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How Head Covering Changed Me

I began covering in the Fall of 2012, and the journey has been amazing. Where I’m standing now isn’t the same place I started, as I now see when looking back on the past nine years. Head covering has taught me some important life lessons.

And right now, I bet I already know what you’re thinking: I’m about to say that head covering helped me learn to be a more submissive wife. Though that is certainly true (and I will be coming back to that in a moment), there are actually some other ways head covering changed me that aren’t as obvious.

The Less Obvious

To start with, I used to be a little afraid to be different. I didn’t want people to think ill of me. On the contrary, I wanted to impress them with how smart and how pretty I thought I was! I can see now that I was insecure and guided by vanity. Head covering changed all that.

As a result of head covering, I’ve given up on those things. I haven’t given up on trying to look pretty or be smart, but I’ve given up on caring about people thinking that I look pretty or that I’m smart.

I suspect they think I’m a little different, maybe even ignorant and unbalanced, and I’ve arrived at the point where I’m okay with that. I don’t need their approval and I don’t care what they think of me (okay, I actually do still care — just not as much as before). What freedom to let go of the need to live up to other people’s expectations, and to not worry about their opinion of me!

Another way head covering changed me was that it taught me that people can be wrong, even people I respect and admire. It also taught me that I can still respect and admire them for all the things they do and teach that are right. I’ve come to understand that leaders are human and make mistakes. It happens!

I used to have an exalted opinion of many Christian leaders, almost to the point of believing they could make no errors. I knew they must, but I couldn’t pinpoint any. And then, if I did hear of an error, I became totally disillusioned. Through my study about head covering, I realized that it is possible for leaders to be wrong on one point and yet still right on many others. I further realized that it is possible to be disappointed with them in one area and yet still admire them in others, and I became more balanced in my perspective — and consequently, gained more peace.

Head covering has taught me patience and tolerance. It takes both of those things to get through the disappointment of knowing that other people don’t agree with my interpretation of 1 Corinthians 11… and to still be friends with them. It’s awkward at first, but then we move on to appreciate all the things we do have in common. I’ve learned that our relationships can mature and deepen, even if head covering isn’t part of it.

And then there’s learning how to respond to opposition. Thankfully, I’ve not experienced much outright opposition in my face-to-face relationships, but the internet is a different story. People can be much more forthright about their disagreement online. How should I answer their objections? Trying to do that has led me even deeper into examining head covering and its relevance for us today. It’s made me stronger and more convicted, not less.

The More Obvious

Finally, yes, head covering has helped me learn to be submissive. I’m human and selfish by nature, and bending myself to the will of another human being does not come easily sometimes. But the Holy Spirit offers His help in the form of His word, His indwelling power, and this visual tool of head covering. It’s been a helpful reminder of what God’s goal is for me as a woman — an ideal to try to live up to, and to be inspired by.

In fact, I honestly don’t know if I really thought much about submission before I started covering. Maybe that’s just me — maybe there are plenty of other Christian women who don’t currently cover and yet who are actively submissive, but it wasn’t that way for me. 

And so learning about head covering, personally, was synonymous with learning about submission. As a result of that process, my marriage has experienced a gradual transformation. It’s not perfect, but it is different from what it used to be. The passage of time may have a lot to do with that, as my husband and I gain more experience in being married to each other. But I wonder how things might have been different — maybe worse — if head covering hadn’t been part of that.

The Icing on the Cake

Head covering has also brought me into contact with a lot of wonderful people I’d not known before. These individuals are conservative, truth-loving, and devoted to God’s Word. They are also caring, considerate, and kind. I’ve learned from them how to be lovingly opposed to a false cultural idea, and to be informed without flaunting that knowledge. I am in debt to these people for a great part of my growth.

All in all, looking back on my head covering journey, I see all positive changes, though not every one of them is related to submission. They are primarily changes related to my overall spiritual growth as a Christian. I think that if more believers were willing to investigate and embrace head covering, they might be pleasantly surprised to discover the great gift that it is, the gift I believe God always intended it to be.

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In what ways has head covering been a gift to you? What growth has come out of it that you feel may not have happened otherwise? We would love to hear about your own head covering journey!

Jessica Roldan

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