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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Hypocritical about Pants?

I may have caused confusion by stating in one article that the Bible does not have a specific condemnation of pants, and then writing a letter pleading with a friend to not wear pants in church. I was not speaking out of both sides of my mouth. I would like to clarify my position on the matter.

First, I do not, as I stated, find anywhere in scripture that says what a woman can or cannot wear besides the requirement of it being modest (and no cross-dressing). We have to remember that different cultures wore different types of dress during the writing of the Bible, just as they do today. Obviously not all of them would have been acceptable to God, just as today. So we are left to consider the matter for ourselves. I do not think a church has the place of telling a woman what to wear. I would love to be part of a church where the women only wear dresses, but because of personal conviction and not legalism.

I do wish that all women would become convicted about clothing. I have not seen a modest pair of pants on a woman. They do not exist in stores today. They inevitably show off her rear. That's why so many songs talk about women in jeans. They show everything. And apparently we have 'evolved' so quickly that the waist of a woman dropped 6 inches in 10 years! Even dress pants are tailored so that the pleats down the back of the legs draw the eye right to the seam between them. And don't get me started on shorts! Shorts and pants cannot be considered modest in my opinion because they attract attention to the body. I loved the interview with the Duggar family, because their philosophy is to dress so as to draw attention to the countenance. Amen!

When I was in High School I wore REALLY crazy clothes. Not the half-naked kind, but I liked my dad's dress shirts with a dress jacket and skirt, and lots of plaid. I was plaid crazy. We had a free clothing center at our church and we would find items as we were sorting that were just my style- in other words, they wouldn't put them out because no one else would ever take them. SO... I got to keep the crazy clothes. I had dresses from the 50's and black and white saddle shoes. I guess I was retro. I also had elephant pants, which were very loose everywhere. Those would be modest in my opinion, but where do you find them? I am not saying modest pants have never existed, I am saying they disappear with the fashion trend to go skin tight. And it is possible to have fun with clothes without exposing anything.

Many women will wear culottes for a day out, and I think that is fine as well. I am not saying it is a sin to wear something between your legs. Where I see the sin is when it shows off enough to entice a man to look. You are then stealing from another woman. You are taking the attention, admiration, and sexual focus that are rightly hers as a wife and plumping up your own ego.

And I have heard so many women say that men just need to learn to control themselves, and I feel that is a bold-faced cop-out! It's an excuse to continue causing others to fall. It's the same attitude that allows people to say aborted babies are in a better place, or that voting is futile because Satan controls the world. Many unsaved people will tell you they are good people, because they compare themselves to the murderers and rapists in prison. But there are 10 commandments, and wanting men to look at you with lust is making your own desires an idol, which is breaking the first two in one stroke!

Now, I do own pants for the winter when I have to go chasing the horses. I generally wear them under a skirt, which also provides extra warmth. Right now my oldest daughter is on the hay wagon stacking bales in a pair of cotton pants. For safety reasons, she needs to have her legs covered, and two layers in this heat would make her ill. She is young, not developed yet, and not out in 'public', except to those driving by who have super vision or something. The clothes are also loose-fitting, patterned so as not to draw attention to the wrong places, and of a material that does not cling.

There are also dresses and skirts that certainly are not modest. So saying wear dresses only still won't cover it. They can be too tight, too short, too low cut, too sheer,etc. And because of the trend for so long of girls wearing pants, many of them do not know how to sit in a skirt or dress. They are accustomed to being able to sit with legs apart, which is where the argument that pants are more modest comes from because at least then you can't see their underwear. The more girls wear pants, the less feminine they become. And what man wants a semi-male woman for a wife? They want feminine women (unless they have had their desires warped by the world).

So, there's my rant on pants and such. IT is not a law. It is not a commandment. It is a plea from a woman who does not wish to share her husband with anyone for any reason. I'm the one who has covenanted my life, my service, my affection, and my desires to him. I mother his children, I work along side him, I keep his home. I keep his faults to myself, I earnestly seek to bring him pleasure in all things, I swell with love when I see him, even if he is sweaty and dirty from work. Why should I have to share his attention or thoughts with anyone else? He is mine. Just as God is a jealous God, I also am a jealous wife, not willing to share what is rightfully mine with a whore

Q: Whoa, tight jeans = whore?? That's a mighty strong word.

