Spring/Summer 2015 Issue

The following posts are part of the Spring/Summer 2015 issue. This was originally a free issue, which was downloaded by many who gleaned. Articles that are in this issue contain information about Christian headcovering, false doctrines most people are believing, what it means for a heart to wax gross, and more.

full course

Debunking 7 Christian Headcovering Myths in Christianity

Estimated Reading Time: 23 minutes

Over the years, many ideas have been formed about the validity or nature of Christian headcovering.  In this article, I will precisely explain and debunk seven of the most common headcovering myths in Christianity today by breaking down the scriptural passages in depth.  By the end of this article, you should be able to conclude that although headcovering is not a custom, nor an act of submission to a husband, it is highly recommended by the Apostle Paul for us as Christian women.  You will also see that I do not heap up “teacher references,” but rather the word of God is clearly laid out and well-interpreted.

Myth #1 Temptation Protection and #2 Old Custom

MYTH #1: Wearing a Christian Headcovering is to Protect the Male from Temptation

MYTH #2:  Christian Headcovering is a Custom

When head coverings are mentioned to this generation, the first thing that often comes to mind is the women of the Muslim religion. They believe in covering their head, neck, and sometimes nothing else but their painted eyes are shown on some (which is a contradiction because to paint the eyes brings flirtation and temptation).  It has been said that they cover to protect men from temptation. However, they also cover because it is a command in their religion and they can be severely punished or even killed if they do not adhere to that law in their own country. In the Christian faith, we have no such custom. We are not forced nor required to uphold covering our heads–especially for the sake of men. The Apostle Paul —who imitated Jesus, wrote most of the New Testament, and writes about headcovering—tells us,

“But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.” ~1 Corinthians 11:1-16 KJV

Yet, even with this statement, some believe that covering was a custom among the female followers of Jesus back in His time. Through Paul’s words, we know that this is not the case. Yet, although covering is not a requirement, he does highly recommend it for Christian women. This is why I write this article.

Myth #3 Legalistic

MYTH #3: Christian Headcovering is Legalistic

I am a woman who believes in covering her head. Hence, if I walked into most churches today, I would get a lot of people who would suspect that I was living “under the law” or had slipped right into a heaping pile of legalism; a Pharisee or a brainwashed Orthodox. To that I must first say that there is no such thing as a “legalistic” hypocrite Pharisee. It is one of many false doctrines that hinder Christians from adhering to the entirety of the New Testament manner of doctrine. I have written an article entitled Throwing Away the Gift of Salvation—accidentally to clarify my findings.

You must have faith in God’s holy doctrine, NOT man’s false doctrine.Throwing Away the Gift of Salvation... accidentally

Please check it out if you are a believer of the “legalistic” Pharisee doctrine.

Now although, many think that they are extending grace to me in my headcovering choice, consider for a moment that it might be the other way around. Therefore, as you read on, I explain in depth the reason for headcovering and if anyone would be careful and thoughtful to take the time to consider this study, they may understand and accept me more readily and perhaps become a covered Christian as well.

The Bible Recommends that Christian Women Wear a Headcovering When Praying or Prophesying Click To Tweet
Myth #4 Hair is the Covering and #5 Covering is Unimportant

MYTH #4: Our Hair is the Covering

MYTH #5: Christian Headcovering is Not Important

Many people have come to believe that either a covering on a woman’s head for prayer is of no significance or that our hair is “the covering.” This is the scripture that many refer to the hair being “the covering.”

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 KJV

Believing this scripture alone, takes it out of context because we need to understand the entirety of the sentence and the entirety of the passage. First, the whole sentence that is actually two separate scriptures, states,

Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering. ~1 Corinthians 11:14-15 KJV

If we remove for a moment the part about the man for clarity, we see that the scripture says, “Doth not even nature itself teach you, that,…if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.” We are able to see that Paul is referencing natural things. However, in the entirety of the sentence, Paul is making two comparisons. The first and main comparison shows1 that the representation of what nature teaches us about the man’s hair being long as opposed to the woman’s hair being long. The second shows2 that the woman’s hair according to natural things. Paul is saying that nature itself teaches us the natural order of covering. The reason why this does not mean that a woman’s hair is her covering is because of the previous scriptures regarding having the hair shorn or shaven. Let’s look at them.

