Testimony from Sarah Joy
I grew up with the standard of always wearing knee length skirts, dresses, or coullots. My parents were teaching parents. They taught me what I believe and why, and I am grateful. (I don't want anyone to think that they failed me here.) However, somewhere along the line the "dress" standard didn't have a concrete argument to it, and that really bothered me when it came time for me to make these standards my own. When someone asked me why I didn't wear pants, I didn't know what to say. Somehow, I had missed it, and it was one of the few things that I just felt, when I looked at their answers, I wasn't convinced.
We hear a lot of retoric on both sides. Not everyone makes sense. Some are outright offensive. I don't believe in doing something for no reason, so I lowered my own standard just a little. I started wearing pants around the house. Not wanting to offend or cause someone to stumble caused me to 'dress' it outside. 1 Corinthians 8:13 "Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend."
My error here was my not seeking God on this issue. This was something my parents did teach me that I just did not do, and one day, God broke my heart about it. God wanted me to find out what He wanted. How He wanted me to look and act. I had a part of my life that I not even "checked" with Him! So I began to pray about it. God used my pastor's preaching--he just happened to be preaching on surrender in the area of standards. When he broached the topic of women and men wearing each other's clothing and looking like each other, I was convicted in this area. And it surely was the Holy Spirit using him because my pastor did not say that women should not wear pants.
The truth is in our society today, most people believe that pants are unisex. So many Christians think that pants, if they are made for women, are fine. What God made clear to me was: Unisex is not fine. Duet. 22:5 ¶ "The 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." This verse is in the Law of Moses, and we are not under the Law any more, but things that are abominable to God are still abominable to Him.
Furthermore, He restated the principle in the New Testament in referance to women's and men's hair. 1 Cor. 1:1-15. In this passage we find:"Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head." "every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head" "Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering." (Please look this passage up and read it in context. I just pulled out what I needed because it is long.)
I think we can safely say that God wants men to look like men and He wants women to look like women. When it came to pants, I asked myself, "What will please God here? How does He want me to be distinct?" I love Him, and want the way I look to not only please Him but also be a testimony to others of His grace. The answer for me was that pants are worn by men and women in our society, and dresses are worn only by women. (And perverted men.) A dress or skirt that is modest makes me look like a woman. I believe that it pleased God for me to make a standard that I would always wear things that were without question, women's garmets.
When it comes to modesty, I must honestly say that there are pants that are more modest on women than others. Some of them have are loose enough and of a fabric that they do not show any part of the body that the Bible describes as nakeness. Exodus 28:42 "And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach:" However, just observing Christian ladies has taught me that these kind of pants must be very hard to find. I'm sorry to be so blunt, but we have fuller, rounder, hinder parts then men. Pants do not usually do the covering of this shape like a modest dress does. I know that when I got used to the feel of pants all the time, I stopped thinking about that and began to think that they were modest. But if I bent over.....Thank the Lord I didn't go out in the ones I had!
Most important of all is our heart. I know ladies who have made decisions on both sides of the isle, but made them out of the wrong motive. If we approach this subject with our all on the altar, just asking God what we can do to please Him, I believe we will make a good decision. God cannot use someone who wears dresses all the time and is full of pride in being differant. He is hindered in using someone who is bitter because she was hurt by a preacher railing on "huzzys in britches", and refuses to even consider giving up her pants. I know both of these ladies; many times, in fact. But I also know a girl who went to work at a fast food place in a skirt and was able to wittness to everyone there, because they kept asking her about her religion--because of the skirt. God wants your HEART more than anything!
That is why we say over and over again "it is between you and God!" This is a personal issue because personal standards are God's work in your heart. My pastor influenced my decision through godly teaching and my parents taught me to seek God, but the work in my heart was GOD's, and His alone. Making the decision because someone told you to will hurt you in the long run. We believe in soul liberty. You make the choices that affect your relationship with God. 1 Peter 3:3-4 "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."
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