Okay, so onto the scriptures: 1 Corinthians 11:
2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.
3 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.
5 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.
6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.
7 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.
11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.
Anyone who has ever studied this probably has the verses memorized as I almost do. These verses have been studied and studied in our home off and on for close to 10 years and we are no closer to fully understanding them than when we first started. However, we do feel at peace with where we are at right now. We have always taken just these verses and studied them until recently. Finally we started reading the whole chapter and some in the previous chapter and things made much more sense. Before and after verses are clearly talking about public times of worship and meeting together. If I am praying alone in my bed at night, which I do every night, am I dishonoring my husband when no one sees me except God? What about every baby I've had in the bathtub? Not sure if you know much about birth but it requires some nakedness (please keep in mind I am in a bathtub), I also do not wear a head covering then. So does God not hear me? Am I dishonoring my head? No, I've NEVER felt convicted about praying without a cloth covering on my head. If my shirt is too low cut I cannot leave my house because of the conviction. I have safety pins for that reason. If I speak harshly to my children I am convicted and I confess and ask my children to forgive my rotteness. My point is when I sin, I feel conviction from the Holy Spirit, when I don't put on a head covering to go to Walmart I do not feel conviction. I actually feel more convicted for why am I putting on my head covering just to be seen of men? It's like the verse where the man dresses in long robes and makes long prayers to be seen of men in Matthew. I'm not saying this is for all you ladies that cover, it was just how I always felt. I wasn't going to Walmart to pray. There's just so much that goes into this I'm afraid I won't be able to fully explain but I'll try. It may lead off on several rabbit trails and I am sorry for that. It has just been a long journey.
I guess just for my view here really quick and I know my husband also sees it this way, we can still see the scriptures both ways, speaking of a cloth covering and also why people believe it is LONG hair. Not just hair, we don't think men have to pray bald headed, but it specifically says long hair is given as a covering, in verse 15. It is the only time a noun is used and it is referring to the hair as a literal cloth veil. There is never a second covering mentioned. The words used in the upper portion are verbs, so yes of course they are different greek words than what is used in 15. Verse 15 is the only noun. What makes us question the hair being the covering is history. Women covered their heads in church with a veil or hat up until I guess even 50 years ago. Also it does seem to be referring to something you can take on and off. Which also helps solidify our conclusion of it being put on at specific times only. ????? Confusing but my point in sharing this is that I can love ladies who cover and ladies who don't. I see it both ways.
We do not believe the head covering is a salvation issue. When I was born again if I had died right then I would be in heaven with my Lord (or whenever that happens, please don't get technical on me). I still smoked, dressed immodestly, still used the Lord's name in vain, still did a lot of things, but what He had showed me to repent of I did, wholeheartedly, and gave Him my heart/my life. Since that day I have continued to grow by His grace. Using His name in vain brought immediate conviction, I stopped. Cussing brought immediate conviction, I stopped. Little by little the Lord worked on me inside and out and still is! Praise His name! If I have to accumulate enough good works and get everything just perfect in this life before I can go to heaven then I have no chance. What a life of fear and torment! Most importantly Jesus died in vain and His blood wasn't good enough if that is true. But Jesus' blood was enough! If you believe in Him and give Him your life then you are a child of God, precious in His sight. Seek to do His will and stay in His word daily so you won't be deceived. Salvation is salvation!!!
Onto some of the other scriptures that go along with the early church father's writings that hair was obviously seen, not always covered.
1 Timothy 2:
9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
1 Peter 3:
3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
Our question here is why the instruction on the hair? If hair is to be bound up all day and night in a bun and hidden under a covering why would Paul say anything about hair. We believe because the head covering is 1. for your head & 2. not for every day all the time. You would have to wear it 24/7 to be obeying the scripture to pray without ceasing and have your head covered when praying. Life gets in the way. I have had several things happen in the last 4 years where I was not wearing a covering and needed to be instant in prayer. Once as I stepped out of the shower I heard one of my children being ran over with a riding lawn mower and blood curling screams. He was okay, praise the Lord. Should I have not prayed? Did I dishonor my husband? Weird thing is that we had just made the decision for me to wear a head covering and then this happened. What was the Lord saying through this? I just don't believe in coincidences. This said something to me. Also men do cover their heads with hats, stocking hats, whatever, can they not pray then?
