The Modern Christian Head Covering Woman’s Mission
In a world whose refrains are “just be yourself” and “follow your heart,” the woman who chooses to be who God made her to be and to follow God’s Word may be seen as weird and non-progressive. Outright backward. Even a traitor to herself and other women.
These are perilous times (2 Tim. 3:1).
We already know why a woman should wear a head covering based on the Bible’s teaching. But we also need to talk about why a woman should wear a head covering based on our culture’s needs. Fortunately, the Bible’s teaching meets our culture’s needs. The Bible is always relevant to whatever time we live in, since it always speaks to our current situation.
Let me go back to my own journey. Why did I start head covering? Was it to get attention? Was it because I felt pressured to live up to a legalistic standard? Was it because I didn’t think I would be able to be a “complete woman” if I didn’t wear one? No, no, and no!
It was because I believed in Christ, loved Him, and wanted to follow His Word as closely as I could, according to my best understanding of it.
And it just so happens that by doing so, I unintentionally set myself up against a deeply-ingrained and widely-accepted system of modern cultural thought. This way of thinking does not make much room for traditional womanhood – of which one of the boldest and most obvious symbols is head covering. Modern thinking idolizes “self” to a degree that eventually becomes irrational (not to mention insane) because it has been disassociated from the only One who can tell us who we really are.
Who Are We, Really?
Though this world says to “just be yourself,” it doesn’t understand that the highest form of being yourself is being who God made you to be when He created you. That is yourself, your truest self.
That person, to start with, is determined by genetics. Biologically, we are what our DNA made us to be. And that was decided by God when He created each of us in our mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13-16).
Secondly, our true self has been influenced by our environment. We had no power to choose when or where we were born. But God put us in our family, in our particular time of history, and in our specific culture (cf. Acts 17:26).
In addition to the influence our environment has had on us, we have made many impactful choices of our own, which have helped shape our lives. So, our true self has also been developed by our personal decisions.
Genetics, environment, and personal decisions are all factors that have contributed to who we are, as unique individuals. And within that complexity of influences and choices, a person has emerged that is herself, but not by herself. She is God’s creation – not just her own, and not just society’s.
To understand who she is, and to be true to that person, recognizing and accepting those contributing factors is a necessary start. But the most crucial element is still missing: she needs to read God’s Word, the Bible, for the whole answer.
What Does it Mean to be a Woman, According to the Bible?
The Bible tells us that the woman was made to be a helper for the man, a suitable companion (Gen. 2:18-24). The Bible also tells us that the woman was hand-made by God and created in His image (Gen. 1:27), just as the man was, though he was made directly from the dirt and she was made indirectly from it, out of his rib (Gen. 2:21-22). The Bible tells us that the woman is just as much a child of God through faith in Christ as the man is (Gal. 3:26-28), but being “one in Christ Jesus” does not obliterate the earthly role she is called to live out. God’s Word makes clear that her role is one of working at home (being a home-keeper, a guardian of her home) and nurturing others, beginning with her own family as a wife and mother (1 Tim. 5:14; Tit. 2:4-5). Her role is one of supporting the leadership of her husband through submission to him (Eph. 5:22-24).
Unmarried women, and those who are married but have no children, are in a unique position to nurture those around them with their “mothers’ hearts.” The home is the setting where family life happens and it can also be a base from which to offer hospitality and minister to those in need (1 Cor. 7:34-35; 1 Tim. 5:10).
A woman’s priorities should not include self-realization, accumulating earthly goods, ranking up in the world, and living as comfortably as possible. Being a woman should first and foremost be about living for God.
When we obey God’s Word, we can be sure that we are being who He wanted us to be when He made us. This is what the image of us “being ourselves” should look like. We reach our truest potential when we align ourselves with the Bible.
Modern society is in a state of confusion and turmoil over what men’s and women’s roles should be. It is in a state of turmoil over what it even means to be a man or a woman: can we choose what we are, or is it biologically (and irreversibly) determined?
The modern Christian head covering woman stands among those who have the answer.
I feel that God placed you and I in this particular time in history for a reason. There is something we are supposed to accomplish, something He made us to do that only we can do.
We have to understand our mission.
The Christian Head Covering Woman’s Mission
Throughout history, the truth has always been challenged, but in different ways at different times. In one period of history, there was an emphatic attack upon the truth that every Christian has a right and a duty to read the Bible for him- or herself. At another point, there was a bold attack upon the truth that all men are created equal. In our own times, the attack is aimed at the definition of gender and the legitimacy of gender roles.
During each era of history, God raises up servants who will challenge the culture where it has defied and distorted His Word. He is raising us up, sisters, for a holy task! This is not the time to be lazy and go along with what everybody else is doing. This is not the time for self-realization of the Disney sort, where we all “follow our hearts.” This is the time to follow our King into battle – spiritual battle. Our hearts should follow our Lord as He gives us battle instructions, teaching us how to wage spiritual war for Him in these treacherous times.
The weapons of our warfare are not physical, but spiritual:
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ . . . 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NKJV)
Though the cloth we use for head covering is physical, we do not fight physically against people; we fight against ideas and cultural idols. This culture is raising up strongholds and arguments and exalts itself above God and His truth. Will we pretend that it’s not so bad? Will we tell ourselves that there’s not much we can do about it? Will we wait for someone else to take up the gauntlet?
God has made you and I for “such a time as this” (Es. 4:14)! We can choose to live out our God-designed destiny, or we can choose to watch on the sidelines as others who are less complacent than ourselves stand up for what’s right.
Think about the impact our obedience can have on our own personal growth, our marriage, our nuclear family, our extended family, our church, our friends, our acquaintances, and strangers – even globally! No, we may not see our impact as anything “great.” It may appear small to our eyes. But God knows the full impact. These are ripples that spread out from our humble, personal acts of obedience and touch and change things beyond ourselves.
Head covering is just about wearing a piece of cloth, right? Wrong! It’s about standing up for God’s truth using this piece of cloth as a visual reminder to ourselves — and message to the world – that His Word doesn’t change. He is still God. His Word is still authoritative. The roles for men and women that He set in place at the beginning have not changed. And we obediently represent these roles through the symbol He ordained that we use (1 Cor. 11:2-16).
This cloth is a banner waving in the breeze. It says, “We live for Christ. We will not bend to the culture. In fact, we will oppose the culture in all points where it has gone wrong – including in the area of our roles.”
The simple act of obedience in putting on a piece of cloth can have the power of an atom bomb.
However, we do not rebel – we faithfully resist. We do not shout – we gently entreat. We do not strut – we softly tread, with grace and humility. We are women, after all! Being a modern Christian head covering woman involves being feminine.
Obedience is never worthless. It is never meaningless. It leads up to something. Can you see it? The Lord looks back on history with us by His side as He turns the pages, and there – we see ourselves! What does He say about our lives? Many things, but one of them might be this:
Your unrelenting obedience to My Word, your enduring faith in Me as you were scoffed at and opposed, showed your love for Me. I cherish that greatly.
That obedience, though you didn’t know it at the time, was something I used in people’s lives to convict them of the truth in an effort to turn them in the right direction. And for others, it was something I used to encourage them that goodness and objective truth still exist, in order to lift up their drooping spirits and strengthen them onward.
Thank you for allowing Me to use you.