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.
1 Peter 3:3,4
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
Double Minded Women
Dressing to Please God or Man?
by Mrs. Patty Williams
A controversial issue among women professing Christianity is the "pants issue" and other areas of clothing. Just the way a woman reacts to the whole subject of pants, modesty and dress can be very revealing about the seriousness of the situation. There are many problems in the church today, and often women who are not living right are at the root of some of the major ones.
A woman who is causing problems in the body of Christ is either not dressed properly (I Timothy 2:9) or not under submission to her husband or father (I Timothy 2:11-14). In some cases, she is neither dressed in a proper manner nor under her authority. A woman greatly influences and brings out the Godly or carnal qualities of her man by her actions and words (I Kings 21:25, Proverbs 31:11, 23).
Just as important are the fruits of her marriage: the children. Her dress and character will bear fruit in her children. Since 1971, I have worked regularly with the Hephzibah House girls. As I listen to their questions, handle their problems and study the Word for answers, I see that the Bible holds us responsible as mothers for our part in helping or harming our children.
Mother, some of us are producing the ungodly generation (Proverbs 30:11-14). They are our fruits. We are the fruits of the last generation, and this must stop! Stopping a curse can be accomplished by obeying God's Word (Ezekiel 18:14-17). We must repent of what we have done. Repentance means to turn around, change, be different (I Thessalonians 1:9). You may now be thinking or wondering what she is getting at. "Divided Woman, what has that to do with me? She must be crazy or something."
My Personal Experience
I am going to use myself as the prime example. Perhaps you will identify with or relate to what I have to say.
I grew up in a typical American home. We girls had pants, shorts, bathing suits, immodest clothing, television, movies, dancing lessons, circuses, etc. As a small child, I desired to be a beautiful movie star, and practiced the role by prancing and dancing all around the house. I have a clear memory that goes back to my preschool years. Even then I wanted to be beautiful. For what reason? Money? Other girls? My pet? Of course not, it was for men!
The Inner Desire of A Woman's Carnal Nature
I dressed for men, I desired to be beautiful for men. I wanted them to notice me and I learned how to please them, resulting in the character qualities of the Biblical strange woman in Proverbs. I knew what I was doing, I was not innocent. And I do not think any woman is innocent in this area.
A carnal woman has an inner desire to attract men. Yet I was a feminist woman to the core. No man would control my life! I could control his! I soon learned that I could influence men with my eyes, voice, body movements and dress. This resulted in many personalities. I was a different personality for specific occasions, and my dress fit the occasion. As I have worked with other women and teens since 1971, I see the same character in most women. I am not sure any of us are really deceived deep down inside. We know how we are, but we hide behind a spiritual mask and civilized veneer.
I am very sorry to say I won my own husband by my dress and actions. This resulted in many years of heartache for our lives. I was proud and haughty at my catch, but filled with doubts and suspicions afterwards. We were not saved until we were in our late twenties. Those early years of marriage were a nightmare! The Lord has done a marvelous work of grace in our lives. But you Christian mothers, why are you allowing your daughter to act like a strange woman, a double-minded woman?
A Christian Mother Has a Heavy Responsibility
Perhaps you live "a decent Christian life," but why are you allowing your daughter to act like a strange woman? She will have consequences the rest of her life. The Lord can forgive and cleanse but her body and mind will bear non-erasable scars. Mother, you can avoid this by rearing her properly, or perhaps cleaning up your own life first and then cleaning up hers.
"Shouldn't you say something about my husband?" "Doesn't he have some responsibility in all of this?" Yes, of course he does. But let us look at ourselves, Mother. The Lord has shown me the role of the woman in the home. A mother is the primary influence on her daughter. She can be the person you mold her to be, and Dad will glow. Dad will burst his buttons with praise and delight over a pure, virgin daughter filled with Godly character if you do it God's way.
How We Dress Reveals Character
We can be dowdy and stand out in a ridiculous way or, we can be sloppy, which reveals a sloppy character or be so fancy we appear proud and haughty. The Bible tells us in 1 Timothy 2:9 that a woman is to dress in a modest way. Our clothes should draw attention to the whole being or a glowing countenance and not certain areas of our body, especially areas that may sexually arouse a man. Some think that women do not really make sense. For example, some women have fancy hair-does with no makeup. The combination does not really go together. Or similarly, lots of makeup and a bland or unkempt hair style is equally awkward. We ought to balance out what we wear.
I know this will literally step on toes, but footwear with three and four inch heels are not simple. They draw a lot of attention to the feet, ankles and leg. In addition, they are hard on the back, difficult to walk in, and cold on the feet in the winter when there is snow and ice. We have allowed the world to dictate our styles. However, common sense is laid aside for the sake of styles! How ridiculous. I can admire the dress of some Anabaptist women who live relatively close to our mission. Some are very beautiful to me and communicate a sense of purity. They wear balanced, simple and modest clothing.
