What is this thing on my head? Most people who are familiar with it call it 'the headcovering' or 'prayer veiling'. Some simply say 'the covering'.
Why do I veil/cover my head? Simply put, because I believe God tells me to. I know many do not understand this, but let me begin by giving you the scriptural reference that many today chose to ignore or do not understand.
1 Corinthians 11
1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.
3 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.
4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.
5 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.
6 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.
7 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.
8 For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man.
9 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 fall evening in 2001, my husband was in bed early as he wasn’t feeling well. I was up just simply browsing the net and doing a little Bible study online. I had been growing closer to God at this point in my life. I was praying for God to come into my life more and for the Holy Spirit to come as well. In my marriage, (I was married in 1997), I had always been the dominant one. I had definitely been the one to lead, handle the finances, etc. I was your basic average woman of modern society. However, God slapped me pretty hard that night. My life has changed, my marriage has changed, jobs, friendships… everything has changed.
I came across a website called www.wendysmodestdress.com I don’t even really remember how I got there, but I did. I found it pretty intriguing. I wasn’t sure why she covered her head, so I read her testimony and the scriptural references about it. I was absolutely floored. I had previously read the verses, and had inquired about them. I accepted the explanation that “the covering” was my hair as commonly believed. I seen Wendy’s site, and I thought, well, I guess I have to go disprove this lady’s interpretation. God took about 15 to 20 minutes to show me quickly there was no getting around this. It was pretty black and white. I could obey or not was what I felt. In my spirit I felt God tell me that, “You have been asking me to let you do things for My Kingdom. If you can not obey in this small simple matter, how can I trust you with bigger things.”
Inside, my thoughts were “SMALL MATTER, are you kidding me, Lord?”. That night, I found a shawl and used that to cover my head and pray. It felt very right. When my husband awoke the next morning I told him about what happened. He was quite skeptical that I had read the scriptures correctly. I told him that I wanted his permission and support because the very scripture that speaks on the covering also speaks much about headship within marriage. (see article on submission) He reluctantly agreed to allow me to cover for a few days while he could study the issue. One small hurdle was over, one of the biggest of my life was to come.
I was working outside the home at the time in a office setting at the time. The only scarf I had was a fairly bright shade of a pink one, and I was shy to wear that. So I quickly made a little lace thing to cover part of my hair in the back that day. I felt like everyone looked at me all day. A few odd looks, but no real questions. And in hindsight, I realize now I didn’t get many questions because it just looked like I was having an “odd fashion flair” for the day. The next day, I was a little more brave and wore the pink one. Basically a pink triangle style covering. THAT got some questions going. I did my best to answer them. I was so nervous that day. A few days later my husband came to me and told me he agreed and scripturally, yes, I was to cover my head.
Anyway, eventually I had friends, family and the world to face. Did I mention that I am an extremely shy, introverted person? I may have been dominant in my marriage, but to the world and on the inside I was very, very shy. Putting on that covering was one of the hardest steps of obedience I had ever taken in my life. Modest dressing also followed.
I Timothy 2:11-15
9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
I began wearing only dresses, and tried to keep them as plain and simple as possible. All of these changes were occurring while I had to face people with this new appearance. I was nervous anytime I had to see anyone, that had not seen my “new look”. I think my friends and family turned out to me much harder as most of them are professing Christians who do not accept that covering is necessary in this modern culture or they feel “the covering” is the hair. I had more opposition from some rather than others, but nothing God hasn’t gotten my husband and I through. I even eventually lost the job I was working, I believe firmly, due to the headcovering. God got us through that too..
The covering has blessed my life greatly. My marriage has changed so much since that day and also I have tried to be obedient to the scriptures regarding submission. While I can certainly still improve, I am a much better wife to my husband. He has blossomed into this wonderful leader in our home, where previously he wasn’t even slightly interested in leading the home as a man is required to do. Our love has grown much deeper though it as well. We both strive to follow God, and have been doing so as best we know how since. I am probably a much better public witness too. It is hard to be in public and have a bad day and grouch at someone out with a headcovering on. It is like putting Jesus bumper stickers on your car, everyone will realize you are a Christian and will be watching you closer. You must remember to act better and improve your witness.
Have I been perfect since I began covering? A loud and resounding, NO! I have even yielded to my vanity a couple of times and removed it for about 2-3 months. All that did was make me miserable inside and I always came back to covering. Another thing it did was create a confusing witness. For that, I am ashamed and repentant. However, I suppose people can see I am human and stumble occasionally.
The covering seems like it should be no big deal when you really think about it, but in today’s society it is a huge deal.
If you are researching this issue and are contemplating wearing one then I can almost guarantee there will be persecution. It will not be easy. Usually you will find, if you are not being persecuted on some level, you probably are not living scripturally. You will possibly lose friends, family, and jobs as I have.
Don’t let me scare you away though. Just know you were warned that is not all “sunshine and flowers”. While it may be hard in society, how much better is it to be right with God? You will gain more blessing than you can imagine by following God’s word and being obedient to it. The peace that comes with obedience is immeasurable.