So what’s the deal about the covering of the head and the hair length? This whole discussion seems pretty foreign to us, doesn’t it?
In today’s American Protestant culture, we don’t make a big deal out of head coverings or hair length for either male or female, do we? Based on 1 Corinthians 11, are we mistaken? Is it really important to God? Let’s take a look.
As is usually the case when studying Scripture, the first thing we should consider is context. What’s happening in the scene? The recurring theme in verse 3-16 is order, or the hierarchy of authority. Paul says in verse 3: Now I want you to 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.
Now, in the Corinthian culture, a woman who wore a head covering was showing her submission to the authority of her husband, and consequently her submission to God.
Now lest we take umbrage at this concept, understand that submission does not mean that we are implying that the one who submits is “less than” the one who is being submitted to. Do you doubt that?
Well, consider this. God the Father, God the Son and the Holy Spirit are equal parts of the One, united Triune God, are they not? Yet the Son submits to the Father, and the Spirit to the Son. They are equal, yet there is an order.
The relationship of the husband and wife is a picture of this relationship. In the Corinthian culture, a woman’s long hair and the covering of her head was an outward show of her agreement with the God established order. A man’s short hair and lack of head covering was the same.
Now, we know that what God considers important is the condition of our heart. He looks much less at the things we do than what goes on in our heart. Yes, what we do is important, because our actions often flow from our heart. But in our culture, where head covering and hair length has little or nothing to do with our marital status, God does not care about hair and covers. But He most certainly cares about our submission to His authority, and the order He has set out for husbands and wives.
Christ is in submission to the Father, the husband is in submission to Christ, the wife is in submission to the husband. No one has his or her thumb on the other. This is a love relationship, with respect and reverence.
I love the lovely Lady LeeAnn and would give my life for her, just as Christ gave Himself for me. I do not lord it over her. Her well-being is my most important priority, other than serving and loving God. She responds to that love by respecting and loving me in the same way. We are equal partners, and at the same time there is the order that God laid out. And not surprisingly, it seems to be working. We truly love each other more today than we did the day we married nearly 27 years ago. Every year our bond is stronger in every way. If she were here to talk to you, she would say the same thing.
So no, God doesn’t care today in our culture what is on your head. He cares about your submission to Him. That’s it.
Your thoughts? Let me hear from you.