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Some people think head covering is about rules, some think it's about culture...find out why it's neither!

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Should A Christian Woman Cover Her Hair

Should.

It’s such a dirty word.

We should exercise everyday.

We should not stay up late binge watching Netflix. (Netfilx vs. PureFlix: Should You Switch?)

We should hold our tongue.

We ask questions like:

Should A Christian woman cover her hair?

Should a Christian drink beer?

Shoulds are shame-ridden.

Because, let’s face it…no one lives up to them.

Why do we insist on starting all our “Christian” questions with should?

Five Things When Asking “Should a Christian Woman Cover Her Hair?”

1. Determine Your Feelings

How about “do I want to?”

You can do a lot more from that perspective.

Whatever the Bible says about head covering aside, what do you feel about head covering?

If you are opposed to the practice of head covering ask yourself why.

If you like the idea ask yourself why.

Do you have pre-conceived ideas about covering?

Is it stupid? Unnecessary? Oppressive? Legalistic? Unfashionable?

The answer will help you as you begin uncovering the answer to ‘should a Christian woman cover her hair?’.

2. Pray

Now that you know how you really feel about head covering. Let’s bring it before God in prayer.

Things to Pray:

  • Ask Him to remove all preconceived notions.
  • Ask Him for clarity.
  • Ask for confirmation.

3. Consult the Bible

Why do I say ‘consult the Bible’ third?

BLASPHEMY! Right?

I don’t think so. I think it’s important to assess our own biases and ask the Lord to protect us from them so we can read the text with an openness to the Holy Spirit alone.

Now, here are the scriptures:

Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ. Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you. 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. Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonors his head. 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. 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. 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. For man is not from woman, but woman from man. Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man. For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God. Judge among yourselves. Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him? But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering. But if anyone seems to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor do the churches of God.

4. Recognize the Bias of the Modern Church

And you thought only CNN was biased! The church has a TON of it’s own biases (and so does Fox News too!)

Maybe “bias” is a harsh word. But what else would you call it when almost all modern church women don’t cover their heads and haven’t since the 1960s. (Which BTW was the start of the “feminist” revolution and the decline of our society’s morals…just saying.)

We are all susceptible to bias. It’s difficult to go against the grain…especially when you highly esteem church.

Two Common Doctrines the Modern Church Hold About Head Covering

Doctrine 1: Covering = Long Hair

To clarify: the word “shorn” means cut hair. The word “shaved” means bald headed.

Modern churches teach that “the covering” is a woman’s long hair. But let’s read this statement with the words “long hair” substituted:

For if a woman does not have long hair, let her also be shorn. But if it is shameful for a woman to be shorn or shaved, let her be covered.

Why would Paul say that a woman who doesn’t have long hair needs to be shorn? Isn’t her hair already shorn?

If Paul was talking about hair length alone, perhaps he would have been more specific about it. What is acceptable? Shoulder-length? Waist-length? We don’t know. We need more details.

But perhaps he didn’t give those details because he wasn’t talking about hair at all…he was talking about a physical covering.

Furthermore, if long hair is all that Paul is talking about…then all men with long hair need to shorten their hair because it would be dishonoring to God.

Modern churches also point to Paul talking about nature and stating that her hair is her covering.

But Paul’s reference to long hair as a nature’s natural covering was meant to give more proof that even nature shows woman are to have “extra” covering. (Read More)

Doctrine 2: Covering Isn’t Culturally Necessary Anymore

Many people say that we do not need to heed the “covering” anymore because it’s not culturally relevant. They say that only prostitutes were uncovered. Because there are no more prostitutes roaming around, we don’t need to cover.

This arrangement is especially problematic because history shows that women of high ranking were uncovered often in that place and time period. There are sculptures and paintings of uncovered women. If you are a swanky socialite with tons of money, would you let your daughter get her portrait painted or sculpted looking like a prostitute? Certainly not!

This argument is also problematic because of the small phrase “because of the angels.” Angels are eternal…not cultural.

We cover because of the angels whether it’s culturally relevant or not.

