That’s right I was nominated, voted and crowned the Standards Queen of my sorority. The Gamma Phi Betas at Kansas State University had a tradition of recognizing the member who upheld the standards of the house, the rules & expected manners.
Although it was done with jocularity, (I was sashed, crowned and made to walk, and wave through the tables at Wednesday night formal dinner), down deep it meant something to me. Standards, manners, etiquette were and are important to me.
Now for those of you who know me, and for those of you who don’t, I am silly, sometimes a bit off color & laugh a bit too loud. But manners, proper etiquette and standards do not equal boring, boorish, and stuffy.
What they truly equal is respect, regard and value…one to another. And that matters to me, greatly. Why because it matters to Him, the one I serve!
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
It was a great honor to be crowned Standards queen for me, because while I grew up in a home that respected, regarded and valued all people from all walks of life, I certainly did not have opportunity to practice the higher social graces. We didn’t set the table, we didn’t wait for the head to take the first bite, I didn’t know that you can eat a melting dessert immediately and not wait for the whole table to be served.
However I did know all about bass fishing tournaments, illegal betting at Saturday night cock fights, Threshing Bee’s and that you don’t pay the painter (read town drunk) until the work is done, cause he’ll just drink it and not show up the next day. We also paid our dentist with a 5th of the finest whiskey.
On paper, I was not destined (nor prepared) to be the Standards Queen at the Gamma Phi Beta sorority house, but I was crowned that wonderful Wednesday night in the mid 1980’s because at the heart of me was love for people.
Love for people is respect regard and value, and at the end of the day standards, etiquette and manners are simply regard, respect and value one for another.
And that I was prepared for in my upbringing.
I learned to love, value, and respect all kinds of people in all kinds of walks of life. Taught to say and please and thank you to all. Taught to listen, ask questions and show interest in others. Taught that all were created in the image of God, not just the cleaned up ones. Taught that all had value, not just the ones like me.
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)
And while we (man) look at the outward, He (God) looks at the heart!
… The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. (I Samuel 16:7)
And while we didn’t take our kids to illegal cock fights, nor pay a dentist in whiskey, we did our best to teach them this same principle, (command & biblical edict) to show love (regard, respect, & value) for all people.
…the grocery clerk with the tattoos
…the kid with the pierced nose at the counter in McDonalds
…the congregants at the Samaritan house church
…the ones who looked, smelled, talked and acted differently than us.
And many times we taught (and still teach, even though they are all adults) this principle from around our table. The place that isn’t full enough unless I am straddling the table leg in a mismatched chair.