Who wears the pants in the family?

There is a popular phrase used long ago that is now seen as sexist.  It is that men "wear the pants in the family."  Feminists like to use the term "uppity" to mean women who fight for power in the home.  Uppity women now rule the homes of  America and they literally wear pants.

Satan has worked to blur the roles and one of his most successful tactics has been to make women quit wearing dresses and wear pants most of the time.  I don't know of any 20th century book that says women should not wear pants.  My favorite book for women is Helen Andelin's Fascinating Womanhood and she says it is less feminine but okay if the pants do not look like men's pants, such as bluejeans.  In her chapter titled "The Feminine Appearance"  she writes that appearance is very important.  She quotes from Proverbs 31 that says, "She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple."  She writes, "Please note the fabrics.  Tapestry is an intricate, beautiful design woven into the fabric.  Silk is the most feminine of all fabrics.  The color purple is significant, suggesting she cares about her appearance, and goes to some trouble to look her best."

"To acquire a feminine appearance, accentuate the differences between yourself and men.  Wear only those materials and styles which are the least suggestive of men's and which make the greatest contrast to their apparel.  Men never wear anything fluffy, lacy, or gauzy."  She goes on to give tips on fabric weave, color and design: "Avoid such fabrics as tweeds, herringbones, denims, pin stripes, or any fabrics commonly used by men.... Do wear soft or crisp cottons, soft or fine woolens, linens, silks, or anything silky, soft or womanly."

She teaches that women should choose colors that are feminine and avoid browns and grays.  Then she has a few sentences about pants that I feel are wrong.  She says "Pants are not the most feminine of dress.  You can wear them, however, if of a feminine material and style ... soften the masculine effect by wearing a feminine top."  She says "Unless you are very young, avoid denims and fabrics used by men."  What is "very young"?  I assume she feels teenagers are not very young and so should not wear blue jeans.

I disagree with this completely.  I wrote to her asking if women should wear dresses and she wrote back saying what seemed to me to be the opposite of what she writes in her book.  She wrote saying "No pants except for mountain climbing, camping and climbing ladders to wash windows."  I agree with her on this, but not on a wholesale approval of pants she gives in her book.

I searched the web and came up with a few sites written by Christians who believe as I do.  Pastor Art Kohl of Faith Baptist Church (click Here to read the entire article)
says in a sermon titled "For Ladies only!  Don't be afraid to be feminine" : "It is absolutely wrong for a man to be feminine.  It is so wrong that it is listed among other behaviors that tell us a person isn't really saved. First Corinthians 6:9-11, 'Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?  Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate..."

"If it is so wrong for a man to be feminine, isn't it equally wrong for a woman to be masculine?"

"We live in a day where some women want to work like a man, dress like a man" and in effect "To be like a man is their highest goal and achievement. ... Anything that man can do, they want to do."

"Many ladies," he says, "are afraid to be feminine.  After all, who wants to be different.  It takes a great deal of courage for a woman today to be all God wants her to be."

"The Bible is the textbook on femininity, not the feminists.  The femininists are really masculinits.  Women who want to be masculine."  He quotes First Timothy 2:9-15 that gives characteristics of Biblical femininity.  It says that women should "adorn themselves in modest appare, with shamefacedness and sobriety."  He says shamefaced means  "she has the ability to blush.  Her eyes are down cast unlike the harlot whose face is bold toward impurity."  I think wearing pants contribute to women acting too bold and masculine.

LaVenia Boswell has an article on the web titled "Just Why Can't I Wear Slacks?!"  (For her website, Click Here).

) She writes, "Grasping a Biblical understanding of this was one of the most difficult for me.  I LOVED wearing slacks.  They gave me freedom of movement without worrying about modesty.  They were modest ... weren't they?"

"Surely they couldn't really be 'men's' clothing ... because every female I knew wore them.  So, what was the big deal (Bible doctrine-wise) about women and slacks?"

