Listen:  

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

The verse that is most commonly used to express this thought is Deuteronomy 22:5 which says, “A woman shall not wear men’s clothing, neither shall a man put on women’s clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to Yahweh your God.”  In creation, God made man and woman as we read in Genesis 1:27, “God created man in his own image. In God’s image he created him; male and female he created them.”  The Lord Jesus, Himself, referred to this truth of the two sexes in Mark 10:6 where He said, “But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female.”  It is silly to try to disregard the fact that men and women are different from each other, not just in the reproductive organs, but in characteristics and mannerisms.  Women are not men and men are not women.  We can thank the Lord for this.

It is the difference between men and women that draws us together.  The Lord created men and women for each other.  We read in 1 Corinthians 11:11-12, “Nevertheless, neither is the woman independent of the man, nor the man independent of the woman, in the Lord. For as woman came from man, so a man also comes through a woman; but all things are from God.”  As far as the Lord’s dealings in grace towards man and woman, there is no difference as we read in Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”  However, there is a great difference in the natural sense between the sexes.  We read in 1 Corinthians 11:8-9, “For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.  Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.”  Without woman, man could not continue to exist.  Woman was created to be with man as we read in Genesis 2:21-24, “And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.  And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.   Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”

In light of all this, how are we to understand Deuteronomy 22:5 which says, “A woman shall not wear men’s clothing, neither shall a man put on women’s clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to Yahweh your God.”?  Does this mean that women are forbidden to wear pants?  Of course, at the time of this writing, no one wore pants.  Robes were generally worn by both men and women.  I find it odd that the same people who insist that women not wear pants have no problem with a woman wearing button-up shirts, t-shirts, tennis shoes, and other articles of clothing that men wear.

The truth the Lord is giving to us in this verse is that, recognizing the differences between the sexes, women should not try to fulfill the role of men; neither should men try to fulfill the role of women.  It is scripturally wrong for a woman to try to appear and act like a man.  It is equally wrong for a man to try to appear and act like a woman.  In our day, which demands blind equality for all, this is not a popular stance.  Because men and women are different with different roles in the home and church, does this mean they are not equal?  Absolutely not!  As we have seen, in the sight of God, there is no difference, but in the course of life, there is a wonderful difference.  We can thank the Lord for this.  I, personally, thank the Lord for my dear wife.  We are different because we are man and woman, but by the Lord’s grace, we work together well to serve the Lord as one.  In Song of Solomon 4:1-12, we have the husband describing the attractive attributes of his bride.  In Song of Solomon 5:10-16, we have the bride describing the attributes of her bridegroom.  I encourage you to read these portions as these two people describe the differing characteristics of their mates.  (78.3)