My hair looks ugly.
I don’t have anything cute to wear.
I forgot to wash the baby’s blanket.
My kids’ hair looks messy.
My toenails look gross.
My hands are dry and cracked.
I have a red spot on my nose.
I didn’t make my bed yet.
My car isn’t washed.
It’s like Sunday morning is a battle against my own mind until I push each excuse out of my head and focus on the real reason to go to church.
To worship the Lord and rest in his house.
That’s it. Attending a church service is for the purpose of resting, listening, meditating, clearing my mind, and taking time to remember that life isn’t about ME. I don’t have to be in control. I don’t have to have it all together. I am not the important one. My family is not the center of my world.
Jesus Christ is King. And God offers me a seat in his house so I can come and be with him and let go of every burden I am trying to carry on my own.
Yet so many times I don’t want to go to church. Why?
Let’s get back to my hair.
My hair is my glory. My hair has the potential to make me look awesome. I can spend thirty minutes carefully curling long locks of sleek hair, and it will shine and gleam like Barbie’s, fresh out of the box. But for some reason, when I first wake up in the morning, my hair looks terrible–really flat and greasy–which makes me feel unimportant and insecure.
What’s even weirder about my hair is that when I think it looks good, I am more confident as I stroll through the doors of my church and greet my sisters and brothers in Christ. When my hair looks good, I feel important. I feel put-together. I feel like I’m letting everyone know, “Hey! I got this. I got here with my four kids, and I even took the time to do my hair!”
However, I am really starting to believe that when, two thousand years ago, Christian leaders in the Bible were telling Christian women to dress modestly while in prayer and worship, “not with their hair braided, or with gold, pearls, or expensive clothes, but with good works, as is proper for women who profess reverence for God,” (1 Timothy 2:9-10), they were speaking into a woman’s heart, into the place where she makes choices as she prepares to worship the Lord in his house.
I don’t even have bad intentions. But sometimes my choices reveal how much I love my own glory. My choices might say what is really in my heart:
This cute braid in my hair will make people notice ME.
Gold earrings and vintage jewelry will draw attention to ME.
Expensive clothes, purses, and shoes will turn heads towards ME.
(I don’t own anything expensive, but you get what I mean.)
My awesome hair will make the other women wish they were ME.
Me. As if I am anyone important; as if, in the house of the Lord, I deserve any attention at all; as if anyone even cares or notices the things I hope they notice about me.
Before I was married, I used to wear sexy clothes to church, and I loved how it made guys look at ME.
But as I got older, I picked up on a few truths from the Holy Spirit.
Like the fact that true beauty is in the one who is truly worshipping the Lord. Clean hands raised to God are the hands that have identified and relinquished the sickness of “ME.”
So many times I have curled my hair and put on mascara, only to enter into a time of worship and cry my eyes out because the song is so touching, and I remember my friend who has cancer and how strong he has been, and I am sitting next to a woman who just lost her husband, and I know that the girl sitting behind me (who has to stare at my hair) misses her boyfriend because he is away on a mission trip, and another young guy behind me just lost five friends in a terrible car accident…
My mascara is long gone. It doesn’t matter. My hair, my face, my clothes, my kids’ coordinating outfits—none of it matters.
The reason why I don’t want to go to church is the very reason why I so desperately need to go: entering God’s house, finding rest, and worshipping the Lord is never about ME; yet it is always for me, and it changes me.
Sometimes it’s hard to get over my insecurities and get to church.
But I never regret going once I am there.