Why Wear Skirts? An Honest Reflection

skirts


It's surprising what topics come up amongst women in homeschooling circles. Besides the famous "what curriculum or method do you use?" there are plenty of other debates discussions as well: breastfeeding vs bottle, schedules and routines, farm life or the city and on and on. One such hot topic is skirt-wearing. I've heard so many arguments for and against skirts my entire life, it is unbelievable. And I began to ask God, what is it about skirts? What does Your Word say?

Well, He is faithful, friends, to hear and answer. So I will share what He has shown me thus far.

BACKGROUND
Growing up, my family went to a church where women were taught to wear skirts only. When asked about the Biblical basis for the teaching, the answer in short was: "If you're a saved and sanctified woman, then you wear skirts. If you wear pants, you're not saved and are in danger of going to hell." Yeah. Totally one of the most UNSOUND doctrines out there. Not Bible-based at all, as apparel is not a salvation-level issue. There is one Way to the Father and that is through Jesus Christ, not clothing:

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. 
No one comes to the Father except through Me."
-John 14:6

So as a child, my parents taught me to wear skirts to church and church functions, but I was free to wear pants, shorts, skirts or dresses any other times. What they required no matter what I wore was a standard of modesty: nothing revealing, too tight, too short, etc. Period. Always. No matter what.

A WORD ON MODESTY
(Modesty in and of itself is a topic for a whole other post. However, there are a few things I'd like to mention.)
My parents, my mother in particular, taught me to dress modestly and appropriately for every occasion. Period. And I do mean every occasion, including sleepwear. She taught me that a lady adorns herself in a way that should reflect her character. My personal thoughts on this: "Yay, Mom! Thanks so much for that teaching!"
I'm all for modesty as that is Scripture-based:

". . .in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works."
-1 Timothy 2:9-10

So, what about skirts, I asked God, are skirts/dresses the only or more modest apparel? Short answer: no. I do understand that some women feel more modest in skirts than pants, so for that reason they choose skirts. Understood. No issues with that.

But, I have seen some highly inappropriate skirts that this pants-wearing woman would NEVER, EVER consider wearing. Let's just say we all have seen the skirts that have less fabric than my pillow case...NOT a modest look. And, on the flip side, we've all seen pants that were so skin-tight, you wonder how the woman can move or breathe or whether her circulation has been impeded...NOT a modest look either.

So I'm like, Lord, you've shown me that either type of clothing (skirt or pants) can be totally becoming or completely ridiculous. So what is it about dresses and skirts for women? What is it?

ANSWER
Each culture, historically, has had it's own fashion statements and types of clothing. But one commonality amongst every culture and its attire is this: clear distinctions between men and women. This idea is as old as time. All throughout the Bible, God makes clear distinctions between men and women in their physical make-ups, in the home, in their roles in reproduction, in the church and in appearance, just to name a few. Specifically about clothing, God gave us these words:

“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."
-Deuteronomy 22:5

With that in mind, I began looking at our own American culture. And I thought, when did women start wearing pants as the norm? And why the qualifier "women's" pants? So, I talked to those who have gone before me and I found that, up until 50 years or so ago, pants were culturally men's clothing while skirts were women's clothing and therein was the clear distinction between men's and women's clothing. My mom said that she can remember when pants weren't even an option to purchase for women in clothing stores or even in sewing patterns, so if a woman wore pants they were literally putting on men's clothing.

Friends, I have to tell you, the Lord opened my eyes to this truth anew and I about fell out of my seat! Here's how it happened: I was watching the news one morning, and in a neighboring state, the public school system was implementing "transgender" bathrooms. The proposed sign for the new bathrooms was displayed on the screen and it was the little stick figure we're all accustomed to seeing for restrooms, except this one was wearing half skirt and half pants.

Yep. My mouth dropped open in disbelief.
Then the light-bulb moment: In all of my pants-wearing days, every single time I looked for a bathroom sign, I looked for the one wearing the skirt because I knew that distinctly referred to me--a woman. I was floored at how evil and twisted and deceptive that one "transgender" bathroom sign was, and at all the confusion it held. I just couldn't believe it and the Lord reminded me that He was NOT the source of confusion:

"For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints."
-1 Corinthians 14:33

And all of my questions and wonderings and all of my prayers flooded my soul and I thought, I get it. I get it, Lord. There should be clear lines of distinction, clear expressions of those differences that God made between men and women. Women wearing dresses or skirts and men wearing pants (in our  American culture) is one of those expressions.

It wasn't until the rise of women's rights and feminism that the adamant push for women to wear pants was seen. The thought was that women to be able to do everything a man did somehow made them "equal" including wearing his clothing. You never saw these same women advocate the opposite for "true equality": men wearing women's skirts! (Which, by the way, I do not recommend. I'm just making a point.) Instead, it was the doing away with what makes a woman look like a woman and so the lines began to blur and the push became so loud that a woman wearing pants (traditionally and culturally men's clothing) has become "normalized" and "accepted."

And so we see the trickle-down effect of other things in our society being pushed upon us, forcing us to accept them as "normal," whether it is the attempt to "redefine" God's design for marriage or mandate "transgender" bathrooms, we all see the push and the shift. However, God's Word is clear, His design is not a mistake. Men and women are different and those differences should be embraced, celebrated, and expressed. No blurring, no confusion, with clear distinctions.