(BTW: This specific head covering is “cultural” argument is used by homosexuals when defending their sin. If God only meant for head covering to be a protective measure against a bad reputation, then homosexuality was only taboo because of diseases which can be eradicate by our modern methods of “safe-sex.” See Video.)

5. Research Both Sides

I’m obviously in support of head covering…but I wasn’t always so.

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I, like many:

  1. Didn’t think about it
  2. When I did, spouted off cultural or long hair as covering enough.

It wasn’t until I did my own research that a physical covering made more sense than either of those two answers.

If you looking for a positive and well-researched study of head covering, I recommend HeadCoveringMovement.com‘s in-depth study.

There are many online that oppose head covering.

Whether or not you read a supporting or opposing view of head covering, please make sure their research is in-depth and not feelings based.

AND that the rest of their doctrine aligns with the Bible.

And finally…

Should A Christian Woman Cover Her Hair?

The answer is your own.

Because at the end of the day, YOU…and no one else…will stand before the Creator.

You can be guilted into head coveirng…but what good is that?

There are many reasons I head cover.

Do I believe it’s Biblical? Yes. Without a doubt. And when I do doubt (which I have), I research again and am convinced once more.

But the Lord was ever so gracious and patient with me. And I hope to convey that same grace and patience to those grappling with head covering.

Head covering isn’t a salvation issue. I believe it has spiritual implications but I don’t think God’s going to say, “Well done good and…wait…hold up…no head covering…nah, nah…move along this is not the gate you are looking for.”

Of course, I hope you cover.

I love love love rocking my head covering for Jesus and I want to be an inspiration to you…not a burden.

For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. Matthew 11:30 (NKJV)

Head covering Christian woman who loves good coffee and stinky cheese. My favorite dessert is Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake. I am a Christian author, blogger, and speaker. I fell in love with my husband because he had rain drops on his glasses (true story). In my spare time I homeschool my seven children (5 girls, 2 boys).

GO DEEPER


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So many Christian churches fail to teach about head coverings. But should a Christian woman cover her hair or not? Inquiring minds want to know!

Leave a Comment

  1. Reply

    Dear Elaine,
    I think you just said most of the things I believe about this issue, too! This was a really nice article. I agree with your understanding of the headcovering issue, and I also think you did a great job in emphasizing that each person needs to do their own research, and form their own Bible-based convictions on this subject. I’m mostly confident that if they do their research honestly, without preconceived notions, they will eventually come to the same conclusion as we have(that headcovering is not cultural, and that it isn’t the hair, but that it is a timeless symbol meant for today). Patience is so important, though!
    In my own experience I, like you, have sometimes doubted; but, I do more research, and always come back with a greater-than-ever conviction about the issue.
    And it does help, I’ve found, to simplify, too: What does the Bible teach here? — that God the Father is the head of Christ, that Christ is the head of man, and that man is the head of woman. What is the best way to symbolize that?: For a woman to wear a covering OVER her head in order to show that she is not the head, but is UNDER authority. It really is quite simple.
    Great article — I really enjoyed it!
    Thank you,
    Jessica

    • Reply

      Aww thanks! I truly appreciate the support. I love knowing there are so many other women that believe in head covering. Going to check your blog out now!

    • Elly
    • July 15, 2017
    Reply

    But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering. – 1 Corinthians 11:15

    May I ask, how do you interpret this scripture? I truly wish to get your take on things 🙂 Context would be great too! I just find it hard to deny that the Lord calls for our hair to be our sole head covering due to the fact that this verse literally seals/ends Paul’s teaching on head coverings.

    I say these words with love by the way! I have personally studied the bible, and I am open to the notion that I’ve missed some very important info! But, I must stress, I am also pretty firm on taking the bible literally. I do not see how the scripture would be so blatant and straight-forward, yet.. mean something else entirely. Nowhere does it state we must wear cloth as a covering… But, it does state our hair is made for a covering?

    Really interested in seeing your research and hearing your explanation!

    God Bless xx

    • Reply

      Elly,

      Thanks for having such a sweet spirit to understand.

