If you’ve seen me in the last week or two, you may have noticed something unusual.
I’ve been wearing a head scarf. I started wearing one because the new anxiety medication I had started had made my skin really sensitive, and my hair brushing the back of my neck was almost too much to bear.
That was three weeks ago. In the time since, I have noticed how comfortable it is to have my hair like this: the scarf kept the hair off my neck, which made me cooler; it removed the necessity to tie my hair up in a ponytail, which always gives me a headache after a couple hours; and it made it quicker to do my hair (I often restyle my hair five or six times in a day, taking about 10 minutes to do it each time).
While I was stuck at home, waiting for my medication to set in, I stumbled across The Head Covering Movement. It was started by Jeremy Gardiner after he and his wife Amanda studied 1 Corinthians 11:1-16, which you may recognise as the passage in which Paul talks about head covering in corporate worship. After reading his testimony and argument for head covering, my spirit implored me to explore this issue more. For a little while, I talked to people, read testimonies, and prayed about the issue. Eventually I returned to my previous position on the matter: that head covering in the Corinthian church mattered to them, because in that culture, married women signified their marital status by covering their heads. To leave their heads uncovered was greatly disrespectful to their husbands, as taking off wedding rings is today, as it implied that she did not recognise his authority over her. That’s how I take it, at any rate. I don’t think that unmarried women need be concerned about the issue, by the way, both because of the cultural practice, and also because Paul says that head coverings signify authority; that the husband is in authority over his wife. I think that as long as a woman wears some recognised symbol of authority (a wedding ring, for example), Paul’s commands in this passage are fulfilled.
But though I returned to my previous convictions, for a few days I still thought about the issue. I’ve been thinking about submission and how our culture ignores the issue, and I came to the conclusion that, despite wedding rings signifying marital status, I don’t think they portray the image of the wife being in submission with her husband.
For this reason, I have decided to cover my head, full-time.