Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A Night to Remember

Growing up in a family of 10 kids, chaos was the norm. Getting everyone together for Family Home Evening, or family prayer or scripture study was anything but calm and loving. Needless to say, my parents were just trying to live through each day. Family Home Evening was done very randomly. However, I firmly believe in the "quality" and not "quantity" theory. I only remember one FHE lesson, and it made an indelible mark on my memory, FOREVER.

My dad is an old guy. And I can say that because I am his favorite daughter and according to my siblings, I have immunity when making disrespectful comments. But really, he is old enough to be a great-grandfather (although thankfully he isn't yet) and he kind of looks the part. My dad, who was a professor at BYU for over 30 years, always wears dress pants, a button down shirt (possibly a tie) and socks and shoes. ALWAYS. Even on Saturdays, when such dress is totally optional. In fact, I can count on one hand how many times I have seen my dad's feet. WEIRD? Yes. What I'm trying to say here, is I COULD NOT pick out my dad's feet, legs, or chest out of a line up. The only skin I have ever seen on my dad is his arms, head, and neck.

Why does this matter?

When I was a teenager, my dad had expressed concern to his six daughters (okay, it was more like nagging us) that we were dressing immodestly. He didn't feel comfortable seeing us in sleeveless shirts, short skirts, or shorts. Everything he said went in one ear and out the other.

Hey, it was summer. It was hot. We wanted to dress how we wanted to dress.

To help us understand how he felt when we dressed immodestly, he planned a very, very, very, creative Family Home Evening. One that my siblings and I have never forgotten.

My parents gathered all 10 of us in the family room. After the song and opening prayer, my dad disappeared for a few minutes. None of us noticed (because lets face it, we totally weren't paying attention) and we chewed the fat with each other.

Then we heard our dad enter the family room from the kitchen.

AAAHHHHHH! WHAT THE HECK?! He was sporting a huge grin wearing a swimming suit in all of his PASTY WHITE GLORY.

OH MY HECK! OUR DAD IS SO WHITE! IT'S EMBARRASSING! IT SHOULD BE ILLEGAL!
EWE! WE DON'T WANT TO SEE YOUR CHEST, OR YOUR LEGS, OR YOUR FEET FOR THAT MATTER!

As we all took our turns laughing and screaming about his very embarrassing attire, he stopped and said, "How you feel right now is exactly how I feel every time you dress immodestly."

Believe me, it only took one Family Home Evening to drive that message home. Needless to say, my sisters and I didn't have a problem dressing modestly after that. NO ONE wanted a repeat of that FHE.

My dad has told me often throughout my life, "You'll never offend anyone by dressing modestly."

Yeah, point well taken.

4 comments:

Eileen said...

What a great dad! I love him!!!

Andrea said...

Great story Emily. I love that lesson. Jonathan has tried to do lessons like that. They certainly make a statement. It is neat that you have never forgotten it, and you have probably never worn something immodest again either.

Krysta said...

Creative parents are the best!

Vanderbeeks Images said...

I can certainly see why it is memorable. What a great way to drive the point home. Thank you for sharing this. Sometimes I struggle with my daughter. We may have to use this idea in the future!