Today, I will continue part of the series we started earlier. In You Just Can't Make This Stuff Up, Part 1, the topic was pink shirts and how Chuck O'Neal spoke against men/boys wearing pink because pink is associated with femininity.
Today we will be discussing the topic of women wearing dark clothing: black, brown, gray. At a ladies retreat, we were told that dark colors were masculine and women should try to avoid those colors. I must admit, when I first heard it, I looked around the room to see if other people had puzzled looks on their face because the concept was so foreign to me.
Let me give a little background information. This was taught at the yearly ladies retreat held at a retreat center. Any other ladies retreats I have attended in my adult life (and my age tells me I'm no spring chicken), have been taught by women, not men. It is called a ladies retreat, right? Well, Beaverton Grace Bible Church is unique. We listened to long videos of recorded messages by the pastor - yes, the pastor, a man, taught the primary teachings via videotape at our annual ladies retreats. I attended to two ladies retreats during my time there. Both times, we listened to the same videotape and was told it was shown at least the year prior, maybe longer. So, if my head couldn't grasp the concept the first year, I did have an opportunity the next year to make sure I wasn't hearing things. I wasn't.
I searched high and low for references in the Bible indicating women shouldn't wear dark-colored clothing and couldn't find a thing. I searched Google to see if there were any websites addressing the issue in the Bible with references. I found a couple of examples describing the clothing women wore in Bible times. Although these are not actual Biblical references, they are written by scholars of that historic time period and found that women did wear dark colors during that time period:
The garments worn by Jewish and Christian people of this period were fairly similar to those worn along the whole Mediterranean coast. However, traditional Jewish families still kept the Mosaic Law which forbade mixing wool and linen in the same garment.
Basic clothing was a tunic made from two lengths of woollen material joined at the top, with an opening for the head to pass through. It might have vertical stripes and be dyed red, cream/brown or black. A mantle/cloak made of wool was also worn; this was woven in one single piece of cloth. There was also a woollen or linen head-covering with a band that held it in place. (http://www.bible-archaeology.info/clothes.htm)
Most women in biblical times wore simple white clothing, although blue or black homespun was sometimes seen. Wealthy women wore garments of brightly dyed fine linen, often in scarlet or purple, and elaborately decorated with embroidery, jewels, and gold or silver detail (II Sam. 13:18). (http://www.houseandhome.org/clothing-in-biblical-times)
Now here's the thing. Pastor Chuck O'Neal said that dark colors are not feminine colors. I'd like to challenge that. Here are some pictures and you tell me if these clothes look masculine.
Truth be told, if I were to discard all of my gray, black, and brown colored clothing, I'd lose over half of my wardrobe.
The traditional attire for an accompanist is all black so as not to draw attention to themselves. The job of an accompanist is to showcase the choir/singer/musician and help them sound their best. As an accompanist, I would feel very uncomfortable wearing colorful clothing on stage or in front of a church. I like to hide behind the piano and colorful clothing would only draw attention to myself on a stage, pulpit area, or platform.
One interesting observation - I remember the pastor's wife wearing dark colors. I always admired her taste in clothing and style. I can picture her now in my mind wearing an outfit with black and a bright coral top and looking absolutely stunning and certainly feminine. Maybe he didn't pay attention to what his wife was wearing because she did dress so well. I can't think of her style as anything but feminine.
Bottom line is this: the concept of dark clothes for women as being masculine is a preference of Chuck O'Neal's. It is not a Biblical concept or guideline.