In a previous article, we discussed the cultural context of the head covering instruction. Please click on the link to read: https://lifegiva.com/faith/the-church-and-head-coverings-the-cultural-context/.
In this article, we would be addressing the marital context of Paul’s instruction on Head Coverings in the church.
So below is the marital context of the head covering instruction:
Paul was an apostle who emphasized salvation in Jesus Christ outside the law and its practices. The question then is: why did he then insist on the observance of the tradition of head covering? The answer to this is in the significance the ordinance had to marital relationships. This significance can be seen in 1 Corinthians 11:3-5.
But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of the woman, and God is the head of Christ. Every man who prays or prophesies with something on his head dishonours his head. But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonours her head, since that is one and the same as having her head shaved. – 1 Corinthians 11:3-5 (HCSB)
Paul says that the head of the man is Christ and the head of the woman is the man. Then in the following verses, he says that any man that prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonours his head, while the woman who prays with her head uncovered dishonours her head.
Remember he had told you who was head of who in verse 3. But this creates an issue, is it right to say that the head of every woman is every man, that every woman should be submitted to all men. The implications of that would be most frightening, especially in the 21st century. You can imagine insisting on having control over your boss at work because you are a man and she is a woman. It won’t be long before such a person is fired. But there is a context in which the bible tells us that a woman should be submitted to a man. The reason it is not conspicuously stated is a misunderstanding in translation. I had stated in an earlier article click on the link to read (https://lifegiva.com/faith/heavenly-mansions-fact-or-fiction/ ).
That the New Testament was originally written in Greek. The Greek words for man and woman, ‘aner’ and ‘gune’, are the same words for ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ respectively. So we rely on the context within which the words appear to help us know whether it refers to man and woman or husband and wife. Based on the context in 1 Corinthians 11, we can conclude that Paul was speaking about husbands and wives and not every man and every woman.
It is only in the marriage relationship, that the man becomes the head of the woman. The emphasis of head covering was to teach submission and modesty for women in marriage. Paul attempts to strike a balance in chapters 11 and 12, reminding the men that as much as their wives are to be submitted to them, they were born by women.It is only in the marriage relationship, that the man becomes the head of the woman. Click To Tweet
In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, and man is not independent of woman. For just as woman came from man, so man comes through woman, and all things come from God. – 1 Corinthians 11:11-12 (HCSB)
This I am sure curbs all chauvinistic tendencies within the church. That said, based on the context, if we insist on head covering, it should only really apply to married women.Based on the context in 1 Corinthians 11, if we insist on head covering, it should only really apply to married women. Click To Tweet
Why Paul states that this is important for prayer and prophecy is because of the value God places on proper order in Christian marriages. The man is obliged to love his wife like Christ loved the church, while the woman is to submit to the man the way the church is submitted to Christ.
Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord, for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church… Now as the church submits to Christ, so wives are to submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her to make her holy… In the same way, husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hates his own flesh but provides and cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, since we are members of His body. – Ephesians 5:22-30 (HCSB)
I am not against anyone covering their hair to church, as I stated in the previous article (here)on this subject, you can actually kill the look with a head covering. But I just felt it is important we get the right perspective to Paul’s instruction for women to cover their hair in prayer. You can be certain that if head covering does not serve as a sign of marital submission in our culture, it matters less to God. So whether your hair is covered or not, what is more important is your submission to your husband, as prescribed in scriptures.The emphasis of head covering was to teach submission and modesty for women in marriage. Click To Tweet
You can be certain that if head covering does not serve as a sign of marital submission in our culture, it matters less to God. So whether your hair is covered or not, what is more important is your submission to your husband, as… Click To Tweet
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