Posted by: clevsea | March 3, 2008

What kind of head covering do you wear?

I was asked this question today. I was also asked if the covering had to look religious or if it could be a hat. Here is my answer:

I don’t see a “wrong” way to cover. A hat, for instance, is a head covering, that’s what it does. Some may say that it was the hat that brought down the headcovering practice in worship services. They may say that because the hat became acceptable and it was “fashionable” at the same time then it is the hat’s fault that the church (at large) stopped wearing a covering because it became part of what is “in” and what is “out.”

Maybe that’s true but I think the problem is deeper. Let’s brainstorm on why women don’t cover…

#1 They have never read I Cor 11.

That’s a true possibility. Is that the hat’s fault? Or is it the responsibility of ALL Christians to be in the Word of God.

#2 They were taught or they think covering is Cultural.

I could write a book on that one but let’s keep it simple. Culturally the Christians wore a covering up until the 1960’s in the USA, other countries lagged behind and kept covering longer. It’s not just a matter of 2000 years ago by any means. Movies and art prove that women have been covering the vast majority of the last 2000 years.

#3 They have never seen anyone cover.

That was my stumbling block. In a church of 4000 people you do tend to go with the majority. However, we all have the Bible and the Holy Spirit, so we can all get there. We are able to overcome popular opinion and cover regardless of what all the others are doing.

#4 They want to look “good” and covering makes them look un-pretty.

That’s another book I could write…but, to be brief, that’s not the only goal in life contrary to Hollywood, movies, pop culture and TV. Looking good may or may not have its place (like with your husband for example) but it is NOT nearly as important as fear of the Lord. Not only fear but Jesus said if you love Me, you will obey Me. We show our obedience and our love to the Lord God by obeying in covering.

#5 Satan, or other enemies of the Lord God, have interfered in covering and through the s*xual revolution, the Women’s Liberation, and much more has hijacked the USA into not wanting to cover for prayer and prophesy.

This is my personal favorite option. In 1 Cor 11 three reasons are given for covering. One of them is because of the angels. Which angels are those? Either way there are implications galore.

All that to say the 1 Cor 11 passage says a lot but it doesn’t say “what” to cover with. It’s clearly not the hair that is the head covering—-the hair is a chest covering, but that’s a different post.

I use hats a lot. Little soft berets that I can wade up in a ball in my purse, my pocket, my glove box, and they look like they were never wadded when I put them on.

I sewed a whole box full of coverings back 18 years ago and I still have those. I made most of them from brocade and they too can be folded or wadded up into a purse. They have a more religious look to them. I sewed barrettes into the INSIDE of those and once I clip them to my head they stay put. I get a lot of use from these.

I’ve been through the scarf and bandanas too, but the older I get the more frumpy I look when I wear them.

I’ve ordered from Tzinius the “headbands” that “unfold” a lot and cover the entire head. They are comfortable, but again, I look a little bit more like I’m here to clean your garage than to worship the Lord and pray. They do look really good on young ladies though.

I like what a lot of the websites sell. I like Bayley’s (the list owner’s) coverings, I like Garlands of Grace and if I didn’t sew I would be making frequent orders to both of these sites.

I don’t think the style of covering matters. People think I’m religious looking when I wear my berets and OFTEN ask if I’m Amish. There is something about being covered (even in a beret) that communicates something to people.

I don’t think the color of the covering matters, not according to the Scripture anyway. Some Old Order Mennonites and Amish and other plain groups really like to wear all the same color and style and I am not opposed to that. I can’t participate with them because I don’t live anywhere near to any group that covers.

I don’t think the size of the covering matters either. I would not want to get by on the tiniest little covering possible…that would seem to me like I was trying to get away with something. I think it ought to cover the head. Some coverers make a issue out of the prefix “kata” which can mean down and therefore they feel that their cover needs to be “down” as in hanging down. The headcovering itself is a katakalupto Strong’s #2619 and Kata is Strong’s #2596 which means:

“down, (in place or time) in varied relations, about, according to, after, against, alone, among, apart, pertaining to touching, aside, at before, beyond, by to the charge of, concerning every, exceeding, more excellent, for, from every, respect, uttermost, whereby, with, and it frequently denotes opposition, distribution or intensity.”

The above is most of the definition given by Strong so I don’t put the emphasis on its meaning “down” when kata means a lot of different things depending on the “root” word involved. In the word Katastole it means “long” and stole means “robe.” If I got too literal about down with the word katastole then I would wear my modest dress as a “down-robe” rather than as a long robe. Katastole #2689 is only used one time in the whole Bible. You can find it in I Tim 2:9—“women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety…” In Greek it says “women in KATASTOLE seemly with modesty and discreetness to adorn themselves.” See that? Katastole is not translated as it ought to have been in any Bible version that I’ve ever seen.

I had a pastor oppose me mightily one time and he was so angry with me for wearing a hat to the home fellowship, mid week group. He, in his frustation, told me that if I was going to obey that passage then I needed to wear a huge blanket and cloak myself with it. This was many years ago, long before either of our recent wars and most of us did not see berkas in the news and such. So I was picturing myself trying to drive under a blanket & go to church & shop for groceries. All I could see was a lot of bruised shin bones in my future. I had not thought of eye-slits. But the pastor was mistaken in my view and only wanted to make my covering to be so impossible that I wouldn’t want to do it anymore. Beside Paul had other Greek words he could have used but he DID NOT use. He did NOT use the word for neck cover, face cover, shoulder cover, arm cover, etc, the word he chose is a headcovering and we wear it on our kephale, the Greek word for head. I’m so happy that Paul did not teach us to face cover, neck cover, etc.

So, without a size, color, style from Paul in I Cor 11 I feel that we women get to decide what to put on our heads.

I also cannot see anywhere in the passage that we have to cover our hair…..but that conclusion that I have drawn from the Greek and from the English is the very least popular of my conclusions. Women who cover often cover their hair too. I don’t. But I can get along with those who do without a problem. I am not against them and I don’t try to convert them to my viewpoint. The reverse is not always true for me. Hair coverers often get super angry with me about this and the Lord’s servant must not be contentious, amen? Besides that this post is long enough without me going into the whole hair issue.

I’m easy to get along with. You could clip a paper towel to your head and that would be covering enough for me–laugh.

I do hope I’ve answered well and I do hope that you find a covering that works well for you and has you convinced that you are obeying the Lord completly.


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