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Can women who wear pants be saved?

Sharon from North Carolina asked: "I was told that a woman who wears pants is not saved. Is that true?"

Hello, Sharon. 

The short answer is no, that’s not true. But I’ll elaborate.

The Bible does require that we try to not present ourselves as belonging to the other gender. In other words, you as a woman should not try to make people think you are a man. Conversely, a man should not try to make people think he’s a woman. But that’s not directly related to a woman wearing pants. There are pants for women, and women who wear them still look like women. 

Of course, there is a plea from the apostle Paul for a woman to dress modestly. (See 1 Timothy 2:9-10.) Paul encouraged women to be modest, discrete, God-honoring, and feminine in their dress and apparel. Make sure that whatever you choose to wear maintains the biblical standard of modesty. 

I’ll also mention that there’s nothing wrong with having personal standards for what you wear. It’s fine for a woman to decide that she is not going to wear pants. Let me give you a personal illustration. When I preach on Sunday morning, I always wear a coat and tie. It’s a personal standard that I have. However, I don’t believe that every man needs to wear a tie. It’s not a matter of sin, and it’s certainly not a matter of salvation. It’s my personal standard. 

Making clothing a matter of salvation is legalism.  Adding any kind of external observance or activity to the gospel is legalism, and legalism is condemned.  

So, Sharon, dress modestly. Beyond that, your conscience and personal standards might dictate that you will wear certain things and avoid certain things. But anyone who tells you that wearing pants means you’re not saved, or not a good Christian, has distorted the gospel.

Thanks for your question, 

Stephen

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