Does it make sense for a Christian woman to cover her body with modest, Godly clothing then take these clothes off to participate in mixed swimming wearing the equivalent of colored underwear? That is an absolute contradiction of standards and another aspect of feminine divided personality. If a man's eyes are filled with lust when he views parts of our bodies that should only be seen by our husband (Matthew 5:38, Proverbs 27:20), then how can we justify the wearing of swimming apparel in mixed swimming? You may say, "Well, I am too old to make any difference, I have huge bulges, varicose veins, fat pockets, etc." Dear lady, you are then a disgusting sight in a bathing suit! If you still have retained your figure, then you are physically attractive and you are defrauding men and will stand in judgment before the Lord for causing a man to stumble (II Corinthians 5:10). If you are aware of what you are doing to men, and do it anyway, then you are in severe rebellion, and "rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft" (1 Samuel 15:23).
What Does God Say?
Deuteronomy 22:5 says you are an abomination to God if you wear the clothing of a man. "Well," you say, "we are in different times, they wore different clothing and besides they both wore robes." I personally believe obedient saints have always maintained the sharp distinction between the sexes God ordered in this verse whether in Old Testament Israel or in the modern era.
The fallacy of an oxymoronic statement such as "my pants are feminine" is shown by one clear example: what if a man would say, "My new dress is masculine?!" Just how certain Christians have accepted women in pants and then pronounced it all right despite its error can be seen in this one example. How would you react, dear lady, if your hairy-chested and hairy-legged husband attempted to justify his wearing a dress by pronouncing it masculine?
Many and varied are the arguments and excuses that I think I have heard over the years concerning this issue. Can you not see what has happened in the last fifty years? And do you not see what the results have been? Maybe you have not connected the thread, so let me share with you as a woman.
Our Thinking As Women Is Not Consistent
I was born in 1942 and wore pants for several years of my life because I wanted to and no one was going to tell me differently! I bucked the schools I attended and the college where I obtained my degree. I was a rebel against the rules. My school forbade the wearing of pants. I did anyway believing that I had my rights and I won the battle! One part of my thinking was correct. If I was going to wear them, I would wear them where and when I wanted, and I was not going to be inconsistent or a hypocrite about the whole matter. However, the divided, schizophrenic personality allows women to wear pants to do certain things, and yet not to other functions. Pants are an integral part of the feminist uniform and the Unisex movement, contributing to the breakup of our homes by confusing the God-ordained roles and distinction of the sexes.
I tried something years ago to see what would happen. The whole ministry was gone and I was alone in the house, so I dug out my pants and wore them for an entire day. I could not believe myself. Soon I felt bold, hard, haughty, and unfeminine. I was very unsubmissive and I grew worse as the day progressed. As soon as I took them off, I changed my personality inasmuch as I felt softer, more meek, feminine and gentle. I was conscious of how I walked and sat. That same year I tried something else. Those were the days of ungodly, provocative "let's go to bed" look fashions. These fashions included the mini skirt.
I again pulled out one of my mini skirts and my shiny black boots and immediately felt like a strange woman, and I desired to dance and prance. Perhaps you have worn these and did not desire those things. That is wonderful, but you were just as guilty because you caused a man to lust or attempt to control over his vision.
I also see this change in children. My daughter Naomi has never worn pants unless under a maxi skirt, and that was rare. She is so feminine. The girls called her a Holly Hobbie doll when she was little. Heather wore pants until she was five (which is when we got saved). It is hard to imagine now, but she was a real tomboy. Naomi is not a tomboy, and I think it is because she has been in dresses and feminine styles from her birth. I put a dress on her within two hours after she was born over her stretch sleepers, and she has had dresses on ever since. Our daughters are virtuous women because we have obeyed the Lord's commands.
A woman will probably struggle with submission in a pair of pants. She is tempted to become either bold or sloppy. A woman is either physically attractive and causing a man to stumble, or she is disgusting in appearance when she wears men's clothes. Neither characteristic is a Godly one.
Perhaps you are wondering how you can have freedom of movement in a dress. Such a question implicitly says women have been bound for thousands of years and they ought to be allowed more freedom. Perhaps we need to be bound up? The feminist movement has definitely won a battle among Christian women. Our ungodly dress has been part and parcel of our unsubmissive, bold, masculine spirits.
Older women are to be teaching the younger women how to live Godly lives, cook, sew, clean, submit to our husbands, and to be the virtuous woman. This is a full-time job that we might become virtuous women (Proverbs 11:16). If you have obeyed the Lord and have a large family (or as large as the Lord has allowed you to have), and have nursed them, taught them daily, etc., you would not have time to be a busybody, nor could you be running your church, etc.
You are wondering how I got off the subject, I am not. This is connected with pants and other men's clothing, the feminist movement, being swayed and controlled by worldly styles, Hollywood styles, movie stars and big leaders, etc.
