Why I Cover My Head when in the Assembly of Saints

As a child my grandmother, Dorothy Thompson, was a God fearing woman who took me to church with her. I loved spending time with my grandmother. I remember her always wearing a hat to church. I thought it was just something she did. Other women at church would also wear hats, I thought it was just church culture, church lady fashion, haha.

As I became a young adult and read my bible more and more there were several scriptures I read and did not understand, and instead of asking questions I would just gloss over them.

I never remember these topics being covered in church, or hearing anyone discuss them, and never had an older woman explain them to me.

Also, I figured if they were to be applied literally, wouldn’t more Christians be applying them? Three in particular: graven images, women keeping silent in the churches, and women covering their heads. Let’s discuss head coverings, and save the other two topics for another day.

1 Corinthians 11 King James Version (KJV)

11 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.

But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.

But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.

For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.

For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.

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.

10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.

11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.

12 For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.

13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?

14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?

15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.

16 But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.

One day a young woman and her husband showed up at our house for worship service. When I opened the door, I was VERY surprised to see the wife had a covering on her head.

What surprised me even more was my internal reaction. Somehow, I felt challenged by her outward display of obedience to the scriptures.

I had read the scripture, but as I mentioned, I did not think the scripture applied to us today. All of these thoughts and emotions flooded my mind just from her walking in and saying hello.

She did not say anything to me about my head being uncovered, but her simple act of obedience spoke for her. I had experienced older women wearing big hats to church, and I had seen older women wearing little scarves and doilies on their heads. But never had I encountered a Christian woman, younger than I, covering their head in a worship service.

What would my response be? Was there something to this? This subtle act came at me so hard I had to know more. The excuse that this is not for our culture was not enough anymore. What did the BIBLE say?

After the service I talked with my husband about the experience and all that I felt when the woman came to worship with us with her head covered. We began to study it in the bible to understand the meaning of it. Also, as the woman continued to attend services with us, I finally asked her why she covered her head.

She said she read it in the bible and just started doing it. She said women at her previous church challenged her for doing it. But she said it was something all women were supposed to do, and she did not relent to them. So, she was the ONLY woman at her church covering her head, simply because the bible said it. The authority of the word of God was enough for her. She read it, she did it, simple.

Now, I had read the same passage she read, more than once I am sure. It is funny how when you read the bible with preconceptions, or preset ideas of what you “think” the scripture means, it is very difficult to see the meaning God intends.

The scripture did not prick my heart because I just assumed it was not for women today, it was for “that culture”. I assumed that if that was something God really wanted us to do, the Godly women around me would be doing it right? It is interesting how we decide what is for us in the bible and what is not.

As my husband studied it out, he realized that the head covering was part of a set of conduct ordinances given by Apostle Paul and written to the church at Corinth, which was in Greece. The ordinances included directions for men and women and also how the congregation should serve one another during communion. He seems to have been writing in response to a question on the matter that the church at Corinth asked him.

What is clear from the passage:

  • It is for ALL women, which is why he says EVERY woman who prays or prophesies…
  • Women should cover their heads to show that they submit to God’s order in the congregation, man submits to Christ, woman submits to man (if unmarried, a woman still submits to the same order by submitting in male elders, shepherds and apostles in Christ)
  • Men should uncover their heads (no hats in church) to show that they are submitted to God as their head and glory.
  • This is done because of the angels; the angels beheld the disorder Eve walked in when she ate the fruit and led her husband to eat.
  • The head covering is a sign, that women will follow the order God set at creation, instead of continuing in the sin of Eve, taking leadership and authority over man. It is a way to display that order in the congregation of God.
  • Instead of men focusing on their own glory (earthly status shown through what they wear on their heads), and women focusing on their glory (displaying how glorious their hair is) during the worship of God, we should focus on displaying God’s order, focusing on his glory, and showing these signs when we meet.

A few clues in the scripture tell us this ordinance is only mandatory in the congregational meeting.

  • The first clue is that he was writing to a congregation at Corinth.
  • Second, before he discusses the issue of head coverings, he reminds them to remember all the other ordinances for congregational conduct he had given them.
  • Third, after he talks about the head covering and uncovering, he gives guidelines on how to receive communion together in the congregation.

I began to cover my head in service. To show order and to focus on God’s glory as we meet to worship instead of my own glory.

It was VERY difficult for me at first. I am serious. Sometimes I wanted to cry. But I realized it was vanity and pride.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I like to dress up and adorn myself. Having to cover my head in service made me feel less attractive. I am just being honest lol.

At one point I even started wearing MORE make-up to make myself feel better when I had my head covered. I was SO FULL OF VANITY!!!!!! God shut that down too lol. That is the whole point!

Yes women are created beautiful, and that is normal and natural… but we should NOT be focused on displaying and emphasizing our beauty and glory when we come together to worship God.

We should be focused on the Most High God, and honoring HIS Glory, and HIS order! I am learning and growing, and I desire to be a gracious woman who retains honor, with a meek and quiet spirit… I have two daughters now, and I need to teach and lead by example.

 

 

 

 

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