Saturday, February 26, 2011

What Women Should and Shouldn’t Wear

Father God, I give you honor and praise this morning and thank you for a new day.  I thank you for giving me life, health, and strength this morning.  I thank you for protecting my family and me while we slumbered.  I thank you for just being a blessing God.  I pray now for the readers of your word.  I pray that they take heed to what is before them, and apply appropriately to their lives.  I pray for an increase of faith, to those who are wavering, and I pray for peace in our lives.  We give you honor, praise, and glory to an almighty magnificent God.  We pray in your son Jesus name.  Amen!

Oh, the effects when scripture is not taught correctly.  How many women have strayed from the church because of silly and ridiculous burdens put on them due to lack of understanding of scriptures?  You are not supposed to say this, or you are supposed to say it this way.  You are not to put this on, or you’re supposed to put that on.  Take that out of your ears; put this over your head.  Your hair is too long.  Your hair is not to be this or that way.  My goodness!  Is this church or Simon says?  Am I incorrect in my scenario?  Surely you will tell me if I am being overly gratuitous.  Nonetheless, it is things like this that push so many away from God and the church, because of rules incorrectly understood, incorrectly taught, and incorrectly applied.  Well massa!  I sho don’t want to offend Gaud!  Weeza goin to do whey yu reckon us to do!  Give me a break!!!  Last time I read, “Who the Son sets free is free indeed!”  It’s alright to say Amen!!!

One of the scriptures that many have taught incorrectly is in Isaiah 3.  It reads: “Therefore the Lord will strike with a scab The crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, And the LORD will uncover their secret parts." In that day the Lord will take away the finery: The jingling anklets, the scarves, and the crescents; The pendants, the bracelets, and the veils;  The headdresses, the leg ornaments, and the headbands; The perfume boxes, the charms, and the rings; The nose jewels, the festal apparel, and the mantles; The outer garments, the purses, and the mirrors; The fine linen, the turbans, and the robes.  And so it shall be: Instead of a sweet smell there will be a stench; Instead of a sash, a rope; Instead of well-set hair, baldness; Instead of a rich robe, a girding of sackcloth; And branding instead of beauty.” (Isa 3:17-24)  The first verse should already give you an idea of the meaning.  It starts off stating “Therefore the Lord…”  This point to a punishment and not a command. 

Those who want to control the women in their congregation use these verses.  However they forget to read the prior verses.  It reads, “What do you mean by crushing My people And grinding the faces of the poor?" Says the Lord GOD of hosts. Moreover the LORD says: "Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, And walk with outstretched necks And wanton eyes, Walking and mincing as they go, Making a jingling with their feet,” (Isa 3:15-16)  You had a set of women who in their pride and arrogance were walking around like they have it all together and looking down at the poor.  Oh how the Word of God can transcend time.  God opposes over the top luxuries and vanity, and when this cause a set of people to look down on another, he intercedes hence the removal of all items that one attributes to beauty.  Was it a command?  I think not.  Jewelry was given as offerings in Ex 32:2-3, Nu 31:50, and Judges 8:24.  How were they able to use them as offerings if they should not have them in the first place?  It seems that there may be an interpretation issue.

Another verse, that I just chuckle when I read it, comes from Deuteronomy.  Many use this verse saying that a woman is not to wear pants because only men wear pants.  Hear is the scripture “A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman's garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the LORD your God.” (De 22:5)  Again if you read the whole verse, it also gave a charge to the man.  This was not only about apparel but points to behavior.  In the commentary collections of Jamieson, Fausset and Brown they describe it best.  They state “Though disguises were assumed at certain times in heathen temples, it is probable that a reference was made to unbecoming levities practiced in common life. They were properly forbidden; for the adoption of the habiliments of the one sex by the other is an outrage on decency, obliterates the distinctions of nature by fostering softness and effeminacy in the man, impudence and boldness in the woman as well as levity and hypocrisy in both; and, in short, it opens the door to an influx of so many evils that all who wear the dress of another sex are pronounced "an abomination unto the Lord."

There are instances where the way a woman dresses should be monitored because of the affect that it can have on others.  Christian women should dress modestly (1 Tim 2:9-10), especially in a church setting, because the atmosphere should remain spiritual.  However, you have women wearing extremely tight dresses which emphasizes their derriere, tops that exposes their cleavage, and in some cases female pants that displays prints of areas that are not appropriate.  In these cases, care should be considered, both of the wearer, and of the church.  A woman’s adornment need not be based on an outward expression, but from an inner.  Nonetheless the bible is given to both men and women as instructions for appropriate daily living so we can be presentable to God.  It is not to be used as a bullying tool to dictate what people should and should not do especially when taking a part of scripture to prove someone’s or group’s agenda.  God does not look at the outter man, but the inner, which is birth from the heart.   Amen!

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