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What Age Should Children Start Head Covering?

As the parents of five daughters (from 9 months through 12 years), my husband and I have had to consider whether or not we want them to wear a head covering to church — and if so, at what age they should start. I think this question is very common in families where the mother has started to cover. In this article I’d like to consider this question of age from three angles:

  1. What does the Bible say?
  2. What does this look like practically?
  3. What have we done as a family?

What Does The Bible Say?

When considering any sort of life change, it’s always important to observe what God Himself has said about the subject. So, does the Bible offer any guidance that would help us decide at what age females should start head covering? I believe that it does.

1 Corinthians 11:4-5 says:

“Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.”

So, every woman must pray or prophesy with her head covered, or else dishonor her head. But, since the New Testament was originally written in Greek, what does the word woman specifically mean in the original language? Could it mean all females, both children and adults?

An excellent Greek lexicon often utilized in New Testament scholarship is “A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature”¹ (often referred to as “BDAG”). It notes these three meanings of the word “woman” (or gune in Greek):

  1. an adult female person, woman
  2. a married woman
  3. a newly married woman

So, gune refers to either married or unmarried women, but it apparently does not include female children. In 1 Corinthians 11, this same word is used in verses 3, 5 (quoted above), 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 15. In other words, gune is used throughout the whole passage to indicate an adult woman.

According to Bible Study Tools (an online Bible study aid), this same word is used 221 times in the New Testament. In 129 occurrences it refers to “women,” and 92 times it refers to a “wife.” Never is it used in the Bible to describe female children.

Rather than gune, Scripture uses the Greek terms thugatrion (translated as “little daughter”) and korasion (“girl” or “little girl”) when referring to female children. For example, Mark 5:42 uses korasion to describe a 12-year-old girl that Jesus raised from the dead. Along similar lines, Matthew 14:21 lists “women” separately from “children,” indicating that the Greek word for “women” refers to adults. Read more

Covering Testimony: Danica Churchill

Name: Danica Churchill | Age: 32 | Location: Alberta, Canada | Date started covering: 2012


1) Introduce yourself to our readers.

Hi! My name is Danica Churchill, and I am 32 years old. By God’s grace, I became a Christian in November of 2007. I have been married to a wonderful Christian man for almost nine years now, and we have four sweet children together.

2) Where do you attend church? Tell us a little bit about it. Do others practice head covering there?

I attend The Shelter Reformed Presbyterian Church and have been a dedicated member since 2010. The denomination of my church is the RPCNA (Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America). Though head covering is not widely practiced, it is still held to by individuals within some local church bodies. In my church, there are seven other families who practice head covering besides us.

3) What led you to start covering?

When I became a Christian, I was mainly occupied with discovering the basic tenets of the faith, so I didn’t really start looking at head covering until 2012. That year, there was a family that began attending our church who came in with the wife and daughters wearing head coverings. Internally, I immediately scoffed at it, thinking that it was some kind of archaic, strange thing to be doing. After several weeks, my husband was approached by the husband of that family and the topic of head covering came up in their discussion. After we both did some thorough reading and studying of 1 Corinthians 11:2-16, we were both convinced that head covering is in fact a command for the New Testament church worldwide.

Among the resources we consulted were two sermon series named Headcoverings in Public Worship by Brian Schwertley that he preached in 2003 and 2006, and a paper written by him as well. We listened to sermons both for and against the practice. Interestingly, the main thing that convinced us was a rival paper produced by Greg Price who claimed that head covering was merely a cultural practice. After observing the weak arguments and inconsistent hermeneutic used to defend his position, we were more convinced than ever that this was certainly not a cultural practice. The biblical practice of head covering for women and uncovering the head for men defies culture and is not a command that we have the liberty to disregard.

4) When do you use your covering?

After wrestling with the Scriptural text, praying to God about it, and seeking counsel from our pastor and other people in the church, we began practicing head covering during public worship. We considered the arguments that people had for women covering full time; however, we saw overwhelming evidence that this practice was within the context of corporate worship only.
Read more

Covering Testimony: Laura B.

Name: Laura B. | Age: 50 | Location: Apex, North Carolina (USA) | Date started covering: 2007


1) Introduce yourself to our readers.

Hi, I’m Laura and I am in LOVE with Jesus! I love His Word, His constant companionship, and His sweet grace; I can’t wait to get to heaven and be with Him forever. While I am expectantly waiting for that day, I love to take good care of my dear husband of 29 years, our home, and our sweet dog.

