There was formerly a popular television reality show called What Not to Wear. The premise of the show was that people who dressed terribly were nominated by their friends to get a wardrobe makeover. One day I was sitting with some of my daughters watching an episode where the guest participant wore pleated Dockers, white socks with hushpuppy shoes and whatever shirt he pulled out of his closet, whether it matched his pants or not. For the entire installment, my girls kept laughing over and over, “Oh my gosh, it’s Dad!”
I recall an incident when my youngest daughter Bethany was a tiny toddler and still learning to speak. She kept looking at me and repeating, “Daddy, you uggy, Daddy, you uggy!” I called the rest of the family in and asked, “Why is she calling me ugly?” They unanimously replied that, as usual, my clothes did not match and it was pretty bad that a baby could tell but a grown man couldn’t.
I used to be in a Christian band called the Wallaces for about ten years. The first time I sang with them was at our home church and I was extremely nervous because they had been around a long time and were very established in church circles. We were scheduled to sing about ten minutes into the service. I got to church early for a sound check, so my wife and five daughters traveled separately from me and none had seen me before I left the house. When I entered the back of the auditorium for the start of worship, all six (okay, maybe it was just one or two but in my memory it was all six!) of my girls were sitting in the same pew and turned around at the same time and with mortified looks on their faces simultaneously mouthed, “YOU DON’T MATCH!” I looked down at my clothes and thought, what are you talking about? How can a green shirt not go with blue pants? I have flannel shirts that have both green and blue in them, so the two colors obviously go together, right? I was already ill at ease about performing and now on top of that I had to worry about what I looked like, all because of made-up rules about what matches and what doesn’t match!
Okay, I get it; I don’t have a clue about clothes matching. I have gotten better over the years due to the aforementioned “coaching.” I no longer wear white socks with hushpuppies or green shirts with blue pants, but I still think they look good! Although I have trouble relating to having to conform to rules about clothing (I mean, really, why do people care if I wear corduroy in the summer!?), I suppose making our outsides presentable in the eyes of the world is important, and part of this is that our clothes should match. But it’s even more important that we are presentable in God’s eyes, that when we dress up our outsides to look as good as possible, our insides—our hearts—match our outsides.
Dear God, please help me to live my life in a way that is pleasing in your sight.
“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment…Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight” (1 Peter 3:3-4).