Hot Topics: Gender Identity - Dress the Part

A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this. ~Deuteronomy 22:5

Ladies, before you get defensive, Moses was not telling us we shouldn’t wear pants. Remember that in biblical times the clothing of men and women was actually pretty similar. Both genders dressed in tunics and cloaks, the difference being in the length and adornment of the women’s tunics. Men were not to adorn themselves with jewelry and wear aprons, while women were not to carry the tools and weapons of men.

The New Testament goes on to say that, “Women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire” (1 Timothy 2:9), and that men were not to show favoritism to a man who came to a church gathering in rich clothing (James 2:1–4). The issue here was the extravagance in comparison with others in the church. Believers are to dress with modesty appropriate to their surrounding culture. The issue is one of heart. The way we dress should honor God and His design for us.

Back to the law that Moses declared, that cross-dressing is an act detested by God. Let us not forget that aside from loving our Lord with all our heart, is His greatest law is that we love each other. When asked why he ate with tax collectors and sinners, Jesus replied, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mark 2: 16-17). Likewise as Christians, we are called to show God’s love to all, regardless of how they present themselves, while in our hearts honoring Christ. As we love them and they love God, they too will dress the part.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. ~John 13:34