(Lily was 5. This means her brothers were 1 and 2.)
Church starts in twenty minutes and the mad rush begins. I have laid out a pretty smocked dress from Lily’s closet. I scramble to feed the baby, fill sippy cups for the diaper bag, and dry my hair. I sense the protest from the other side of the house. The stomping gets closer as I hear the words I knew were coming,“I am not wearing this dress!” “Yes sweetheart, you are.” Why?” she says with pleading. “Because church is the house of God, and when we go there, we honor Him with our hearts and bodies. Our clothes are a representation of that. Your dress is beautiful and appropriate.” She pauses for a moment and then uttered the words which would change our Sunday mornings forever. “That’s not why you want me to wear this dress. You want me to look pretty for the other moms! You don’t know what God thinks is beautiful on me!”
Bam! There it is. The truth I did not see. My conviction was instant. I had an image of how I wanted her to look on Sunday morning…in a cute dress with a big bow… for the other moms. I cringe writing that, embarrassed to admit it. She’s 5! Could I really be teaching her that her appearance, however fleeting, was the act of worship, not the heart behind it? Did I think I would be perceived as a better mom if my children looked a certain way? Honestly, maybe I would be. Did I really seek that validation?
My eyes tear up and I apologize…not just for this morning but for all the Sunday mornings that we battled because of my pride. I humbly send her back to her room to choose an outfit that SHE thought honoring and pleasing to the Lord.
That was the last Sunday I ever laid out clothes for her. It took a few weeks to overcome my desire to explain the cowboy boots and mismatched outfits, but I eventually found tremendous confidence in not explaining it….because I knew that there was a little girl who truly felt beautiful to her Maker. Over the years her fashion taste has refined and our Sunday rush more peaceful, but when she comes to me seeking affirmation about her clothing, my question remains the same, “Do you feel it honors the Lord?”
So today, when I see a little girl in an adorable dress, I smile at the sweet vision, partly wishing Lily’s dresses had gotten more wear…and when I see a little girl with cowboy boots and a tutu strutting her stuff at church, my heart melts because I know God is looking down on her with great delight…His beautiful daughter twirling like a country ballerina as her act of worship.
I’d love for you to follow The House of Hendrix below, and if you haven’t already, Like us here on Facebook
Subscribe to Blog via Email