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    Can Christian Girls Wear Pants?

    Many Christian girls have asked whether they can wear pants, because the Bible reads:

    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.

    This verse has been interpreted a number of ways. Some Christians believe this means women shouldn’t wear pants, because pants are considered men’s clothing. Others explain that men’s and women’s garb in this context refer to trade or business. For example, men should go out and do men’s work and women should stay at home and take care of women’s work.

    In an article titled “The Truth About Deuteronomy 22:5,” author Jason Young has his own theory. He writes:

    The phrase ‘that which pertaineth,’ or simply the word pertaineth in the King James Version of the Bible, is translated from the Hebrew word keliy, which means ‘article, vessel, implement, or utensil.’ 1. Translators commonly render keliy as weapon, armor or instrument in the Old Testament. The word man, in both the first and last part of Deut 22:5, is the Hebrew word geber meaning ‘man, strong man, or warrior (emphasizing strength or ability to fight).’ 2. It is important to note that this is not the only word for man in Hebrew. Verse 13 of this very same chapter uses the Hebrew word ‘iysh, which is also translated  man and means just that – ‘man, male (in contrast to woman, female).’ 3. It is apparent that Moses, when writing Deut 22:5, was quite intentionally not talking about a man in general, but a very specific kind of man – namely, a warrior or soldier. Considering this, perhaps a better translation of this verse would be as follows:

    ‘The woman shall not put on [the weapons/armor of a warrior], neither shall a [warrior] put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God’ (Jason Young, actseighteen.com).

    Personally, I don’t think the verse is very clear. I do believe there’s a much larger, underlying message. Maybe it is as described by Young. Whatever the translation, I’m not convinced the verse is referring to specific types of clothing, but rather, a larger teaching. After all, many historians believe that early users of pants were both men and women.

    I’m not going to detail what I believe this verse really means, but I am going to suggest that it doesn’t mean women shouldn’t wear pants.

    However, since the Bible is clear about women being modest when dressing, I will offer some tips when shopping for pants. I have two.

    • Choose pants that were designed for women.
    • Select pants that are modest. For example, pants that are too low cut at the waist or so tight that they look like a layer of skin are just inappropriate. Take a look at the two images below. Both are way too tight and sexy.

    The two sets of pants below are more appropriate. They are both wide leg pants that tie at the waist and flair out in a very feminine way.

    Straight leg pants are also appropriate. Below are two sets of pants that are both cute and modest.

    Images credit: Amazon.com

    Whether Christian girls can wear pants is really not the issue. Instead, the focus should be on what style of pant is appropriate for a Christian girl who is devoted to modesty.

    PI ladies, do you like to wear pants? What do you think of my picks?

    T.M. Gaouettehttp://www.tmgaouette.com
    T.M. Gaouette is a freelance writer, ghostwriter, blogger and fiction novelist. She was born in Africa, brought up in London and is now living in New England with her husband and four children. Devoted to Him, Gaouette is dedicated to glorifying God through her stories for teens and young adults. T.M. Gaouette is the author of "The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch" and "Freeing Tanner Rose," Christian novels for teens and young adults. She's currently working on completing her upcoming novel -visit tmgaouette.com for more on her Christian fiction work. Connect with her on www.facebook.com/TMGaouette and https://twitter.com/TMGaouette .

    123 COMMENTS

    1. To be honest, I never even thoughht about if it’s modest to wear pants – I just wear them 😉
      in Germany where I live none of the christian girls I know cares about this question… but I dont like too tight pants as well (they just make me feel like my legs are far to big :/ ) and so I do wear skirts and dresses sometimes but not all the time. I think they can be impractical (e.g. when you run) and I just hate leggings and tights so I cant wear them in winter anyway.

    2. This verse means what it says! I don’t understand why you can be confused about something so simple. It seems simple enough to me. The word pertain means “to do with” so women should be and dress like a woman and a man should be, dress and act like a man. What’s not to get? I don’t mind wearing pants around the house or in privacy but what is with all the confusing translating stuff? Warrior? Really? So a woman can’t put on armor and fight in a war? I don’t mean to be rude but it is so petty. God doesn’t want His word to be confusing and get this: IT ISN’T CONFUSING. God isn’t the master of confusion, Satan is! So many people have watered down the Word of God and just say, “Oh that was old time, it doesn’t matter anymore,” or “oh that word means something else entirely.” Seriously?! 2 Peter 1:10 says “give diligence to make your calling sure; for if you do these things you shall never fail.” Whether you agree or disagree, by taking time to read this you are enlightening yourself. A fool despises instruction but he that regardeth reproof is prudent. (Proverb 15:5) Also all scripture is profitable for doctrine. Let me try to say this if you want to know more:
      Genesis 1:27 says God made male and female. So this is a distinction, right? Well we need to dress to our distinction. In other words, wear what reflects our gender. This pleases God. We are different so let us BE different and dress the way we would be distinct from male. Also this is not merely ceremonial, but a moral law! All scripture is profitable for doctrine. Take the scripture how you will, but I believe that is means what it says and isn’t confusing in any way. I say again, God isn’t the master of confusion, Satan is!! Please remember that.

