Hi, I'm Joyce Alice, a Christian woman who wears a head covering during worship and prayer. This blog is intended for WOMEN ONLY, not for men. I hope this website will be helpful to other Christian women who are seeking to understand 1 Corinthians 11:2-16. There is a link to a Table of Contents at the bottom of each page. My main website is www.TheJoyfulEye.com. Thanks for your interest!
All The Time OR During Worship Only?
There are some practical questions which are not spelled out for us in 1 Corinthians 11:2-16. One of the questions involves when and where the head covering is to be worn. Should a woman wear a head covering all the time, or only during worship?
To answer this question, we can use common sense:
The men who signed the Declaration of Independence wrote: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights..." etc.
Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:27 "For "He has put all things under His feet." But when He says "all things are put under Him," it isevident that He who put all things under Him is excepted."
Luke recorded in Acts:
"But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred among themselves, saying, "What shall we do to these men? For, indeed, that a notable miracle has been done through them isevident to all who dwell in Jerusalem, and we cannot deny it." Acts 4:16
Some things are obvious if we just stop and think about it awhile.
It is evident that we are to give glory to God when we worship. That's what worship is. So, since verse 7 tells me explicitly that woman is the glory of man, I cover my head at church, during the entire worship assembly, so that God alone is glorified in my worship, and not man.
But what about the rest of my life, when I'm not at church? Shouldn't I give God glory all the time?
To help answer this question, notice what Paul said to the Corinthians in 1 Cor. 5:9-11 to clarify his instructions about another matter in a previous letter: "I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world.
But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous . . . " etc. It is evident that in this world it is not realistic or possible for us to completely avoid association with people who have chosen immorality over God's way.
Isn't it also evident that in this world it is not realistic or possible for a man to keep his head uncovered all the time? Construction workers & miners need to wear a hard hat all day. In freezing weather, men need to protect themselves from the cold. Men sometimes need to protect themselves from intense sun with a shade hat. Astronauts and deep sea divers need to wear special helmets in order to breathe. Motorcyclists, soldiers, police officers, etc. need to wear protective headgear. And so on.
If a man had to have his head uncovered at all times, he would very soon "go out of the world" via pneumonia, sunstroke, suffocation, head injury, etc. ! ! ! So it is evident that it must not be a requirement for men to have their heads uncovered at all times in order to give glory to God. And if it's not a requirement for men to have their heads uncovered at all times, then it's not a requirement for women to have their heads covered at all times, either.
It seems evident to me that there must be a distinction between daily life and the worship assembly in this matter.
In my daily life, I should give glory to God by the way I live. It doesn't bring God glory to lie, cheat, steal, curse, gossip, etc., Monday thru Saturday. In fact, Jesus said in Matthew 5:23-24 "Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift." I need to have a clean life Monday thru Saturday so that I can come and worship God acceptably on Sunday.
But I believe it is obvious that women are to cover, and men are to uncover, their heads as a symbol of giving glory to God alone when we come into His presence. Of course there is a sense where we understand that we are always with God --- "... He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being..." (Acts 17:27-28) and that He knows everything about us and all that we do, but when we assemble to worship Him we are formally coming into His presence, and we need to observe the symbolism of covering human glory and uncovering God's glory at that time.
(Also see the section on "PRAYER" for further thoughts about when & where to wear the head covering)