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Why We Dress Our Best for Church — 20 Comments

  1. Excellent post! It is true that God deserves our best, even if He DOES (and especially BECAUSE He does!) Love us at our worst!

    And, as you so aptly explained, these standards we apply to ourselves – not to the guy next to us in Church. I do remember one day (I’m embarrassed to say) when I looked at the guy I knew sitting near me, He strolled into Church quite late, and was wearing a dirty, torn undershirt, and sloppy, torn sweat pants, and I thought some unkind thoughts. I knew he wasn’t so impoverished that he HAD to wear that outfit that wasn’t even nice enough to farm in! Only to find out after the service that his house had burnt down at 3AM that day, and he literally WAS wearing his best! As the Scriptures say, People look at the outside of a person, but God looks at the heart. We can apply these standards to ourselves, but never to “the other guy.”

    • Thank you for sharing your heart! It’s not our place to judge, but I wanted to share MY heart because I think a lot of us don’t take the time to really search our hearts about it. We hear something we like that makes life easier for us–like “God doesn’t care what you wear”–and we just go with it. We don’t run it all the way through the filter of scripture and the Holy Spirit.

  2. OK, first of all, let me say those must be the cutest little men in little suits that I’ve ever seen! And secondly, I really like the answers you’ve given here to a question that comes up a lot. You captured some nuances I’d never thought of, and gotten straight to the heart of the matter. (Also, I’d never heard the term “strong-hearted” women, and I really like it!) So nice to meet you on Thoughtful Thursdays.

  3. Great post and CUTE pictures! Please come join the link up at somuchathome.blogspot.com! I host a party each Wednesday. The link up parties last a whole week, so you can link up at any time. Feel free to link up as many posts as you’d like.

  4. This is great. My husband and I grew up in a church where everyone really dressed up, so this is just habit for us. We now attend a small country church, that as a child, I looked down upon because of the way some people dressed. Fast forward 20 years and I now attend that same church. I now know that some of the “lesser dressed” people are really wearing their best. On the other hand, it is one of the few churches that I know of where you will find any man or boy wearing a suit. They truly have adopted the heart attitude of wearing your best.

    Our boys have owned suits since they were a year old. I quickly realized, that with a little bit of creative shopping (outlet stores, ebay, garage sales) you can find very gently used (because most people just dress up on Easter, Christmas and picture day)suits for cheaper than you can buy a pair of khakis and a polo.

    I now have a teenager who is growing faster than I can get to the store, so we are taking a hiatus from the suits, but he still wears a button down shirt and tie.

    I love how you approached the heart attitude in this. This is so important as your kids are growing and seeing other kids wearing what is popular, but not always their best for God.

  5. Pingback:Food for Thought #22 | The Sparrow's Home

  6. Thanks for addressing the heart issue behind it. It isn’t too much to give God 2 days and 2 hours of respect. (we have Sunday plus midweek) We’ve all had days when we run straight from work to Bible study ‘as is’ and it’s better to be there than to miss, but that shouldn’t be our usual. People have said I’m too conservative/legalistic for feeling there should be some modicum of standards for God’s House (like no flip flops and you can at least have a simple skirt or suit with a few blouses/shirts to change up with it); I had a uniform or plain black or tan skirt and top with pretty sweaters or overblouses to change them up, which improved when my weight and finances didn’t fluctuate so much. With thrift stores and Ebay it doesn’t have to be expensive.

    My son has always worn suits, and with the exception of when he was at the shoe size between mens and boys and we couldn’t find anything, he always had dress/meeting shoes. (my mom got him a bunch of suits when he was little in various sizes at a going-out-of-business sale that were a Dollar each! Was sad when he outgrew the last of those) He now is old enough to work and likes buying nice dress shirts and ties to go with his suits.

    • I agree, if you put a little extra effort it, it doesn’t have to be overwhelming cost wise. We’ve also had a lot of luck getting good prices on dress shirts, ties, etc. from school uniform stores and private school family uniform exchanges. Besides, if we’re honest, everyone has nicer clothes that they use for weddings, graduations, funerals, etc. Usually, you HAVE the clothes, you’re just not using them for church. I find it a strange mindset that you would never wear shorts and flip flops to a wedding in a church, but you would to a Sunday morning church service in a church. Most people wouldn’t even wear that to a beachfront wedding, they would wear a nice dress or khakis. But they’ll wear it to church. But it’s definitely more about where your heart is when you walk in the door than what your clothes are!

  7. Very good points. I’m currently battling with my teen about this issue just this morning and found your article in a Google search.

    • I’ve been reviewing it often since my Ladybug entered the teen years too. Sometimes it’s hard to get teens to look past their desire to fit in and really look at their motivations.

  8. I am having issues with my church on it’s dress code(s). I am 70+ years old, and my father-mother always saw to it that we had clean PRESSED wardrobes to wear. Somehow my mother always seemed to pull it off; back then everything had to be ironed. It was also hard on my father because he was a blue collar worker making around seventy-five dollars a week with a family of five. Men’s casual dress I have, but don’t have a real BIG problem with, but some of the lady’s attire is totally disgraceful for church (or anywhere). I can, but want give but one example of a lady’s attire going to our church. Lady goes to alter to have a talk with God, but keeps her hand holding her short dress down in the back. My thought was how can any lady have a earnest talk with our savior and be thinking about her short dress. As a young man the school girls (young lady’s)wanted to be cute; now the young and older lady’s want to be >>SEXY<<. Give the devil his dues — he is doing his job well! Your pics remind me of my older brother and me ready for Sunday church.

    • Honestly, it takes a lot more work for ladies to dress modestly these days than it used to. Finding clothes that fit the way we want them to can really be a challenge! But yes, it’s important that our clothes are not distracting us from what we’re actually at church to do–which is worship and give our best to Lord. If our attention is on fussing with our clothes, then our heart is not in the right place, there in the pew, either. But I feel for ladies because it takes a lot more work to get a family out the door and into the pew dressed nice and neat and clean, with everything fitting and matching, (I can’t imagine also having everything pressed!!) than to just let everyone wear whatever they want.

  9. Last Sunday it was hot so I wore a light Spring Dress and Coat. White sandles.
    The preacher went to the frount of the Congragation (Very Large) and said.. Do not wear Dresses to Church it takes away from the people concentrating on God. This is the second time I have been told to wear torn up old worn Blue Jeans. I am thinking about changeing churches.

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