by Grace Raab

1As a little girl and as a lady, I have worn skirts and dresses full-time my entire life.

I started doing it because my parents taught me to do so, and because it was expected of me by my pastors and church families. I was always told the reasonings for it, but I never truly grasped the importance of this principle until recent years.

I want to say right away that this essay is by no means meant to offend anyone in the smallest measure, but is meant simply to provide explanation to those who have wondered about my peculiar dress code, and also to give clarity to Christian women who have lived this way because it was expected of them, but never really had a personal understanding of why.

There are many different reasons why I believe (based on the Bible) that God would have me wear skirts instead of pants.

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77 COMMENTS

  1. I was not taught to wear skirts or that they were wrong to wear, BUT one day I went to an Apostolic Church.Yes, the standard is to wear skirts and not cut your hair, BUT.. I was not made to.; I was convicted of them. No one made me do it, but one day I felt condemned myself. I do wear skirts and if I am in a crowd people pick me out as a christian above others. No just wearing skirts or not cutting your hair does not make you a godly person, but if the heart is right, then you want to please God. Something I always looked at is that I would rather do toooo much for God than not enough.. AND if you give up something for God, he will bless you for your sacrifice.

  2. I’m a Baptist Pastor. God has always taught modesty in His Word. On the hair issue. I have seen some women have long hair and just as long a tongue to go with it. I also had rather see a women in modest pants than to see the same women in a dress/skirt that is way to short or a split from the ground to her butt. Ya’ll be blessed now you hear.!!!!

  3. Thanks for your beautiful testimony. I agree whole heartily with it. I have never been hindered from doing anything I wished to do because I was wearing a skirt, including living in St. Paul, Minnesota where the temperature dropped way below zero many times. In my older years I cleaned houses part time for extra money and never had a problem washing floors on my hands and knees. Playing in the snow and sledding with our children was also fun even in a skirt.

  4. I don’t know if you’ll ever see this, but the nowhere in the bible does it say the women must wear skirts; it also doesn’t say men should wear pants. Your while article is the epitome of legalism, and you’re basing your faith on man’s tradition, not on God and the bible.

    • Deut. 22:5 is the reference for differentiating between a man and woman in what they wear. Before WWI women wore dresses even in the fields of work. Per this scripture a man should not wear that that – the key word is – “pertaineth”. When you go to a public restroom, what differentiates the women’s bathroom and the men’s? A figure of a woman in a skirt. Plus God calls it an abomination if you wear something that “pertains” to the opposite gender. The word abomination means He actually is disgusted by it, hates it, loathes it and so forth. It also means He will never change His mind on the subject. This is just an incredibly short explanation.

    • The Bible doesn’t specifically speak about a lot of things but it covers most things in principle…the principle here is a differentiation between the sexes.
      In our society men wear pants and only in recent years women have worn them as well but traditionally women wear skirts/dresses. That’s the point of the artifice.
      Legalism is depending on your works to get you to heaven…this article is not legalism. 😉
      Enjoyed it- ty!

  5. Striving Together has a great book on the subject. Another book graciously written is “what in the world should I wear?” By kathy Corely.

  6. Didn’t men wear robes? So to follow your logic, women should wear pants? Please be very careful that you are not holding onto the law and forget Ephesians 2.

  7. I did a historical study on churches and religions once and EVERYTHING church at one time taught against wearing pamts for woman. If you dig deep enough you will see that churches always changed to appease the people. THE BIBLE IS THE SAME YESTERDAY AND FOREVER. …so I don’t see any reason for us to change our beliefs

  8. We need to obey God rather than man, uncut hair is a crown of glory for a woman why would she want to cut off her crown. Skirts with appropriate length are a godly women reflection of her love for God and respect to man, why would I want to show all my body lines by wearing pands like a man. People in our society do not want to please God, they want to wear what is in style, styles make women show almost everything and exposes their bodies which causes man to lust after them.

  9. With the Hair Issue long uncut hair gives her power with God and the Angels. It is a covering. I suggest people read Daniel Seagraves book titled Hair length in Bible.

    Also pants tend to show off a women’s figure. In today’s world women we need to protect ourselves.

  10. This guy I know promotes standards like this and then he falls asleeps during the preaching, where is his standards at?

    • Oneness Pentecostals believe the Bible says you shouldn’t cut your hair not that they tell you you can’t. They get the scripture from I Cor. 11:10-15.

