What To Wear?

What Should I Wear for Church Today?

For most of us, the legality of what is proper attire for a woman in ministry does not rack our brains whenever we are called upon to serve. For some of us, we are told what to wear and what not to wear. Should we wear make-up or not, fingernail polish…the list goes on (sounds like a song huh) etc…

I have already written an A-Z approach on what we should be aware of when dressing for ministry. If you have a more liberal church setting, refer to my article entitled “Platform Apparel” tips. In this article I will be addressing the opposite end of the spectrum. Should a woman wear pants when ministering? Here’s the scripture for discussion.

Deut. 22:5
· (NIV) “A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this”
· (Good ole’ -KJV)- 5The 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.
· (Amplified)”A woman must not wear men’s clothing, and a man must not women’s clothing’s this is abhorrent (look this word up) to the Lord you God
· (Darby’s New Translation) – “there shall not be a man’s apparel on a woman, neither shall a man put on a woman’s clothing; for whoever doeth so is an abomination to Jehovah they God

What do we do with this information? It’s so plain to see that we cannot wear anything that even looks like it belongs to a man and vice-versa. Does this mean that I need to throw away my leather pants or my other pant suits, slacks and jeans? Some of my “stuff” is cute and very feminine. I thought God likes glittery stuff you know- streets of gold and all those jewels and precious stones listed in the Bible. It’s not like I wear these things on the platform all the time. It’s true they may cause a distraction but “none-the-less” – I got a few “tight”(referring to “sharp” or “good-looking”) pantsuits that look cute on me. Let’s get back to the subject and look at this scripture more closely.

As I looked at this passage, I thought there had to be more than just wearing men’s clothing for the sake of wearing men’s clothes. How many of us have worn our Dad’s or Brother’s shirt? I’m thinking and writing at the same time so bear with me.

The book of Deuteronomy is one of the first 5 books of the Bible. Moses wrote to a people who had no boundaries when it came to living away from Egypt. These laws were written to people who had just come out of living a life of bondage. They lived in a society where anything was acceptable. These laws were written to people who did not know how to live a holy (separate) life before God. They had to be given the law to live in a new life that God had tailor-made for them. They had nothing in place …no moral or social rules, no Macy’s, Tiffany’s, Nordstrom’s, or Miss Manner’s.

I got out a few commentaries and reference materials and did a study on this. Check this out! (We are still on Deuteronomy 22:5)

The Believers Study Bible:

“This verse is not primarily a reference to principles of fashion, as one clearly notes in the final clause. Rather this refers to the practice of transvestitism, i.e., a deviant sexual behavior that is exhibited in the adoption of dress and behavior unnatural for one’s own sex. The danger, perhaps, lies in its close association with homosexuality (cf. Lev 18:22 and 20:13, where the same word “abomination” occurs; see also Rom 1:24, note) and in the fact that such practices were often associated with the worship of pagan deities. God considers sacred the distinction of the sexes, as shown in His creative design of man and woman, who, though both in the image of God, are also uniquely and differently designed (cf. Gen 1:27). Any attempt to erase that distinction is labeled an “abomination.”

New Commentary on the Whole Bible (OT):

5-12 THE SEX TO BE DISTINGUISHED BY APPAREL 5 The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment—“that which pertaineth” (Heb. kelŒò) quite literally means implements or articles, thus anything worn by man, including weapons, ornaments, etc., not only garments (Reider). The concern of this law is deeper than a woman simply wearing or using an implement associated with a man, but transvestism and the related homosexual acts (Craigie) which may be connected to particular fertility rites associated with the goddess Ishtar (Mayes). There is evidence to suggest that a ritual exchange of clothing
was to help with infertility (Hoffner).

Selah…(pause and think of that!)

This scripture is talking about “cross-dressers”. It’s not speaking of whether or not we can wear pants! HALLEUJAH! It’s not talking about being a tomboy either. If that were the case I would not be in ministry myself. This is a question that I have never thought to explore until now. Galatians 5:1(NLT) – “So Christ has really set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.” We as “Women in Worship” need to start examining the scriptures for ourselves so we can bust these myths and fables about us. Let’s handle His word with knowledge and grace! I’m ready are you?

James 1:5(NLT) - “If you need wisdom – if you want to know what God wants you to do – ask Him, and He will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking.”

Today we serve a very contemporary God who is interested in all coming to know Him. Roman 10:14 &15 (NLT) states “But how can they call on Him to save them unless they believe in Him? And how can they believe in Him if they have never heard about Him? And how can they hear about Him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent?” That is what the Scriptures mean when they say, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news! (Make sure you’ve have a good Pedicure – just kidding, they sure are nice though)

How can we approach those who live in this present world while still in our letter “Old Testament Clothing”? No make-up, our fingernails and toes all chewed up needing a manicurist. How to we share with others that Christ has set us free when we live in bondage? They will laugh you right out of your little speech. Remember it was Paul who became all things to all people to bring the good news. (I Corinthians. 9:19-23)

You should meet some of my friends…old hookers, and pimps, drug dealers, Motorcycle club chicks, gang members, SINNERS saved by His GRACE. These women are going right into the enemy’s camp and setting people free with the word of truth. They are prophets of the Most High God. Don’t turn your nose up at those women who are free. They are making waves in the body of Christ and doing it with style, Like Rahab , Joshua 2:1-21, a women of the night, she is in the up-line of our Lord Jesus, the mother of Boaz who married Ruth. Don’t ever lose sight of the fact that you are a daughter of the King. That makes you a princess, a queen, and you should dress like one. This is not a prosperity message or is it a fix you or a self-esteem a boost.

There is a balance. We need to make sure that we are dressed appropriately – we don’t want to go around showing off our stuff. 1 Timothy 2:9-10 (NLT) ”And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes. 10For women who claim to be devoted to God should make themselves attractive by the good things they do.”

We don’t want to have on transparent clothing. (See my article “Platform Apparel Tips”) Your Pastor has a vision for your church. You should be included in that vision if they want you to wear a dress…yield to authority. But know that wearing pants/SLACKS does not put you in a category to being a man. There is no way baby! If wearing certain clothing is a requirement for ministry in your choir, it’s ok (I have some cute dresses too!)

This is how I see it, if Jesus saw you in pants and you were speaking the truth in power and love, and the captives were getting set free and coming to know Him in a personal and intimate way, He would say “Go head girl, those pants look “Cute on you”.

Next article in our “Bad Raps About Us” series - (1 Timothy 2:9-10) – “Do Something With Your Hair” or “Bad Hair Day”

Any comments contact me at exwomeninworship@yahoo.com

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