standards: the double kind

In addition to the wacky nature of the public school system, I seem to have many other things on my mind that baffle and confuse me.  So here’s another one: double standards.

There was a comment made by a woman in Sunday School a few weeks ago.  She mentioned how she was asked by someone why she hadn’t purchased new furniture when she had enough money to do so.  Her answer: “I’m not raising furniture.  I’m raising children.”  She comes to church dressed in a dress that looks more like a potato sack that an item of clothing, accompanied by some worn out Birkenstocks and a Disney sweatshirt that doesn’t look like it’s been washed in a quite a while.  And who knows when the last time her hair was brushed.  And any time she is sitting down, her shoes are off her feet and under her chair.

I do understand that someone would want to put their children as top priority and spend on those children prior to spending on themselves, or even furniture for that matter.  What I don’t understand is why men are expected to wear nicely ironed shirts and pants with a tie and dress shoes to church, but women seem to be able to wear anything they want.  Women wear Birkenstocks or flip flops and even hats to church.  Those things would never be allowed on a man inside one of our church buildings.  It’s even considered disrespectful for boys to wear hoods or hats to school.

Our church also has guidelines for modesty in clothing that we are supposed to follow.  Our youth are expected to follow certain standards when they dress.  Clothing should not be transparent.  Shorts and skirts should not be too short.  Of course underclothing should not be able to be seen, whether it be underwear at the waistline or bra straps on the shoulders.  Yet, it would seem, that if you are over a certain age and you wear a white blouse to church; then it is acceptable if your clothing is transparent.  It would seem that if you are over a certain age, it is ok if your bra straps show or your skirt just barely covers what it needs to while at church.

And then there’s the issue of modesty in clothing applying only to certain genders or certain ages or only in certain situations.  It seems to be acceptable if a guy walks around without a shirt on in public.  It seems to be acceptable if a 2 year old wears a bikini, but not the 16 year old.

Wearing nice clothing to church doesn’t show that we are putting our vanity over our religion.  It is an issue of respect.  And if we are going to expect that our youth follow certain modesty guidelines, how will that make sense to them if we don’t follow those guidelines as adults?

I’ve tried to figure it out and understand the other line of thinking.  Perhaps I’m just close-minded.  Is anyone out there just as confused as I am?

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