      • Ya but there actually are underlying meanings. Scripture isn’t always literal. For example, when the bible says to hate your parents, it doesn’t actually mean that. It just means you should love God so much that in comparison, you seem as if you hate your parents, even though you should love them. Therefore, I think that this scripture is not literal. I believe the Hebrew translation is right. Like the whole women’s right thing was just out of jealousy, even though spouses should submit to each other.

        • Where in the bible does it say to hate your parents? It says to love God more than your parents, but I don’t think it says to hate them. It says to honor and respect them, but to love God more. And LostinParadise16 I totally agree with you!!!! For a long time I almost stopped wearing skirts, and then I stumbled upon Deut. 22:5 and I’ve started wearing skirts as often as possible. I still wear sweatpants sometimes in private like at home, but I try to wear skirts in public if possible.

      • There are some times you cant wear skirts though, I am playing soccer next year, and that is one of the times a skirt just wouldnt work… I agree that very tight or low jeans arnt a great idea, as they show off to much shape, But im still unsure about this….

    3. If I could, I would wear skirts (knee-length or lower) 99% of the time. However, my Christian parents don’t think it’s necessary and don’t want me to be teased or even more excluded at school. This being said, I try to dress VERY modestly (necklines ideally come to collarbone and I DON’T wear shorts) to my public school and plan to wear skirts more often in college and on.

    4. I think that it is always good to wear skirts or dresses they are usually more modest and they are more lady like. I think that God likes us to dress in the form that He made us. He likes us to act and dress like ladies and we should!
      If you do wear pants try to go with more baggy pants. Most guys find lots of pants too revealing.

      • Where did you hear that most guys find pants too revealing? My husband seems to think that they are more modest than a lot of skirts. Also, most rape victims are those that have long hair and skirts on because they are an easier target. I wear equally skirts and pants all the time. I also think that you can be very feminine wearing both variances of the outfits. It just depends on the person. Of course you can make a skirt look “inappropriate,” but the same goes with so many other clothing out there. Let God convict you of what you should wear. I pray every morning for God to help me pick out outfits. It’s not silly at all. And guess what, more often than not I’m wearing a comfortable pair of jeans and a cute flowing top. God is in the business of the heart.

    5. I totally agree with you in this! I enjoy wearing skirts/dresses and dressing up (being ‘girly’), but I can also be a bit of a tomboy sometimes, and skirts are pretty impractical when you’re running around in the woods, climbing trees, jumping on a trampoline, etc. Besides, nobody wants to see me in skinny jeans or booty shorts! 🙂 Thanks for the insight!

    6. I think – and this is just my personal opinion – maybe this pertains more towards cross-dressing type stuff? Like guys putting on girls clothes and acting like girls, and vice versa. I agree that it’s okay for girls to wear pants because, pants aren’t just guy clothes! Sure they used to be, but you don’t exactly see men walking around in women’s jeans unless they’re gay or just really confused…lol! They wear pants specifically designed for men. And women wear pants specifically designed for women. 🙂

    7. Why not wear pants desinged for guys? I live on a farm, and it’s a pain in the butt to wear girl jeans all the time. They’re always low rising and tighter. It’s just practical for me to wear guy pants for chasing goats and shearing sheep. Besides, it’s not as revealing when your pants get wet. (From a sheep shaking like a dog when it’s wet, usually)

    8. Given that the verse is from Deuteronomy, the old testament, and when Israel was under the old covenant, I currently maintain my opinion that this is one of the things that was subject to change with the new covenant and time.

    9. Sometimes you must wear guy clothes. I am joining the military, I am going to wear girlish stuff, but still i will wear a uniform, and my hair being short i may sometimes look like a boy. I believe the bible says a lot of good stuff, but God didn’t write it and this is a different time period, sometimes going against what the bible says happens, Deal with it. Sorry but really?! lets face it, the bible doesn’t give us many rights does it? Sometimes you will look “immodest” sometimes you will wear boyish clothes.

