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Shepherds Hill Homestead » A Separated Life, Plain Lifestyle » Headcoverings

Headcoverings

    Let me begin by saying that Angie and I were not raised as “plain-dressed” Christians but were mainstream, modern and denominational in every way. I was saved in a Baptist church and later went to a Pentecostal church. Angie was born Catholic and later saved in a Baptist church. After that, she went to a Charismatic church. Within the last five years, we’ve become saddened at the worldliness of churches.

 

   We began to study what the early church did and we also studied stable, devout Christian denominations. We decided that we would back away from all the teaching that we’d had and see what God’s Word had to say. After all, we’d been taught so many different things. We figured the Holy Spirit would lead us into truth through the Holy Scripture. When we studied the Amish, Mennonite and other plain people, we found a lot of stability. I personally wondered at these differences. The issue of headcoverings was actually a catalyst that moved us into the realization of how far we were from truth.

 

   The scripture passage that is commonly quoted is 1 Corinthians 11:1-16. I actually read this with the attitude that I would prove these simple people wrong in what they believed. I set out to get my facts so that I could set the record straight. We had never even met anyone that wore a headcovering.

 

   My first thought was the fact that almost no women wear headcoverings today. It seemed to me that the majority must be right. When I was first saved, my pastor taught me to never build a doctrine around a single verse. For instance, one could take the verse in Timothy as taking a little wine for your stomach to say that Christians could drink alcohol. “Ah Ha!” I thought! I can end this argument now! But when I saw that there was a half a chapter written on headcovering, I decided that I’d better read on.

 

    When I read the footnotes in my study Bible, it said that it was a cultural thing that women did in the Middle East. As I pondered on this a while, I asked myself, “When did women stop wearing a headcovering”? I thought about every picture I’d ever seen in Sunday School. Those women always had a veil on their heads. Then I thought of paintings of woman in medieval times. Those women usually had coverings. They were different, but they were covered. And even in the Colonial period, Martha Washington certainly wore one as well as many of the women in the images of the western expansion. Sure it was called a prairie bonnet. But they were still covered. I thought about my childhood when boys always took their hats off inside but no one ever asked a woman to remove hers. No one even questioned why.

 

    I began to be confused about this subject. After all, I was trying to prove the issue wrong! I decided that I’d better go back to scripture. After all, the Lord would make it clear. So I read the first few verses. I noticed that in verse two, Paul says he is reminding us of the ordinances of the church. I knew of the commonly accepted ordinance of Baptism. I also knew of Communion. We sometimes even had foot washings as an ordinance.  But headcoverings?! So Paul continues with the issue and in the second half of the chapter he talks about Communion. This didn’t sound too good for my case. It appeared that Paul could have been implying headcoverings were an ordinance. I read further.

 

    “Maybe, ” I thought, “Paul was talking about a woman’s hair!” These next few verses seemed to be saying something about hair. Eureka! I just loved Angie’s waist length hair! How wonderful to think that the scripture was going to please my flesh! Oooops! I was quickly shot down again when I substituted the word hair with the word covering. If I did this, verse 6 would say, “For if the woman doesn’t have hair, let her have her head shaved, but if it’s a shame for her to shave her head, let her have hair”. Hmmm. Doesn’t seem to fit. In verse 15 it did seem to say that God had given her hair as a covering. But when I pondered further, it made sense that the Lord had merely given a woman hair from a natural standpoint to show us the truth. Anyway, most modern women cut their hair short so they obviously do not believe that the hair is their covering.

 

   Then I read a verse that was just mysterious. I mean, it’s one of those verses that I don’t think we’ll understand this side of Heaven. Verse 10 says that it’s because of the Angels that women should pray covered. To me, this is stating that it is a supernatural thing.

 

  I was quickly being moved to the “other side” so I decided that I should look for a loophole! I needed something to get me out of this. Ah ha! I realized that it says that a woman should not pray or prophesy with her head uncovered (verse 5). So, it seemed to me, that if it truly was an ordinance, it only technically had to be worn in church and only then if a woman is praying or prophesying.  But 1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to “Pray without ceasing.”  