I live in Apex, North Carolina, nicknamed “The Peak of Good Living” — and I agree with that nickname. I am 50 years old, have been a vegetarian for 35 years, and donated a kidney in 2016. Although I have a Master’s in Nutrition, I enjoy teaching piano and guitar to children. I also play & sing hymns, and teach the Bible to women in nursing/retirement homes two days a week. I am also active in my church where I delight in serving, loving on, and encouraging the flock of God, especially the seniors!

I did not grow up in a Christian home, though my family occasionally went to church. After my parents divorced in my teens, I decided I was an agnostic. I later married a Christian who was on a prodigal path — but after he rededicated his life to the Lord, my husband’s patience, love, and prayer were used by God to draw me into the Kingdom. We now love exhorting each other to follow the Bible in every aspect of our lives. We try to live according to Paul’s directions for believers in 1 Thessalonians 4:11: to aspire to live a quiet life, mind our own business, and work with our own hands.

2) Where do you attend church? Tell us a little bit about it. Do others practice head covering there?

I attend Colonial Baptist Church in Cary, NC. The teaching is refreshingly sound, and Pastor Stephen Davey has an international radio ministry called Wisdom for the Heart, which some may be familiar with. Shepherds Theological Seminary is another ministry associated with our church and is located on our church campus. The seminary professors teach the Bible classes on Sunday at church, so I am blessed to be under excellent teaching. There are probably 6,000 to 8,000 members, and as far as I can see, I am the only one who adheres to the biblical direction found in 1 Corinthians 11 to cover. Nevertheless, that doesn’t hinder me a bit. Read more

How Do I Talk to Others About Head Covering?

I clearly remember how I felt as someone confronted me during a conversation on the phone. At first, I was a little hot in the face, but by the time our conversation was over, I felt as if I couldn’t breathe. I could barely even say, “Goodbye.” Actually, I didn’t have a chance to, because the other person hung up on me. My hands were trembling uncontrollably. I wanted to cry. Thankfully, that discussion was completely unrelated to head covering. But, it could have been.

The thought of having to explain why we cover to fellow church-goers, family, or friends can make us nervous. In my experience, very few people have approached me about head covering. However, the question still lingers: What if more did? What would I say? Many head covering women have probably had that same feeling. In this article, I’d like to suggest a few ways we can prepare ourselves for those conversations — while honoring God and maintaining our peace.

Realistically, talking about head covering & biblical roles for men and women isn’t much different than talking about any other aspect of the Christian faith. We will always encounter people whose beliefs are not exactly the same as ours, whether non-believers or believers. No matter what the topic of discussion is, we can apply the same principles.

The late Francis A. Schaeffer, a famous evangelical philosopher of the twentieth century, wrote this about communicating with those who have different beliefs than we do: Read more

Five Ways I Seek To Be A Submissive Wife

For some of us, submission may be unfamiliar — not because the term is foreign, but because the concept is unclear. In many marriages, it’s not common for the husband to ask his wife to “obey” him in anything particular. So, it can be hard for the wife to objectively gauge whether or not she is really being submissive as the Bible says wives should be.

“Wives submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord” (Colossians 3:18 KJV; see also Ephesians 5:22; 1 Peter 3:1).

Since biblical head covering represents the woman’s acceptance of the man’s headship (leadership), it helps to have a clear idea of how to apply that concept practically.

“But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God… For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man” (1 Corinthians 11:3, 7-9 KJV).

Though there are wives who have husbands with demanding personalities, there are others who have husbands with very laid-back, relaxed attitudes. This article is meant for those wives, as advice in how to honor their easy-going husbands. That’s exactly the type of man my husband is.

“Am I A Submissive Wife?”

The other day, I asked my husband (only a little apprehensively), “Am I a submissive wife?” His response was right to the point… and I’ll tell you what it was in a moment. But first, I’d like to share with you what the word submission implies, to him.

In his mind, this word carries with it some negative connotations: slaves submit to their masters, and animals submit to their owners. The image of a groveling, spiritless creature always pops up in his imagination, largely as a result of his cultural upbringing. However, my husband has never expected me to act like his slave nor does he ever want us to interact in that way. He wants me to be his wife.

He described it to me this way: “In order to have a good marriage, we need to have good communication. We need to have conversations where we — the both of us — share our opinions respectfully. Even though the Bible says that I’m the leader, I value your input in making decisions for our family.” It’s true: he does like to hear what I think and will sometimes even change his mind about something based on an insight I’ve shared. He respects me. But what about me? Do I respect him?

When I asked him if I was a submissive wife, do you know what his answer was? Read more

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