  11. I am just curious how you believe this would be possible to comply with while working with horses, and riding them for hours? You can only sit side saddle for a short period before you cause additional pain in your back. This is one topic I have struggled with working in a Christian Counseling Center where horses are used to help the client heal mental, physically, and most importantly Spiritually. I would love a few ideas.

  12. Just a few simple points, because I could write an essay debunking this almost entirely….but for sake of time, I will just leave you with a few thoughts to work through yourselves –
    1. Modesty is modesty, no matter if a woman wears a skirt or pants.
    2. If a woman can be so immodest in a pair of pants, what about men? Men obviously have more to “keep modest” in a pair of pants than a woman! (Don’t think I have to be vulgar for you to get what I am saying here)
    3. If you look into the history of pants, they were actually invented to KEEP women more modest!
    4. As one raised in a fundamental holiness church, the biggest problem with women and girls in skirts, are the “easy access” it gives to the perverts who hide behind a facade of religion to cover their filthy sins of molesting.
    5. Why do women have to “stand apart” with a “separate” look, to be identified as a Christian, but the men never have to look any different than worldly men?
    6. I certainly would never wear a pair of WOMENS PANTS, because there is a DEFINITE distinction between the two!

    I could go on and on, but The best point mentioned above, is letting GOD lead you! Not a church, it’s rules, the preacher, or any other human. God is always faithful to those who truly desire to follow Him.
    Have a blessed day in Christ!

    • Absolutely! Especially points 4 and 5!

      And just for the record, I’m an IFB woman and the idea of wearing skirts/dresses all the time is absolutely ludicrous to me.

    • The article states: “Ladies, when you dress in a way that reveals the form of your body, you’re not only inviting men to lust after you, you’re putting yourself in danger.”

      Bless the author’s heart!

      No, no, no. A man who is interested in flirting may pay more attention to women who he finds attractive, including women who are dressed in a way that is appealing to that particular man. But rapists don’t care whether you are modest or not. They just care if you’re an easy target. Clothing that is “easy access” makes you an easier target. They like long hair, especially pony tails, because it’s easy for them to grab. They like skirts and dress because easy access. Rape and child abuse are rampant in Muslim, Amish, and yes even IFB communities. Just do the research. I’m not against modest clothes, but modest clothes don’t keep you safe.

      If you want to keep yourself safe, learn karate. Wear pants with a belt that is hard to unbuckle, or pants with a pull-string that you can tie in a tight knot and tuck into you waistband. Wear shoes that you can run in. If you have long hair, wear it up in a bun or a large butterfly clip (which actually looks quite feminine, FYI). Have a serious, confident demeanor when you are out in public (you can do this while still being kind and/or professional). If you still insist on wearing a skirt, please, please — wear something more than a slip and panties underneath! Basketball shorts with a pull-string tied in a double knot are a good choice. And please, please, make sure that the hemline of you skirt is full enough for you to run, walk with a full stride, and kick (no long straight skirts that tie your ankles together, please).

      Hope that helps. Be safe.

      • So basically maybe we should all just shave our hair off so the perverts cant grab our hair then. And wear skinny jeans so tight they cant get our pants off and be black belts so we can kick butt lol what a life! I would rather dress for Jesus the way he intended us to do and grow my hair for his glory and take a chance he will help me when a time comes someone perverted is after me that he will protect me by faith. I may have missed something but I don’t think she said anything about the type of clothes someone you think should wear for protection, she is just trying to make people understand why we wear what we wear and believe me we also go through a lot of people making fun of us as a child up.

    • Obviously you make statements, but can’t prove one of them. Your statements are clearly an indication of what’s in your heart. I would suggest a triple by-pass. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks…

  13. I have 2 million things to say to all three of your points. But I want to reference your remarks about men or other people looking at you and automatically thinking “Christian.” You are wrong. I know from experience. I was raised the same way as you. I took a job at Target after moving out of my parents’ home. I was still scared to stray away from their beliefs so I wore skirts for the first month. After scaling a few ladders with men around and the fact that I always thought those rules were stupid, I started wearing Khaki pants. Afterwards, I was actually able to build relationships with my coworkers and they told me they always thought I was Amish. They were intimidated by me… Never once did “Christian” cross their mind. So, I am sorry to break the news to you but men aren’t avoiding you because you aren’t “easy” but because they think you’re Amish. And you aren’t being a good influence on the world by being a shamefaced woman. You are scaring them all away.

