How to Share Head Covering With Friends
[Guest Author: This article was written by guest author, Elaine Mingus. It is a republished work from her previous blog. If you’re interested in writing for the Head Covering Movement please visit this page.]
Once you discover the biblical mandate to practice headcovering, you probably will find yourself wanting to share this newfound understanding with your friends.
Just like sharing your salvation experience, many women want to express the beauty and freedom they’ve found in obeying and aligning themselves with God’s divine order.
But sharing about something that is… I don’t know… not a part of our “normal” culture can be… scary.
And what makes it more difficult is that some people already have a stereotypical judgment about people who cover their heads.
Here are some tips for how to share head covering with your friends.
1) Be An Example
Wear your head covering consistently. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to wear it all the time. But for however you are convicted, make sure you do it in a consistent manner. For example:
- If you cover just at church, then regularly cover at church.
- If you also cover outside of church, then regularly cover outside of church as well.
Obviously, there is room for error and grace, but in general be consistent.
2) Speak Positively
Head covering is a biblical practice that’s beautiful both physically and spiritually. It is an expression of “a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious” (1 Peter 3:4).
Obviously, whining about anything is a turnoff. But if God speaks positively about head covering (in Scripture), then we should as well.
3) Don’t Over-Emphasize Your Own “Rules”
If you only wear a certain style of head covering, you can share with your friends why you wear that type of covering. But make sure to clarify that there is no prescribed style of covering in Scripture.
Let the Holy Spirit be free to do the work of moderating which style they decide is appropriate for their situation.
4) Know The Scriptures
It’s important to have a solid understanding of what 1 Corinthians 11 means. I suggest using this “Guided Study” (published by the Head Covering Movement) for a comprehensive biblical treatment on the subject of head covering.
The founder of the Head Covering Movement, Jeremy Gardiner, has committed himself to studying head covering and references many sources, both living and historical. You can also buy his book, Head Covering: A Forgotten Christian Practice for Modern Times.
5) Know The Counter-Arguments
It’s great to know the biblical reasons for covering. But knowing some common arguments against head covering will help strengthen and clarify your own understanding. You’ll also be able to respond to these arguments when they come up in conversation. Start with the Head Covering Movement’s “Understanding Test,” which links to various non-covering viewpoints.
6) Be Sensitive to the Holy Spirit
While I do believe head covering is biblical, I also believe we must be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit as to when and where to talk to our friends about head covering.
When talking with others about head covering, be graceful. Be careful not to “guilt” anyone into wearing a head covering. Covering out of guilt is very different than willingly and joyfully embracing the biblical reasons for the practice of head covering.
The Lord deals graciously with you, and we should mimic Him. As Paul tells us in Romans 2:4, the long-suffering and kindness of our Lord leads us to repentance (that is, a change of direction).
If you find that your friend is obviously distressed about this topic, you might want to save your head covering conversation for later.
As Christians, prayer should go before us. The Holy Spirit (not me or you) is the only one that brings true biblical conviction. Further, since prayer is one of the primary contexts for head covering (as described in 1 Corinthians 11), it ought to be emphasized when we share with others about head covering.
8) Know Your Audience
People respond to head covering differently. I’ve found that some of the people who are adamantly opposed to head covering are those who associate it with church abuse. Abuse is a very real issue in some churches, but especially in certain ultra-conservative congregations where “works” are exalted high above grace and relationship.
Also, if you are talking to a Muslim convert, they might struggle with head covering because of their previous religion — or they might find it comforting!
Whatever their response, the more you know about the person you are speaking with, the better you’ll be able to explain head covering in a way that will be beneficial to them.
9) Give it Time
One of my best friends told me head covering wasn’t for her when I first spoke with her about it. Within a week, the Lord revealed to her that covering was, in fact, biblical. Other people may take longer to think through the topic, pray about it, research it, and talk about it with their spouse.
So be encouraged, and be patient. Just because someone doesn’t jump on the head covering bandwagon from the moment you start talking doesn’t mean they won’t change their mind later on.
10) Don’t Be Afraid
Fear is the opposite of faith. Fear holds us back from talking (or even offering a gentle challenge) to our friends about head covering. Faith opens our mouths to say that first comment about head covering, which could potentially lead to a further conversation.
Fear tells us that head covering is weird and we don’t have to do it if it makes us feel uncomfortable. Faith prompts us to do what is right in spite of our flesh telling us to run the other direction.
Your Friends Will Thank You
Head covering can be divisive, but it doesn’t have to be! If your friends are truly desiring God’s will for their lives, and if your approach is humble and godly, they’ll likely appreciate your desire to discuss Scripture with them.
By boldly declaring your convictions about covering, giving your friends the grace and space to decide (in their own time) whether or not to cover, and being prayerful in your approach, you will have done your job to declare the Word of the Lord whether they decide to cover or not.
This is how I’ve personally lived out my head covering walk with friends. Remember, you will be judged based on your own obedience to God and not on their response. I hope this helps!