      This is a great question. Here is my answer based on The Head Covering Movement’s position, which I agree with (edited):

      While we affirm that a woman’s long hair is her natural covering, we see two different coverings being talked about in this chapter. One of them is a woman’s long hair which is natural, permanent and a glory to her (1 Cor 11:14-15). The other would be a fabric covering which is artificial, removable (1 Cor 11: 5) and a symbol of authority (1 Cor 11:10).

      Support for long hair as the only covering comes from verse 15, “For her hair is given to her for a covering.” Those advocating this position argue that the Greek word “anti” (translated “for”) means “in place of”. They would understand this passage as saying: “her hair is given to her [in place of / instead of] a covering”.

      The fact that Paul only commands covering for certain times (1 Cor 11:4-5) hints that he has a removable covering in mind. Additionally, if long hair were the only covering mentioned in this chapter then there’s a major problem with verse 6.

      If long hair were the same as being covered according to Paul, what would be being uncovered? It would mean having short hair, right? The opposite of covered is uncovered and the opposite of long hair is short hair. So if that’s what Paul had in mind, let’s do some word replacement in verse 6. Where we see the word “cover her head”, let’s replace that with “have long hair”.

      For if a woman does not [have long hair], let her also have her hair cut off.

      For if a wife will not [have long hair], then she should cut her hair short…If you refuse to have long hair, you should cut your hair short? You’d already have short hair! This argument wouldn’t make sense.

      You say that the verse seals/ends Paul’s teaching is right!
      When Paul references a woman’s long hair as her covering not to contradict a artificial covering, but to reinforce it by saying, “See! Even natural supports a woman having more of a covering than a man.” It’s like when we make our final point in a discussion to show our interpretation is right.

      The verses concerning a woman’s hair, says that a woman’s hair is her glory.

      But the verses concerning a woman’s artificial covering, says that it’s to symbolize her submission and “cover her glory.”

      It doesn’t make sense for the thing that is called “her glory” to be able to also “cover her glory.”

      “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…For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.”

      We cover the glory because women are man’s glory, men uncover because they are God’s glory.

      Finally, the fact that the church unanimously understood Paul to mean an artificial covering until recent times is worthy of mention.

      Personally, I believe that our current generation has fallen far from how the Lord wants us to live, this is shown in the lack of covering and other ways. Would you say in any other situation that those closest to the time period understood these words better or those further away? If those closer to that time period covered, why would we think we’ve been given some special understanding as those further away from that time period?

      It’s interesting, to me, that the next verses talk about the Lord’s Supper…another physical symbol that means something spiritual. As if Paul was grouping these items together. We readily practice communion, knowing it’s a symbol of our faith, yet women struggle with covering because it’s part of the idea that women from the beginning of the Fall struggled with submission to authority and deceived that they knew better than God. As the curse states, the woman will “desire to usurp her husband/her desire will be for him and he will rule over you” – showing the tension between man/woman relationships beginning. I believe, the covering shows a woman’s decision to come into right relationship and harmony with the call of her being second made, not less…but second nonetheless.

      More than anything continue to seek the Lord in this. I believe he’ll lead us all into all truth as long as we can throw all our own “knowledge” aside and trust in Him. If He leads you to cover than it’s to His glory, if not it’s to His glory. I seek only to be a messenger, never an enforcer of God’s will. The Holy Spirit is enough. I do not judge nor condemn those who do not cover, nor exalt those who DO cover. There are tons of Christians who cover who aren’t walking the will of the Lord, and tons of Christians who do not cover who know Jesus intimately.

      See the entire article here: http://www.headcoveringmovement.com/articles/is-a-womans-long-hair-her-covering

        • Jennifer
        • February 7, 2018
        Reply

        In addition to your argument supporting a covering in addition to long hair….

