What does God say about men wearing earrings?
God has given us the principle that men and women are not just unique physically, but they have different roles in their relationship. This was stated at the time Adam and Eve sinned (Genesis 3:14-19). In the New Testament we find that God has established different roles for men and women in the home (1 Corinthians 11:5-16; Ephesians 5:22-23; Colossians 3:18; Titus 2:4-5; 1 Peter 3:6-7) and in the church (1 Timothy 3:1-13).
The Dress of Men and Women
There are a number of passages that warn women about the way they should dress (1 Timothy 2:9-10; 1 Peter 3:3-5), but the only passages that explicitly talk about men’s and women’s clothing are 1 Corinthians 11:3-16; Deuteronomy 22:5 and 1 Peter 3:1-6,
A woman shall not wear man’s clothing, nor shall a man put on a woman’s clothing; for whoever does these things is an abomination to the LORD your God. (NASB) Deuteronomy 22:5
The Hebrew word translated as “clothing” in the first part of Deuteronomy 22:5 is keli. The word does not mean clothing but refers to any male article. The translators looked ahead and saw that a man is not to put on women’s clothing (actual meaning of the Hebrew word) and concluded this word should be understood as clothing. But that is a mistake since the word includes clothing but has a broader meaning. This biblical principle is clear, men and women are to be different – not just physically.
Clothing Changed With Time And Culture
At the time of Moses’ life, the priests wore long outer garments – like robes. Also, They did not always wear undergarments but God asked that the priests wear undergarments (breeches) when serving in the tabernacle or temple. Exodus 20:26 and 28:41-43 describes the clothes of priests,
And you shall not go up by steps to My altar, that your nakedness may not be exposed on it. Exodus 20:26 (NASB)
And you shall make for them linen breeches to cover their bare flesh; they shall reach from the loins even to the thighs. And they shall be on Aaron and on his sons when they enter the tent of meeting, or when they approach the altar to minister in the holy place, so that they do not incur guilt and die. Exodus 28:42-43 (NASB)
In Zechariah 3:4-5 we are told the high priest wore robes and a turban. We can see from these passages is that the clothing that men and women changes with time and culture.
Message of Zephaniah 1:8
In Zephaniah 1:8 God warns us that men and women will be punished for wearing foreign clothes.
Then it will come about on the day of the LORD’S sacrifice
That I will punish the princes, the king’s sons
And all who clothe themselves with foreign garments.
Zephaniah 1:8 (NASB)
What are foreign clothing? The Hebrew word that is translated as “foreign” can also mean “strange.” Deuteronomy 22:5 and 1 Peter 3:1-6 helps us understand that foreign or strange includes clothing worn by the opposite sex.
Therefore, can men wear earrings? God has already answered the question. Deuteronomy 22:5 says a man shall not wear women’s clothes and Zephaniah 1:8 warns men and women to not wear strange clothes. Since down through history earrings have been worn by western and eastern women but rarely by western and eastern men, this means that earrings are strange wear for western and eastern men. We must remember though that earrings are uniquely common to some African men.
In modern times, earrings are popular among homosexuals. Earrings are strange wear for western and eastern males. Therefore, western and eastern men should not wear earrings.
Suggested Links:Is it wrong for a male to wear long hair, braids, or dreadlocks?
Can men wear women’s clothes? What does Deuteronomy 22:5 mean?