 

   I finally admitted the truth. Having my wife and daughters wear a cloth on their heads was going against my flesh and my carnal man was fighting against it. It seemed that I would have to address my family with the issue. Meanwhile, back at the ranch (as they say in the westerns!) Angie and the girls were all studying it as well. About 2 weeks had gone by since we had begun our quest for the truth on this matter. When I brought the conclusion to them, they were excited! I could hardly believe their willingness to do this. In fact, they asked if they could wear them immediately!

 

   I was flabbergasted! I asked what they meant and found they were all prepared to wear bandanas to Wal-Mart that morning. “Well” I thought, “that’s not so bad”. Besides, it says “Taste and see that the Lord is good!” I have always found the Lord to be willing to allow me to try new steps and make sure that I wasn’t going off the deep end. So off to Wal-mart we went.

 

   On the way, we saw a yard sale sign. We stopped and looked around. The lady there looked at me and said “Excuse me sir. Can you tell me what your faith is?” I asked her what she meant and she said “I know that you’re Christians, but what belief are you?” I spent about 10 minutes telling her what we believed. When we got back in the van, I must have had a strange look. Angie asked me what was wrong.

 

  I told her that God was telling me something. That in our obedience to scripture, things were different. For the remainder of the day, I separated myself from my family and watched the reaction of people around. I was shocked! I saw people’s attitudes change when my wife and daughters came near. I saw people ask them what they believed. And they gladly told them.

 

    Here’s the bottom line on the matter. Folks sometimes ask us if they have to do this to be saved. Works does not save us, but we will be obedient to scripture if we are truly saved. Baptism doesn’t save us, but most agree that we are to be baptized if we are born again. While we truly believe that this is what the scripture is saying about headcoverings, others will disagree. Some say that a woman’s long hair is her covering. Others say that it was a cultural custom of the past. I believe that women stopped doing it only during the “woman’s movement” and that it was always an ordinance of the church. Only in the past 150 years has it slowly been un-practiced.

 

   In our obedience to God’s ordinance of headcoverings and plain and modest dress, God constantly draws people to us in stores and restaurants. We are asked everywhere we go what we believe. We have open doors to tell people about Jesus. If wearing a simple cloth can do that, isn’t that supernatural? It seems to have been answered for us. Permanently and without question in our lives.

 

   If we are wrong about this, on judgment day the Lord will say to us, “You really didn’t have to do that”. But if others are wrong, He will ask “Why didn’t you obey?” I pray that you would find truth in this matter.

 

                                                                        Brother Paul

 

 

Angelia

Written by

"It is of the LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him." Lamentations 3:22-24

Filed under: A Separated Life, Plain Lifestyle

10 Responses to "Headcoverings"

  1. Dessa says:

    Thank you for this post. I use to wear a headcovering till I met my husband and I told him why I wore it but he corrected me. He told me that my hair was my covering I should never cut it. It has been a burdened on my heart since I took off my headcovering. I know that I am not pleasing God but my husband doesnt see a need in it at all. I just keep praying that God will open his eyes on this issues and I can go back to wearing my covering.

  2. Jenna says:

    I grew up covered only when we went to church (Church of Christ, I think–my dad early forbid my mother and me to go). I’ve recently semi-returned to this practice. I think that when people read in the Bible about women being covered it’s through the modern-day lens of “equality” (which to most people means the SAME, not equal–these are different meanings) and translate it as an unfair requirement on women. But, it’s obvious (okay, should I say “plain”–little joke there) that women are NOT the same. We have temperemental and other traints that need the discipline of covering and of being under leadership. It’s HARD–yes, it’s way hard to go there, BECAUSE of our hard-wired willfulness and vanity (which is played to by the media that ‘sells’ almost exclusively to women–funny coincidence? I think not), but it’s a discipline that yields so much reward.

    1. Angelia Angelia says:

      Jenna – I couldn’t agree more – “a discipline that yields so much reward” – AMEN and AMEN!!! It is sad that so many miss out on this incredible blessing.