    10. Hmmmm. I don’t wear tight pants. I’m uncomfortable in them. Guys either have different standards of modesty, or are very confused, because I know boys that wear prettier pants than I do. 😛

    11. “stay home and take care of womans work” really bothered me. Im sorry nut no. If a woman wants to be successful their is nothing wrong with that. It is a choice that each couple has to make based on what works best for them and their family. 🙂

    12. I don’t even think about it when I wear pants or skirts, but I know there’s people who do. I personally love my low rise, skinny jeans. I rarely wear skirts, pretty much only at fancy events and I occasionally wear casually dresses, but very rarely. I just prefer pants, they’re way more comfortable.

    13. I never really thought about the fact of not wearing pants because they originated as men’s clothing. Hmm. Well, I think that if they are modest then it should be fine. But also, consider this; Back in the day, men wore togas and clothing similar to that, as did women. So maybe this verse is more talking about cross-dressing kind of things, as my dad has said in the past.

    14. I think it depends on who you are. Because I am a figure skater I have to wear short skate dresses/skirts on an almost daily basis. While I wish they were longer I’m not going to stop doing what I love just because there’s one thing I don’t like about it. I think with the pants it’s what you’re comfortable with.

      • I think that part of wearing a shorter skirt is because figure skating is a sport, and you don’t want what you’re wearing to hinder the movement in any way. Like how we wear swim suits when we go swimming. I doubt you’re wearing your skating skirts/ dresses all the time in normal settings. 😉 So I think that wearing slightly less clothing (within reason) for a sport so that it doesn’t hinder your movement is totally appropriate. 🙂

      • I’m a figure skater as well, so I totally understand where you’re coming from! The dresses my coach picks out for me tend to have longer skirts, and, I feel, if you are determined to wear a dress that honors God, you will find one! It’s frustrating for me when all of the dresses are low cut, or RIDICULOUSLY tight! I feel you, girl! 🙂

    15. I love to wear jeans, I’m country, lol
      The thing is, is that back in Jesus’s time men wore robes, which is kinda like a dress. So we really don’t know if jeans were men’s clothing at first. I also don’t feel modest in skirts or dresses, I think it’s easier for a guy to get up a dress/skirt, but harder to get up into a pair of jeans.
      Sincerely~
      Lilly

    16. My family personally does not wear pants because of our beliefs on that verse but i love maxi skirts and anything flowly most of the time because I am a total girl when it comes to how i dress 🙂

    17. My whole family is Christian and loves God. Most of my jeans are skinny jeans. I personally do not think its provocative or immodest at all. I also have skirts that are above the knee. In fact all the girls in my youth group wear skinny jeans and skirts and shorts all the time. We are just regular people. Now if someone to wear a mini skirt or short shorts that would be another thing. It wouldnt necessarily be a sin (and even if it were Jesus washed away our sins.), Its just a bad decision or mistake.

    18. I think that verse, (in my opinion) is trying to say that you shouldn’t wear guy clothing to try to specifically look/feel like a guy, (aka being Trans) and that guys shouldn’t wear specific women clothing to look/feel like a woman.

      Yes, pants/jeans originally were made for men, to work comfortably in. In that time, they were in the form of “overalls” and the women were always in skirts. That was the fashion and that was just how they dressed.

      I don’t think that “skinny jeans” are bad or “inappropriate” as long as they are kept to a modest looking level, and aren’t worn to attract guys for our bodies. We don’t want something that hugs our every edge that pops out our bums, and meant to make us look sexy. We’re supposed to preserve our bodies for God and keep ourselves pure. Plus, guys like casual-looking girls anyhow.
      If you’re girly and like skirts, go ahead and wear skirts that are at least knee-length. If you’re more of… “tomboy” or just like it loose and casual, go for the jeans, that are at least in the girl department.

      • @thebobduncanexperience
        Are you a man?? No woman would say that men deserve more rights than them. You can think that women shouldn’t wear pants, but I do think it’s quite wrong that you think that women shouldn’t have any rights!

    19. I believe that there is such a thing as modest skinny jeans. I wear skinny jeans but I feel they are not excessively tight. The ones in the pictures are pretty tight compared to other skinny jeans, and their poses and heels made them appear more provocative than I believe they actually are, so I feel they are not an accurate representation of all skinny jeans. My skinny jeans still are fairly loose and thus I believe they are modest.

    20. Wait so what I’m wondering is why pants would even be consider to have an effect on this verse because from what I know back then everyone wore togas/dresses… Also I have a HUGE problem with finding long enough “girl” athletic shorts that will please my dad so I wear guy shorts, is that like bad or something?