"The Pants Issue" was a real hard one for me when I was first saved at 20.  I lived in pants, always had, and could not see how my feminine slacks, if not too snug could possibly be called 'manly clothing".  When she gave them up she missed them: "All the time feeling I was being deprived of something wonderful."

"It wasn't until several years ago that it suddenly became clear the why's.... Our Father-God began revealing to me why he hates sexual boundaries to be crossed (as they so blatantly are today) in dress, hairstyle, speech, action, outwardly or privately."

"Rebellion against God" and "flaunting His word and His will" is "an ABOMINATION in His eyes."  (Deut 22:5) "The woman shall wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are an abomination unto the LORD thy God."

... "All through the years I'd heard preachers say pants on women were immodest, well, I just wasn't seeing it.  Immodest?  How?"

Not being a man I guess I tend to look at women's faces more than my eyes being drawn to any area below the neck ...."

"Slacks and jeans all form a 'v' in the front junction of our legs.  Now, if shown a frontal picture of a woman in a dress, another in slacks guess where you're eyes will most likely fall first when looking at the woman in slacks?  It's because of the 'V' being in the center.  Kind'a like a bullshead on a target.  For many men this can cause lustful thoughts, especially if the woman has a nice figure."

"That's just the front!"

"Men love to view the female form.  God made them creatures easily aroused by what their eyes see.  So, Christian men always have a battle going on.  Pants show the length of the legs, the shape of the abdomen, the outline of the hips, the shape and contour of the buttocks, the female's 'v' area, etc."

"Look ate same two ladies from the year.  If the lady in slacks bends over, well, what do you see now?"

"Our poor men, they are bombarded on all sides by ladies revealing the shape of their intimate areas.  Only a husband or doctor should see such things."

She does see some exceptions.  "Now, if a woman does activities which may expose her (horse riding, biking, gardening) of course she is to wear clothing so she is not exposed.  I've gardened with a long skirt and had no problem, but riding a bike I like coulottes.  That's me.  In my closet is a pair of slacks for an emergency or need I haven't considered.  Before I use them I hope I will have prayed and asked the Lord for His guidance."

"How did we become a society of pants wearing women?  We forgot (or rebelled) over why we'd never, ever worn pants before."

"Along comes Hollywood with their role models, who live to shock and be scandalous to increase their popularity.  The starlets cropped their hair, dropped their necklines, raised their hemlines and started wearing men's clothing.  Hollywood cheered and called it 'fashionable.'"

"Look on public bathroom doors.  As a female, would you walk into the one with a picture of pants or the one with a skirt?"

"Just look at our society -- need I say more.  See, our culture has adopted the wrong attitudes.  Bossiness, brazenness and boldness tends to follow."

"Sexual boundaries are terribly blurred in America.  Who started smudging the line?  Could it have been women refusing to obey God's instructions?  Started cutting their hair and pulling on pants?"

"Christian women are to uphold a Godly standard for their children, neighbors & family.  Even when it might not be the popular thing to do, stand firm with what God shows you."

""Now, I know there are many wonderful, praying Christian women who wear slacks and some even wear shorts, and almost all cut their hair short.  I'm not saying that a woman is a horrible sinner to do these things.  What I AM saying is that God wants His sons and daughters to RESTORE the paths to dwell in ... the way of HOLINESS."

"She maketh herself coverings"

In a website (Click Here) a pastor's wife, Liz Graf, of the First Baptist Church in Sayville, New York wrote an article called "She Maketh Herself Coverings."  She writes "that in order to be modest in god's eyes, our dresses, skirts, and culottes need to fall below our knees -- for any part exposed above the knee is considered nakedness in the eyes of God.  (Isaiah 47:2,3 '...make bare the leg, uncover the thigh, .. Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen.'  Webster's dictionary defines the thigh as being the portion of the leg between the hip and the knee.  Another verse that defines nakedness as an exposed thigh is Exodus 28:42.)"

