«Many of the following comments are taken from a sermon given by Dr. Ed DeVires on August 10, 1998 at King James Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas. ...»
Many of the following comments are taken from a sermon given by Dr. Ed DeVires on
August 10, 1998 at King James Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas. Some editing has been
done for clarity purposes. We have endeavored to insure that the original meaning of the
sermon remains intact. All scriptural references’ are from the King James version of the
Let us begin with a basic scripture which teaches us to glorify God in our bodies, as well as
our spirits… I COR 6:19-20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. A lot of preachers preach on the subject of A Bible dress code. Their comments goes something like this… “This is the way you ought to dress, because I told you this is the way you ought to dress. This is what my pastor taught me when I was a young Christian, so you just do what I say, because I’m the preacher.” People either do it, or they rebel against it. But I believe there are a lot of people who although they are not interested in the preacher’s opinion, who if they could be shown from the Bible what is right and what is wrong, they would do right. There are a lot of people in churches who have been taught the truth but they do not live the truth. Even though they have been taught the truth, they haven’t been taught the truth from the Bible. They have been taught the truth from opinion, or from tradition. Here is a personal illustration of this… “When I ﬁrst met my wife, I basically told her how I wanted her to dress, and she thought I was crazy.” She asked, why should I dress like that? I replied, “because I am your husband, and I told you to.” Thank God, there was an elderly lady in our church who was able to take the Bible and show my wife what I should have been able to show her. If I had been able to use the Bible, a lot of ﬁghts in the early part of our marriage would have been avoided. There was a time when my wife did what I said because I told her to do so. However, she did so begrudgingly. When she actually saw from the Bible what God’s Word taught, she no longer did it begrudgingly, but willingly. The Bible teaches us that the Holy Spirit in our lives will direct us into all the truth… JOHN 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.” My goal, is to show you from the Bible, the truth on what God expects in the Christian’s dress code. If the Holy Spirit is living in your heart, He will conﬁrm the Truth, if we let Him be the guide. Many people will say, God looks on the heart, and doesn’t care about the outside. That is true, God does look on the heart, but man cannot see the heart. The outer appearance is usually a pretty good indicator of what is in a person’s heart. It is possible to look right on the outside and be wrong on the inside, but, it is well nigh impossible to look wrong on the outside and be right on the inside. What is on the outside comes from Jesus said in MAT 12:34 (b) for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth the inside.
speaketh. Granted, a man could say the right things, and have a wrong heart, but a man who had a right heart, would never say the wrong things. So the outer appearance may be the only indicator man has that someone is right with God, and is right in their heart.
Therefore, God does care how we as Christians appear on the outside. Therefore, God has given us His Word to guide, and govern men and women in the way they dress themselves.
Now whenever these guidelines are mentioned, or taught, we are referred to as legalists’, etc. Actually, this phrase is nothing more than a protest. As we study, we will see that the Bible Dress Code, is for the beneﬁt of the human body, rather than a law for the legalist. It seems, the women are the ﬁrst to complain about the Bible dress code. Perhaps because there are more scriptures on the woman. At times I wonder why there are more scriptures for the woman’s apparel than for the man. Could it be the diference in the way God made man and woman? Not only are they made diferently, the way they are stimulated is diferent. Men are stimulated by sight, and women are stimulated by touch. Jesus said… MAT 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Men are attracted to a woman physically, before they are connected to her emotionally. In fact, men don’t want to pursue the possibility of an emotional relationship if the physical attraction isn’t there. Women on the other hand are stimulated by touch, either physically, or emotionally. Man only has to look at a woman and he may be stimulated. On the other hand, a woman needs to be talked to, and she needs to be touched. Remember, this may be physically, or emotionally. A man may talk to a woman in such a way that she is emotionally touched. A petting or a stroking may be her stimulation. This is one reason statisticians report pornography is primarily sold to men. They report men are primarily the purchaser’s of porn produced for woman. This may be due to the fact that woman are basically not stimulated by sight. Men who know how to touch with words, and emotions, as well as physically, may have better success in their approach to woman. I COR 7:1-2 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman. 2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
When we read the account of what Eve spoke to the Serpent in the Garden of Eden, we ﬁnd that she was interested in touching. In fact, she added the phrase about touching to the original command God gave to her husband Adam… GENESIS 3:3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. God has given more commands to the woman than the man on how and why she is to dress in a certain manner. Women should not want to stimulate a man by sight in the way she dresses. Remember, if she causes a man to look upon her with lust, she has committed adultery with him in the sight of God. The Bible teaches us that a woman is to dress in a way so the man is not stimulated, and the man is taught to act, and behave in a certain way so as not to stimulate any other than the spouse. The Bible is clear on these matters.
