Posted by: clevsea | February 25, 2007

Q & A Full Time Covering

I am going to try posting some frequently asked questions here on the blog. Today’s questions are asked a lot. Should a woman cover her head 24 hours a day even while asleep, or only when she’s awake, or only when she’s praying/prophesying or, lastly, when she is at a Church meeting?

One of the most often quoted considerations immediately after settling the I Corinthians 11 Head Covering issue is about where and when to cover the head. Almost everybody thinks of the “pray without ceasing” verse and asks whether that indicates that women should cover their heads all the time, or at least all of their waking time.

I’ve lost count on how many books I’ve read about the Amish and the Mennonites but I do know it has been a lot of books.

Something always grabs my attention about the men who are Amish. In the
numerous photographs (not something they enjoy or seek out but
rather avoid–particularly if baptized members) the males are always
wearing hats. I know, from reading, that they remove them for the
church service, however they wear them to town, out in the field and
when they are visiting with other men outside of the house or barn.
They have different kinds for different purposes and they even have
certain folds, or creases for the younger married men, a subtle
difference that a non-Amish would not even perceive.

In contrast the female is habitually covered.

So, I ask myself, what about “pray without ceasing?” Would an Amish
man who was working in the field with his hat on quickly remove it
if a need to pray suddenly occurred?

As a headcovering female that is basically what I do. I cover when I
pray. If I don’t anticipate praying while cleaning the awful
basement I won’t cover my head during the chore. If a need for
prayer were to come about I would pause, cover my head, and pray. It
would take about as long as removing my hat would– if I were a man.

I used to cover full time. That results in everybody you meet
knowing that you cover, even if they don’t have any idea of why or
what it means or what type of religion you might be.

The advantages for me were:

#1–Other head covering women could recognize me as one of their own

#2–Non Christians treated me with *some* awe and respect as if
maybe I was spiritual in some way and therefore needed extra
gentleness

#3–It helped me to not lose my temper. I’d look a fool to be acting
carnally and screaming with a head covering on, (not to say that it
is okay to scream with a naked head)

The Dis-advantages for me were:

#1–My fellow Christians. The avoidance, the correction, the
accusations of legalism. The “don’t go to her house, let her teach
our children, or listen to anything she has to say.” Being treated
like a “weirdo” who probably needed strong prescription drugs.

#2–My personal losing sight of what the Biblical passage and the
reasons given were. When it was part of my daily dress-code and I wore a
head covering regardless of whether I was praying or not it lost
some of it’s meaning for me.

Because I’ve covered for over 16 years and I don’t pray uncovered
I’ve become HYPER-aware of exactly how much I pray and when I pray
in any given day. The little extra step of covering up first makes
one more conscious of the prayer frequency. Whether it’s a tiny or a
large amount of time each day, the truth about the quantity and
quality will be apparent.

I would have to say that on an average day my head is covered about 65% of my waking hours. I do find it advantageous to keep it covered for large portions of the day but I cannot see a Biblical reason to put a covering on in the morning and leave it there all day long whether I am praying/prophesying or not. It is nice to know it’s there and there is freedom to pray at will but I do believe that I experience certain sections of time that I am not praying that much and I set the covering aside for short periods. There is always one handy and near to me in the car, beside the bed, near the door and in my purse. In other words I’m only a few seconds away from being covered whenever the need to pray should strike unexpectedly.

I do not expect anybody to do just as I do and think exactly like I do. I only answer this question to bring one person’s practices forward and not to claim to have the only “right” way to follow I Cor 11.

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Responses

  1. Clevsea,
    Thank you for putting the covering in perspective. I have to agree with you. I too have struggled with this and have come to similar conclusions. Now for another question you have probably heard, how about “what style of headcovering should one wear”? I hear this question as well.
    Thank you for this enlightening post God bless you,
    Anna L

  2. Thank you. I will post on “what style of covering” soon. Thanks for the suggestion.


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