word. I, personally, don’t go to church these days.

    • I like the sound of this, “social norms and pressures to conform”. Quite a catchy title for a post, don’t you think? Great debate topic, too. Mega churches seem to be popping up all over the place. In my opinion, the mega churches are more concerned about large congregations and financial contributions than the morals, ethics, values and spirituality. Alas, that is merely my opinion. I also understand mega churches fund countless charitable organizations and outreach programs. You said it best, M2M, … social norms and pressures to conform. Thanks for visiting. I hope you dressed nicely. (smile) ~ Lenore

  6. Sometimes I worship at St. Mattress on Sunday mornings. Sometimes I worship at St. Flotilla (as in fishing boat). Just depends.

    I praise God every day, thank him for my green plants (even the ones I killed) and don’t wait for Sunday to pray or rejoice. I’m not a church goin’ gal but I have a deep and abiding faith. If I did go to church, I would wear something clean, neat, and respectable. If I took children with me, they would be clean, neat and comfortable.

    “…In my opinion, the mega churches are more concerned about large congregations and financial contributions than the morals, ethics, values and spirituality. Alas, that is merely my opinion…” Amen, sister,

    • Nice of you to thank God for the plants you killed. (That made me chuckle. Funny stuff.) I like the differentiation between adults and children: clean, neat and respectable vs. clean, neat and comfortable. Excellent.

      And, thanks for the “Amen”. That’s two for my team. YES! (smile) Thanks for visiting, k8edid!!

  7. Beautiful Post Lenore. Praising God’s glory by thanking Him for his beautiful abundance (the living greens he has given you to beautify and lift your spirits) is no less important than other other type of worship.
    Little Charlie, such a prince.
    I love those pictures!
    My husband also use to be very demanding that our children look very dressed for temple. At first it was a batle of the wills between all of us. Him, me and the kids. He and I got on the same page when he said to me ” Look if you were going to meet the president would you wear your jeans and a t-shirt?”
    No I wouldn’t. To us The temple is like God’s house. So that was one argument permanently settled and never revisited.
    With the kids I had one temple outfit that was set out for them to wear. They knew if they wanted to go this was what they wore. Girls wore dresses. Boys wore little suits. Even little boys.
    Good luck with your clan I think you are doing great and they are awesome.

    • Wow, your husband is a wise man, eh? A friend made a similar comment on my FB page. Had my husband used the same argument, I would have conceded. Come to think of it, I can’t ‘not’ see the point your husband made. *sigh* Looks like the kids will be wearing more appropriate shirts (and pants) going forward. Gee, thanks Mr. GMom! (smile) ~ Lenore

  8. I don’t do church (except weddings and funerals), but when we did attend regularly when my dad was a Methodist minister, it was always in our “Sunday clothes.” It amazes me what people wear to church today…

    Love Charlie’s hair!

    Wendy

    • Charlie’s hair is a hit in the blogosphere! I like the feedback regarding his hair.
      Yes, sometimes what I see worn at church makes me crinkle my nose and think “ew”, but – they are at church. And I can’t forget, I wrote the post while skipping church. (Insert crinkled nose and ‘ew’ here.)
      You’ve had a very busy day of reading and replying, Wendy. Thank you!! ~ Lenore

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