First of all I would like to say that if you believe that you have to wear green socks in order to attend a church gathering, then you should do just that (Romans 14:14). Belief is critical and by simply going against your conscience you can be defiled (made useless, 1 Corinthians 8:7, Romans 14 23). Check the verses.
You might be thinking that having to wear green socks is not written in the Bible, but so are a lot of other things that churches require of those who attend. Therefore, understand what I’m saying here. If some preacher has tricked you into believing that you have to wear green socks to church, then you should wear them until you renew your mind with the “truth” written in God’s Word.
We should obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29, below), but at the same time, anything that is not from faith is sin (Romans 14:23, below). In other words, if you do not believe that God allows what you are doing, in accordance with His Word, then don’t do it.
Acts 5:29 But Peter and the other apostles answered and said:”We ought to obey God rather than men. NKJV
Romans 14:23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin. NKJV
The solution is to first renew your mind with what is actually written in the Bible, and then you will know what you “should” believe before you violate your conscience. Belief is critical, and that’s why that Bible says, “blessed are the people who do not condemn themselves by what they approve” (Romans 14:22). I cannot tell you to wear anything that you do not believe that you can wear in love.
Now concerning how women should dress, read 1 Peter 3:1-6 (below) for yourself. Once you know the truth for yourself, then you cannot be tricked by someone else’s interpretation of what God says (Ephesians 4:13-14).
The Bible also says, “Do not go beyond what is written” (1 Corinthians 4:6-7), and “do not add to the Word of God” (Proverbs 30:5-6). Therefore, know that anytime we add our own rules to what is actually written in our Bibles, we are not living by faith, and are no better off than the Pharisees of old, who added their own man-made rules to everything (Matthew 15:8-9). If it is not written in the Bible, then it is not needed for this life or godliness (2 Peter 1:3-4). Check the verses.
1 Peter 3:1-6 3 Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. 3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward — arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel — 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. 5 For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror. NKJV
That passage of scripture gives examples of both, outward and inward adornment. Outward adornment is things “such as” wearing gold jewelry, braided hair, and fine clothes.
A woman who is beautiful in God’s eyes is gentle, quiet, and submissive to her husband (1 Peter 3:5). So, that’s how a woman, who gathers with the church, “should” adorn herself.
Does that passage say where a woman’s skirt hem should end? No, it says that a woman’s beauty should not come from outward adornment (1 Peter 3:3), but in turn a woman’s beauty should be that of a gentle and quiet spirit (1 Peter 3:4); inward adornment.
Therefore, if a woman’s skirt builds desires among those who see her, then she is dressed inappropriately. Why? Her beauty is from the outside. That means that some women may be able to wear a skirt at a certain length, but others may not. There is no set amount of inches, but the focus is inward adornment, and not outward adornment.
Some churches are strictly against certain types of outward adornment, but they totally ignore what is written about inward adornment. If you are strictly against outward adornment, then you should be strictly for the inward adornment.
How you live up to 1 Peter 3:3 should reflect how you live up to the rest of that chapter and the whole book for that matter. Don’t be a hypocrite by judging everyone who violates one verse, and then turning a blind eye to the next verse yourself.
If we held to 1 Peter chapter 3, a woman, who is gentle, quiet, and submissive to her husband (1 Peter 3:5), might be able to wear what we see women wear in churches today, but one who my grandmother would consider to be “fast,” should wear very bulky clothing, with a skirt hem that reaches to the floor.
Some churches are stricter than others; no jewelry at all, no make-up at all, and on and on. Each church has its own “house rules” that they have added to what is considered “outward adornment.” Just like the Pharisees, we add the rules and then require it of those who attend, but you can tell if a woman’s attire is meant to produce looks (desires).
I visited one church where almost every women there was wearing a Dillard’s dress with 5 inch heels on. That’s what happens when you add strict man-made rules without focusing on the given principle. The principle is that beauty should come from within and not from outward adornment. End of discussion; no more rules!
I’m not against holding to what the Bible says very strictly. However, if we hold to 1 Peter 3:3 very strictly, then we should also hold to the rest of it very strictly. What is the difference between 1 Peter 3 verse 3 and the rest of that chapter? What is the difference between 1 Peter 3:3 and the rest of the Bible?
If I visited a church that was very strict on their dress code, I would expect them to hold to every passage of scripture in that way, but that is usually not the case. When people hold to one verse very strictly and almost ignore the very next page in the same book it is said that they “strain out a gnat but swallow a camel” (Matthew 23:24). In these cases, you should recognize that something is bad wrong.
For example, one church I attended considers it an abomination for a woman to be up in front of the church without a dress on; singing, etc. However, at the same time, it doesn’t matter if she has short hair and doesn’t wear a hat (cover). Does 1 Corinthians 11:5-6, 15 (below) require women to have long hair or wear a hat? They strain out a gnat in one verse and swallow a camel in another.
1 Corinthians 11:5-6, 15
5 But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for that is one and the same as if her head were shaved. 6 For if a woman is not covered, let her also be shorn. But if it is shameful for a woman to be shorn or shaved, let her be covered.
15 But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering. NKJV
Regardless of what each church requires, it’s not very appealing to see a woman who is not submissive to her husband up in front of the church trying to advise other women. She may have the right clothes on, but the principle of outward adornment has been ignored, since there is no inward beauty.
According to Titus 2:5, the older women should teach the younger women to be submissive to their husbands. Find a church where this is happening and you will certainly see a difference in the outward adornment. Good luck! Very few churches live by the Word of God, but only a small portion of it.
What does pants have to do with “outward adornment?” So many are dead set against women’s pants. I know that the laws of Moses say that women should not wear “men’s clothes” and vice-versa (Deuteronomy 22:5), but where is it written that there is no such thing as women’s pants?
Don’t they sell “women’s pants” just like they sell women’s shirts or women’s tops, and are they different from men’s clothes? If we are that strict, why aren’t the women wrapped up in sheets with everything covered except their face?
If you happen to still be under the laws of Moses, and hold strictly to them, notice that in the same chapter it also says that you should not wear anything made from two different types of material (Deuteronomy 22:11).
Therefore, men, check your suits before you walk through the door, since you may be more guilty of breaking the law than the women are, if you require a very strict dress code of them. Your suits have to be made from 100% of the same material or you will be a hypocrite for saying anything against women’s attire.
I’m Alan Ballou, a servant of the Lord. I speak in accordance with what is written and not to please men or to fit into a particular group outside of those who accept and believe everything that is written in the Bible. I will include the verses with what I post so that you may check. Got questions or concerns? leave a comment below. Thanks.