It’s time to once again catch up with our friend, Fran, to find out how things are in her life. Periodically I continue this ongoing story of a fictional woman named Fran who is learning how to practice the presence of Jesus in her everyday life. Fran has been through a lot—the death of her husband, going back to work, struggling with many issues as a single working mom.

Today Fran is in church, as she is each Sunday, with a couple who is visiting her from out of town. She has known Lois and Jeff for many years and is glad their friendship has continued even after Jim’s death.

Just before the pastor’s sermon, a young woman gets up to sing a solo. She has a lovely voice and the music is well done. But Fran can’t help noticing how inappropriately dressed she is for a church service, particularly because she is on the platform. Her skirt is short, her top is tight—it just doesn’t seem appropriate. In fact, Fran is embarrassed by it, and so she just looks down at her bulletin.

After church, they go back to her home for Sunday lunch, and with the kids outside playing, she has some leisurely time with Jeff and Lois. Jeff says, “I really enjoyed your pastor’s sermon, Fran. I can see why you like your church.”

“Thanks, Jeff,” Fran replies. “That was the first time I’ve heard that soloist. I think she’s new in the church. I also think she needs some coaching about appropriate dress for church.”

Lois remarks, “You know, in our church we finally had to establish a dress code for anyone taking part in the service. It became a real issue. So now, the rules are that if you’re on the platform for any reason, women must wear skirts below the knee or dress pants and no tight clothing. And men must wear dress pants—no blue jeans. Some people objected, but it was getting out of control.”

“I like that idea,” Fran says. “I mean, we should have some respect for the Lord’s house and a worship service.”

Jeff remarks, “Speaking for men, I find it difficult to stay focused on worship when a woman is dressed—well—like that girl today.”

“I noticed you kept your head down, Jeff,” Fran says.

“Well,” he replies, “I find the best solution is just don’t look.”

“But you know,” Fran says, “that’s the fashion today. Everywhere you shop that’s what you see.”

Lois replies, “But women of God are called to higher standards, don’t you agree?”

What do you think?