[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.

Beginning in verse 5, Paul is referring to two comparisons again: (1) A woman’s uncovered head is dishonorable when she prays and prophesies and (2) it is all the same as a woman with a shaved head. Paul then states if a woman is not covered, she should have her hair cut short. Also, Paul is not trying to embarrass women because he said, “… if it be a shame… .” However, we do know that an uncovered head on every praying and prophesying woman is dishonorable. We also see in the latter verses that a woman’s hair is a glory to her, which is why Paul might be suggesting that her hair be cut short.

In verse 6, the person who believes that the hair is the “covering” interprets the word covered to mean “long hair” and shorn to mean “hair cut short.” Therefore, let’s see if this is what Paul is saying,

“For if the woman [has short hair], let her also [have her hair cut short]: but if it be a shame for a woman to have [short hair] or [a shaved head], let her [have long hair].”

In another interpretation, a person sees the word shorn as the same as shaven. If you have ever seen a sheep shorn by using shears rather than an electric shaver, (say that five times fast), it is very, very short, but not as close to shaved. In this example, we will replace both with the “shaved” interpretation.

“For if the woman [has short hair], let her also [have her head shaved]: but if it be a shame for a woman to have [a shaved head] or [a shaved head], let her [have long hair.]”

Can you see how these interpretations do not fit? First, we see the redundancy of the “…short hair, let her also have her hair cut short…” and the shaved head duplicity and then the word also tells us that having the hair cut short is an additional act.HeadcoverTOCpic

However, if we interpret the word covered to be exactly what it is, then we see Paul saying this,

“For if the woman be not covered, let her also [have her hair cut]: but if it be a shame for a woman to have [short hair] or [a shaved head], let her be covered.”

This interpretation makes more sense.  Therefore, we see that Paul is saying that a covering is a covering and he is not referring to long hair being “the covering” in this passage. Furthermore, we see that covering is important because a woman’s head is dishonorable when it is uncovered during praying or prophesying.

Myth #6 Submission to Husband

MYTH #6:  To Wear a Christian Headcovering is to Show Submission to Your Husband

Some interpret covering to mean that a woman is submitting to her husband. However, this is not accurate. Let’s examine how Paul talks about the man and the woman.

[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.

Paul is explaining God’s order of headship. We should ask ourselves, “Why is Paul saying this?” His answer is declared four verses later.

[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.

Notice that Paul first explained that women are the glory of man.  Then Paul explains why by reminding us that the woman came from the man. At this point, it sounds as if Paul, through giving us the natural order of things, is about to tell us that the woman should remain in a submissive position by covering her head. However, let’s look at what Paul says next:

[10] For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.

Take notice that Paul did not say, “For this reason, a woman ought to submit to her man…”  No, he is saying that because of her natural headship, she ought to have power on her head because of the angels.  Now, why does an uncovered woman have no power on her head? The answer lies in the previous scripture regarding where a man’s glory is from and where a woman’s glory is from. Let’s examine it again.

[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~1 Corinthians 11:7 KJV

Paul is telling us that a man should not cover his head because he is the glory of God. However, look at the woman’s glory in this scripture. She is the glory of man, not the glory of God. Therefore, she has no power in the Lord through the glory of man. Paul continues to explain,

[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.

Again, this is the scripture that some interpret to be as though Paul is talking specifically about submission, however, he is rather laying the groundwork to explain to us that due to the headship position, woman are not the glory of God so therefore, women ought to have power on their heads because of the angels. 3

[10] For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.

