I want to know why some Christian women put on scarves (cover their hair) while praying and others leave their hair uncovered when praying. Why do some Christian women put on trousers when the Bible says a woman should not put on that which pertains to a man?
The belief that women should cover their heads with scarves or hats comes from an interpretation of I Corinthians 11:1-16. This passage, in accordance with others, seems to say that a man should not cover his head in prayer, while a woman always should. There is a misunderstanding here. This passage is referring less to the physical aspect of wearing a hat or scarf, and more to the spiritual aspect of coming before the Lord with humility. Whereas a woman should be subject to her husband and follow him with “veiled obedience,” she is also subject to the Lord in the same way. Also, the shearing away of the hair here would not apply to a woman losing her hair due to cancer, but shaving it as an act of rebellion. For a woman, the Bible is condemning the act of rebellion of short/shaved hair, and is condoning coming before God with a spiritual covering.
As far as the wearing of trousers goes, it actually has a lot in common with what we just talked about. The wearing of men’s clothes as an act of rebellion is definitely contrary to Scripture. This, of course, does not include the many poor in the world without a choice of apparel, but refers to the women trying to make a statement or to rebel. However, this problem has a flip side. The Bible also condemns a woman dressing up for church to the point of vanity or in a way that draws unnecessary attention to her (I Peter 3:1-16, I Timothy 2:9-15).
The overall point here is that church is not a place to try to stand out, rebel, or prove a point through your apparel. If in one church it is socially acceptable and does not offend others for a woman to wear dress pants, then I would not have a problem with it. If in another church it would cause a lot of second looks and people talking about it, I would advise against it.