My husband and I are friends with another couple. Recently, we noticed that they were dressing much more conservatively than before. The women (wife and 2 girls; one teenager and one pre-teen, I think) are now wearing head coverings and long dresses and the men (husband and teenage boy) are wearing pants, rather than shorts, and beards (if possible) J. My husband and I, being curious like most people and also being pastors, wondered what their thinking was behind the recent change.

Yesterday, we got to talk to the wife of the family. (I’m not naming them for their privacy. I don’t know if they would mind or not, so it’s better to stay safe.) She enlightened us. She told us that she had actually wanted to wear a head covering since they had returned from living overseas. But because of the situation they were in they decided that it would be wiser not to. I won’t go into the reasoning behind that, but in their case I agree with their decision. However, she told us that she had been wearing a large hair clip to signify a head covering and still be discreet. They said that when they came back from overseas, they were shocked at what people were wearing (or not wearing). They wanted to keep themselves holy. They have also stopped eating pork. They said that this was because while they don’t see anything wrong with eating pork, not eating pork was a good reminder to them to stay holy and clean. This is the case with the change in appearance, too. They are more careful of what they do and read and say because more people are watching them.

I don’t think that I want to adhere to these values, but I admire them for doing it. I especially admire that they don’t care what people think and they are not trying to convert others to do the same. They simply want to be closer to God and stay holy for God. I can see how it would be a great reminder.
That conversation led me to wondering where lines in my own life should be drawn. I was wearing a tank top and really short shorts. The only shorts I own that fit me are short. It has actually been bothering me and I have been shopping for longer ones. I felt really naked in front of this friend who was wearing a loose dress so that you could not see any of her curves. I have been making an effort lately to spend more time with God and get to know Him better.

The recent General Council has helped form the question of where lines should be drawn, in my mind, as well. It used to be that if you were divorced you could not be a minister. No ifs, and, or buts! Now we have voted to allow it if it was pre-conversion, due to a spouse deciding to leave or adultery. I am happy about this, don’t get me wrong. I believe we made the right decision. However, it illustrates my thoughts. Another illustration is smoking and drinking. In the Assemblies of God, it used to be that you weren’t believed to be truly saved until you stopped smoking and drinking. I believe that, too, was wrong. It is God’s grace that saves you. You can sin while being saved. But, it still makes me wonder about the lines. Slowly over time, we’ve allowed more and more. At what point should we say, “NO MORE”? Should we even be concerned about it? I suppose it is between each of us and God. It has to be a personal thing. But as I see our society care less and less about God, I wonder what will happen when we’ve allowed too much. Will we just fall into oblivion like the Incas or Romans? Our actions as a nation and individuals do have consequences. What will they be and when will we have crossed the line?

*Note: If you are interested in more information on headcoverings, this is a nice, clear and easy to understand post on my one couple does it.