Let’s discuss two scriptural teachings on mans’ apparel… DEUT 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 G o d.” The ﬁrst admonition of God concerning the way a man should appear is that man should not wear clothing which pertains to a woman. Generally speaking, we do not ﬁnd many men who violate this dress code. The Bible does not say a man who puts on a woman’s garment has sinned, but that he has committed an abomination. Lying, stealing, adultery, etc., are attributes of sin. However, there are certain things which the Bible calls abominations such as bestiality, homo-sexuality, etc. According to the Bible the wearing of inappropriate clothing is in the sight of God equal to these other abominations.
The second admonition for men regarding appearance is found in I COR 11:14 “Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?” A normal question asked in regards to this Bible verse is, how long is long? Long is the opposite of short. Therefore, let me ask you this question… is your hair short? If you do not know if your hair is long or short, then you need a hair cut. The problem of the question is solved by visiting a barber and asking for a short hair cut. For the woman, if she has cut her hair,it is short and not long. Remember the same scripture equating it to be an abomination for a man to wear clothing which pertains to a woman, does the same for her to wear a man’s clothing. A woman is not to dress like a man, and if she does, she is an abomination in the sight of God. It is amazing that no Christian woman would consider committing acts of abomination as described above. However, when it comes to her clothing, and its abomination, there is little that is ever said. Our second, third and fourth admonition on women’s apparel is found in I TIM 2:9 “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.” We are looking at a scripture which instructs a woman to use moderation in her apparel, and appearance. Knowing these four admonitions are scriptural, let’s look at them separately.
Number 1: Her clothing should not pertain to a man.
Number 2: Her clothing should be modest.
Number 3: She should dress with shamefacedness.
Number 4: She should use moderation.
Now, let’s apply these admonitions to the diferent garments woman wear. In doing so we can determine which garments agree with, and which do not agree with the Bible.
Why would there be a teaching against a woman wearing slacks, or pants, etc.? Actually, there are several reasons… Firstly, because the ﬁrst admonition is violated. Slacks, or pants are fashioned after a man’s garments. Therefore, she becomes an abomination to God in wearing them. The facts are simple. In Bible days, women did pants wear crotched outer garments. Pants, and slacks are crotched. It would have been very rare to have seen woman in pants, or slacks until the middle of the 20th century. However, in Bible days, men did wear crotched outer garments. Pants are called britches in the Bible. These garments were worn exclusively by men. In Bible days’ women wore long, ﬂowing robes and men wore shorter, and tighter robes. However, the man also wore a pair of britches which were about knee length. These pants served a purpose. When a man had to do work in which his robe would interfere, he would lift the robe and insert it into the top of his britches. This was known as “girding up your loins.” Yes, in the Bible days, men, and women, both wore robes.
However, they were diferent in sight. Under the robes men wore, there would have been a pair of pants. One can read in the Bible where men wore britches. For a woman to do so, is never mentioned in the Bible. Common since should tell us that Biblically, a woman’s clothing does not include pants, or britches. Go to any country in the world, go to the bathroom section of any public place, and you will see the identiﬁcation of the woman’s, and men’s rooms. How so? The woman’s room will be identiﬁed by a woman in a dress, and the men’s room will be identiﬁed by a man in a pair of pants. If you cannot read the language of the country you are in, you will know which bathroom you should use by the sign on the door. The most staunch feminist would use the door with the woman in a skirt.
Common since tells us that dresses and skirts are for women, and pants are for men.
Woman generally are appalled at the thought of a man wearing a dress. Perhaps they may even laugh at the thought. Why then should not men laugh at the thought of a woman in a pair of pants or slacks? Before you ask why doesn’t someone develop dress’s for men, let me say, it has been tried. The idea was very unpopular. The designer, in trying to promote his product made an appearance on the Phil Donahue television program. Men modeled these dresses in front of the audience, which was mostly females. The audience thought the concept of men in dresses was vulgar, or that it was preposterous that a man would want to wear a dress. Some of the women asked if the men had any self respect, or if they had any concept of what manhood was. Mr. Donahue showed that he had more discernment than most professing Christians today, as he reminded the audience that only about ﬁfty years before, the same thing was thought about women wearing pants.
The second admonition for a a woman not to wear pants is they are not modest. This is not only an opinion, it is scriptural. Remember, the Bible said woman should adorn themselves in “modest apparel.” In the Greek language the word for woman’s apparel is “katastole,” which means a dress that is let down. This indicates that the dress should be of a certain length, and loose ﬁtting.
One may now ask about the length of the garment a woman is to wear. We will look at that thought from the Bible later in this subject.
Remember, in the Bible, men wore short tight robes over a pair of britches, and woman wore ﬂowing robes. This is what Apostle Paul is teaching in 1 Tim 2:9. Woman’s pants are not in the Bible. The garments for her are to be long, and ﬂowing. Have you ever seen a pair of pants, or slacks that meet this criteria? Although her pants may be long, they are never loose, and ﬂowing.
What does it mean for a woman to dress with shamefacedness as the Bible says they should? Simply said, her apparel should not draw attention to her body.