As for the early church writings, I think it has been said you can find one or more to back up just about anything you want. What they have written is not scripture, it is not the inspired word of God. I know of people who have gotten away from clear scripture because they look to these writings as inspired. However, in them there are plenty of references to women doing up their hair elaborate with curls, using bobby pins to make the hair wavy, dying the hair different colors, and other things. How would they know all of this if they never saw the ladies hair? It's obvious through their writings that the women wore the covering sometimes, specific times, seems like during meetings. I don't think anyone can be 100% sure on that. We are just combining this with scripture to make our decision.
About making the decision to cover, we never fully understood or felt convicted for me to wear it. We wanted to be a part of a sweet, loving, unified body of believers. Well, that is not what we found. We found contention and critical spirits that did not reflect Christ. We found people that actually said that women in China who were being murdered for their faith in Christ were not really Christians because they did not wear head coverings. Willing to lay down your life for Christ, not good enough, huh? There is only one place we know of that is full of a critical spirit and even there we believe some of them love Jesus. There are issues that need dealt with and great deception there though. Doing things do not get you to heaven, believing in Jesus and being born again is the only way to heaven. Paul shares the gospel well and we can think of no better teacher than God Himself in His word. We also want to say that we do pray this group will repent of their pride and have their eyes opened by the Lord. They could do so much good for the kingdom of Christ if they were filled with the love and compassion of Christ Himself.
I'm just going to touch briefly on what is an acceptable head covering because this too is confusing. How big is big enough, how long is long enough, can you show any hair or must you cover to your forehead, can it be pink, blue, brown, or only white, can it have lace on the outer edge or cute serged scallops, or only plain, can it be a bonnet, a hat, a doily, see through, ???? When is it good enough? How do you know your style is accepted by God?
I have talked with several sweet, godly, born again women who wear coverings and we all do things a little bit different. Some of them take their coverings off at 7pm, just really need it off. Most all of them tell me they pray without it at night or when need be. Most would say they have a day or more each week when they wash their hair and are without it almost all day letting their hair dry. Those would be long days without prayer. One lady I know puts it on just for prayer and takes it off again. So at meal times she puts it on then takes it off again. I see a very hindered prayer life for her. It would be for me anyway. I pray several times a day and often need to be instant in prayer which you cannot do if you have to walk across the house to get and put on your head covering. I would get up at 2am, 4am , who knows when to nurse my new baby, was I supposed to go pin on my head covering before getting my crying baby so I could pray if I wanted to? I have my Bible time first thing in the morning (before showering) and do so without a covering. It seemed so silly to be sitting in the privacy of my own room in my nightgown and have to get up go to the bathroom, brush my hair, put it up in a bun, bobby pin my head covering, now go back and have quiet time. I would put it on at some point in the day after my hair dried because I shower daily, have to, oily hair problem if I don't, yuck! So I wasn't putting it on to pray it was just because I have to, right? I think you are getting my point. Life happens and it's just not logical to say you have to cover your head EVERY single time you pray. Now I do believe there are some sects that won't pray without it. I know some amish believe that if they die without it they will go to hell. They do wear theirs in the bathtub when giving birth. It is the only thing they are wearing but they do wear it. I'm not here to say your conviction is wrong if that is what you believe, I commend you and love you. It's just not what we believe. I've rarely in the four years of wearing it wore it all day without a headache. My daughter would get terrible headaches from wearing it and could not wear her hair up at all. It would just get too bad. If she puts her hair up in a bun in about an hour she is in pain. She was always looked down on for showing her hair. Is this biblical? I think not. I think we should go to Jesus for the answer. When Mary uses her hair to anoint Jesus' feet with oil in Bethany did he tell her, "Woman put your hair away, what a sin."? No, He said that a testimony of that woman should be gave because of her good work. If it was sin or immodest to show your hair this would have been unacceptable to Jesus. We feel peace about my covering at meetings. Again, we are not set in stone on this. We do have open hearts to hear scripture. This is just what we see right now.
Now I want to say that I know of several godly women who wear head coverings all day, maybe some at night. I love them! I pray that they will still love me even though we see things differently. We feel the need to be free to obey God from His word and that is what we feel we are doing. I want to obey my own husband and serve the Lord with my life daily. I hope this clears up any confusion anyone may have. Please feel free to comment or ask questions I will try to answer them. However, this is what my husband has decided for me so if you want to teach me otherwise you should feel free to contact him directly. I had my husband's blessing to write this and he has edited and changed it as he saw fit. Thank you for reading and God Bless you!