Since biblical womanhood involves submission to my husband, it makes sense that as part of that, I will obey him. Throughout all the years we have been married, my husband has never asked me to do anything wrong, which has made it very doable for me to submit to him – but I know this is not the case for all marriages.
What if your husband asked you to do something wrong? Or what if you had a serious disagreement with him over something very important to you? Should you obey him?
In this one article, it would be impossible to cover the whole range of different scenarios that might occur! However, I believe we can uncover some general guidelines that could apply to almost any situation. Read more
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 can 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!Read more
When I first started head covering, I temporarily experienced a bit of tunnel vision. I was still trying to clarify and solidify my beliefs, which necessitated quite a bit of time spent in focused study. I was also trying to understand (and deal with) the different reactions I got. Traversing this unfamiliar ground required extra attention, for a while. Though I was very careful to not allow this new experience to turn into a focal point of obsession, other people may have been concerned that it would.
Nine years later, I’m happy to say that it hasn’t.
Head covering has never been an issue I’ve exalted over more important matters, such as confessing sin, trusting in Christ, and loving and forgiving others, to name a few examples. I’ve always had a clear understanding of its place in my life, and of what level of priority it deserved.
Head Covering Mistakes to Avoid
Sometimes I hear it suggested that those who practice head covering are obsessive, legalistic, ignorant, or unbalanced. I know I don’t fit that caricature and I’m disappointed to be so misrepresented. And yet, I try to be patient. It doesn’t do any good to let false assumptions get under your skin. Being super-sensitive to criticism leads to problems such as bitterness and resentment, and I don’t want to give those things a foothold in my heart. So, I’ve always tried to avoid taking myself too seriously.
I take God seriously, and I take His Word seriously, but I don’t take myself too seriously. This isn’t about me.Read more
If you asked my husband what kind of wife I am, I think he would tell you the same thing he tells me: I’m devoted, loving, kind, and “the best thing that ever happened to me” (his actual words). Yet, submitting to my husband isn’t always easy.
At times, it feels like a blistering tug-of-war between my two selves: the noble, godly side of me and the not-so-noble, selfish side of me. It’s up and down. Sometimes it’s more up and sometimes it’s more down, depending on how I’m doing emotionally at any given time (if I told you that we have eight children and homeschool, that might help you understand). When I find myself in a down moment, or a whole series of down moments, there are certain things I like to tell myself in order to get back on track. I’d like to share what those things are, in the form of five helpful thoughts.
5 TRUTHS I REMIND MYSELF
Helpful Thought #1: Submission isn’t just for wives. If other people are expected to submit, so can I.
We are told to submit to the government (Rom. 13:1-7; 1 Pet. 2:13-17). When has the government ever been perfect? Never. But, we need to submit anyway (unless it involves denying Christ, Acts 5:27-32).
Servants are told to submit to their masters (Eph. 6:5-8; 1 Pet. 2:18-25). Masters (bosses, people in charge) aren’t always nice, but servants (employees) are reminded that when they do their job with a willing heart, as unto the Lord, God will reward them for it.
Children are told to honor and obey their parents (Eph. 6:1-3; Col. 3:20). I’ve never met a perfect parent, nor am I one. Though I certainly encourage honesty with my children, I don’t think it’s always necessary for them to feel that I am “worthy of respect” before they give me the respect that my position deserves. They don’t need to understand all my decisions or agree with them.Read more
It’s gotten pretty cliché to talk about how recent events have thrust us into “unprecedented times” and forced us to conform to a “new normal.” And there is a bit of truth to that. For some of us, the practice of head covering may have been affected along with many other parts of life.
When we were first expected to stay home and church services went online, our whole routine was jostled. For the most part, I cover just at church, so what was I supposed to do now? I had to figure that out. Every Sunday morning, we would settle in to watch the sermon from our living room couch, while the children played quietly on the floor or colored at the nearby kitchen table. In preparation, I would brew some coffee for my husband and I to sip on. When the sermon started, I would put my covering on, even though we were at home. It did make that time feel more special.
Then we got lazy.
I hate to admit it, but Sunday started to get a little too relaxed, without the expectation of having to actually go somewhere. We got up later. We started the sermons in the middle. Then we stopped watching them and began to do other things. I guess that’s not so bad — I mean, we were spending time together as a family, and we were resting. But it wasn’t the same as having fellowship with people at church, and worshiping the Lord with them. I went for several weeks (or was it months?) without once putting on my covering. I can just imagine your horror and disappointment, and I’m not being sarcastic. I disappointed myself a little, too.
I should have been more diligent and committed to observing these important spiritual habits, even under “unprecedented circumstances.” Why? Because head covering is not something I do just so that other people may observe and learn from its visual symbolism. It’s something I do for God.
Head covering also helps me, too. When I don’t cover at least once a week at church — even if it’s online church — I feel like I’m gradually starting to forget something important. It’s like I’m losing touch with it, millimeter by millimeter. I need the tactile reminder that the head covering gives me!
Head Covering and Our Physical Senses
God made us a composite of the spiritual and the physical. Spirit, soul, heart, mind, brain, body: all are wrapped up into one. When God gave us physical symbols like the head covering, I believe He was providing for our need to experience (through our body’s physical senses) connections to His abstract, spiritual truths. He knew we needed something tangible!Read more
[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.
I remember once hearing someone remarking to another person, “I guess it’s normal in marriage for a couple to argue. I don’t see how you can be married and not argue.” I looked over at the person who had been listening to watch for her reaction. She blinked. Then she said, “Well, my husband and I never argue.” And that was the end of that conversation.
Which of the following scenarios sounds most typical: a marriage where arguing is common, a marriage where arguing never happens, or something in between? I know where I find myself on that spectrum.
Naturally, as a woman who wears a head covering to church every Sunday as a symbol of submission to the leadership of my husband (see 1 Cor. 11:2-16), I feel especially vulnerable to scrutiny on this point. For example, if I were to wear a head covering but argue with my husband regularly, what would that make me? I shudder at the thought.
Whatever may be typical for us, the Bible clearly states what should be the norm for followers of Christ:
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” (NIV, Phil. 2:14-15a)
It is to one’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel. (Prov. 20:3)
It also says these strong words about argumentative wives:
Better to live in a desert than with a quarrelsome and nagging wife. (Prov. 21:19)
Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife. (Prov. 25:24)
Clearly, God’s goal for us is to be peaceful in our interactions with others and to avoid argumentative habits. Yes, that’s the goal — but unfortunately we don’t always live up to it. What then? Do we stop wearing a head covering because it makes us feel hypocritical?
That’s a good question, and I believe I have an equally good answer.
Here’s the way I, personally, view the head covering: It’s a practical life tool.Read more