A: "WHORE, v.i. supra. To have unlawful sexual commerce; to practice lewdness."

"...Then, Hosea applies the story of his life to the People of God, to the Kingdoms of the North and the South, to Israel and Judah, and to you and me: Every time you and I go after money, or power, or pleasures, we prostitute against God… we throw ourselves into the arms and care of other gods, and that's prostitution against God!… with every sin, we become slaves of the Devil, but God byes us back, not for 15 shekels, but with His own Blood, and brings us back to his home, not as slaves, but as children of God, as His inheritance!… to make a feast for us every time we repent! (Lk.15:22-23)...

"But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children" 2 Peter 2:12-14


Anonymous said...

Actually, I'm saved 30 years. I wear pants from and order a "comfortable" size. I don't really like denim, but the site has feminine clothing. I wear dresses and skirts as well. You're absolutely correct (imo) on the stores having nothing suitable for modest or feminine apparel. My pants are extremely feminine and not at all form-fitting. Mrs. K

Anonymous said...

Whoa, tight jeans = whore?? That's a mighty strong word.

Anonymous said...

I do not agree that your dislike of this woman's pants means that she is participating in lewdness or unlawful sexual commerce. Suppose her husband instructs her to dress that way, or that she has gained weight and can't afford to buy "modest" jeans in a bigger size. Would she be a whore then? Modesty is subjective, anyway. Is a knee-length skirt modest? A sleevelss blouse? Coolots? Pants of any kind? Uncovered hair? You will find scads of religious folk who feel deeply convicted one way or the other. You can't control how people in the world dress. You can't even control how your husband reacts to their choices in dress. You can, however, choose how you let it affect you. Obviously, your husband loves and desires YOU, or he would not have married you. It is natural for men to feel attracted to a variety of women throughout their lives. What matters is how they choose to handle those feelings. Might I say that perhaps your husband could stand to use some tact in how he shares those feelings with you? I have read through your blog and you seem like a lovely and intelligent woman. It's a shame when women feel the need to judge and tear one another down. We are all sisters in Christ.

motherofmany said...

There is a difference between a woman who does not know that the way she dresses is causing men to look at her lustfully, and the woman who knows it and does it intentionally for the excitement. The problem isn't a husband who commands his wife to dress immodestly (though if he did, she would have cause NOT to submitt because we obey God first, and God says to dress modestly) or not having the means to buy modest clothing (has some dresses, wears them occasionally, prefers the attention of the tight jeans- a NEW purchase, BTW). There would be two most probably responses to this letter- one of surprise, realixinf the effect, and a desire to not cause trouble (whatever the compromise may be) and that of anger, retaliation, and defensiveness, because the effect is already known and is the point of the clothing choices. That is why I stated that a woman who wears tight jeans needs to consider the motive behind it.

As for my husband sharing his concern, as his help meet I am to help him in any area he needs, including advice (bear one another's burdens). We have been reading Every Man's Battle together, and it speaks not only to men as far as learning to 'bounce' their eyes away from temptation, but also to women to not intentionally provoke those thoughts. We are accountable for causing others to sin.

Yes, modesty is subjective, as I pointed out in my original post. That is why there is not a dress code per se in the church. The real question is the thoughts and intents of the heart. No woman can honestly dress proviocatively and say she has no idea that it causes men to look at her. Why else would she dress this way?

It is also not my intent to tear anyone down. It is my intent to prevent the schism in the church that is so prevalent today. If someone were coming to church and making light of communion, or using the alter call as a time to gossip, or any other act of disrespect, we would not tolerate it. Why then should we accept the attempts to gain attention when the WHOLE point of the coming together is to glorify God?

Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way. Romans 14:13
Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. Matthew 5:27-28
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; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. 1 Timothy 2:9-10
Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands. 1 Peter 3:1-5
Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. Matthew 18:15
Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend. 1 Corinthians 8:13