You Can Dress in a Feminine Way
Some say, "My job requires pants." If you are convinced and truly believe pants are a sin, then you are sinning against God by working at a job that requires you to compromise your convictions. I would suggest that you wear feminine culottes. These are easy to make or to have made. Have them made midi length, then wear long underwear or tights with boots if you are cold. We use a pattern that makes a calotte that looks exactly like a pleated skirt, yet has plenty of room for movement. You can have them made for most jobs at which you work. Culottes can be worn for recreation. I prefer maxi skirts. If the sport is too active for either, then the sport is not for ladies in the first place. I have so many physical problems and I have been told a lot of them are from my childhood sports. I was involved in football, gymnastics, hoola hoops, roller skating, and on and on. I am not saying these sports are a sin, but I was competitive and took a lot of serious falls trying to prove I could do anything that a man could do.
There Are Problems We Must Face
A woman that wears pants needs to ask, does this please the Lord, or am I being rebellious or uninformed about what does please Him in this area? Whichever is true, we will give an account to the Lord.
It is interesting to note that we have very few girls or women come into our program at Hephzibah House that do not wear pants. One of the greatest shocks our girls go through is to have their pants taken away! They do not know how to walk, sit or act. We have noticed that after a few weeks their outward appearance changes. They are softer, sweeter and submissive. Yet, inwardly they are not changed and would wear pants at the first opportunity. Just getting a girl our of pants changes their personality and they are not even aware of the change.
What effect do pants have on our children? Our children are being molded by our character whether we like it or not. They do an excellent job of imitating our bad qualities. A woman who wears pants or immodest dress runs the risk of having a daughter that will have either masculine character, rebellious character or the qualities of a strange woman. The daughter will reveal this in her marriage.
Lesbianism among teenagers is not uncommon. Some are bisexual. Because we are disobeying the Lord, a mother who wears pants risks raising a daughter that may not have a servant spirit to men or her husband unless she wants something special from him.
The effects of a pants-wearing mother is just as devastating on a boy. He is confused about how to treat a woman. His role becomes more confusing with relation to a girl.
We confuse men by wearing pants. Men like to be sweet to ladies, but we are not very sweet any more. As I watch teenagers in a group, it is not uncommon to see guys "hit" girls on the arm, back or legs. Then the girl chases after him and slugs him and is sometimes offended if he is rough with her. You will be treated as you dress. I cannot imagine a teenage boy slugging our beautiful daughter with her flowing long hair and dresses. I do not think he would desire to hit her, yet he may not know how to treat her because his pants-wearing, unisex mother has confused his development. This results in problems in their future marriages.
Christian marriages are a disaster in many cases. The divorce and separation rate among Christian homes prove this as a sad fact.
Change is Difficult, But Possible
Ladies, it was and is hard for me to change. I had a lot to crucify in my life. It was not easy, and I am still running the race striving to be like Jesus. Oh, to be like Him! I genuinely desire to be like my precious Saviour. The position we have taken with regards to women's dress is unpopular, not necessarily with the world as much as it is by fellow Christians. Our position does not win friends and influence people to love us. But the most important position in my life is to obey the Lord in all areas of my life, and leave the results to Jesus.
When the Lord clearly revealed to me the sin of wearing pants, I was faced with what else to wear. The sweet Lord provided in many ways. Through garage sales, others giving me dresses they no longer wanted, and my constant shopping, I was able to pick up some things. I am very frugal and a bargain hunter. After searching many clothing sales and finding things at very reasonable costs the year around, I would pick up desirable fashions, watching for patterns that could be sewn during the winter months. When we were married, I did not know how to sew on a button. I have learned after I was saved that I needed to learn sewing if I truly wanted to be a virtuous woman (Proverbs 31). I have not had extra time to take sewing lessons, so I purchased simple, easy patterns, and asked everyone I knew to guide me and they were more than willing.
Sewing is very difficult for me and a job I would gladly give up, but I do not think it is an option for the virtuous woman unless of course, you can find good bargains. The Lord wants us to be wise with our money and time.
Look at Our Responsibility
Mothers and single adult women, you are responsible for the molding of young girls and children. I have heard many mothers say they do not wear pants and do not believe in them, but you know how it is! Peer pressure forces us to allow our girls to wear them. No, I do not know how it is! If God tells me pants are sin (and I believe He does), then my children are not wearing them whether others do at Christian Camp, Youth Group, Church or Christian School. Your children need to obey; you and your husband need to let these groups know where you stand on this issue. If your husband does not desire to speak out, then do not speak out either, but pray the Lord protect your child.
In our own case, we are in total agreement as a husband and wife. Our children are no longer a part of any group where the leaders sanction or wear pants. We would rather keep them home than have them influenced by carnal, disobedient believers and I know God is going to bless us for our desire to please Him, and He will with you as well.
We will not need "666" stamped on many of us. Many professing Christian women already have the world firmly stamped and indelibly imprinted on their hearts.
My dear Sister in Christ, look around, many of our daughters are no longer pure. Oh, how I pray some will stand for Jesus! I pray that some will stand for His sake and not let the world control their dress and their lives. Do not be a double-minded woman, but a virtuous woman! Be willing to resist the pressures of the world and disobedient Christians. You will be a minority, but then so has every earnest Christian since the first century.