Why I Choose to Cover my Head: Christian Women should Wear a Covering

I've been revealing a fair amount of "personal" information here lately, telling things about myself that sometimes feel "unsafe" or "uncomfortable. I've laid my soul bare here on Hubpages and have allowed myself to be criticized. I'm certain that I've shocked a few people and there are some who are probably very uncomfortable with much of what I have to say.

I'm not trying to be controversial. Rather, I am sharing a huge part of myself, the things that make me who I am. I am not a proud woman, and I am happy not to consider myself "proud." While I may not be proud I do certainly like myself very much. I am happy with the life that I am gradually building and it pleases me to know that I am bringing honor to God.

Yes, I do experience pride from time to time. There is something wonderful about knowing that I have accomplished something (akin to knowing that I have completed the Hubpages Challenge!). There is something wonderful in realizing that I have done my best and achieved something wonderful. It isn't the type of pride that puts myself before God, but I hope the type of glow that brings honor to Him.

An example of a prayer covering
An example of a prayer covering

What is Prayer Covering?

The Bible tells us, in 1 Corinthians 11 that a woman should keep her head covered when in prayer.

"4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonors his head. 5 But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for that is one and the same as if her head were shaved. 6 For if a woman is not covered, let her also be shorn. But if it is shameful for a woman to be shorn or shaved, let her be covered." (NKJV)

Paul tells us in this epistle that we should cover our heads when in prayer. Additionally, the covering is the mark of a husband's authority. "I have already established that I have chosen to submit to the authority of my husband."(v 10)

If you have encountered Amish in your local area, you may notice that they keep their heads covered, either with a cap (kapp) or with a bonnet. Many Mennonite churches also require head covering and modest dress for their women, and there is more variation to the style of head covering that can be seen in a Mennonite church.

But Covering Your Head is so Old Fashioned!

I agree that it might be old-fashioned, and I am not a plain-dressing woman. I considered it for some time, but as I don't have a sewing machine I am unable to make my own clothes. I am therefore limited by what I can purchase off the rack, and my husband likes me in a pair of capris or blue jeans, even if I prefer to wear a skirt. It might not be the popular position, but I dress to please him. He's the one who has to spend all day looking at me, and I'm comfortable enough with myself to treat him with this respect.

I am currently seeking a new way in which to cover my head. I have been using a bandana as a "veil" and I'm not happy with the style. I am thinking about this time opting for a scarf, or, if my husband liked them, a traditional hijab (yes, Christians wear them, too!).

You're Repressed by Your Religion!

No... Honestly, I'm not. The number of Christians who make excuses for not covering their heads is far more vast than those of us who choose obedience to 1 Corinthians 11. I have found that the head covering makes me a good deal more free in my thoughts and in my pattern of behavior. I love that it keeps something special that is just between me and my husband (my hair, which is long, curly and most of all red).

You are entitled to what you believe regarding my religion and my choices and preferences: I like the way that I am. I'm becoming a genuinely happy person, over time. I'm learning to love myself for the first time in many, many years. Religion hasn't repressed me, it well and truly has set me free to be myself.

I like order, and I like rules. They give me enough structure to get through my day. I appreciate being able to give over those things that worry me to God and being able to rest easy in the knowledge that He will carry me to safety when things are stressful in my life. He always has, and I trust that He always will.

For me, religion isn't repressive.

I Have a Secret...

This is truly one of the elements of covering that I enjoy the most -- feeling as though I have a special secret, something that is special between me and my husband that nobody else can see. I wear floor-length dresses when I wear them, and I never wear pants shorter than capris. I don't feel that shorts are (necessarily) immodest, I simply don't like my knees!

Just like everyone, I have a preference, and this happens to be it!

Pleasing God

I feel that my choice to cover my head is pleasing to God. It is a personal conviction. As with anything, this is not a lesson that I teach or preach to other women. If some (Christian) women choose to engage me on the topic, I am always more than willing to get into it with them and to share my thoughts on the subject and the reasons why I feel that head covering applies to women outside of Corinth in the day when Paul wrote his epistle.

We each must do what God has called us to do, and this is it for me. For you it might be something entirely different, and you should obey God in the way that is most pleasing to him.

You Don't Make Your Daughters Do That, Do You?

No!

I actually have a problem with parents choosing a religion for their children. I was brought up Catholic and baptized as an infant (as is proper in the Catholic faith). I see that the Amish and Mennonite communities have their youngsters covering their heads as they feel is appropriate. However, I feel that my children need to make their own choices when they are old enough to do so (probably when they are about twelve). If they choose not to cover, I will be fine with that. If they choose to cover, I will be fine with that.