Because of the angels???~Know Your Enemy

In fact, Paul is sticking up for women by telling them that they have no power on their heads due to the fact that they have man’s glory.  (Remember, the first woman, Eve, was created from the rib of the first man, Adam.)4  Furthermore, Paul says this next,

[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.

After explaining that women ought to have power on their heads, Paul tells the church that even so, the man and woman are not without each other in the Lord. In other words, a woman having power on her head does not mean that a man and woman should be without each other. Paul then asks a question, which is primarily rhetorical because he answers the question with a question afterward.

[13] Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?

He is asking them to judge among themselves whether it is appropriate for women to pray to God uncovered in reference to his previous argument about the woman having the glory of man. Then he asks a “no brainer” question to point out what nature itself teaches us,

[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.

Notice that Paul is referring to the woman’s hair being “a glory to her.” So now we see that a woman is the glory of man and her own hair is a glory to her. Therefore, ultimately Paul is telling us as women to give all the glory to God by covering or cutting her hair.5 Therefore, we see that his argument is not about submission.

Read more about the comparisons between the two teachings here.

Does it seem right to pray to God uncovered---in all *your* glory? #PrayingWomen #ChristianWomen Click To Tweet

As a Christian woman, covering your head while praying or prophesying puts power on your head. Click To Tweet

Myth #7 Hypocrisy

MYTH #7: To Wear a Christian Headcovering in Public is a Hypocritical Show of Humility

Just because a woman wears a covering outside of the church, it does not mean that she is showing false humility. Now if that woman is dolling up her face with makeup and looks to draw much attention to being fashionable with fancy pins on her tichel, perhaps she is still looking to bring glory to herself or maybe it’s her wedding anniversary or perhaps she doesn’t fully understand the doctrine. In the latter case, shall we beat her down with our rolling, disdainful eyeballs? Wouldn’t it be better to pray for her or our approach, discreetly? Moreover, if a woman is modestly covering in false humility, will God not be the judge of that? After all, Paul does not have a fit if women choose not to have power on their heads, so why mark the woman who does? Therefore, it is ignorant to lump all women together, who wear coverings in public, as hypocrites. Just look at the motherland; Christian women in Jerusalem. How about all the images of Jesus’ mother, Mary? Mother Teresa? Some modern Christians in Africa? Check out some old Christian movies. Look to the Amish. The Puritans of old? Are all these Christian examples of godly women automatically stamped as headcovering hypocrites too? Furthermore, it is a command in the Bible to “pray without ceasing.” Any woman who wears a covering in public could easily “flip the script” on the accuser and tell them that they are not following a direct pray command in the Bible. Therefore, this is a dangerous accusation because nothing comes of it, but a controlling pride. Last of all, women are not suggested or commanded to strictly cover and pray inside of churches, or in buildings, only. This is a command from man.

It's better to wear a Christian headcovering, than to wear makeup. Click To Tweet

In Summation

In Summation:

Like Jesus, Paul also made correlations between natural things and spiritual things. Paul explains that nature itself teaches us that we women were given long hair for a covering, but that our hair gives glory to us and that we are the glory of man. This shows us that women ought to have their heads covered. Paul explains to us at the beginning why this is important. He explains that man is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of the man. Paul later explains that a woman’s hair gives glory to her. In other words, Paul is actually sticking up for the woman when he says that they ought to have power on their heads because of the angels. Angels are messengers of God, therefore, it is probably important for them to see that we give all the glory to God like men when we pray and if we prophesy, otherwise, it is shocking for them to see our head uncovered in those acts. This is why Paul says that men should not cover their heads because they would be covering the natural glory of God. Paul also explains that when men have long hair, it is a shame to them. Paul asks,

Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? ~1 Corinthians 11:13 KJV

What Paul is asking is, ‘is it honest or appropriate to pray to God uncovered?’ With this question, he is asking the congregation to consider it because if you think about it, a woman is not giving all the glory to God when she prays or prophesies with her head uncovered because she is the glory of man and her hair brings glory to her. Does this mean that a woman should shave her hair off? The Apostle Paul suggests to us that if a woman does not cover her head, which is as dishonorable as it being shaved, then her hair should be cut short or be shaved unless it is shameful in society. Covering our head or cutting our hair short puts power on our head giving all the glory to God. Yet, it is not a sin, which is why it is not a requirement. I like how Paul sums up the conversation because it is like he is saying, “People, I am trying to tell you how to have power on your heads, but if you don’t believe me, so be it.” Finally, he says in verse 16 regarding covering,

“But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.”

