I can feel a literal sigh escaping my body as I let my mind spin with all the thoughts starting to tumble back in time. For years, wearing a head covering was a daily bother. Why couldn't I be like all the other little girls? Oh, just to have my hair flyin high with the wind, strung back in a ponytail.
Bittered by the only life style I ever new, life went on. Oh, my parents did try to explain the reasoning behind it all! I simply didn't want to hear anything of it! And why, oh why, did it have to be so big!! All the other little Mennonite girls wore cute little head coverings and got to doll up their hair any way they pleased! But here I was stuck in the "strict" home!
So the daily struggle continued. When I left home at 21, I heard freedom calling my name. No longer would I have to answer the duty-some calls of overly protective parents. Little did I know that this new feeling in the wind, this newfound "freedom," was only God's way of bringing me closer to absolute Surender in Him.
I moved to Flatrock, IL to teach school in September. This place sneakily became my home. It turned into my place of refuge from the storms of life, and I grew to immensely love it here.
But this was only the beginning of my story. God took me through some really tough, melting and molding processes. He began to melt away all the pain, the hurt, the abuse, and started to mold me into a loving child of His.
That included dealing with my issues of contempt for authority. I didn't want any thing to do with anyone who would be telling me what to do! That felt like control! Like the air would be squeezed right out if me. But, I never felt that way about the leaders at this new church. They were all so loving and kind, and whenever I messed up or needed help they were right there beside me, doing there best to guide me. You see, Godly authority doesn't control, it protects. That's why God put it there in the first place. Not to make us feel wretched and used, but to protect us.
Most times, the leaders in our lives don't know how to do this either! As a school teacher, I struggled to know how to lead my children in a Godly way. I prayed and cried out to God over and over again. I tried, and somedays I fell harder than others, but God always came through for me in the end. It's so hard to lead when you've never had an example of what God actually wants in a leader! Leaders are called to serve and to protect.
Let's take baptism for example. We, as Christians all know baptism is a part of the born again experience! It's an ordinance that God created for us! So why would the head covering be any different? Lets keep going with 1 Corinthians 11 verse 3.s, so they had to have a whole bunch of rules to keep them pure. Now, we can live by God's grace and mercy with our sins covered by the blood! But that still doesn't give us permission to throw out the whole rule book and just be like 'Jesus loves me and nothing else matters'. No, He made those rules for a reason and now we get to figure out what He meant when He made them. Why did He write a whole chapter in the Bible about the head covering?? It's just a piece of cloth anyways!! 1 Corinthians 11 starts in by saying to be followers of Christ. Verse 2 says to remeber to keep the Ordinances. An Ordinance is a physical action that triggers spiritual things.
2."A physical action that triggers spiritual things"
Let's take baptism for example. We, as Christians all know baptism is apart of the born again experience! It's an ordinance that God created for us! So why would the head covering be any different? Lets keep going with 1 Corinthians 11 verse 3.
3.For 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.
Here we can see Paul talking about the headship order. Let's keep reading.
4.Every man praying or prophesying with his head covered dishonoureth his head.
I looked up this verse in Greek and made an interesting discovery. The first head is talking about your head, you know the one on your shoulders. The second one is talking about the previous verse, where it's talking about the headship order. So that means I am dishonoring my authority when I don't cover my head. Shocking discovery, am I right!? So let's keep going!! This is starting to get good!
5.But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head; for that even all one as if she were shaven.
Let's take a look at the word 'uncovered' in the above passage. That word in Greek is (akatakalyptō) meaning; not hid, or unveiled. Book mark this in your head because I'll reference back to it further along.
6.For if the women be not covered let her also be shorn: But it be a shame for a woman to be shaven or shorn, let her be covered
Again, because I'm such a Greek freak, I looked it up. and it says that it's the same amount of shame for a woman to have her hair shorn ( like completely bald) as it is to be praying without your hair covered! And Paul's like, "I know it's disgraceful for you ladies to shave all your hair off, so just wear a covering!"
7.For a man ought indeed not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God, the woman is the glory of man. 8. For the man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man.
Here it's talking about back in Genesis, when God created the whole world and everything in it.The man is not of the woman, but the woman of the man, because God used a rib from Adam's side to create her.
9.Neither was the man created for the woman but the woman for the man.
Imma put in a testimony of a dear friend of mine right here.
"Another aspect of my reason for wearing a covering is I take the covering (veil) as a symbol to show I am covered, not just by a veil, but by authority. I love to think not only am I covered by authority, but MY authority is covered as well!! Covered by Jesus, when Jesus is their head! When that covering is all in place we are secure! When a woman is not covered by authority who's head is Jesus Christ, it leaves a lot to be desired. I have in the past(this is rather personal) struggled more with feeling I am not covered, and struggled harder with wondering why am I even wearing a head covering?? I never had a desire to just pitch it all out, but it felt like a vain empty symbol. Since being here and being under authority who's head is Christ, I,for the first time my life, thank God almost every time I put my veil on, that I have a spiritual authority, who is walking in the authority of Jesus Christ. Praise Jesus." - your friend
Back to the Bible...
10. For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head, because of the angels.
Paul is bringing out a point here, and I want you to listen closely as I try my best to get my words in order and explain it to you all proper like. The woman is the weaker vessel because she came from the man. Therefore God is setting up some principles for protection for us. But before you men are tempted to get all proudful about it, let's continue reading verse 11.
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 of the woman, but all things of God.
So firstly, there is no room for pride, neither male nor female, because as the last line goes, but all things of God. God made us both perfectly! Now, sneaky little me did want to point out that one line before the last. (Even so is the man of the woman.) I mean duh! She gave birth to you!
13. Judge in yourselves: is it comly that a woman pray unto God uncovered? 14. Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if any man have long hair it is a shame unto him?
Now back in the day, their culture was little different than it is nowadays. Today you can run around in nothing but your underwear and no one will judge you for it because its called a bathing suit. But back in the day, that would've been serious!! It was bad enough just to be caught sitting out in the streets wearing red and having your hair uncovered. Which is why Dear Brother Paul was like, "doesn't even nature itself teach you this"??
15. But if a woman have long hair it is a glory unto her:for her hair is given unto her for a covering.
Remember verse 5?? Well, the word 'covering' in verse 15 is a totally different word for Verse 5. This one is (peribolaiou) a covering which is thrown about. Two totally different words and two totally different meanings! Our hair is meant to be thrown about for our husbands! But they should be totally covered for everyone else, just as the rest of our body. We have a responsibility to guard our hearts and take care of our bodies, and the good Lord has made some pretty special effort in helping us do so. Now on to verse 16, which used to be a famous cop out for me too!
16. But if any man seem to be contentious, We have no such custom neither the churches of God.
I would always sit there waving my hand to and fro and be like, "Hey me! I'd like to argue with you about it!" But you know, I had to look it up in Greek. I honestly didn't expect to find much, but I sure was shocked when I found an extra word! Honestly, I'm not sure why they didn't just keep all the words in the Bible instead of making me look them up them up in Greek all the time! The word was; other. And you place this word 'other' between the words no and such. making the sentence come out as 'We have no other such customs,' meaning we don't have any other ways of doing things around here! And if Paul was anything like me, he probably would've told him to go jump in the pond if he's gonna act like a silly goose! Lol! But since good ol' brother Paul had nicer ways of saying things, and since languages are rather hard to translate, meanings often go missed. So I hope this cleared up any confusion you might have had about the matter! I know it did for me! So often when I sit down to write these essays, I have no idea how much they really are for me. I find it incredibly beautiful how God can use the small things like this in a person's life to concrete His word in their hearts.