She goes on to say, "Open, low necklines, sleeveless tops and dresses, short and slit skirts and dresses, tight, slinky, form-fitting attire and pants or shorts, have no place in a Christian woman's wardrobe.  (You might say 'Sleeveless?!  Oh, come on!'  Ever notice what advertisers say about 'bare' shoulders?  Words like sexy, soft, and alluring are always right there.)"

"Culottes were invented in order to give a lady the freedom to move around -- i.e. gardening, cleaning, bike riding, etc. -- and yet look like she has a skirt on.  If you want to wear culottes, make sure they look like a skirt front and back."

She ends with a note on wedding dresses saying that she has seen many "wonderful, sweet, little Christian" girls who dressed modestly and properly but "What happens on her wedding day?   To quote a familiar passage -- 'June is bustin' out all over!'"  She says she has seen "brides I've been embarrassed to look in the eye because of her immodest apparel."


I don't feel it is correct for women to have to wear veils and caps like some churches teach.  On a website, (Click Here to read the entire article), Harold  Martin, writes a tract called "The Christian Woman's Veiling."  He is an Anabaptist and writes: "We are often asked the question: 'What is that cap you wear on your head?  What's the significance of a sort of veiling worn over your hair?'"

"The woman's veiling is something taught in the Bible.  ... You will find God's teaching about veiling in I Corinthians 11.  Verse 6 of that chapter says that if a woman does not cover her head, let her also have her hair cut off; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off, or her head shaved, let her cover her head."

"But what is the background for this commandment?  Why does God say to the woman, 'Let her cover her head'?  The answer is that the veiling worn by the woman is a symbol.  It is a symbol of at least things:

1.  The woman's acceptance of man's leadership
2.  The purity that characterizes Christian living
3.  The prayer-life of one who is serving Christ"

I sympathize with this.  Women are so manish today.  But I believe Sun Myung Moon has said the day of veiling is over.  He said American women have taken off the veil and proceeded to take off most of their clothes.  He said a near naked woman is accepted almost anywhere as if it is normal.  Women have gone too far.

In a website (Click Here) Irene Taylor wrote an article called "Dress for Respect."  She writes, "The clothes we wear may not 'make the man,' but they make a definite statement about our attitude toward self and others.  Business leaders recognize this and emphasize the importance of dressing for success.  The way we present ourselves reflects our attitude toward life in general.  We have become so casual in our dress, we think casually about events toward which respect should be shown.  A lax dress code shows a lack of respect."

She goes on to say, "Often the sad response is, 'No one tells me what to wear.  It's no one's business what I wear.'  But that is not really true.  One is governed either by biblical principles or by society's current fashion designers."  She says that a man who does prison ministry told her that there is a sign in the reception room that read, "Visitors must be appropriately dressed.  Underwear and bras must be worn.  No halter tops; no shorts.  No revealing clothing."

Pastor E. L. Bynum wrote an article (Click Here for website)

Dress Codes For The World


Dress Codes For The Church

This subject always stirs up some preachers and you begin hearing that you are a legalist, etc. especially from preachers whose wife "wears the pants" in the family -- and also at other times doesn't wear much of anything at the church swim-ins.

Several years ago Mary and I were in New York state in meetings. At a campground where we were staying between meetings I picked up a folder advertising the horse racetrack not far down the road.

I was interested in the fact that in order to eat in the Clubhouse overlooking the racetrack you had to dress a certain way. In other words, they had dress standards.

Men had to have on a coat -- or jacket and a shirt and tie. No jeans, shorts, etc. The ladies were re quired to wear a dress or skirt and blouse. At the bottom of the folder it stated that you would not be allowed into the Clubhouse for dining unless you were dressed properly.

I could not help but think of how sloppy many of God's people dress for the church services. I am not talking about sinners coming to church. I am talking about those who claim to be saved who show up dressed like the world.

They come poured into a pair of pants or a short skirt or a dress that they have to keep pulling down. Or a low cut dress or blouse that reveals part of their breast. We should strive to be an example to the lost world.

Recently while in Albuquerque, New Mexico having my truck serviced, Mary and I went across the street to a little coffee shop. I picked up an advertisement for a place called Club Obsession.

