Recently, I was asked why I cover my head sometimes and not other times, whereas, my best friend, covers almost 100% of the time.
If you would like to know why my friend covers here is a link to her article.
I agree with everything in my friends article and find it to be very thorough. So, then why do I sometimes remove my covering?
The answer is simple. Let’s read all of 1 Corinthians 11:1-17.
1 Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.2 Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you. 3 But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. 4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonors his head. 5 But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for that is one and the same as if her head were shaved. 6 For if a woman is not covered, let her also be shorn. But if it is shameful for a woman to be shorn or shaved, let her be covered. 7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. 8 For man is not from woman, but woman from man. 9 Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man. 10 For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 11 Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. 12 For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God.
13 Judge among yourselves. Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him? 15 But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering. 16 But if anyone seems to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor do the churches of God.
I have highlighted the first two and last verse of this passage for a reason. I believe that Paul is addressing certain situations that are happening in the church at Corinth. In verse one, it is my understanding and belief that Paul is referring to the teachings he did in person, and even though, the verse says traditions, I think it is a reference to the chapter before 11. In chapter 10, Paul reminds the people of the Exodus and the commandments of God. I truly believe that verse 2, is a reminder to obey the commands of Torah. If we take off chapter and verse numbers, this makes sense. Verse three, he then begins dealing with a question that was asked of the church. The question is not given to us, but we can assume it is about authority and headship, and covering of ones head. Paul gives a lesson, picture of how the authority structure works in the body of Messiah. Then he explains that covering and uncovering ones head is a visual picture of that authority structure. In conclusion, he says,
“13 Judge among yourselves. Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him? 15 But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering. 16 But if anyone seems to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor do the churches of God.”
This final few verses can be confusing. It sounds as if Paul is answering a question that might have been proposed. Maybe, the question was something like, “well, isn’t a woman’s hair a covering itself?”
It is clear that Paul is first talking about a physical veil covering, and then as he concludes, he says, well, maybe long hair is a physical covering in itself. So, I am not going to argue about this matter. Be contentious, that is. There is no set rule on this matter, so this is my view, but I am not going to argue about it.
So, my personal view on head covering is that it is a personal decision. THERE IS NO SET LAW IN TORAH THAT WE MUST COVER. But the fact that Paul writes about it makes me say, hmm, how should I walk this out. My husband likes when I cover. He says it reminds him of his place in Yehovah’s authority structure. Covering gives me a terrible head ache. I have tried lots of different types of covers, but it always results in a head ache. That being said, I do cover during certain times. I cover if I am teaching, praying, or giving a Word from Yehovah (reading scripture).
I do believe that one of the points Paul was trying to make is that a woman should look like a woman and a man should look like a man. This is a command in Torah.
In the time and culture we live in, it has become a very sad reality that men and women are not obeying this command. Covering ones head with a veil is not a culture norm for women in America. So, it clearly sets one apart, but so does dressing like a lady and grooming ones hair like a woman.
It is my understanding when reading all of Paul’s letters that he wants us to be a set apart people unto Yehovah. Let’s seek after truth and walk in it.