  14. Since the name of this web page (INDEPENDENT Baptist) where this very good article with reasoning for dressing like a lady and not a man is published – why are people saying we Independent Baptist have to be in bondage? I guess they have to find someone out of their denomination to argue with rather commenting on their own pages? Women should dress like women and Biblically there are no women’s pants so,,,,

    • As an Independent Baptist since 1975….I do not know where all of this comes from! We want to live “Christ Like” We need not argue on dress and hair…..There is too many important things to think on other than this..Let’s dress modest and try to live so people can see Christ in us by the way we treat people…..Let’s win souls for Christ!!

  15. I mean this in the nicest way, but as I was reading your blog I noticed a few things. I don’t usually comment on blogs and I was going to ignore it, but after thinking about for hours, I realized you needed to hear this 1. You seem quite prideful of your modesty. It’s almost like you wear your modesty as a trophy and that strikes me as unGodly. 2. You also seem vain. It’s like wearing your skirts, not cutting your hair, and being able to march around the mall with other ladies who look like you makes you feel like you are better than ladies who wear pants. The comments you made about women who wear pants are judgmental in the worst way. I wouldn’t want to be friends with you or have you minister to me because you seem uppity in your faith. Humble yourself a little and then revisit this blog post.

    • May I remind you, the Bible also says “to step out from among them and be separate” and that’s just what she is trying to do. Also, she is not wearing skirts pridefully, she is wearing skirts as she feels needed and I personally I feel that there are people who may wear skirts pridefully but there are also people who don’t. With all do respect, who’s to say that she is being pridefull if you don’t even know her? No one knows for sure if she’s doing it in vain or pride, that’s between her and the good Lord above. All I’m saying is, I don’t think anyone should be making conclusions about people without knowing the full story. And you, same as me will never know, only her and God. And if she is doing it then it’s her responsibility to take it to God and get her life straighten out. No one else’s. For now I would just take her word on it.

  16. I appreciation your convictions but don’t make a doctrine out of it. The silence in bible days ess toes of materials…pants weren’t an option. I know some dear ladieswith the same convictions who take mens jeans and turn them inti skirts…..hmmmm…..I have often been asked if I was a Christian put in public and most of the times I was wearing pants although I love to wear my dresses as well. Let the love of God in you flow out of you and follow His leading….I have also know Christian ladies who will only wear pants who I would have to look hard for the love of God in them. His love in our lives is the best witnessing tool we have.

  17. To elaborate on the comment that being in a skirt in the cold is warmer than being in pants. I know that a skirt is warmer and my theory is that in a pair of pants that usually ‘hug’ your legs the cold touches the pants and your legs are touching the pants fabric it feels cold. I think that a skirt is warmer as there is space around your legs that the skirt doesn’t fit closely to your legs therefore it is warmer.

  18. Hyles Anderson has brain washed you somewhat with their standards. I Just looked at your facebook pictures and the beautiful dress you are wearing is too revealing of your nice body.

    The dress you are wearing is too tight and it allows your breast to be imagined upon like the same with your rear end.

    The dress is too short and it allows your white panty hose to be seen too far up your legs. Also your sleeves are too short on the dress showing your fleshy arms.

    May i suggest that Independent Fundamental Baptist everywhere enforce the Christian Burka.

    It could be something like this in any color fabric with head to toe sheet covering that totally breaks up the visual image of the woman’s body.

    A Gold cross on the forehead could symbolize the woman is a virgin available for marriage.
    A Silver cross on the forehead could symbolize the woman is a virgin NOT available for marriage
    A Gold cross on the forehead in oak leaf cluster can symbolize the woman is married.
    A Brown cross on the forehead could symbolize the woman is NOT a virgin & is NOT married so that a man is informed & not defrauded if seeking marriage with that woman.

    And then because the Burka covers the entire shape of the woman’s body then men can choose their liking by width, height & forehead symbol . Fat, skinny or lumpy….the bag tells it all.

    I really dislike Matthew 5:28 being abused in this context when BAPTIST WOMEN still dress in slutty dresses & call it God approved when it is nothing more than a standard of that group of Baptist that should then be the standard for all.

    Telling men “don’t look cause it’s a sin” when actually the sin lays with the woman who gives temptations to men which is not a sin to the man because it is a temptation.

    Hyles Anderson should be closed after what just went down lately…..Just another IFB Cult.

