Deuteronomy 22:5

 “A woman shall not wear man’s clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman’s clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD your God.”  – Deuteronomy 22:5

This scripture appears to be a hot topic these days.  Over the last few weeks I’ve seen links and comments posted all over Facebook concerning the outward appearance of the woman. I’m slightly amused that a woman’s clothing can consume so much attention without even the slightest mention of the man’s attire.  More so, I’m amazed that only the first half of the verse is discussed.

Snippets of sermons have made their way around quoting those boldly claiming a woman who would wear pants won’t make the rapture.  That is quite a statement.

Up until a few months ago, I had never worn pants in my life, unless you count pajamas.  I must confess, the comfort of my pjs is well loved, especially in the winter.  I find them convenient because they do not tangle up around you in the night.   Perhaps I should also confess I once wore my beloved flannel pajama bottoms outside under my coat to shovel the driveway.

Will I miss the rapture for wearing my flannel pink polka dotted pajamas?

I have heard ministers preach women should not wear pajamas.  I’ve even heard ministers say they would rather their wife freeze than let her use their coat, because it was a man’s garment.  They held the extreme view that women aren’t to wear denim, have zippers, wear tee-shirts, or tennis shoes.  No, for them pajamas were not an option.

I read a commentary on this scripture recently which said this famous verse in Deuteronomy 22 was referring not to a woman in pants, but to a woman dressing in armor.  What will we do with Joan of Arc?  With the interpretation concerning armor, if a woman should not bear arms, perhaps a man should not…. carry a purse?  Use a mixer?

We neglect to remember the Bible was written for every creature, tongue, and nation; prior to western civilization.  Other cultures should be taken into consideration.  The samfoo and panjabi suit are traditional modest garments worn by women which most westerners would consider a pant-like garment.  The Scots wear a kilt, Bhutan men wear a gho, and Fijian men wear a pocket sulu; all of which very much resemble a skirt.

According to common message thinking; women are not to wear pants and men are not to wear skirts.  Those outside of the western civilization may find this troubling.

If you wish to go that route, what will you do with Jesus and His disciples?  Moses wrote the law and I assure you, he was not wearing ‘wranglers’.

Why is it, in all of these sermons and conversations do they only focus on the women?   The verse has more than one part.  It is written for the men as well as the women.  

If women are not to wear pants simply because this verse says a man’s garment, then men are not to wear skirts or dresses.  This poses a problem when we consider the change of fashion over time.  This verse was written thousands of years ago, prior to Levis and Dungarees.

I’d like to see the ministers today trade their suits and ties in for a nice robe like Moses wore when this law was written.  That ought to be interesting

The topic of garments and modesty has gone out the window, attempting to determine salvation based on the outward appearance, when God clearly told us, He looks on the heart.  Truly we are naked before Him; there is nothing we can do to make ourselves worthy.  We are found clothed in our own self-righteousness, a Pharisee of the Pharisees.

Why on this Earth did Jesus send us the Comforter to lead us and guide us into all truth when we have such God fearing ministers but a phone call or text away, ready to give us the thumbs up or “Like”?  With each and every fashion trend, they stand ready at the pulpit to give their opinion.

People are and always will be influenced by trends and society or culture in one way or another.  Today we are greatly influenced by convenience and practicality.  A woman no longer runs to the store in heels and white gloves.  Men hardly ever wear suits and ties to work anymore.  If you think we are not to be influenced by society at all, then perhaps you should convert to Amish.

I feel like I have spent my entire life dressing for the approval of others.  I had a standard placed before me and that was my guideline.  I can remember keeping what minister so-and-so said in mind while out shopping.  I also remember heels being okay at one church, but when visiting another church, flats were appropriate.  This church believed straight skirts were wrong, another felt you needed long sleeves.  Sisters ran around with safety pins chasing the splits revealing calves.  I dressed as expected and I never questioned it…. until a few months ago.

When I left “the message” I wiped the slate clean and started over with everything.   Yes, I did go back and ask why I dressed the way I did.  Was it simply because I was raised that way and I complied, or did I genuinely feel convicted to do so?

This has been a difficult task for me.  I feel very strongly about modesty.  I feel a female shouldn’t just be a woman but she should be a lady.  This reflects in her attire, her actions, her speech, it’s everything about her.  Modesty is the demeanor that suggests a man stop to open the door, step to the side, and watch his language.  This is not done simply by wearing a skirt or deciding not to wear pants.

Modesty is a very controversial topic indeed.  Perhaps it is not modesty up for discussion after all, but rather the opinions and ideas of the scripture interpreted by men judging men. Opinion has replaced the leading of the Spirit in the heart of the individual, laying law and removing grace.

I have made my decision to pray about my clothing, consider the occasion, and talk it over with my husband.  If this offends someone, I’m not certain what to tell them.  I do take comfort in knowing, they do not make the call for who will, and who will not, make the rapture.  If it is between six and nine, I’ll more than likely be in my pajamas anyway.

3 thoughts on “Deuteronomy 22:5

  1. I have enjoyed reading your thoughts on apparel. It is one that I have had many of the same thoughts on. I also believe that modesty is important. I do think that a tight skirt can be less modest than loose jeans. As for myself I have this test; I ask myself if Jesus were to suddenly appear at my door would I feel like I need to run and change? If the answer is yes than I shouldn’t be wearing it. I believe that as long as I am modest and feminine what I am wearing isn’t an issue to God.

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