  3. Cassandra says:

    I grew up in a non-christian home and got saved when I was 15. I soon backslid and didn’t really come back to the Lord until I was in my early 30’s. At that point I began to study in depth about what it meant to be a Godly woman. The Lord moved in my heart in a profound way one day when I was reading 1 Cor 11 and I knew at that moment what I was supposed to do. I went downstairs and packed up all my pants and threw them away. Then I set out to make hats to cover my head. My husband and I talked and he said that if that is what I felt led to do he would support it. That was 8 years ago. Back then I covered for church and devotions only and now I cover all my waking hours, and wear only dresses. I am so thankful that the Lord enlightened me and that my husband supports it. I find that it is a physical reminder of my spiritual commitment to God.

  4. Sarah says:

    Thank you !
    We were moved to cover almost 3 months ago, and I cannot tell you how such a simple act has changed our lives,in so many ways! When I was first moved, I must admit that I didnt answer. I did my research, I tried it, stopped, tried again…stopped. But I tell you that conviction never left my heart, Thank you Lord! Today I cover either veil style or the style I made from your site ever waking hour and have never felt better. It truly changes your life and welcomes so much into our lives. Thank you for writing about this Paul, truly awesome!

  5. Betsy says:

    Thank you for this message. I just discovered your website today and feel that it was truly an answer to prayer.

    I felt the Lord leading me to cover over 2 years ago and I refused to listen to his promptings. I didn’t even tell my husband. About two months ago I even cut my hair above my shoulders and for the first time in my life I had it highlighted. Such willful disobedience! You see, no one I know covers their heads and I have never been one to want to “stand out”. My oh my, did I feel disapproval and yes, disappointment from God. I can’t explain it, but it was there. The very next day I sat down with my husband, who by the way is an elder in the church and shared with him of my struggles. He told me that if I felt God telling me to do this that I would be disobedient to Him if I didn’t obey. That day I began covering and the peace and love and “rightness” I felt was unmistakably from the Lord. There have been many questions from people in our church and the women especially feel threatened by this. I am careful to just tell them that I felt the Lord leading me to this decision and then refer them to the verses in 1 Corinthians 11.

    I have almost always worn dresses anyway, so the decision not to wear pants has been a relatively easy one for me. I wish I had followed this scripture earlier in life while our three children were younger. Although they are all believers, they are also firmly entrenched in the world. Television, clothes, movies, books, etc. How I wish we had known some of these things before, when they were younger. We have always been active in our church, but as you say, there seems to be very little difference between what we do as Christians for entertainment, and what the world does.

    Thank the Lord that he has give us prayer. I pray for forgiveness for not teaching my children correctly and I know that He loves them even more than I do. He can change their hearts and I can try to me a better example to them.

    Blessings and thank you!

    Betsy

    1. Angelia Angelia says:

      Betsy – thank you for sharing your precious testimony! God bless you dear sister as you journey on this path!!

  6. Ali says:

    May I ask you what you believe to be “woman’s clothing”? I believe it to be dresses, but some at my church believe that it is “woman’s clothing” if it is made for women. What do you think?

    1. paul paul says:

      This is a topic that often causes controversy in Christians. I believe women should wear dresses. I base this on several things. First-in the Bible days men and women wore different clothing-specifically women wore dresses and men wore tunics. The repy usually given is that everyone wore the same thing because that is what it looks like in pictures of Bible stories. The outer garments may have been similar but underneath they were completely different. How do I know this? Because God told them to wear different clothes! That is another reason -God told His people to dress gender specific. I firmly belive that if He said to, they did. Therefore the pictures an artist creates of a Bible story does not depict the actual undergarments.
      Let me give you reason three and four. Three-if you asked anyone what it means when we say “she wore the pants in that family” you know that they mean authority. We all know that men wearing pants is symbolic of authority which God clearly gave to men.
      Reason four-this one is perhaps the one most women don’t get and should. When a woman wears pants all men’s eyes are drawn to their bodies I don’t care if it’s “womens slacks”, jeans that are “cut” special for females or some pants-suit. It doesn’t matter if they fit lose or tight. A man will look at a woman’s shape when she wears pants. Pants accentuate what she has. If Christian women could grasp this they would stop wearing them. No woman of God wants men to lust after her.
      That being said, there are innapropriate clothes that men wear also. These are just as wrong to wear. I realize that many people just go with what is in style. If skirts came into style for men should we start wearing them claiming them to be “mens skirts” just as they have “women’s slacks”? renaming something doesn’t make it right. Sister-just stick with what you know is right.

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