Ian has a great story to tell on what happened today, all because he wore a tie to Mass.
Certainly there have been battles waged here about what is to be worn to church. With the boys, it hasn't been bad, because we consider the "golf-shirt-and-khaki-pants" outfit to be generally appropriate. And Little Brother is currently enjoying his vast collection of 5 hand-me-down clip-on ties, so he's actually been wearing a tie every Sunday with his little Oxford shirts, for the past few weeks. (Today was the exception; he had to dress just like TheDad in khakis and a dark green golf shirt).
Middle Sister, though, is a different story. Sometimes she enjoys dressing up for church and I breathe a big sigh of relief. Other times she laments the fact that we don't allow jeans for church unless it's snowing hard outside.
I think, though, that she does get the idea a little. A couple of weeks ago she commented on two different outfits she saw in church that she clearly agreed were inappropriate: a very short miniskirt on an eighth-grade girl, and a boy her age wearing his soccer uniform.
That last one really got to her. "What's up with that, Mom? I mean, if he has a game right after church, why can't he just take his uniform and change in the church bathroom?"
I'm not naive enough to think that our before-church fashion battles are over, but it's nice to see that there is some light at the end of this tunnel. And frankly, I liked how she came up with an easy solution to that pesky problem of how to dress for church when you've got a game immediately afterward.
My answer to those who say, "it doesn't matter what I wear to church because God loves me anyway" would be: "As a teacher I have noticed that children tend to behave according to their mode of dress. If they're dressed nicely, they are more likely to behave better than if they're wearing play clothes. Play clothes mean play time. I suspect that it's no different for adults. Yes, God loves you no matter what you wear because he knows what's in your heart. But Mass is the time to show what's in your heart. Make the effort to show your reverence for God through your words, actions and yes, your clothing." You don't have to look like you're modeling for Vogue or GQ. But you shouldn't look like you're about to play soccer, wash your car, or go surfing, either. Really--would you wear your church clothes to do any of those things?