Christian Head Covering Testimony and Tips on How to Wear a Head Covering
Guest post by Jessica Roldan of The Heavenly Hearth Blog
It’s been ten years since I started wearing a Christian head covering in church (since 2012). Wow! I almost can’t believe it’s been that long!
At the beginning, I felt a little awkward, wondering what other people would think of me. One man (at Christmastime) told me I reminded him of the Virgin Mary. I smiled – after all, who wouldn’t mind such a noble comparison!
Near that same time, a lady told me she thought I looked beautiful. That was so sweet of her, though she herself wasn’t wearing a head covering and apparently didn’t share the same belief about it I had.
Generally, I have received positive responses, if any at all (most people don’t mention it). I did get one clearly negative response when I first began, when I was accused of being “legalistic.” It saddened me. I never got the chance to explain to that person the real reason why I started head covering.
In fact, I think most people wonder about it, but either never find the bravery to ask, or don’t believe it would be polite to do so. Thankfully, I get many kind smiles of acceptance (that’s how I interpret them) when I go to church wearing my head covering.
If anybody were to ask me why I headcover, I would gladly tell them. There’s the short answer, and there’s the long answer. I’ll give you the short answer, here:
I wear a head covering because the way I read it, the Bible says to.
The long answer would be great to give you during a chat over coffee or a steaming cup of tea. So, let’s pull up some comfy chairs and I’ll tell you all about it!
My First Introduction to Christian Head Covering
You know that feeling you get when you hear someone you respect say something that just doesn’t seem right, and yet you worry that to reject their opinion might be considered arrogant?
How is it possible that you would defy such a smart person? Why would you think you know more than he or she does?
I got that feeling when I first formally encountered the head covering passage (1 Corinthians 11:2-16) during a Bible study at my youth group, way back in the day. I was told that the whole thing could be summed up as a response to a cultural problem – prostitutes.
The Corinthian women needed to keep their hair long, and their head coverings on (at least in public), in order to not be confused with loose women. Supposedly, a study of the context of the Corinthian culture of that day shows us that was the main problem Paul would have been addressing.
(The Bible study, as far as I can remember, made no mention of the men, though 1 Cor. 11:-2-16 has something to say to them, too).
As I heard this explanation, though, it seemed that something was wrong – something was missing.
If that was what this was all about, why didn’t Paul just come out and say it?
Why beat around the bush, talking about apostolic traditions (verse 2), headship (verse 3), praying & prophesying (verses 4-5), the image and glory of God(verses 7 & 15), the fact that the woman came from man and was created for the man (verses 8-9), the woman having power on her head because of the angels (verse 10), what nature teaches us (verse 14), and the custom of all the churches (verse 16)?
The way it was explained, all those things were just a roundabout way of explaining why women needed to maintain a sense of decorum in church and in public.
But to me, it seemed to be saying much more than that.
I couldn’t be entirely sure, but the passage actually seemed to be teaching that women should wear a head covering to church, and men shouldn’t.
At that point in my life, though, I just shrugged the sneaking suspicion away and assumed I didn’t know anything. Of course I had to be wrong.
By the time I was finally married and had children, things had changed. I had matured to the point where I was willing to follow God’s word wherever it led, even if what I saw it saying was in opposition to modern church culture and teaching.
I was finally willing to be “weird” for God.
Head Covering Makes a Reappearance
Prompted by a woman’s blog I was reading in order to learn more about modest dressing, I began to study the topic of head covering.
I carefully read the passage itself several times. I devoured booklets on head covering which explained the passage and offered rebuttals to head covering objections.
It now all made so much sense to me! The argument that head covering was for today (as Christians had consistently believed for 1,900+ years of church history) seemed so much more logical than the “prostitute explanation” I had been introduced to earlier.
The only question was: Would I be willing to take a bold step of obedience and faith in order to follow the Bible’s teaching on this topic?
Would I be willing to stand out from everybody else?
Would I put God and His word first in my life?
I talked with my husband about it. He gave me his full support!
He personally remembered the day when nearly all the women went to church wearing a mantilla, or some other kind of covering (he’s older than I am). Then, after the Feminist revolution of the sixties, that gradually changed. Nowadays, very few women cover their heads in church.
To him, it seemed the change hadn’t come about because we had made some great discovery about how we had misinterpreted the Bible’s teaching on head covering for 1,900 years, but because the head covering was no longer palatable to women who had been influenced by Feminism.
And, in order to keep the peace, the men followed along. I’m so glad my husband was willing for me to be different.
The journey began.
Ten years later, I still headcover in church, and I have absolutely no regrets.
What’s So Great About Head Covering?
Head covering has been a tool in the hands of God that has taught me about biblical womanhood in a concrete, hands-onway.