I used to be perfectly fine without a headcovering in my life, but then one day I thought about the above statement and said to myself, “Well, why be argumentative or contentious with an apostle – a master builder – who is my brother in Christ and who wrote most of the New Testament?” This is how I began to study what Paul was really trying to tell us. I cover my head now because I do not desire to have a dishonorable head nor lack power on it when praying or prophesying. Thus, I reiterate Paul’s statement,

“But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God”. ~1 Corinthians 11:16 KJV

Why be argumentative (or contentious) with an apostle? Click To Tweet
Full Headcovering Scriptural Passage

The Apostle Paul’s Full Scriptural Remarks on Christian Headcovering:

[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. ~1 Corinthians 11:1-16 KJV

Christian Headcovering Tips

Final Tips for Christian Women Who Cover

  • Never be proud of your covering. (This is not about defaulting to making fashion statements like the world does.)
  • Never force covering on someone else.  (However, you can teach your daughters the way they should go.)
  • If you go short, don’t get fancy. The point is to give all the glory to God. Even so, it does not mean your head is honorable when praying or prophesying, due to what Paul said. (See 1 Cor. 11:5 KJV)
  • “If I only need a covering for times of prayer and prophesying, why do certain women wear them all the time?” The Bible tells us to pray without ceasing, therefore, it is easier to remain covered rather than to wear a shawl and lift it over our heads repeatedly. Pray without ceasing. ~1 Thessalonians 5:17 KJV
  • Always match the modesty and meekness of the outside covering with the modesty and meekness of the Holy Spirit on the inside. In other words, we do not cover for a “show of humility.” Our hearts must work towards perfecting the fruit of the Spirit on the inside of us. The Lord warns the hypocrites in the following scripture, “Woe to the rebellious children,” saith the Lord , “that take counsel, but not of Me; and that cover with a covering, but not of My Spirit, that they may add sin to sin:” ~Isaiah 30:1 KJV
  • When suffering shame for doing this in Christ, remember to rejoice.
  • Finally, if a woman who decides to cover does not fully understand and embrace what Paul is saying, or they are believing false doctrines, they will soon talk themselves right out of it. 
Cite this article: Please update the Accessed or Retrieved date (September 13, 2015).
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Debunking 7 Christian Headcovering Myths in Christianity.” AWS Magazine Online. Ed. Bobbie Chariot. Savior Sanity LLC., 1 Mar. 2015. Web. 13 Sept. 2015. <https://awomansaved.com/Debunking-7-Headcovering-Myths-in-Christianity/>.
“Debunking 7 Christian Headcovering Myths in Christianity.” AWS Magazine Online. March 1, 2015. Accessed September 13, 2015. https://awomansaved.com/Debunking-7-Headcovering-Myths-in-Christianity/.
Chariot, B. (Ed.). (2015, March 1). Debunking 7 Christian Headcovering Myths in Christianity. Retrieved September 13, 2015, from https://awomansaved.com/Debunking-7-Headcovering-Myths-in-Christianity/.
Thank you for reading!

Bobbie Chariot

Bio: Founding Editor

Just when you thought it wasn't important... #Christianheadcovering

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Kim

Wow, this very topic of headcovering is what led me to this magazine. Praise the Lord! So much encouragement here. I was led by the scriptures in 1 Corinthians 11 and I have been wearing a headcovering to church for the past 5 months. It was a hard decision, but it brings me joy to honor Christ!