As everyone who was at church yesterday knows, there was an unfortunate incident between Mrs. H. Abernathy and Mrs. J. Morcombe when they wore the same dress to services. Words were had and things started getting physical enough that their husbands had to intervene before they were charged an extra tithe. Frankly, having seen the dresses in question I don't know why they even made such a fuss, but still I thought I should dredge up some sage advice I once gave to our own dear, sweet Petal who asked what should be done in such circumstances...
What should True Christian™ ladies do if two wear the same dress to church?
Pastor's wives always get first choice, but most women in church aren't married to the pastors. There are ways to determine who gets to wear the dress in question.
First you have to look at tithing status. If one is in a lower tithing tier, she must be the one to go home to change. Unless the dress is inexpensive enough that the higher level tither should go home in shame to dress in something more appropriate. Remember, "costly array" as preached against in 1 Timothy 2:9
is subjective! The more money that's available to buy an outfit, the less costly that outfit is!
If they are both equal tithers, then it depends on marital status. A married woman's dress would be picked out for her by her husband, and an unmarried woman's dress picked out for her by her father. While a woman should honor her father (Exodus 20:12
), her husband is the head of her just as Christ is the head of the man (1 Corinthians 11:3
). Besides, if she's old enough to be considered a woman, why isn't she married yet? There must be something wrong with her! Thus the spinster would be the one who would have to go change.
If they are equal tithers and have the same marital status, the next thing to consider is age. 1 Timothy 5:2
tells us to treat elder women as mothers and the younger as sisters. Going back to Exodus 20:12
, we should also honor our mothers, so the older women gets to wear the dress.
But what if both women are equal tithers of the same marital status and age? What then? Normally when one is facing a tough question like this, the only thing to do is ask a pastor. However, considering it's at church on Sunday, the pastors have better things to do than to worry about the petty concerns of women!
The best thing to do in this situation is for the women to speak to the highest ranking member of the Ladies of Landover who is available. I'm senior vice president, so I'd be pleased to help any Platinum or Gold Tithers if my husband, Mr. Whitford, could spare me.
Or alternately, as Mr. Whitford says, stop your whining and concentrate on Jesus!
(And Mrs. Abernathy? Nobody believes that hair color. You get to wear the dress.)