This should not be a long blog, but I just wanted to share something that was on my mind from a conversation I had with my husband the other day. Now, we originally attended a non-denominational church in Colorado that was largely attended by former Mennonites, surprisingly. I truly thank God for ordering my steps to be a member there, and I consider River of Life my family, with no reservations. I learned a lot there, and it is the place where I was introduced to the idea of head coverings for women. Obviously, being from the South and Black, you don’t hear anything at all about head coverings for women in church except for wearing a fancy church hat on special occasions. Nevertheless, the Scripture reference for this topic comes from 1 Corinthians 11:3-16:
But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven. For if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head. For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God. Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a wife to pray to God with her head uncovered? Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God.
Now, I understand that this is a highly controversial topic for a lot of people, especially Christian women today. And I am not getting into the depths of this topic with anyone because it is not an essential issue of the Christian faith. But I will share with you my thoughts on this recently.
So, I was thinking about this because at our current church here in Louisiana, you do not see this practice observed at all. Now, I have never inquired of any one at my church as to the reason, so I don’t want to give the wrong impression here. But I figure that it is something that probably would cause a lot of contention among the church today. Nevertheless, I know that the reason for wearing a head covering is to symbolize the fact that as a wife, you are under the authority of your husband and that you are his glory here on earth.
Now my reasoning on this topic continued along these lines: Man is the image and glory of God. So when He is giving honor and reverence to God through prayer or prophesying, he should never cover his head because it is all for the glory of God, and God’s glory should never be hidden or diminished. In the same way, a woman is man’s glory, and a woman’s hair is her own glory. Thus, when praying or prophesying, our personal glory should never be on display because it would take away from God receiving all glory in the moment. Thus, you should put your glory away for the sake that it is most proper that God should be fully glorified alone within the church. And that is why women were admonished to cover their heads because it puts their personal glory away in the presence of God, and it puts their husband’s glory away in the presence of God, while also showing that they too glorify God by being submitted under their husband’s authority.
So with this reasoning, I was thinking long and hard about how I have taken glory away from God within church, and I realized that this is probably a cultural norm to all of us, especially women. I was raised with the mindset that you “should put your best before God”. So that meant on Sunday mornings, I was to be up early making sure my clothes were clean and ironed and that my hair was done. Being perfectly honest, I came to really enjoy the compliments I always got on Sunday mornings….”Oh girl, I love that hair style on you! Did you do that yourself?” or “Omigosh! I love that outfit! Where did you get it?” I mean, who doesn’t like to put effort into their dress and get complimented? And I think that the desire and appreciation for the compliments tended to put me into the Sunday morning ritual of trying to find something “nice” to wear to church that looked good…the same cycle many women (and at times men) find themselves on Sunday morning. Not realizing that this cycle continues to systematically steal God’s glory and attention on the only day that He directly commands our absolute exaltation of Himself.
Well, after realizing all of these things, I have decided to calm down and give God the glory, especially on the Lord’s Day. I’ve decided not to try to fix my hair up extra cute or anything on Sundays anymore. I’m not dressing up to get attention, praise, or compliments either. I’m not looking trashy, but I’m surely not trying to be flashy. On Sunday mornings, I am now learning to set my mind on the Lord, desiring to give Him all of the glory and all of the honor and all of the praise, especially on His day. I may not get it all right every other day of the week, but on His day, I can definitely make a more concerted effort to not steal or diminish His glory in anyway by trying to gain the vain attention of others.
Now I know this goes against the culture of most self-proclaimed Christians today…
But I challenge each of you to get your own personal glory, attention, and adoration on your own time and give God all of the glory, honor, and praise that He is due, especially on His day.
I challenge you to deeply reflect and consider the motives and intentions of each of your hearts as you prepare to go to church on Sundays, examining why you choose to wear what you wear and do what you do on that day.
I challenge you to be wholeheartedly committed to glorifying God on one day, just one single day out of an entire week. Put away anything that could bring you glory in any kind of way, and devoted to giving God all of the glory that He is due.
Can you be that humble on the Sabbath day?
Can you let go of your self-centeredness for 24 hours?
As a woman, can you put your glory away for the sake of giving Him all the glory, which He deserves???
I challenge you to fully glorify God if you are not, especially on Sundays. Love you all.