If you think the sound of fingernails on the chalkboard, chewing ice, or biting pen caps is one of the worst things you ever had to endure ...than that means you have never had to watch "Say Yes to the Dress" with you daughter? I would rather be water-boarded than to have to sit through a whole episode of that show for an hour straight. The plot is this, "The viewer gets to go inside a Manhattan bridal boutique to watch soon-to-be brides, mothers, mother-in-laws, and queer fashion designers discuss, argue, and fight about finding the "perfect" wedding dress.
"Should I get a mermaid cut, a princess cut, a slim cut, an Empire cut with a seam, a trumpet dress....yada...yada...yada." Just pick a dress already? One thing that is rarely if ever discussed on this show: "Should the dress be white?" It use to matter, but no longer does.
This came to my attention recently when a friend from an older generation stopped by my office and asked me about an upcoming wedding he was invited to. He told me how the couple was already living and sleeping together; and he wondered if he was wrong in thinking that the bride should not wear white. You see, at one time the color white meant that a "pure virgin was being presented" to her groom. Not anymore, in fact, it seems that all that matters is if the dress is pretty and the ceremony was everything she ever wanted.
Does it matter if a bride is a virgin anymore? People are so sexually free now that if you said "yes, it sure does matter" - - you would be looked down upon for being judgmental, puritanical, & antiquated. And just think, that would mean a whole lot of brides these days would have to wear a different color- - and that would be unfair. Sex before marriage to most people is a small item, and to them it becomes just a different choice than remaining a virgin. They deem this decision as an "equivalent choice."
Not in God's eyes: there is a moral difference, they cannot be compared at all. One choice is of higher, nobler value, how God designed for it to be. The other is a "trespass," jumping moral fences before you are allowed. Trespassing is always a sin, and it is no where near equivalent to the obedience and loyalty God wants from his people. But the world wants both choices without having to worry about the stigma for trespassing and sin; they want to be allowed to wear white when their white has been dipped in the mud and has become dingy.
In so many other issues of life, people view decisions as equal when oftentimes, morally there is a huge gap:
- The Middle-East conflict: Yes, war is horrible and always in conflict, the worst of humanity on both sides comes out. But there is no moral equivalence when one side is using bombs to protect their civilians, and when the other side is using their civilians to protect their bombs. It is just not equal.
- The Inner-City Gun Violence: Yes, the police often use extreme force, yes there is some racial profiling taking place; but this never makes it OK for a thug to use a gun to rob a store, attack a cop, shoot innocent neighbors, and completely disrespect civil authority when they are trying to do their job. This is not morally equivalent.
We have forgotten how to reason, and when we say there is moral equivalence when there is none, we are often confirming sinful behavior. Lifting it up to a place that it was never meant to be. As a result of not understanding moral equivalence, our minds have grown dingy. We need to exalt legitimate actions and decisions. Yes, there is always forgiveness for sin; but the consequences are terrible and often remain.
So, the next time your kid tries to pull the moral equivalent card on you as a parent and says something like, "I smashed Johnnie's toy because he called me a bad name!" Sit him in time out and make him watch "Say Yes to the Dress!" I guarantee you, he will never smash Johnnie's toy again!