After talking with a few friends, let me be clear that this is NOT a matter of "becoming a Christian" and I am speaking here of an issue I only believe is applicable for consideration by those who already are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ! If this does not describe your view of your own relationship with God, please do not get caught up in my thoughts here or let anything I'm thinking about stand between you and Jesus!!!
I'm pondering these things only because I already love Jesus and want to express that on a deeper level than I have before. I totally believe this is a secondary issues behind the simply truth that God asks us to come to Him, simply believing that He is (if you aren't there, challenge Him to show you He exists and cares about your life), that I am imperfect and that He traded His perfect life in exchange for my pardon, but that He is powerful enough that even death couldn't hold Him, so I can totally trust that He will hold me, into Eternity, when I put my trust in Him.
In a different context, my pastor wrote some words, based on John 4:2 (Although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples.), that capture the "secondary issue" nature of what I'm trying to express here: "Human works, including baptism, doesn't save anyone. If it did, then Jesus really missed the boat because He failed to baptize a single soul. So the thing that anybody can do Jesus did not do and the thing nobody can do, Jesus did. He offered his life for mine. The perfect for the imperfect. The sinless for the sinner. The righteous for the unrighteous."
I'm sharing my thoughts here because I get asked about my personal convictions often enough that it will be helpful to me to have a central place to share my ideas. This is primarily a compilation of emails I have already shared with individual concerning this topic (slightly edited in structure to better fit with a blogging platform rather than email). The Scripture passage, written to the early church, that I'm pondering is:
But 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. But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is the same as having her head shaved. For if a woman does not cover her head, she might as well have her hair cut off; but if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should cover her head. A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. It is for this reason that a woman ought to have authority over her own head, because of the angels. Nevertheless, in the Lord 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. - 1 Corinthians 11:3-16, NIV
You may or may not agree with anything I post here (or think I'm on the right tract in some areas but too legalistic or lax in others) and that is totally OK. In fact, if God has put a different view upon your heart, I would love you to leave a (kindly worded) comment to tell me about it. As long as you are sharing in a loving manner, I truly would like to learn what you think!
I do have one friend, locally, with similar beliefs, but her husband doesn’t share her views, so I have encouraged her that I feel she is being most God-honoring by respecting her husband’s conviction for her not to wear a hat. Nothing like saying, “I’m wearing this to show submission to my husband who does not think I should be wearing this!” In this case, I think it is the husband who is taking on the accountability before God for the choice he has made in leading his wife!
I think if you believe the Lord is convicting you to cover your head, that is what you must do! I don't think He convicts us of all of the same things at the same times, though, so I think if He has not personally convicted you out of your intimate relationship with Him, you do not need to. The OT is full of laws that God knew we wouldn't be able to keep, thus pointing us to our need for a Savior. Jesus's death on the cross gives us grace so that we are free from the law. However, if we are in relationship with Him and He asks us to do something, we need to obey. Grace is not an excuse to keep on sinning, but grace covers all sin! Where sin abounded, grace abounded much more (Romans 5:20).
Imagine if the day you become a Christian you are expected to follow all of the commandments right away and if you don't you're not a "good" Christian. We are none of us good enough Christians! Our standard is Christ and not each other. The harder we try out of our own power to be good Christians, the harder it is. Only through Christ are we able to do anything.
I think we can learn so much from each other, though. God does speak through other believers, so perhaps someone reading this thread is about to be personally convicted to cover their head.
Most Christian I speak with believe that long hair is a woman's covering, but in studying the passage I just don't believe that is the case, was already coming to this conviction even before my hair had to be cut for medical reasons. Interestingly, when it was medicinally chopped off I did feel quite "shorn" and shameful over the fact, unlike any time I have chosen short hair cuts in the past, but much as many women speak of feeling about their lack of choice over their bald heads from chemotherapy. As several local friends can attest, this is when my passion for head covering really grew, to cover my own sudden loss of what I had thought of as my covering.
ETA: I found this article long after I had already shared my thoughts, but it offered some additional perspective, such as why head covering may only be demanded of married: http://www.lightofmashiach.org/women/headcovering.html
I'm not in agreement and believe my daughter should cover her head even under her father's authority, but it was an interesting perspective to read and I did appreciate many of the points presented.
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. But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God. - 1 Corinthians 11: 3-16, AKJV