All I can do is guide my children in the direction I feel is right and hope that they take the path that is best for them. I don't have all the answers as a parent, however much I might want to. Perfection I leave up to God, as I am simply a sinner. He is the ultimate and perfect parent, and I can only pray that He will grant me the grace to guide my children down the right path!

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Comments 35 comments

frogdropping profile image

frogdropping 7 years ago

EM - another window into who you are and what drives you. Interesting (to me) and once again - a well put together article.

And - methinks another little pot of controversy.

I like that you speak for yourself though. Rated up.


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

Thanks for the comments!


ChaiRachelRuth profile image

ChaiRachelRuth 7 years ago

Kudos to you for standing up for your beliefs and your dressing choices including head covering. I find women such as yourself who are grounded in their traditions to be very strong women. It's easy to judge by outside appearances that someone who dresses according to their tradition is weak or subservient. On the contrary, I've found it to be as you said, 'that order and rules provide structure to get through the day.' It's freeing, if you will. Although I don't dress according to my religious tradition, I highly respect the women of my faith who do. It just seems like it's one less thing to think about as you go through your day.

Good luck on the challenge.


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

Thank you ChaiRachelRuth :)

I have found many of the same things, and women choose for many reasons to stop covering or to start covering. God convicts us each in our own ways and He views us as individuals.

It is a hard thing to be on the outside looking in, but I am beginning to understand the Muslin hijab better as well (it is worn for different reasons than a Christian covering). I never would have understood the choice that (American) Muslim women have to wear the hijab and why they would make that choice. Now I do :)


ChaiRachelRuth profile image

ChaiRachelRuth 7 years ago

I thought head covering was a form of modesty. Is that not true?


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

Yes, in the Muslim faith it is. The debates on the subject of Muslim vs. Christian head covering are fascinating!


ChaiRachelRuth profile image

ChaiRachelRuth 7 years ago

So in the Christian faith, head covering is not about modesty? I never knew there were debates about head coverings.

Also, as an aside, I also thought head coverings were a statement of faith. But maybe I'm only talking from what I know of my own faith -- Judaism.


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

I wouldn't necessarily say that they are a statement of faith, no. You will see Amish and Mennonite santified by their decision to be baptized into their relative faiths and to cover their heads, but that's not really what I'm talking about.

1 Corinthians 11 tells us that women should cover their heads in prayer and that if it is a shame for a woman to be shorn, then she should cover her head. Additionally, the covering is a mark of the authority of her husband. Traditional women who make the choice to follow the path of biblical submission are more likely than others to cover. Some are plain, others aren't (I'm not, for example).


ChaiRachelRuth profile image

ChaiRachelRuth 7 years ago

I learned something new. Thank you.


Lissie profile image

Lissie 7 years ago from New Zealand

Well believe it or not I wrote this hub ages ago: http://hubpages.com/style/How-to-Pin-a-Headscarf--... as I say in it my mother often wore a scarf for practical reasons, and although an atheist I often use a scarf when travelling because you won't get into a Catholic church in Italy, a mosque or a Hindu temple without one - or if you do you will look like a stupid tourist. I actually think a scarf can look amazingly elegant and be incredibly practicable - but yeah I thought my hub might be of interest to you


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

Thank you, Lissie! Wow!

Yeah, the thing is that many options are just kind of... drab. I went through a period where I considered plain dress because... Well, I don't know. It might have been one of those situations where I really was trying to follow the crowd (which really isn't like me!). Letting other people interpret the Bible for me was easier than doing it myself. The more I read the more I thought that some people were over-reaching, perhaps in an effort to increase conformity? I'm not really sure.

At any rate, I want to look halfway decent, normal and like a modern(ish) woman. As I said, I considered hijab but my husband doesn't like it. I love the hijab look, very modern and can be a very classy look, but he thinks it looks "too middle eastern" (nothing wrong with that, IMO!). The scarf is a good option! Thanks!


RGraf profile image

RGraf 7 years ago from Wisconsin

Very interesting hub. I enjoyed it. I've been noticing as I grow in the faith that I find many personal things that I do that does not save me or make be better but helps me personally to focus. Each person has to come to where God wants them to be and it has to be pure.

thank you.


