A Matter of Style

I've recently been reading a book that supposedly answers a lot of questions that Christians have. I don't agree with everything in the book but it has caused me to think about some commonly held beliefs that I hold and whether they truly do fit with what the Word of God says, while other sections have caused me to consider issues that I've never really given a lot of thought to before. So it's been valuable reading for me - one way or another.

An issue that I've been sorting through in recent years is the issue of dress. The book was emphatic that women should wear dresses and quoted this verse in support: The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God (Deuteronomy 22:5, KJV).

I don't have a problem with wearing dresses. I wear skirts at least 90% of the time. If I agreed with the author's premise I would wear skirts or dresses 100% of the time. But I have a problem with this verse being quoted to support the wearing of dresses. When I look at pictures of Bible times the clothing seems to be similar. Is it possible that this verse is more about men passing themselves off as women and vice versa? Think seedy nightclubs and you know what I'm trying to say.

When it comes to the question of dress I turn to this verse in 1 Timothy 2:8-10: In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array (KJV). It appears to me that modesty is the determining factor in women's apparel.

There is going to be some difference as to what is considered 'modest'. Some will feel that only dresses or skirts are modest (and that's okay), whereas others will think that pants and shorts are okay as long as they aren't too tight or too revealing. I suggest that each woman needs to determine before God what is modest clothing. Not what is fashionable or what everyone else is wearing but what is modest.

It also helps to have the opinion of a godly man. When my husband used to tell me something was too tight I thought he was telling me I was too fat. It took a long time before I realised he was not trying to imply that I needed to lose weight but was in actual fact trying to help me preserve modesty in dress. For a single woman, a godly father can offer advice and it shouldn't be dismissed as being old-fashioned or out-dated. I think as women we are often ignorant of how our dress affects men and it takes a godly man to help us see the light.

I've seen skirts that are modest and I've seen those that are definitely not modest. The same is true for pants. I wear skirts as a matter of personal preference but I'm also aware that I sit and walk and move differently in a skirt. I'm also aware that I'm treated differently - especially by men - when I wear a skirt. Doors are opened for me, men are more courteous, I feel more feminine, and I like it. I like it.

I think many women have been conned into believing that pants are more comfortable and less restrictive, when in fact I've found the opposite to be true. I would love to see more women wearing skirts. But I'm not about to tell anyone that they have to wear skirts because that's what the Bible teaches. Because I don't believe it does. Instead what I will say is to seek God for what He wants to teach you about modesty. And if that means you end up wearing skirts and dresses more often, that's great!


SchnauzerMom said…
I agree with you. I think modesty is pleasing to the Lord and each woman has to determine that for herself.
BellaMama said…
I agree with you. As long as things are modest, pants/shorts are fine or more appropriate. I did gardening in skirts (flowy, not a good denim skirt) and they were blowing in the wind & in the way of planting. I ended up tying the front hem to the back (old world style) and was able to get the work done more easily. I started jogging around the yard with my husband and I needed to hold my skirt to my knees so I could run. So in these examples, skirts can get in the way, but I do feel more like a girl and less like a drill sergeant.
*I didn't mind that you re-opened the subject. I was just done trying to explain. I enjoy your comments!
Many blessings,
busymomof10 said…
I just read this post and loved it! I agree 100%! I have often said the same thing about how you are treated differently in dresses/skirts. If you want to be treated like a woman, dress like one!!!! :)

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