Should Christian Women Wear Pants or Jewelry?

Question from a Site Viewer
I’m really confused, and let’s just say really mad that in my church (Christian), they believe that Christian women wearing jewelry or pants is not right. But I still wear them, and I truly don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. What do you think about that? Am I right that God only wants us for us, not for what we wear?

Tim’s Answer
The Bible states that we should dress modestly (I Timothy 2:9). Such has to do with Christian character. Some take the rest of the verse to mean that Christians should not wear jewelry. There are many passages, however, that speak of God’s people wearing jewlery, including Rebecca, the children of Israel, the Song of Solomon. My view is that Christians should be modest in their jewlery as in all things. My reading of the 1 Timothy 2:9 passage is that the the Christian should be known, not for his or her sharp dressing and jewlery, but for modesty and sincerity. 1 Peter 3:3 parallels I Timothy 2:9 in saying that the adornment should be the character of the person, not the external matters.

As for your church’s position, I do not find any direct Biblical support for saying that women should not wear pants. Generally, the support is logical, rather than Scriptural: that is, women should not wear men’s clothing, pants are men’s clothing, therefore women should not wear pants. While it is true that women were forbidden in the Old Testament from wearing men’s clothing, one must remember that in the Old Testament both men and women wore robes, as they did in the New Testament. Thus, it was not the external style, but the nature of the clothing that was at issue. If both men and women could wear robes in the Old Testament, I do not see what prevents them from both wearing pants today, again as long as the clothes are modest.

However, there is a bigger issue. It is not the clothes, but the attitude. God has called us to peace and unity. Unity does not mean uniformity. Many of us will differ on some matters in what we think. However, we must strive not to let our differences divide us. To learn to hold one’s own opinion in charity, permitting others to have their own opinions, and seeking peace, is godliness. Thus, I would urge you not to be mad, but be a blessing to your church family. You can patiently explain why you may not agree with them on all matters, including these, but that does not make you better or worse than them, only different. Celebrate the differences and show to them that such differences do not reflect a flawed Christianity, but through meekness, love, peace, and the fruit of the Spirit and good works demonstrate the transforming power of Christ in you.

May the Lord Jesus bless you.

tim

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