      • We can see that he first thing referred to that is similar to pants are called linen breeches in Exodus 28:42 and we see in the next verse after 43 that they were designed for the sons of Aaron so that they would be more modest

    21. i really dont like the way christains say pants are bad im a christain myself but what u wear has nothing to do with your faith and i mean yes sometimes some cloth are inappropriate like really skinny jeans and booty shorts,booty shorts make guys look at your butt and be tempted(usually guys dont like when you show of your body too much)

      • Our Faith should lead us to follow his commands so that we can see eternal life. John 3:36. Mathew 5:8 tells us that only the pure in heart shall see God. I wonder what reason compels you to wear pants as a woman of God. I feel that you’ll see pants are worn to show off the feminine body and it is done out of the desire to sexually attract men.. God speaks about linen breaches as garments for priests to wear in Exodus 28:42-3. We can from there understand that the earliest concept of pants was meant for men. Then we can look at Deuteronomy 22:5 and as we apply today we can see that the idea of pants was meant for men who were to be holy rather women in general. I love you and I hope God will give you understanding in this subject. God bless 🙂

    22. God actually gave instructions to priests to wear linen breeches under their garments to hide their nakedness. Linen breeches were pants, therefore the verse does speak about pants in reference to men’s clothing, since women were not allowed to priests at that time. Exodus 28:42-43 God bless 🙂 Also the Lord does not live piercings, makeup and alterations of the body you were made into. He wants us to look the way He made us, without the makeup, hair dye, or piercings. He wants modest women, because otherwise we lead men into adultery and cause them to stumble by our looks.

    23. This may, unintentionally, sound disrespectful, but let’s just say I was drawn to this article mostly from the. . .absurdity of it. (Not the first time this has happened on this site, and unlikely to be the last). On the surface: Duh! Who doesn’t wear pants in lieu of skirts like all the time? Deeper: What are you insinuating? that women are unequal to men? (This shocks me no more on this site).

      Both my parents have worked outside the home my while life. (Gasp!! What kind of raucous, Godless, confused abomination must I be, being exposed to such skewed values? Ladies are for cleaning, cooking, and childbearing, no?) Spoiler alert: I’m okay. I came out a bit liberal, but I’m okay, despite the fact that a MAN played an equal role in making sure I didn’t die or something, or you know, maybe he just ran the dishwasher. AND might have even watched me while my mom was WORKING!

      Definitely a deeper meaning to this verse. Maybe it means a woman’s place is in the home, which is what I think. (I don’t think that’s okay, though). Maybe it means women shouldn’t wear warrior’s armor. (Does this mean women can’t join the military?) Whatever it means, can we all agree it’s just a teensy bit, say, outdated? And that’s okay, we study history for a reason, it was a long time ago.

      And since we live in the now regardless of if we want to, and Gauette does in fact acknowledge that girls wearing pants is pretty much an inevitable reality by teaching us how to select such pants, I will comment on that as well ?.

      How to get dressed as a woman lesson número uno (more like eighty-five):
      Choose pants designed for women.

      Fair enough. I suppose. Pants are pretty neutral anyway I thought, for the most part. And my aforementioned liberal views (Darn it, mother! By helping keep us in a structure with a roof, well fed, clothed, and comfortable, you like destroyed my fundamental values!!) lead me to think that whoever wants to has the right wear whatever pants they want and live their best life without judgment. But I promised myself that I wouldn’t get heated at the comment, and look, I just did. Oops! Let’s move on.

      Two (eighty-six):
      Be modest. Don’t select low waisted pants. (Actually not being snarky now: What’s wrong with low waists if you are wearing a long enough shirt? I hate said pants because high rise is so much more comfy to me, but still).

      Those white pants might get inappropriate quickly depending on what underwear you wear or if you get sprayed with a hose or something. Mostly I wouldn’t wear them because white clothes=perfect “canvas” for spilled coffee, marker marks, etcetera.

      Those jeans with questionable sequin logo placement are a mixed bag. To sexy pose? I’ll give you that one. To high heels? Sure. To tight? Naw. There’s plenty of space in my opinion. Not everybody is going to look like that model (Or forget a shirt).

      On those flare things: if I wanted to wear a feminine article of clothing or a skirt, would I be here?

      The last two are bootcut pants but nice. I’d wear those black ones without the little ties that I think are there hanging off of them.

      So your picks are fine. I still love my skinny jeans and non-femenine, gender neutral pants and my leggings.

      Sorry for long winded, sarcasm filled rant.

    Project Inspired

    We here at Project Inspired want to guide and inspire teen girls to be true to themselves and to God. We want to show young girls how to be people of value and confidence – how to be your own best selves – through leading a Christian life. Who are we? We're a team of girls, like you. We edit the site, we post to social media, we hang out in the chat rooms and forums. We talk with you, we listen to you, and we love you!

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