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

That is a very good way of putting it! I haven't been covering for a while (preparing to start again) and have felt that way quite often. Covering helps me to focus on God. It's a personal thing. Yes, it's biblical, but it *is* one of those sections that is very unclear :)


Marisa Wright profile image

Marisa Wright 7 years ago from Sydney

When I was on holiday in Egypt, I saw quite a variety of imaginative ways to tie a headscarf (Egypt is a more modern country and not so strict). I must see if I can find some photos to give you ideas - maybe there's a Hub there for me too!


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

That would be excellent, Marisa! I was thinking about doing one on the different types of head coverings but I was hard pressed to find enough photos that were usable (i.e. not of the Amish -- photos are against their religion -- or with specific copyright notices on the page). I might contact Quaker Jane for help. She's got such a neat page!


pgrundy 7 years ago

This was really interesting, thank you. Here it gets very cold in the winter, so when I walk my dog I cover my whole face except my eyes. I was astonished at how different I felt when I first started covering myself in this way. I confess I rather liked it. I felt more intact, more protected, and not just from the cold. I got so I looked forward to it.

I'm not religious, so I would never adopt such a habit year round, voluntarily, but it doesn't seem totally nuts to me that someone else would.


jasonthebaldguy profile image

jasonthebaldguy 7 years ago from Gardner KS

Great stuff, Your honesty is refreshing and I love the fact that you have good reasons for what you do... so many these days just follow the crowd.


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

Pam: It's strangely freeing!

Jason: I am sooo not a follower in general lol


Smireles profile image

Smireles 7 years ago from Texas

I found your article very interesting. I belong to a denomination that believes that long hair is meant for a covering as stated in I Corinthians 11

11In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman.12For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God. 13Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, 15but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering. (NIV)

I am curious about what others think of this. I know that many traditions teach head coverings but none seem to feel that long hair should be the covering. I tried to have this discussion recently but it did not go very far because everyone in the discussion basically believed that hair should be the covering. I personally observe this tradition and keep my hair long as a symbol of respect to my husband and also for prayer. However, I am very interested in learning more about head coverings. Good hub.


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

Smireles, I have never belonged to a church where covering of any kind was required. In fact, in one church we attended most women had short hair.

The honest truth is that I am not, myself, certain of the meaning of the passages that you quoted. It certainly does make the previous verses more ambiguous, does it not? When I'm confused I almost always turn to the KJV or the NKJV (as opposed to the NIV), but they are no more clear in this case, to be honest.

When I first started covering, it was an insurance. If I was wrong, hey, who cares? If I was right though, all the better, what I was doing was pleasing to God.

I haven't been covering here lately for a few reasons some of which I've mentioned. I need to get some head scarves soon :) I like them much better than anything else I've tried. I have long hair regardless, though it's only shoulder length (anything longer is too hard to manage and not attractive at all).

For me, covering is a comfort, and it makes me feel special.

I honestly didn't know that any denominations taught that long hair was the covering of 1 Corinthians. I guess I need to dig deeper lol. We're non-denominational.


Lissie profile image

Lissie 7 years ago from New Zealand

EM just from observation long hair and a token scarf seems standard with many of the strict brethern sects in Australia - they also wear longish skirts (never trousers) and long sleeves


Everyday Miracles profile image

Everyday Miracles 7 years ago from Indiana, USA Author

It's a modesty thing, Lissie. The Amish, Mennonite and most Brethren here do the same. I went through a period where I wore only skirts, but mostly because I like the way they make me feel, but hubby prefers jeans, so I switched :)


no body profile image

no body 7 years ago from Rochester, New York

I have a friend from the past, a pastor. (In jail now, by the way, but that is a world and another story away). Anyway he was quite good at his Bible interpretation and I was sort of surprised when he and his entire church began to cover their heads. He just couldn't get past the verses that you quoted. He put it up for a church vote and all the women were on the same page as he. The thing is, that I am on the same page as smireles and see the verses she quotes as applying here. We as Christians have deep Judeo roots (so I see the traditional garb as okay) and I see no problem with a devout Christian woman that loves the Lord with all her heart struck with the conviction to cover in humility as long as it is her conviction and I believe God will bless her in her love. All Christians are not the same except in their salvation and we all share that in common.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 7 years ago from Southern California, USA

First I would say never worry about being controversial, and people who get upset about it really just want to put you in their little box. When you do not conform to what a person thinks of as being "typical" they panic and do not know how to handle it. Headscarfs can be very fashionable, and I really do not know why anyone care if women wear them. Personally I think in France they are denying women their civil rights by not allowing them to wear headscarfs. People claim to be so open minded, but when it comes to religion often the same open minded people can get judgemental pretty quick.


