Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Why I Wear This Fabric- Reason #1

I’m not usually one to care what the going fashions are and actually, most of the time I think what is popular looks a tad on the silly side. But this summer I was pleased to see the long, romantic skirts hitting the streets and enjoying a moment of fame. “Yes!” I thought, “Now I won’t totally stand out for a change!” You see, on an average day you will find me wearing a long, sweeping skirt. Whether I’m scheduled to do laundry, scrub floors or even play tennis, I’ll be wearing that skirt. To some people this is not a new thought, but I know that there are many out there who may be boggled as to why I would choose to wear a skirt when could be wearing jeans or shorts. Here is just one reason for this oddity:

In our culture there is an obvious feminist movement underway. Women are trying to prove that they can do anything a man does and that there isn’t a difference between the sexes- everyone is equal. Well, that just isn’t the case.

“For man is not from woman, but woman from man. Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man.” 1 Corinthians 11: 8-9

“And I do not permit a woman to... have authority over a man. ... For Adam was formed first, then Eve.” 1 Timothy 2 12a -13

“Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel...” 1 Peter 3:7

In our increasingly androgynous society, there is a great lack of men and women who are willing to differentiate between the sexes. And yet, didn’t our God do just that? He created us to be different.

My husband and I are ever trying to understand the differences between us and how we, as Christians, should be demonstrating these differences. One obvious way is how we dress. Before all the hullabaloo of feminism started, this culture had a certain dress code: men wore pants and women wore skirts. Even today, despite the effects of the she-woman movement, no man in his right mind would wear a skirt out in public. In our culture a skirt remains a symbol of femininity.

And now we return to my long skirt. One reason I wear this skirt is to display to the world that I am a woman and I’m proud of it. I am not attempting to be a man- that would be unnatural and unbiblical- I am content being what God made me. Someone could argue that our culture has changed and now pants are fully acceptable for women to wear and still look feminine. But you have to ask the question: How did it become acceptable? Did a group of women decide that wearing pants would better enable them to submit to their own husbands and be a helper to him? I think not. Wasn’t it rather yet another step in the progression of a “woman’s rights”? Isn’t a woman wearing pants a symbol that she is equal to a man? “Look, she’s even wearing the same clothes as he is!”

Clothes reflect who the wearer is. A soldier in the army wears camouflage, a doctor wears a white lab coat, a nurse wears scrubs and even a fast food worker wears a uniform. Their uniforms remind them of who they are and it displays their identity for all to see.

It is important to note that there are situations, events and cultures in which the right and even more feminine thing to do would be to not wear a skirt. Different cultures have different ways of expressing masculinity and femininity. We are not responding to those situations and cultures. We are responding to our culture, the time in which we are living, and the situation we are living in. God made men and women to be different, with different roles and duties. To act like we are the same would be in direct rebellion against God’s will. And yet, isn’t that what a woman is doing when she dresses like a man?

“A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the LORD your God.” Deuteronomy 22:5


Brad said...

You do have a very good point, but i am still not convinced scripture says women should wear shirts(being the traditional female garb in our culture). Now i do agree women should dress modestly(as should men). We shouldn't be a stumbling block to our brothers and sisters in Christ. However, the main verse you use in the case of the OT is a bit of streched i think, if you look at the verse in its full context as it was ment to be.

“A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the LORD your God.” Deuteronomy 22:5

But, in light of the similarity of men's and women's clothing in Biblical times(both wore Tunics and robes..mostly) and the fact that pants were not worn by either sex at that time, that conclusion of pants and skirts would be difficult to justify.

Also, now bearing all that in mind, we turn to Jesus' command to "Love your neighbor as yourself" supersedes Old Testament Law for Christians and frees them from strict observance of Old Testament rules.
~ Romans 8:1-2

So what does all this mean in the end. Well, first, i don't think its a sin for a girl to wear pants. However, if she is a christian then motivies of the heart are important(the most important) and her body is God's Holy temple (1 Corinthians 6:19). As such she should dress modestly and treat it with respect as well as not purposly(keyword) causing temptation for boys to comment sexual sin in their hearts. So yeah a skirt is a good way to avoid all the fustrastion of whats okay to wear. i am totally cool with it, i just dont think it should the only clothing option.

some of my ideas were quotes from info from this website:


Adiel said...

Hi, Brad!
I just wanted you to know that you are not being ignored. Today is my first day back in the blogger world. You'll be getting a real response at some point in the near future.

Adiel said...

I’m really not up for a debate now (I get too emotional to debate well anyway), but I wanted to reply to your comments.

First, it should be noted that nowhere in my post do I bring up the topic of modesty. I know we talked about that last week, but seeing as it’s not mentioned here I’m not going to argue that topic now. Modesty certainly plays a role in why I wear skirts, but it is not the main reason. I’m hoping to post about that sometime and then we can argue about it. ;o)

Now, about that Deuteronomy verse. Yes, we have been freed from having to observe the ceremonious laws down to the last letter, but we have not been freed from following the spirit of the Old Testament laws. If you’ll look at the previous verses in that Deuteronomy passage you’ll see that a lot of the laws are actually showing specific ways to love one’s neighbor. Yes, that same “golden rule” that Jesus talked about was already in effect way back in the Old Testament. Sure, you probably won’t find your neighbor’s donkey fallen by the side of the road nowadays ( Deut. 22:4), but if you follow the spirit of that same law you will find many opportunities to care for your neighbor’s property and thus be obeying the “golden rule.”

The Old Testament is not some interesting historical account that we can read and think, “Whew! I’m glad I didn’t live back then!” The entire Bible is the inspired Word of God. If something is written in there then it applies to every Christian throughout all history and in the future. For instance, in our Deuteronomy chapter in verse 10 it says that we shouldn’t plow with an ox and a donkey together. Isn’t this (in part) referring to that New Testament concept of not being unequally yoked with an unbeliever? Just because something may sound extreme or we don’t understand it doesn’t mean that we can disregard it. If it’s written in the Bible it is applicable, in some way, to you and to me today.

Therefore, I don’t think it really matters what they wore back in “Bible times.” If the idea of loving our neighbor through caring for his property is still in effect then isn’t the concept of there being a distinction of men’s and women’s clothing still applicable, too? The topic of the distinction of the sexes is a theme that you’ll find throughout the whole of Scripture. It’s brought up in the contexts of creation, worship, authority, domestic duties, dress and others. When you match this Deuteronomy verse with the rest of Scripture its meaning is pretty clear.

Throughout the entire Old Testament you will find rules and laws that we should no longer obey: sacrifices, feast days, rituals, etc. But you must always ask, “What did the sacrifices signify? How does the idea of a feast day apply to us today? What did the rituals mean? What does all this say about my God and how He wants us to love and obey Him?” We must never disregard the “spirit” of the Old Testament as it still applies to us.

Yes, people wore different clothes back then than we wear now. And people wear different clothes in China and India and Africa, but I do not live in those cultures. I live in America in the year 2006 and in American culture the most feminine thing to wear is a skirt.

Matthew Henry has some excellent thoughts about Deuteronomy in his commentary on the Bible that I highly recommend if you ever have the chance to read it.

Like I said, I’m not trying to debate this, but if you’d like to discuss this further give me a call and we can set up a time to have coffee and talk. And actually, Joshua could explain this much better than I did.
Thanks for your comments. I appreciate hearing your thoughts.