        If hair is the only covering then a man’s hair would also be a covering. So logically, if a man were not bald or shaved then he, by default, would also be covered

    • Lily
    • October 6, 2017
    Reply

    My father is against me covering because he believes that it is a sign for Islam. I want to cover because I feel closer to God and I’ve tried telling him this but, he won’t listen to me. I need a good argument for him to understand why. I don’t know what to do! Any advice???
    ( BTW love your website) XX Lily the Frazzled

      • Hakima
      • January 7, 2018
      Reply

      Dear Lily, me as a muslim woman, that choses to cover herself with a veil and modest clothes, is very happy to see the women of the scriptures also covering themselfs as it is something we do for the love of God ….i hope your father will understand and sees that it is not only for muslims/islam, but also for Jewish and Cristian women…its for everybody who wants it and feels like it, i hope it will be easier for you and especially for your dad, Godwilling….peace and blessings to you and all my sisters in humanity….

    • Reply

      Thanks for the compliment. Glad you are here.
      Perhaps you could should him The Head Covering Movement’s website, or some videos that Jeremy has done for it. It’s presented in a very logical way.

    • Carissa
    • October 25, 2017
    Reply

    It appears women have taken the head covering out of context for says
    1 Corinthians 10:15 But if a woman have long hair it is a glory to her; for her hair is given her for a covering.
    The Lord is not pleased if a woman shaves her head and prays without covering her head, otherwise our hair serves as this.

      • Carissa
      • October 25, 2017
      Reply

      Excuse the mistake, it is chapter 11 verse 15

      • Reply

        This verse, in my understanding, is meant to back up a cloth as covering, not detract from it. Paul says, (paraphrased) “See even nature teaches us that women require MORE covering” meaning that they should cover MORE (with a cloth).

        See:
        http://www.headcoveringmovement.com/articles/is-a-womans-long-hair-her-covering
        http://www.headcoveringmovement.com/articles/where-did-the-long-hair-view-come-from

          • Carissa
          • October 27, 2017
          Reply

          Verse 16 he goes on to say “If any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God”.
          In addressing head covering, Paul was speaking to the people of Corinth on this matter b/c they felt it necessary for women to cover their head to show submissiveness to men. Paul has made it clear in verse 15&16 that there is no need for this.
          I am responding with rebuttals b/c I do not find it helpful to women that are seeking to please the Lord to be inidated with unnecessary rules that are not the command of obeying our Father.
          I do not put judgement on you for doing so if you please, but it should be clarified that this idea is NOT God’s law for us.

    • Jennifer
    • February 7, 2018
    Reply

    I am so glad I’m not the only “radical” Christian woman! Bless you and your family. Rock your faith and head covering. I just started covering and it feels AMAZING! Do people look at me strangely? Yep. Do I care? Nope!!

    • Sandra
    • May 3, 2018
    Reply

    I am sure most women will agree that there are times when you are out in public, maybe going to the store, and you feel those side glances and leering looks from strangers (normally men) who are checking you out. There was a time I was secretly excited by this but that was before my husband and I recommitted ourselves to a traditional Christian marriage.
    We discussed this after attending a seminar on Christian marriage and having reading the scriptures we decided that the right thing to do for me to cover my hair when I was out in public. Having been a head coverer for almost a year now I must say I have never felt better. I prefer a long scarf tied around my head and I use subtle tones. My husband also suggested that I wear long flowing skirts and cover my arms. I can certainly say that those leery looks have become a lot less. It makes me feel much more committed to my husband and every time I get dressed to go out I reaffirm my commitment that I am under him and only for him.
    Even when I am not out in public I still cover while I am busy with homemaking chores, I have just gotten so used to it and they feel so right. Thank you for your blog, you are an inspiration to me and I too am rocking my head covering for Jesus.

    • Courtney Heston
    • June 1, 2018
    Reply

    What are your thoughts on a woman having short hair?

    • I, personally, love my long hair. I wouldn’t condemn a woman with short hair, but I prefer long hair.

    • Ariel
    • June 4, 2018
    Reply

    Today, my daughter and I wore our headcoverings for the very first time!

    Father God has been showing me many areas in my life that need improvement. He started putting headcovering and being a Biblical wife on my heart. Obviously, most of us have read/heard of the Proverbs 31 woman, but to me, He was speaking about something else. He kept telling me, “You dont have to be the boss. You dont always have to win. You were made for your husband, he was made for you. Let him lead you”. Long story short, He kept putting modest dressing and headcovering on my heart. I came upon scripture regarding headcovering, I prayed , and I watched numerous videos, and read, a lot. This past week I spoke to my husband about it, and today, my daughter and I wore our headcoverings. Mine, a purple and pink scarf, hers, a handkerchief with pineapples. We discussed why this decision was being made for our family, we read scripture as a family, and we discussed what we believe God wants from our family.

