I Corinthians 11
Each time I come to this passage of Scripture, I wonder, "Why don't we do this?" I remember quite a few years ago, I listened to a John MacArthur sermon where he talked about the culture of the time, and I emailed "Grace to You" and asked how we can tell when a passage of Scripture is to be interpreted through the lense of culture and when it should be taken straight up. I explained that I was trying to live a life of faith and integrity before an unbelieving husband and two young daughters whose eyes were wide open. I got a very nice, vague email back; and the next time I came to this passage, I wondered, "Why don't we do this?"
When I started this blog, on the premise that I would ask the questions and that Godly, and wise brothers and sisters would answer them, one of the first questions I asked was, "Why don't we do that?"
In the meantime, those two little girls grew up, and the husband was drawn by the Holy Spirit to the Throne of Grace; to the Cross, where his sins were forgiven and he became a new creation in Christ. (Halelujah!)
Recently, with one of my daughters, whose eyes were and still are wide open, I had a talk about why Christians do some things that are in the Bible, and disregard others. Guess which passage was brought up. Yes, I Corinthians 11.
A couple of weeks ago, my husband asked me to open the Bible and read to him a passage that he would tell me. I did, and he had me read to him I Corinthians 11:1-16. He didn't ask me, "Why don't we do that?" Instead, he asked, "Rachel, why don't you do that?"
Whoa! Well, that's getting personal! I don't do it, because we don't do it. That is the long and short of it.
Well, that was a turning point for me. Glen clarified the issue, that I need to obey God, and follow where He leads me.
It acually was more of a halting point, where I sat and thought, and talked to other people and read USA Today articles and Googled and prayed.
Then I came to the point where I had it settled in my mind, but I had to work out some practical issues. I asked the cousel of a wonderful woman in my church. She is elegant and eloquent, and her cousel is well thought out. I was concerned about not making this a fashion statement, and having nothing on hand to start with, I wondered about whether to make it pretty or plain, about matching outfits and so on. She remembered that she had been in the habit of wearing scarves when she was involved in the opera, so when her heart was convicted of this, she just started using those, because she had them on hand. I don't sing opera because, well, I can't; I don't wear scarves because I am not very elegant; I don't wear hats because when I wear a hat of any kind, I look like my brother; I sometimes will wrap a towel around my hair when I get out of the shower, but I don't think that would be appropriate.
So, I checked out my stash of remnants and messed around with shapes and sizes. I bought more remnants, and covered and tied and looked in the mirror and sighed. A beautiful young woman who recently got married in our church sometimes wraps her hair up in pretty cloths. She looks wonderful. Nothing I put on my head looked wonderful. I did this for two weeks.
While praying one night, the thought came to me that if I waited to obey this strong biblical admonition until it looked cool, I would never do it. If I waited until I wasn't afraid, I would never do it. If I waited until I even completely understood God's mind on this, I would never, ever do it; and then in another six months, or maybe a year, I would come across this passage again, and wonder, "Why don't we do that?"
I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the teachings, just as I passed them on to you.
Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is just as though her head were shaved. If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off, she should cover her head. A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. 8For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. For this reason, and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head.
In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God. Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering. If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice—nor do the churches of God.
I Corinthians 2-16