So, when you ask your husband if your clothes match–and he answers that it doesn’t really matter, what does that mean? It means that your clothes don’t match! Then, when you tell him that you can’t believe he thinks your clothes don’t match, he says, “That’s not what I said! Your clothes do match. . . you’re wearing blue and green . . . and yellow shoes.”
So not convincing. Not even close. The correct answer is: “What you’re wearing looks fantastic. And I really like those shoes.”
I don’t really like getting dressed up on Sunday mornings. Because you’re always trying to find something nice to wear, and what you’re looking for is nowhere to be found. As I was growing up, Sunday mornings very often had this scenario played out. Then people are frustrated that they can’t find socks or nylons or shoes that match, and so on. And all this makes you late–so then you’re rushing and everything is worse and there’s tension in the car and you get to church and . . . . you have to smile at everyone and pretend like there hasn’t just been a rollercoaster of emotions among your family. Then the sermon makes you feel guilty that you’ve all been fighting instead of just getting up and going to church and feeling great about it. So your Sunday morning begins with you not really feeling all that authentic.
I know that this isn’t the way it is all the time. But for me, when I got older, I decided that I wanted to go to a church where it didn’t matter what I was wearing or if I was a little late. It was just about showing up to worship God with other believers who are just like you (unable to find matching socks on the spur of the moment)–and it doesn’t really matter if your shoes don’t match your outfit perfectly, or if your hair is going to be in a pony-tail that day because it’s super frizzy. None of that matters because you aren’t there to be seen. You’re there to sing and listen and pray and be encouraged by people around you who could care less what you look like and just want you to know they love you. Doesn’t that sound nice?
And I’ve been so glad to realize that so many churches are this way. In fact, they can all be this way. Maybe it’s a big beautiful church where some people want to wear suits and ties, but those people don’t judge the people wearing T-shirts and jeans. They love them, so why would they judge them, right? Or it’s a little church with a pastor in jeans and an older couple dressed to the nines. But no one’s focusing on the clothes people are wearing.
But going to church for the right reasons isn’t about dresscode either way. And really, it’s only a matter of my own perspective. The problem starts with worrying too much about what everyone else thinks of you. And this goes both ways. Sunday shouldn’t be about what’s going on, on the outside. And if I think that way, and stop caring what other people think, and other people start just accepting the person next to them as they are . . . then we’re all there for the right reasons and focusing on the right things.You know that hymn, Just as I Am? Well, we sang that just about every Sunday at the church I grew up going to. You know, the first and second and last verses? 🙂 Every Sunday we sang it, and we all absolutely believe it. Christ will take us just as we are–we might get a little better with time, but we’re never going to be perfect. We’re going to lose our temper and hurt the people we care about and accidentally judge someone who doesn’t deserve it–it’s going to happen. But He still takes us as we are. It’s us who can’t take each other as we are.
Anyway, I’ve found that when I’m not worried about what I’m wearing on Sunday, I’m more at peace, less concerned with myself and more focused on the real purpose. So, really, it’s not about finding a church that will accept people just as they are–it’s about me being that kind of person at whatever church I’m at. That’s a relief, I think. I’m only responsible for who I am. And if I’m worrying about what everyone else is thinking, I’m part of the problem. I’m not really there for the right purpose. But if I’m focused on why I’m there, I usually get something out of it no matter what I’m wearing.
And by the way, yellow shoes go with everything.