Posted by: clevsea | April 10, 2007

How I answered a recent Head covering question

Below I have pasted an answer to a question.

The question was plea for help, the woman asked for help to understand more fully the head covering. She stated two things. One, that she was covering in private and her conviction [in my own words] was recently shaken due to friend of hers who has just stopped wearing the covering. The friend claimed that she had a peace from God to stop covering. This added to the lack of support from anybody near to her caused the plea FOR HELP to be written. I answered in this way:


If this were happening to me I would read the I Cor 11 passage daily. I would pray about it all the time and yes, I would sneak cover, behind my husband’s back if I felt he would have a seriously negative reaction.

I read the I Cor 11 in English and can’t find a way out of it. I read the I Cor 11 in Greek and I can’t find a way out of it. I know others are able to find Cultural Reasons to not obey the passage but as [somebody] recently pointed out the female Christians covered for thousands of years. Much of the art proves it. Even art of wordly women, such as monarchs, or whoever, all had covered heads. This “not” covering is new by World History standards, it’s not new to us because most of us were not alive in the very early 1900’s. I’m talking about 1910, 1920, 1930 and even in the 40’s women covered to go to Church. But the majority of the us have not grown up seeing women cover their heads, with the exception of the Amish and some Mennonites.
But all you have to do is look at other moral topics that the Bible says something about and then turn on the television and you will see people NOT obeying the Bible. To not follow the Bible has become the norm. What has that go to do with Christians though? The world and the lukewarm don’t follow, they don’t obey, they don’t even read the Bible in the first place and bless their hearts, they are probably attending a Church (if they are) where NOBODY covers their heads.
The Christians who don’t read the Bible for themselves have a responsibility to the Lord to know what He wants. “If you love Me, you will obey Me.” Jesus Christ is the WORD of God and we all need to know what the Word says. If we don’t read the Bible then we run a strong chance that we don’t know Jesus Christ very well.
It’s almost tragic that you know somebody who has given up the headcovering. It’s almost like a inoculation from the disease. That’s too bad that you knew her. If you had known me instead, as one example, you would have seen a normal Protestant who didn’t cover read the I Cor 11 passage back in 1990 and proceed to cover her head. Seventeen years I have covered. Had you known me you could have seen something completly different happen. I don’t mean to brag but my example would have been one of consistency. You’d also see my worn out Bible in my lap or on the table or with me in the car too. You would have seen consistency in my Bible reading too.
I don’t believe the lady you know is covered by her hair. Her hair is a peribolian in the Greek and a good translation of peribolian is vest or mantle. Her hair covers her as a vest or a shawl. Her head is to be covered by a katakalupto. Does this mean her husband will now pray with his hat on? The I Cor 11 passage is fairly long and gives 3 reasons why to cover. The passage is long and would be wastefull use of space if all Paul was talking about was whether to pray with your “Hair” on or whether to pray with your “Hair” removed.
The verb tense in the passage is a continual putting on of the katakalupto as well. The verb tense is “action” and knows that one will put on the covering and remove the covering. Hair doesn’t come off and on so easily and Paul would sound like a goof if he wrote that long of passage about wearing hair when one prays or not wearing hair when one prays, should they be a man.
I could go on and on but all this is flying out of my fingers as fast as I can type. To conclude, I can’t see how the Lord would give this lady friend “Peace” about a decision to disobey a rather long NEW testament passage of scripture. To me that would be like giving her “Peace” to disobey the Second half of the chapter. The LORD wouldn’t do that because the second half of the same chapter deals with the LORD’s supper and how to correctly partake.
I don’t intend to sound bossy at all and as I share here I’m aware that some reading this might not cover. I don’t intend to judge, or even teach you who are not covering.
This is written quickly but with all Christian love and understanding and unity.
May the Lord Jesus Christ truly lead each individual as He pleases.


  1. Hi Clevsea – I think what you wrote and what you told this lady makes a lot of sense. I do however have a question for you … this is not meant in any way to attack you or cause hurt feelings, I am simply trying to learn more on this subject. My husband does not like all types of headcoverings so for me, I struggle with what kind to wear. There are some that he has told me “No” to and because he is the head of our household I obey him.

    In 1 Corinthians 11:3 it says that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, this to me means that he has authority over me and that God has authority over him … now here is where I am confused, you wrote that you would sneak a covering if your husband was very negative about it – how is this being under the authority of God and your husband if you go against your husband in this way?

  2. Hi Becky and everyone else. It’s not easy to answer this question. The question is “how is this being under the authority of God and your husband if you go against your husband in this way?” I’m not offended by the question, btw.

    I don’t want to teach others to think like me in this area, I don’t want that responsibility. Each Christian woman within the sound of my voice ought to read the Bible and check with her Lord on these topics.

    For me, I do know my mind on this but it is only my mind and I do not seek to change other’s minds.

    Okay, now that I’ve said that, the reason I would “sneak” cover if my husband said not to cover is because God out-ranks my husband and I feel that I cannot approach Him for prayer with a bare naked head. My husband would not have to know as this would be a secret, quiet, prayer closet type of thing. I can’t say that all across the board, in every conceivable circumstance that I would always obey the Word of God over my husband, but with this covering issue I could with a very clear conscience disobey my husband to follow the Bible.

    If I disobeyed my husband by spending money when he said not to, or going somewhere he said not to, worked outside the home when he said not to that would be sin to me. I would have to follow my husband.

    But, with this Bible passage there are more reasons written than just the headship of God, Jesus, Man, Woman. Another reason to cover ones head (if she’s female) is the Angels. The word doesn’t elaborate about the angels in this portion but they are still a reason we are to cover. Also the order of creation is mentioned. Both are long term reasons, not just cultural reasons, such as this is what we do here in Corinth.

    My imagination can think of other scenerios where I would choose God and His Bible over my husband. If my husband asked me to sin, like work in the porn industry for example, I would not obey my husband. I answer to God far more than to my earthly husband. Yes, he has been put in a position of authority over me and I try to submit to his will for me. But he is human and failed and he sometimes sins so for the most part when I forced to choose between the Almighty Creater God and my husband I will opt for what the Lord says to do.

    I do know of lots of ladies that won’t cover when/if their husbands say not to. That’s their decision, not mine and I really don’t want to be bossy or authoritative with my fellow Christians. I feel that my choice in this matter is correct for me but I have no opinion in the lives of others with this.

    After writing all that, let’s be clear. My husband does allow me to cover my head and will not dictate to me in this area. He thinks that because it is my head I can decide whether to follow the passage or not.

    I will say that if my husband did not like a particular covering I would not wear it again. There are so many options. There are scarves, and wide (WIDE) headbands, and hats, snoods, beenies, berets, veils, chapel coverings, kerchiefs, mantillas, prayer shawls, even the hood of your hoodies is a head covering. Lots of college girls near my house are wearing bandanas now everywhere they go and if your head is covered then it is covered. I would keep trying Becky with an open mind until I found a covering that my husband thought was good.

    Hoping I’ve been clear and thanks,

  3. Thanks so much for answering my question, what you wrote makes perfect sense to me. I will keep trying until I find one that he likes, right now I wear a crocheted bun cover and while I know that isn’t considered a covering by many, for me it is more of a baby step to get both of us used to the fact that my hair will not be down and it will be covered during the day.

    < Becky

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