I listened to a podcast on head covering and have become persuaded to say the least, to wear one when i am praying with my husband at home. I don’t see the text instructing me to wear it all the time, it says specifically when praying or prophesying..since i don’t really do much prophesying (!) i will start doing it when we are praying.
Ladies do you do this and also i am wondering do you do this when you are praying alone to the Lord? I’m not going to be legalistic about it and if i’m praying to the Lord and don’t have something to cover my head, then i won’t pray–i will pray but i want to start putting it in to practice as much as i am able. Right now i’ll put my hood over my head when sitting down to eat and saying the grace with my husband as i usually say it or am the one praying more (he is the one more spiritual without a doubt but like most men, struggle with praying openly so i am even MORE convinced i would like to cover my head when praying with him).
This is often a controversial thing. I have respect for those who understand scripture to teach that they should wear head coverings. For most it is done in sincerity and with a desire to be faithful to God in all things. I believe it is a symbol of submission for them.
Others, as SC explained, see it as a cultural practice. So for them, it isn’t necessary today.
I recognize that some may be critical of those who wear them and think it is legalistic or focusing on the outside form too much. That may be true for some, but for those who don’t wear them and think that way, two things are probably true. They likely don’t really understand why some wear them or know their heart’s intent. Secondly, it is easy to think one is better than the other because one feels they have greater freedom than the others do. Such an attitude might be lacking love, respect, and humility.
In 1 Corinthians 11, where this is spoken of, I see verses like “6 ….but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her cover her head.” and, “13 Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered?”, point to it being a cultural thing. If we ask ourselves those questions Paul asks… is it disgraceful today for a woman to have her hair cut off or shaved, no it’s not. Is it proper for a woman to pray with her head literally uncovered, yes it is, most churches see no impropriety in a woman praying with no head covering (of course, there are sects that do.)
I also see it says that a woman’s hair is her covering, and I can see a spiritual aspect that the husband is a woman’s covering, so it comes down to a heart position.
I realize this is one of those things that people do or don’t do in faith. I have studied this more than once and I have felt no conviction from the Holy Spirit that I need to literally cover my head, so I walk in faith that my head is properly covered spiritually. If I ever felt convicted to wear a head covering, I would.
As always, context is paramount when reading scripture. A head covering in that time and place was a symbol that the woman was married. For a wife to remove her head covering meant that she was no longer interested in being faithful to her husband. It was a signal to men that she was available. It would be similar to taking off your wedding ring today, as a symbol of no longer desiring to be faithful.
Similarly, Roman culture viewed long hair on a man as a disgrace, while bald heads (old age) were a sign of wisdom. I would have to research again, but I believe a bald head on a woman was a sign that she had been convicted of prostitution.
Basically, the passage is saying that it would be dishonoring to God and husband to pray while showing the world that you no longer desire to be faithful.
ETA: The clue that points to the cultural context is the preceding passage starting at 1 Cor. 10:23
I think @owm’s post is very spot on.
This is a tough topic for me that I have always been conflicted about. I don’t think we can just culture away the teaching we do not like or culture no longer decided it wants to follow, but at the same time the way one is perceived also comes into play. If we went to a church where the women wore head coverings, then my wife would wear one, but as we don’t, it would be out of place. It would affect the way others see her, it would affect her witness and reach, and it would set her apart. Of course being set apart is good for God, but in the context of a church that doesn’t do this, it would mean separation from everyone there which would not be good. My wife is involved in some ministries and I think a head covering would work against her, not because it is wrong, but because of where culture is. Does the bible say, by the way, this custom is a cultural one and you can change your mind and no longer follow it down the road? It says the opposite in 1 Cor 11:16. But here we are in 2020 when churches and culture have gone their own way. So, I remain conflicted, but I will say this. SOA – your heart in wanting to please your Lord is admirable and pure. A heart that says not my will, but yours Lord, is the heart we all seek to have. I respect your thoughts and heart in this. It is good to say Lord, let me be as you wish, let me be all you wish, let me be pleasing to you.