    We were both a little nervous when we had to go to the store later, and while shopping she felt a little nervous. By the time we were done, we got in the vehicle and she was saying how much she loved it and she was glad we are listening to Gods word. I have to say, I agree.

    Tonight I stumbled upon your site while doing more research. Thank you so much. You have affirmed what the Lord has been sharing with me. And you taught me something new with the sock buns! God bless you!

    • Oh wow! How old is your daughter? I have five daughters and am hoping my own covering inspires theirs! If I had started covering earlier in their lives I might have required them to wear one to church, but since it started later I have allowed them to choose whether or not they will. I think several of them will choose to, but some may have to have the Lord’s conviction in their own journey! I’m impressed to say the least of your sweet daughter’s response!

    • Lois
    • June 9, 2018
    Reply

    This is really encouraging to those doing the hair covering.
    I just got to read this today and my take on this is that, if there wasn’t another covering aside the hair, Apostle Paul would not have mentioned the issue of covering the hair at all.

    • Lois
    • June 9, 2018
    Reply

    If there was no need for a covering, Apostle Paul would not have mentioned the issue of covering the hair. Since the women all had long hair.

    • Almeta
    • July 7, 2018
    Reply

    Good morning,
    I agree with your statement, and like how you presented your story. My person of interest is Muslim, and he inform me. I was l8ke hey you right. Have a bless day.

    • Iv
    • July 26, 2018
    Reply

    Hello. I was so glad and inspired finding your site today. Thank you for sharing your faith and experience. I would like to start or try head covering, I tried before, but where I live, the weather it’s almost everyday very, very hot between 35°C / 95°F to 37°C / 99°F, and that makes even have long hair a great challenge. Woul you give me and advice, how to deal with the weather problem, to still can use a confort everyday head covering, please? Thank you.

    • Lael
    • August 18, 2018
    Reply

    So when do you cover and when don’t you? You are shown on your site here with nothing at all on your head but hair. (beautiful hair BTW) In your head-wrap tutorial you had all your hair on display. I’m confused. All I know is that some Orthodox Jewish women cover even in their homes, some only when they go out, and they differ on how much hair to show. I don’t know of any Christian women that still cover, although we did up until the 60s. I don’t personally know any Muslim ladies so can’t speak to that. I just purchased a couple of long scarves to cover because I have lost almost all my hair to illness and meds and am almost bald (speaking of people staring). I think much in the Bible is convoluted and confusing, this being one topic. But God bless each of you for making your decision after you have prayed about and tried to suss out the correct answer.

    • I don’t cover all the time. And unlike Jewish women, Christian head covering women aren’t bound to not show their hair anywhere. The same with Muslim women who cover for modesty. I believe head covering and modesty are two separate issues. One is about headship and the other about propriety. I cover often, but not all the time…usually during spiritual times whether out of church or inside. And thanks for saying my hair is pretty! *Blushing*

    • Kristy
    • August 19, 2018
    Reply

    Hi Elaine! Do you wear a head cover outside of church and prayer? I see in Corinthians that a woman is to wear a cover when praying and prophesying. What about outside of church?

    • Personally, I wear mine more than just at church but less than everyday. I think outside of church is a personal choice, but some women would argue that we are to “pray without ceasing” therefore supposed to wear it all the time (even in the shower). I think Paul was addressing it for group fellowship, but that’s something you will probably have to pray about for your own peace of mind.

    • Bex
    • December 12, 2018
    Reply

    Your “culture” argument may need to address a few more things. We shouldn’t eat pig, or wear mixed fibers, or is it ok now because we know how to cook pig properly? Or in this case would you use the argument that the old testament law is no longer valid? That does bring in other issued thiugh becaise we do still follow things in the old testament never mentioned in the new.