SO NOW WHAT?
So what does that all that mean for me?
Let me start with what it does NOT mean: What it does not mean is hatred or bashing of women who wear pants. That is NOT the point of my sharing this, nor will this post or blog be a platform to do that, ever. Again, skirts and pants are not "salvation-losing or -gaining" issues and the ONLY thing that can redeem us is the shed blood of the Lamb, the only Way, Jesus Christ. Period.

While I may not be against wearing pants ever in life (as in you must wear skirts only),  I do have a TOTALLY new perspective on it and what it represents.

What it does mean is that I accept the the truth of God's Word, that He made men and women differently, intentionally, on purpose and that is something to accept fully rather than reject, in even the smallest of ways.

It means that I will try to incorporate more skirts into my wardrobe because I (personally) have a clear, Biblical reason to do so. It also means that I've lived for 30+ years wearing mostly pants and that creating a new habit may be difficult--particularly on cold, rainy, or snowy days. {Prayers/tips welcomed and appreciated!}

It means that I have daughters to teach and I never, ever want them to look for their value or self-worth in comparing themselves to men and what men can do. It means that I want my girls and I to embrace every bit of our God-given femininity. One way of doing that, among others (like make-up, perfume, or hair bows, for example) is wearing clothing meant to distinguish me as a woman.

What are your thoughts? What verses and teachings have helped you embrace Biblical womanhood and femininity?

skirts

16 comments:

  1. This is an awesome post Stacie. I agree with so much of what you say. Kudos to you for doing the research and wanting to live with your conviction. I like to wear dresses, skirts or pants. Sometimes it just isn't modest to wear skirts and pants are more practical. We should always consider how modest our clothing is regardless of what we are wearing. If I am wearing pants I like to find feminine tops and also choose more feminine cut or style of pants. But Jesus looks on the heart and that is what is most important. Thanks for sharing. God bless.

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    1. Thanks, Jen!
      I was a bit nervous about writing this, but it is what the Lord laid upon my heart. I agree with you as well: modesty should be the utmost consideration when we wear anything! And I'm SOOO glad God looks on the heart above all else.
      God bless you, and Merry Christmas!!!

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  2. I agree with you. Excellent post. And I am glad you shared about the transgen** restroom picture because I had never seen one.

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    1. Thank you so much. Yeah the bathroom thing is upsetting. . . we are living in some strange times. Take care and I'm glad you stopped by!!

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  3. This post really was thought provoking. I tend to wear jeans mostly, and your post made me think about the why behind. The top reason is that I don't like the extra attention when I wear dresses. My dresses aren't short, but they aren't frumpy either. I really think I put a little more effort into my appearance when I wear a dress because of femininity of dresses. I have found that even at the library some man will make it his business to compliment and flirt with me and that makes me uncomfortable so jeans and a shirt works better for me unless I am going on a date with my husband or if I have give myself a talk before heading out. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and researching this topic!

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    1. I'm glad you found it thought provoking, as I know how controversial this topic can be, and I was a little hesitant in posting it. But, I kept thinking, what if there are other women out there that are wondering the same things as me and have been around some unsound teaching on the topic?? Anyway, I completely know what you mean about other men wanting to give you attention when that is NOT what you're seeking AT ALL. It is actually pretty frustrating. God's blessings to you, Latonya; Merry Christmas!!!

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  4. What I notice when my young girls where dresses or skirts is that they tend to act a little more like girls rather than a tomboys. However, there are times when pants are the more practical choice, but we can still (when wearing pants) choose other parts of our outfit to make us look feminine.

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    1. I agree, Carol. My girls are more mindful of the way they behave when in dresses, too.
      Yep, femininity is key! Thanks so much for stopping by.

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  5. Great post! I too, was brought up wearing skirts and dresses only, but not just for church, for EVERYTHING! Winters were just harsh and those little wool tights didn't do anything for my poor legs. I also remember getting a bad grade in PE for not climbing the rope! But eventually, years later, my parents loosened the reigns and let us girls wear pants. But now, as grown woman who can wear pants, I predominantly wear skirts and dresses. In fact, just last week, one of my two pairs of pants ripped! Who knows, maybe it was a sign from Him to get back to the basics.

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    1. Aww, Teresa! The wool tights. . . I know the feeling! :)
      I am thankful for God's faithfulness to us. Navigating the things of this world can be difficult, particularly where womanhood is concerned. But God is gracious to lead us and to guide us. Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. Wow! and Wow!
    Wow!
    Having a special needs daughter, I always tell her to "look for the skirt" on the bathroom because you are a girl.
    This post right here! Wow!

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    1. Yes, Tonya! Wow!! is exactly how I felt as God revealed this to me.
      I'm glad you stopped by; I hope you are well!

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  7. Excellent post! I found you through the link up on Strangers and Pilgrims, and I have been toodling around your blog, enjoying your writing. This post is so spot on. I wear mostly jeans, due to my work with horses. I even attend a cowboy church, so jeans are also my worship clothes, although I've been known to 'gussy up' in a skirt now and then. Thank you for this insight.

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    1. Hi, Evelyn! Thanks for looking around, commenting and sharing your experience. I love the phrase "gussy up"! :)

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  8. Interesting. Thanks for sharing your insight.

    pat(lookingawaytohim.blogspot.com)

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  9. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Pat.

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Comments are always welcomed!!

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