What does the Bible say about how women should dress?
Let's understand one thing first: God looks on the heart (I Sam. 16:7). He is more concerned with the inward attitude than with the outward appearance. The Kingdom of God is not clothing any more than it is food and drink (Rom. 14:17). Some zealous but unknowledgeable Christians have placed undue emphasis on wearing certain colors or styles of clothing. Actually, God's guidelines on this matter of clothing and dress are very general. God expects Christian women to dress in "modest apparel" (I Tim. 2:9) — that is, clothing that is not overly flamboyant or garish. A Christian woman should not be an exhibitionist, attracting undue attention to herself by wearing provocative or loud clothing. By the same token, this does not mean that Christian women should be drab, colorless or tasteless dressers. One's personal appearance is a reflection of one's inner attitude. The Christian is to be a light to the world — an example of balance and good taste. We should not be so out of step with the fashions of society that we stand out like the proverbial "sore thumb." Clothes may be fashionable but not immodest or garish. Also, apparel should be appropriate for the occasion — swimsuits should be worn at the beach, not at the market. In the Old Testament God gave a law that stated: "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" (Deut. 22:5). This is a reference to transvestism. It does not refer to a woman wearing slacks that are designed for women. Women may wear slacks when the occasion warrants it — for example, for vigorous sports activities, outdoor functions, picnics, gardening, hiking or even ordinary housework. This violates no Bible principle. It is natural for those who are zealous but lacking in knowledge to become pharisaically self-righteous about various aspects of women's clothing. Sometimes humans are far more concerned about such things than the Creator Himself. At the same time, there is a tendency to plunge headlong into the opposite ditch and feel that there are no guidelines for Christian — dress and grooming. There are. But they are not meant to become an obsession or a fetish. The "gentle and quiet spirit" of a truly converted Christian woman (I Pet. 3:1-6) will be reflected in clothing she selects for herself. She will understand the balance. She will wear clothing that is appropriate and stylish for any given occasion and of the highest quality available to her, but with proper modesty and decorum. And God will look with approval on the heart of such a woman.
What did Christ mean when He said, "And if your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out..." (Matt. 5:29-30)?
First, it is obvious that Christ did not intend this instruction to be taken literally. The eye and hand cannot, of themselves, sin. Sin originates in the mind. Therefore, a person who is totally blind or lame can still sin. Jesus was simply using vital parts of the body to illustrate a principle. He was explaining that a Christian should not tolerate sin as a part of his life. If an individual has a sinful habit, he ought to totally eradicate that habit, even though the process may be as painful as losing an eye or a hand. If, for example, looking at something tempts someone to sin, he shouldn't look at it — he should turn his eyes elsewhere. What Christ is saying is that it would be better to give up a sinful pleasure than to lose out on salvation (Col. 3:5-17). If you would like information on overcoming sins and faults, write for our free article reprint,
"How to Be an Overcomer." How can we be certain that the days mentioned in Genesis 1 are 24 hours long? Some authorities claim these days are actually 1,000 years or more in length.
Theistic evolutionists and even some theologians make the claim to which you refer. Yet a look at the account and a simple knowledge of nature clearly shows that each day was 24 hours in length and not longer. Consider the plants that were created on the third day of this week of re-creation. The sun did not appear until the next day. If these "days" were 1,000 years long, then the plants could not have survived, for they were without sunshine. Also, notice that the plants were made on the third day, while insects were made on the sixth. How did certain specialized plants continue to exist for ages without their insect partners? Certain insects, including bees, wasps, butterflies and moths could not have existed without the honey — or nectar-bearing plants. Nor could these plants have existed without the insects. The scripture plainly states, "In six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth" (Ex. 20:11). And the seven-day week, each day 24 hours long, pictures the 7,000-year plan of God. Each day is symbolic of a thousand years, according to the principle in Numbers 14:34. Each day of creation was not some long epoch, but exactly what the Scripture says, a day and night of 24 hours. Each day is an evening and a morning — that is, nighttime and daytime. A study of this subject is available in our free article reprint, "How Long Were the Days of Creation?" Write for it.