  19. Many times while out shopping with my four daughters we are asked if we are Christians. I always like to ask the person why they thought that we were Christians. The response is always “because of the way you dress”.
    While wearing a dress certainly does not make us Christians…we wear a dress because we are Christians. I love being identified that way!!
    As far as the comments above where ladies are saying the Bible says not to wear gold, etc, etc…well, that verse also talks about putting on of raiment. I don’t think the Lord wants us to completely refrain from putting on raiment. It is telling us not to be excessive in our dress, accessories, etc., not to completely refrain from ever wearing jewelry, braiding our hair or putting on a garment.

  20. I enjoyed your article immensely! Thank you for sticking to your convictions. I find it sad that my young daughters have faced more opposition from Christians for dressing modestly than from the unsaved. It doesn’t matter how humbly you may write your article and how sweetly you try to explain why you believe what you believe there will always be scoffers. Maybe conviction is the reason for that. I am not sure.

  21. Crazy thought… What if we stand out because of the way we live not just dress? How come the Savior of the world in his three and a half years of ministry never once mentioned dress codes? He did say we would be known as his disciples by the love we show. He taught about relationship with God and relationship with people. If a light can be shown by a dress then the Muslim women would be a blazing torch. No. That’s not how it works. We are to stand out by our actions and his spirit in us. Jesus’ message was so radical because he taught to love our enemies. He ate with sinners and talked to prostitutes. He desires us to care for orphans, widows, love on the sexually immoral, and when we are attacked to turn the other cheek. That is the radical, extreme, bright light that will shine. Not a dress code and hairstyle. The very thought that the Lord of all heaven would be concerned in your jean skirt and split ends as a beacon to the world cheapens what his gospel is all about. Instead of misconstruing a few scriptures in the Bible and committing to a dress code, take the scriptures in its entirety and commit to spreading the good news. Don’t get distracted by trivial nonsense that distracts from our real mission. Christians arise and be the city on a hill.

  22. Okay you said, you have met many sincere Christian ladies that wear pants, but then you contradict yourself by saying, if we choose not to wear pants it’s a reflection of what’s in our heart. Really? Trust me there are many ppl in heaven today, who never dressed in skirts. I knew lots of ppl in a church I attended for awhile, who practiced sex outside marriage and other things that were right, all while wearing skirts and never cutting their hair. So, yes it’s just 8man made rules, that are followed mainly you please others.

    • its the difference that you notice when you see Christians still living under the law and those living by faith and truth

  23. Let me preface this by saying that I have been raised in an Apostolic church all my life and still attend church three times a week (if not more). I believe in modesty and believe it is crucial to our walk with the Lord. That said, we might as well read some of the other scriptures in the same chapter you quoted (Deuteronomy 22) to see if there are any other rules that we have to follow. Let’s see….

    Verse 8 says that if you build a new house, make sure you put a railing around the roof to keep it safe so no one falls off

    Verse 9 says to not plant two different kinds of seeds in your vineyard or else you will forfeit the entire crop.

    Verse 11 says to not wear clothes of mixed fabrics together, such as wool and linen. To me that sounds like you need to either wear all wool or all linen. So your cotton t-shirt and jean skirt are a big no no according to the scriptures.

    Verse 12 says you need to make tassels on the four corners of your cloak that you use to cover yourself.

    Verse 22 says that if a man is found sleeping with another mans wife, they both must die

    Verse 28 & 29 say that if a man rapes a girl, he must give her father 50 pieces of silver and then marry the girl and is never allowed to divorce her (So the victim of rape has to marry her rapist and is never allowed out of the marriage. Makes total sense).

    The point is that if you are going to pick out one scripture in this chapter to follow and build your entire case around (it was the first scripture you mentioned) then why not follow all the others? Because they don’t make sense in today’s society? Exactly! They don’t make sense today. I believe in modesty and I think it’s very important, but God never said you need to wear a skirt to go to Heaven. It’s crazy to think that.

  24. Considering Deuteronomy 22:5 about cross-dressing and similarity of attire on men and women, I would recommend everyone to read this article: http://www.actseighteen.com/articles/women-pants.htm

    There was almost no distinction at all between men and women’s regular garments at that time. I understand this verse had more to do with women wanting to dress like the warriors and soldiers to appear like a man, and vice versa.