It has been a visible compass that has nudged me in the right direction in my marriage, being a tangible (and sometimes convicting) reminder of the need to live within the healthy boundaries of the feminine role God has established for me.
It has helped me learn to be okay with being different, to not care overly much about what others think of me but instead to care a lot about what God thinks.
It has brought me together with other like-minded Christians and opened up new and edifying relationships and discussions.
And more than anything, it has been one experience, among others, that has strengthened my resolve to live by the motto, sola scriptura (Scripture Alone).
No matter how smart and educated someone is, I have realized that person can be wrong in certain areas. We are all human, and we can make mistakes.
It’s so easy to follow the crowd, to bend to popular opinion, to accept the commonly-held explanation instead of doing careful research.
I’m not immune to it, either! But I think we should aim to do better.
Accepting and obeying the Bible’s teaching about head covering has been such a beautiful blessing in my life!
I think that God always meant it to be a blessing: a blessing to our marriages, a blessing to our churches, and a blessing to each of us, personally.
What a wonderful gift!
I hope to reflect the grace and power of biblical femininity in a visible way when I wear my head covering to church every Sunday with a genuine smile.
I hope my love for God’s word shines through, and that is what people see in me – something that speaks of the happiness that follows when we commit ourselves to God’s timeless truth.
How to Wear a Head Covering
My first attempt at wearing a head covering was a little clumsy. I wore a rectangular scarf kept in place with four snap clips!
Gradually, with practice, I learned how to keep a head covering on and make it look nice.
Though I enjoy wearing several different styles, my favorite is the triangular scarf tied at the nape of the neck.
Here are a few tips for the triangular scarf (which might also be applied to similar styles) based on things I’ve found work for me:
1. Choose a non-satiny, natural fabric
This will help the covering stay in place better.
2. Make sure the covering, once in place, will not hang too far down the back.
I have found that very long scarves tend to get stuck in between my back and the chair I’m sitting in, which pulls the scarf down. If you do have a very long scarf, you can fold under the long edge of the triangle (the part which you put near your forehead) to shorten it.
3. Arrange the scarf so the tip of the triangle is centered.
After putting the scarf on (but before putting on any clips or tying the knot), I pull the tip up over the back of my head to make sure it is in the middle (this gets the tip out of the way while tying, too).
4. Push the scarf back slightly on the head so a little bit of hair above the forehead is showing.
I try to achieve a soft look.
5. Place a snap clip (or bobby pin) on either side of the forehead at eyebrow level.
I like to use the large snap clips. If you buy a head covering that comes with a comb already sewed on (or you can sew one on yourself), you may not need the snap clips.
6. Don’t tie the knot too tight
Tying the knot too tight will cause the head covering to slide back on the head. I like to keep it slightly loose, but not too loose. I slide a finger under the fabric, as a test.
7. If there is any loose fabric sticking out in the back or sides, gently tuck it into the fabric lying next to each side of the head near the knot.
8. Wear a low hairstyle under the head covering
A low hairstyle under your head covering will keep the knot from slipping up and the hair from escaping underneath the scarf. I usually wear a braid or bun.
Head Covering Tips
To see a video where I demonstrate these practical head covering tips, watch:
(Some of the eight tips above were combined in the video for a total of five.)
One of my favorite ways to keep my hair in place under the head covering is by using my Lilla Rose Flexi Clip!
I will braid my hair, then twirl the braid into a bun, securing it with the Flexi Clip (being careful to catch the hair next to the scalp as I slide the bar of the Flexi from one side of my bun to the other).
This is so easy, convenient, and (if I’m wearing a slightly see-through head covering, or a shorter one) very pretty!
Even if I’m wearing a longer head covering, I will still use the Flexi Clip because it is a fast and comfortable way to keep my hair up off my neck.
Note from Paula
You can learn more about the Lilla Rose Flexi Clip, including finding the perfect size for you, HERE.
To see more beautiful ways to wear your head covering, see my post Head Covering Styles: 25 Beautiful Ideas For Head Coverings
I hope these tips will be useful to you, if you choose to wear a Christian head covering! I also hope my personal testimony of how I started wearing a head covering will be informative and inspire you, even if you end up taking a different interpretation of the issue than I have, to do our best to obey God’s word.
*If you would like to read more about head covering, I invite you to take a look at my blog, The Heavenly Hearth. There, I also talk about various other subjects related to Biblical womanhood. Also, be sure to check out The Head Covering Movement website, where I am a contributor, for more Christian head covering information and testimonies.
Jessica lives in Arizona, where she enjoys homeschooling her large family, organizing and decluttering her home, and cooking Mexican food along with her husband, Antonio. She writes about Biblical womanhood on her blog, The Heavenly Hearth, and also serves on The Head Covering Movement team.
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