Covering Testimony: Kristi Bothur
Name: Kristi Bothur | Age: 45 | Location: Columbia, SC | Starting Covering: February 2015
1) Introduce yourself to our readers.
My name is Kristi Bothur. I am 45 years old, and the wife of a bivocational pastor. My husband and I have been married for thirteen years, and we have two children, ages 7 and 3, as well as five we will meet in Heaven whom we lost during pregnancy. In addition to our church ministry, we have a ministry called Naomi’s Circle that reaches out to other parents going through pregnancy or infant loss. We also homeschool, and I write on my own blog called “This Side of Heaven,” as well as two collaborative ones: one for pregnancy after loss and one that is a local moms blog.
2) Where do you attend church? Tell us a little bit about it. Do others practice headcovering there?
I attend two churches, both Southern Baptist. My husband is the pastor of South Beltline Baptist Church, a small, older inner city church. Until recently, our children were the only ones there, and so we are also active members of Spring Valley Baptist, a larger church that we have attended since we got married. I do not know of any others who practice headcovering at either church.
3) What led you to start covering?
My head covering journey began in college, when I attended a Brethren church for a time. The women in that congregation covered, and I remember being intrigued by it, although I thought of it only as their church custom, not anything I should consider for myself.
At various times through the years, I have been confronted again with the idea of head covering and Paul’s teachings about it in 1 Corinthians 11. Each time, I concluded that it was not a custom I needed to follow. I was relieved, because I did not relish the idea of adopting a habit that no one else in my church or family was doing. Looking back, though, I think my reluctance to stand out in a crowd also made me unwilling to truly dig in and understand what the Scriptures taught about this.
Last year, toward the end of 2014, I found myself focusing on 1 Corinthians 11 again. I felt like I needed to settle the issue once and for all, and so started to study the passage in earnest, with help from this website and some friends who cover. Based on the realization that Paul’s argument for headcovering come from theology and not from local culture, and that a study of the Greek does not support the idea of a woman’s hair being sufficient covering, I came to the conclusion that there is no exegetical or cultural reason to assume that headcovering during times of corporate worship is not still a valid command to be followed today. The only thing left to overcome was my own reluctance and my lack of knowledge of what kind of cover to use. A couple of groups on social media helped with both of those, and I began using a head covering in February 2015.
4) What was that first Sunday like when you showed up in a covering?
I was nervous, but no one said anything to me – and no one has ever asked about it!
5) When do you use your covering?
I cover my head during times of corporate worship, prayer, and teaching, which I believe to be the best understanding of the “praying and prophesying” that Paul speaks of in 1 Corinthians 11. On a practical level, that means during worship services, prayer meetings, choir practices and performances, and Bible studies. In those times, I cover in obedience to God, symbolically declaring the headship order of His kingdom and my submission to it. I occasionally cover at other times when I am convicted of my need for particular focus on personal prayer or study, or on having a more submissive spirit in general.
6) What counsel can you give to women that do not cover out of fear?
I would first remind that woman that we need to please God and not people. I would remind her, also, that God promises to strengthen His people as they walk in His way. I would also tell her that in my case, my fears were unfounded, and that there are many ways to cover that do not draw undue attention or look incredibly out of place.
7) What would you say is the best and the most difficult aspect about head covering?
The best – going through the process of studying the Scriptures and having a better understanding of them. I am thankful for the way God has led me in the last year and the people he has brought into my life to confirm the wisdom of the practice of headcovering. While I do not feel that using a cover makes me more spiritual, I feel that the process of learning about it and understanding more about kingdom headship has been part of maturing spiritually, and that has been exciting to me!
The most difficult – taking the plunge to just do it, and figuring out what cover is best for me. I stalled and procrastinated out of uncertainty, but now, a year later, it is second-nature to me to put on my head cover prior to church or Bible study.
8) What kind of covering(s) do you use? Where did you get them?
I primarily use wide headbands with a gathered elastic that goes behind my head. They are comfortable, pretty, affordable (less than $5 at Walmart, Target, or the dollar store!), and don’t slide off my head or give me a headache. If they do slip, I secure them with a bobby pin or put a hair band over it.
I do not cover to be modest, but I try to be “modest” in how I cover, in that I do not want to draw unnecessary attention to myself, especially as the only woman in the church who practices headcovering. I do try to match my covers to my outfits, but I am not trying to make a fashion statement.