Bridget Ake 7 years ago

Women used to cover their heads in the Catholic church before Vatican ll. So many people wore fancy hats that it just lost any real kind of meaning. Glad you are finding a way to make it have meaning for you. I still think that it might make some women inferior spiritaully.


Suki C profile image

Suki C 7 years ago from Andalucia, Spain

This is a fascinating subject. I was brought up as a catholic (now, non-practising) and we always covered our heads while at Mass. I remember am aunt coming back from Italy and giving me a black lace 'mantilla' - I always loved wearing that :)


Binder Mandur 5 years ago

Very Nice article written. Our Sikh Religon womens & mens should have Cover there head all the time. Turban is one of five k Given by our Guru Gibind SIngh ji on Khalsaday


Kelley 4 years ago

A very nice Hub page/article, ma'am. :) I'm a Christian teen who has been observing modest dress and the head covering for almost a year. Glad to see that there are other Christian sisters observing modest clothing and head coverings.

May Yahweh bless you and your family. :)


Almajideh 4 years ago from Puerto Rico

Interesting article!! I really enjoyed the reading. About this topic I can say I cover my head when I go to the chapel, I'm catholic. Also, I usually do this in my daily life like a muslim woman cover their hair but without cover my neck as they do just the upper part of my head. I like to use long skirts and long sleeves. I have had personal experiences with the Lord since summer, and I'm like this with my external appearance since that time. Yeah, there're people that can say wrong things or they can look at me weirdly. I don't pay attention to them. I feel in peace and happy being this way. I know I'm pleasing the Lord. There're another sisters that have their relationship with Him and they aren't like this, and it's okey. Each person is different, in my case I strongly feel I must cover my body and my head. Anyway, it's glad to know anothers sisters in christ wants to cover their hair too.


karen 4 years ago

Hi, Very interesting article. I am considering coverings too. I just feel that it is something I need to do, I have never worn head coverings before but recently I feel it is the right thing for me. I used to belong to the Church of England, but felt very disillusioned with them, actually very uncomfortable with some of their practices. I drifted away from the 'Church' but have always tried to live a Christian lifestyle. Recently, without consciously thinking about it I have begun to dress 'Plain', and am becoming more involved in this, although it is quite difficult in U.K to find appropriate Plain clothes. I would love to join an Amish/Mennonite community, but family commitments make this impossible, so I just live my Conservative life in the local community! I have no car, T.V etc, but obviously do have a laptop!

I shall continue to follow your articles, which I found when searching for info on Mennonite headcoverings!!

Much love.


Dejarvis 3 years ago

I began covering my head in January 2013 due to a medical issue. I do have a shaved head which I have chose to keep for now for the same reason I choose to cover my head. I have committed myself to Jesus during this time as well. All of my life I was very focused on my appearance. Checking mirrors whenever they were available etc. since I began covering my head I am no longer focused on my appearance. I feel more at peace with being me. Some people have accused me of doing it for attention which is so far from the truth. My relationship with Christ has blossomed during this time more than I or anyone else could have ever imagined. I try to pray without ceasing. The covering of my head feels like the right thing to do for myself and my relationship with my Savior.


Bishop J L Hayes profile image

Bishop J L Hayes 2 years ago from Texas City, Texas

WOW, praise the Lord for you. I am a Modalist Bishop and though we try to hold NT customs in our worship of our Savior the modern customs discourage many of our sisters in the faith.

Thank you for this article. I am finding a little late, but I have just joined HP.

Be blessed in Christ.


deorganicchurch profile image

deorganicchurch 2 years ago from Claymont, DE

I like the fact that you mentioned that the head covering is a way to honor your husband. So many women in our society today to not have respect for their husbands. I don't think that a woman becoming accomplished in the workplace provides a reason for her to not show the proper respect her husband within the home. In covering your head, you are showing that you are under her husband's authority which, hopefully, will help other women in our society realize that they are not over their husbands. A few women in my house church cover their heads when they pray.


Bishop J L Hayes profile image

Bishop J L Hayes 2 years ago from Texas City, Texas

Praise the Lord. This is all good news.


Rebecca Furtado profile image

Rebecca Furtado 2 years ago from Anderson, Indiana

vant to who I am . I admire you for not being proud but authentic.

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