How do we deal the practical situations that come along in real life? How do I decide the answers to those questions I asked in the last post? I think it's important that we ask ourselves some honest questions about those things. "Why do I want to sew the extras on my dresses? Do I really think they will make me look more modest?" "Why do I want to join the crowds wearing the latest fashions? Do I really think it will increase my testimony to the world around me?" "When I stand before God and He says 'When I said women should have their heads covered, did you really think that's what I meant?' Can I honestly answer yes?"
The answers to those questions aren't based on rules, they're based on what I know of the Father's heart. Your answers to those questions might be completely different than mine and I have to be ok with leaving that between you and God. And, sometimes I think the answer is that it doesn't really matter! I don't really think God cares what color shoes we wear to church Sunday morning. He might care about our motive for the color shoes we are wearing, but the color of our shoes? I doubt it.
This whole idea is why, when it comes down to it, I don't believe it is necessarily 'safer' to raise a family in a group of people who look the same as us. I don't know but what children might be better off in a setting where everyone doesn't just do the same things! Children are not dummies. I have been amazed at the conversations we've had with our 10 and 12 year olds! You might be surprised how well children can answer those "Why" questions, and how much more permanently life changing is it to be pointed to the Father's heart then to be taught to live by a list of rules?!
Obviously it's possible to teach our children to think in any setting; it takes being intentional no matter where we are. But I think our Mennonite, run-by-standards churches have undermined the call to Holiness and have instead pushed the call to a list mindset way more than we realize! We're turning out children who have no idea how to ask the honest questions. Their only focus is "There's no RULE about this!" And if there is a rule "Let's do as little as possible to get by!"