Friday, August 16, 2013

Stealth Covering

Having been convicted by 1 Corinthians 11 that I should cover my hair some years back, I talked to my husband briefly about it and started covering.  I've gone from full-head, most of hair covering to token covering, and everything in between.

There was a question over at Elspeth's blog about how to cover your hair ... E doesn't cover, so I'm taking the ball and running with it.

Question 1:  More important to submit to your husband, or to cover?  Absolutely to submit to your husband.  This is my conviction, my husband is good with it, but he doesn't want me to look weird.  The one and only comment I've gotten from him is "I'm not going to church with you if you wear a doily on your head".  (I actually gave that a try.  Fashion Fail).  There are multiple verses in the Bible calling for wifely submission and one verse about head-covering.  Priority check?  Submission.

Question 2:  What does the Bible say - and what does it *not* say?
1Corinthians 11:3-15 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. Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. 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.   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.   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.
For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man.   Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.  Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.  Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?  Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?  But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.
It appears to me that women while praying and/or prophesying are to cover their heads.  We are elsewhere admonished to pray without ceasing, which would indicate we should probably cover most of the time.  Personal application:  When I get serious prayer time, I cover my entire head.  It is also an indication of submission to your husband, and it does something in the spiritual (angelic) realm.  Some people read this set of verses to indicate that long hair is necessary and/or the full covering.

You will note that nowhere here is a real-estate provision given.  How much head to cover?  Ask God, ask your husband.  I feel better more covered, and cover more in private and in prayer.  But you will get odd looks when more covered, and insofar as I am concerned, God and the angels know when I'm putting something on my head as a symbol and when I'm just decorating.  Matter of conscience, in other words.

Question 3:  So ultimately, why do you cover?  I tried covering for a week, I really liked how it felt, in the spiritual realm.  Practically?  There can be difficulties.  But spiritually, I like it.  And emotionally, I like putting on my submission every day.

Variants of coverings:  You don't just have to put on a bandanna!  Yes, that's the current "Christian covering style" ... but that's not what the Bible says. 

Left to right:  Headbands - some fat, some regular.  Combs - some very large, they are as big as one of my hands, and they cover about as much as a yarmulke would.  Snood, hairclips, and a fake flower (I wear flowers in my hair when dressed up).  Bandannas, which is what I wear when I'm doing yardwork.  (I don't wear them out and about, too many gangbangers here and while I doubt they think 40yo women are showing colors, I don't need the stress).

My husband's favorite thing is one of the big combs and a ponytail.

Scarf and pashmina collection:  I am a big scarf girl, I am most likely to be found with a scarf tied in my hair somehow or other.  The way I have it (see top) today works best with a rougher textured fabric - the satins slide *right* out.  I still wear them of course, but it involves a lot of readjusting.
I'm not really too sure why people keep giving me shawls and pashminas, but they're pretty even if worn rarely.  :)
Long story short:  It is totally possible to wear your hair covered and still be somewhat in fashion. 
Linkies: (The Jewish ladies, IMO, have the best full-hair coverings out there.)


  1. Great collection of scarves there. I wear both pashminas and mantillas to Church. It's Byzantine Catholic so there's a mix of covering and not covering. You'll see more at a trad Latin parish, much less but some at a regular parish.

    I have yet to find something to wear in daily life. I've been thinking about both hats and bandanas. Former for shopping, latter for housework. Hair is the issue with hats though. Mine tends to be keep in a knot. I need to find hairstyles that work with hats. My husband's only contribution to this is the gift of several lovely mantillas for Divine Liturgy, and the directive to not wear my hair down in public, even in braids.

    1. That's lovely. I'm tempted to envy you... I've thought it a really intense thing, a woman's hair reserved for her husband's eyes alone. -waves self briefly- But I don't have it in me to keep mine pinned up all the time.

      I can wear a comb on the crown of my head and pin the rest up - is that an option?

      If you want more coverage, including in a bun, do check out the orthodox jewish site. They have some amazingly beautiful options. To die.

    2. I love the tznius hair coverings.

      On an interesting historical note, I have an acquaintance in England who does historical reenactments. He posted photos last year of the Battle of Hastings. One if his interesting sidebars (along with how he makes his ringmail) was that you could tell the "Christian" from the "pagan" (their roles, as opposed to the real affiliations of the reenactors) women was head coverings.

      I have a simple bun that I secure with a hair stick. It's essentially a slipknot with the stick preventing the knot from slipping. 5 minutes of work. But I'm playing with a lot more decorative braiding. My hair is thick but slippery so pinning it is hard. I can't even keep my chapel veils pinned in place. :(

      My husband has suggested getting one of the Spanish combs to go with the mantillas. Not exactly good for fading into the woodwork, but very pretty.

    3. Have you tried roller pins? The 3" pins are harder to find than regular bobby pins, but I swear by them for my long (fine) slippery hair. Bobby pins are for holding things on (my scarves slip right off too), but roller pins are for holding hair in place.

  2. you can only ask two people if it is an option dear - your husband and your heavenly father

    1. I was asking if it was an option for her, not for me. Sorry to have been unclear.

  3. From Ali who didn't want to blog in my comments

    My husband isn’t crazy about me covering my head. He doesn’t argue but he doesn’t care for it either. Summer is all bandanas, winter is pashimas or scarves.

    A couple of funny stories on the topic. First off – My muslim friends invited me to some teaching last year – I asked what do I wear? they said what you normally wear is fine – just no pink or red – since I am usually pretty covered up all is well. In the car on the way they asked me why I dress the way I do – I told them – because when I was young in the city, bad experiences led me to fear men. Some girl sitting at a bus stop is prime target for all kinds of rude things yelled from car windows, offers of rides, and generally disturbing behavior. Guess what? Chicks who are covered are ignored (usually) it is like a cloak of invisibility. People treat you with more respect, it isn’t like you are some regular person – all of a sudden you are a representative of the Kingdom and usually people tend to behave better. The second reason is that I behave better when people are staring at me. People figure I am a religious nut job – great! I better be a friendly religious nut job. A well spoken religious nut job! An honest religious nut job!

    Second funny story – my dear friends mom invited me and her to a bible study a few years back at her house. all year long. Now understand she is a Calvary Chapel momma – so she is all about the not under the law thing – I was being unchruched/homechurched at the time - and my friend was tendign her hubby - CC momma was annoyed that I had a bandana on all the time. Whateves…anyhow. Now my dear friend is back at the spanish church her hubby likes and says she needs a mantilla – for wearing at church…what? Remember when you were all making fun of my personal conviction and now you want to go tack a piece of lace on your head because it is popular where you are attending services? *sigh*

  4. Too bad bonnets went out of style. They were the Christian hair covering for over two centuries.


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