The advertisement said, "Albuquerque's newest and most glamorous nightclub. Featuring the hottest DJ's in the nation. Turning out the hottest R&B, pop, reggae, hip hop dance music ever."

Sound like a fun place? In large 12 point bold type along one side of the folder were these words: "Dress to impress - no denim tops or bottoms, no T-shirts or jerseys, no flannel shirts, no baseball caps, no combat/hiking boots, no tennis shoes."

Just below that, in large type, were these words: "No exceptions." I could not help but think that some Baptists I know would not be able to meet the dress code of this nightclub.

I am sorry to say I see men and women in many churches that would not be able to get into this night club. I see them participating in the services and taking up the offering, etc.

Folks, we are in a mess in our churches and so many preachers do not have the backbone to preach separation. We need to get back to the Bible, but it will never happen with the sissies coming out of most of the Bible schools.

What a tragedy that horse racetracks and nightclubs have better dress standards than many so-called Bible-believing Baptist churches.

Tabernacle Baptist Church
E. L. Bynum, Pastor
1911 34th Street
Lubbock, Texas 79411

In another site (Click Here) a woman writes an article called "Is There a Dress Code for Christian Women?"  She quotes Paul who said in Roman 14 "...make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way ... Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification."

She goes on to say, "So, we must interpret that dress code by the impact and effect our dressing standards have on others.  It's not based on fashion, or how we feel, or what looks good on us.  Those are secondary considerations.  First, we must make certain taht the way we dress is edifying and never a stumbling block.  It is an others-focused dress code."

She writes against skirts above the knees because "when you sit down, that same skirt is sex inches farther above your knees."

Incidently, a secular book entitled, New Women's Dress for Success by John T. Molloy states, 'No matter what fashion says, you should never wear mini skirts to work.... At work your skirt should also be at or below your knee. ... Shorter skirts simply send the wrong message.'  And this is based on surveys he has conducted every year since 1970.  So even those without a Christian perspective see skirt length as an important issue."

I read his book and he also says that women shouldn't wear pants to work either.  Molloy writes in his bestseller, "If you want to wear the pants in the office, don't wear pants to the office.  Our latest research shows 6 percent of men are threathened, while 53 percent admit to being turned on by women wearing pants."

Swim Suits

I don't feel men and women should swim together.  Men should never see so much of other women's skin.  Bikinis are ridiculous.  One-piece suits are better, but still too revealing for me.

One woman wrote about clothing saying, "Men do look at the outward appearance -- and you can take that literally.  Men are more visually oriented than women.  As women we need to take this into consideration as we consider what may be a stumbling block to others.  Certainly men have the responsibility to control their thoughts and lusts, as we all do, but we shouldn't make it more difficult for them by the way we dress."

On one website (Click Here) I found a pledge that you might consider signing: 

                                Pledge To Bring Christian Women

                               Back To Decency In Dress

    Purpose: It is no accident that the terrible immoral trend in our nation and the world at large should coincide with shameless fashions in dress. The women of any nation help determine its morals. So it is to the (professing) Christian women that this pledge is directed. Most Christian women cannot be discerned from the worldly unbelievers in their style of dress.

    "In like manner I wish women to be decently dressed, adorning themselves with modesty and dignity." (1 Tim. 2:9) A true Christian, as St. Paul admonishes, will not indulge in any
freedom if he causes his brother to sin. Well might we say, "If any unseemly dress fashions lead men to sin, I will not dress so."


    Realizing that you simply cannot promote modesty without standards, I pledge to do my
part in restoring a true Christian example by adopting the following dress code:

1.  I pledge to wear dress or skirts that extend well below the knees in any posture. My dresses will not be sleeveless or have low necklines.
2.  I pledge not to wear trousers, slacks, or shorts as this apparel is not pleasing to God: "A woman shall not be clothed with man's apparel neither shall a man use woman's apparel: for he that doeth these things is abominable before God." (Deut. 22:5) I will keep this pledge with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ regardless of the spirit of the times.