Are head coverings biblical?
Headcovers were the norm throughout most of church history. There are pictures of Billy Graham’s services from the 1940’s; almost all of the women were covered. Just a few decades forward, in the 1970’s, you’ll notice that about half of the women are wearing head covers. By the 1980’s, no women were covered. This mirrored the church at large.
1 Corinthians 11: 1-16,
11 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. 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. 4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. 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. 8 For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. 9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. 10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. 11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. 12 For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God. 13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? 14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? 15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering. 16 But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.
The church fathers, the Reformers, the Puritans, and many conservative pastors even into the 20th century supported headcovers for women in corporate worship. If you are interested in further study, you can check out The Feminist Roots of Christian Women Rejecting Head Coverings , The Headcovering Movement, or my page “Are head coverings biblical?”.
If you have come to the point where you believe you must cover for corporate worship, there’s many options as to how you may go about it or what’s acceptable as a coverings. But before we cover that, let’s talk about this major change you are facing.
Beginning to cover
It’s natural to be uncomfortable when you first decide to cover. Just remember there are many other women who are making the same choice as you throughout the world. Don’t go to church focused on wearing a covering; go to church to worship your King. If you are wearing headcovers in worship, you and your husband are part of the modern day reformation. Headcoverings are visible proof of the creation order. God will use your obedience for His glory.
Jesus told us that if they hated Him, they will hate us. He said that if we love Him, we will obey Him. It’s not up to us to decide to obey only that which fits into our modern church culture. As the church has bought into many of the lies of feminism, humanism, Darwinism, higher criticism, and other -ism’s, it’s not surprising that they rebel against headcoverings. Those who obey the commands of 1 Corinthians 11 will, by necessity, stand out and may have to endure criticism. This is part of our Christian service to our Lord.
Even if you stand alone
If no one else in your church covers don’t let that be a reason for you not to. My daughters and I are always the only ones who cover. Don’t worry about standing out. You aren’t doing this to immodestly draw attention to yourself but to be obedient to the Lord and bring glory to Him. This is about taking back ground lost to feminism. Feminism is deeply rooted in most churches. Be the example others need. Be prepared to explain why you cover if asked. If the leadership of the church is hostile to you or attacks you over it (as I was at a one church), find another church.
Finally make sure your head is actually covered. For instance, a wide headband that only covers a few inches doesn’t actually cover the head and no one who sees you will think, “Ah, she’s covering her head; I wonder why?”
How to cover
My daughters and I wear hats and regular scarves tied around our heads. In Winter, I and one of my daughters use a very large scarf that also serves to warm us. When we enter church, we pull it up and wrap it around the front. Most of what we use, we’ve bought used, took them home, and cleaned them up. We’ve spent very little and they work wonderfully.
You can find various options on Amazon. They have scarves, snoods, headcovers, wraps, and more. One daughter has a headcovering she bought from Amazon. It’s wide and has a rubber piece that goes under her hair. She loves it, it was very inexpensive, and she wears it more than anything else.
You can find these headwraps at WalMarts. They are very inexpensive and work just fine. Other places sell similar items.
Here’s a list of online shops to check out. The list was rechecked by me recently and all are online and accepting orders.
Robin Nest Lane: mantillas and coverings