For this Christmas, my wife said that we were overdue on getting new clothes. I think that it’s easy to neglect this area (especially being a man) unless circulation between parts of your body is being cut off! So, we’ve been shopping online and at the mall together to try to get at least her wardrobe more up to date. In doing this, she has expressed the desire to add to her collection of feminine fashion in the way of skirts and blouses. That’s what brings me to today’s entry talking about the Biblical commands for apparel.
A lot of the discussion centers around a command in Deuteronomy 22:5 in which God through Moses states that it is an abomination to the Lord for a man to wear women’s clothing and for women to wear men’s clothing. In essence, God created them male and female and He wants them looking the part. (Contrast this to current society’s desire for genderless bathrooms, cross dressers, etc…)
I guess I should start with the men. This means that, guys, you’re going to have to take to liking skirts and stop your sisters in Christ from wearing that which pertains to a man, since further down in the same passage God commands: “A man shall not take his father’s wife, nor discover his father’s skirt.” (Deut 22:30) One web author goes on to say the following (I did the linking):
There are many more Bible verses for men wearing skirts than women wearing them! The Bible speaks of men’s skirts twelve times (Dt 22:30, Dt 27:20, Ru 3:9, 1 Sa 15:27, 1 Sa 24:4, 1 Sa 24:5, 1 Sa 24:11, 1 Sa 24:11, Eze 16:8, Hag 2:12, Hag 2:12, and Zec 8:23).
Now, obviously I’m attempting to shock you into thinking! I’m obviously not advocating that men should start a new fashion trend. What I am saying is that you can’t determine a specific article of clothing from this passage. This passage does not say that women have to wear a dress or a skirt and cannot wear pants.
There is a good principle in there, though, which I’ve alluded to before. There should be a difference in your dress than the opposite sex. Now, many people have different opinions of what this should be. An opinion is fine, but falls under what we talked about earlier in the Romans 14 passage about Christian Liberty. For sake of discussion, I’ll talk about some of the main ideas:
Mrs. Alta Jorgensen has some definite views about women’s clothing. She worked temporarily in fashion design and illustration and has some drawings on her site. Her argument is that the fashion designers are trying to make women look like men intentionally, and don’t flatter women’s lines. She encourages women not be sucked in by current fashion trends and to be feminine.
Having attended a conservative Christian University whose dress code was for women to wear skirts/dresses most of the time, I can attest to the fact that going to the mall was quite the adventure “women in jeans!” Does this have an effect on men? Sure.
M. Thaxter Dickey talks about modesty in his web article. He has five reasons for being modest in dress stating that when women dress provocatively:
- It is unfair to men
- It is a dangerous threat to Chastity
- It is unfair to women
- It is an indicator of uncertain character
- It reflects poorly on one’s vocation as a Christian
There are others, and I’ll give links of need be, but I think you’re seeing my point. God wants a difference, and he puts high value on modesty. Compared to the one passage about looking different, modesty is everywhere in Scripture. There are groups that are willing to make their members wear skirts, but don’t care how modest. We need to be concerned about modesty first and foremost.
* Correction made before the five points– spotted by Red State Rah Rah.