  25. I have been wearing skirts for about 3 years now. I used to think that wearing pants wasn’t bad, but then I met my husband and he talked to me about it and gave me more knowledge of the bible and j made the change myself. I woke up one day and threw out all of my pants. They were Hollister and american eagle (expensive jeans too) It was hard but it was the sacrifice Iwas willing to make for my GOD! I have been going to church since I was little but always worn skirts in the church to be respectful

  26. Very interesting … Growing up Pentecostal this was always an issue however if we take Deut 22:5 in context we have to take the rest … For example Vs 11 says you cannot wear wool and linen together … How many women do that … Deut 23:1 says person begotten out of wedlock shall not enter into the assembly of the Lord; even to his tenth generation … I was born out of wedlock and adopted … According to the same section of scripture that Deut 22:5 is located in if we take vs 5 as truth then we have to apply the same thinking to 23:1 … This would mean that I cannot enter church or any of my family for the next 10 generations. Don’t think it is this cut and dry …

    • Thank you Mark very well said, like I mentioned before this is more denominationally leaning than anything else.

    • Mark Piers, read my comment. its true, study it out… they take duet 22,5 Out of context….the word Man here used by mose means SOLDIER, Not male, verses female, that was a difff word in hebrew

    • The law is still good. What people should follow is the principle of the law. David ate the priests show bread because when hungered, he ate. Sure, It’s better to not be born out of wedlock and so the law pointed to God’s perfect way, but it’s impossible to live perfect in a fallen world. The law is perfect, but it only shows how un-able we can live it though we wish we could be perfect, and have a perfect life.

      So the principle of dressing with a distinction in your clothes is good! If the distinction is greater by teaching men to wear pants and women to wear skirts, then so be it! It’s good!

      If a girl wears pants, she has less of a distinction between sexes, and from a distance it can be hard to tell. I’m just saying it warms my heart when a girl wears a skirt because she wants to look cute and girly.
      Though to me I can see more in the bible pointing to a distinction is hair and clothes between sexes than modesty to mean hiding the flesh. I mean, nakedness doesn’t separate you from the love of God, but to dress similar to men, or men to women is an abomination. Just make sure to look at the principle, and the reason that God made the law in the first place.

      • We do not do away with the law….Jesus died and set us free…we just have to accept The Lord Jesus Christ….Everyone that has been born or aborted was meant to be…..meant to be born

    • I am an Independent Baptist. We dress the way we see fit….As long as you don’t make yourself look like a man or a man make himself look like a woman…NO PROBLEM…..We do prefer women to wear a dress or skirt at the church if you are a leader or in the choir…We wear our hair the way we want as long as we wouldn’t be mistaken for a man! As far as wedding rings or any type of decent jewelry…We wear it! This is NOT a typical Independent Baptist church…..sound like old time Nazarene….Not wear a wedding ring?? Be real!!

  27. I don’t feel that a skirt is necessary to show a distinction between the sexes. Although I choose to wear pants, they are clearly woman’s clothing. There’s no mistaking it. I know this because when I imagine my husband wearing my jeans and t-shirt, he looks completely ridiculous. Wearing clothes actually made for a body of opposite gender would confuse the distinction (cross-dressing), but not a pair of pants clearly cut for a woman’s body.

    People seem to be inserting a little too much of themselves into scripture.

    • I think we need to insert ourselves into the Scripture more than what we do. Maybe more of the scriptures into our lives. Not sure how it would be better stated but lets lets just for arguments sake that we need to be in one accord with the Word.

    • exactly Sam, in BIBLICAL TIMES men wore tunics and there was no distinction in some cases from far awar other than a beard or build or head coverings. this is a little too denominational rather than universally biblical

    • Sadly, this “issue” has become quite a big deal in certain circles. People have misinterpreted a scripture verse and have used it to try to support their personal views. Such a petty thing to try to beat others over the head with.

    • For the record this is not Autumn Lynn’s statement. listen, live, laugh, love Jesus because He paid for it 🙂

  28. THANK YOU!!!!
    Very well written short and sweet and very bible based, I so appreciate you talking the time to write it, I get so pushed around by people around me but I know in my heart that if I ever change and wear pants that I will grieve the love of my life my dear Savior Jesus Christ!

    • I don’t wear a wedding ring or any other ring either. Nobody has trouble wondering if I am married. Only one time did another woman not realize my husband was married. He quickly cleared up the confusion!!

    • Assuming you are referring to I Peter 3:3 which talks about plaiting of hair, wearing of gold and putting on of apparel, the scriptures are not forbidding us to do these things, as I believe God definitely wants us to put on apparel. It is warning us not to be excessive or flamboyant in these areas, so as to draw attention to ourselves or to bring glory to ourselves, but that others will notice our Godly meek spirit first.

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