WHAT IS A “WOMAN’S GLORY”

(In this study we are considering the ‘glory’ mentioned in the following verse.)

 

 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering. 

1 Corinthians 11:15

Long hair is a glory for the woman.  This is from God.  This is a blessing for the woman from the Creator God, “I AM THAT I  AM” – LORD of Heaven and earth and all that is in them.

Now it is a fact that some women from different nationalities do not naturally have much hair at all.  If their hair does not grow long say more than 4 or 5 inches (10 or so centremeters) then the hair they have is all they are responsible for.  Even so, I have heard testimony on one African woman who realized that God had given her hair for a glory to her, so she humbly asked God that her hair would grow long.  After about two years I think it was, her hair measured 31-32 centimetres.  She believed God and He heard her.

It is also true as in some African nations that the women love to braid or weave their ‘short’ hair with either long strands of hair cut from other women, or with some synthetic yarn or with wool, and usually they use a black colour.  By doing this they are consciously or unconsciously stating that they like long hair.  Women who are content to be women, and feminine in attitude and appearance naturally enjoy long hair and innately know that it is to their glory to have long hair.

Her hair has been given to her for glory.  The Greek word ‘doxa’ translated as ‘glory’ speaks of honour, praise and dignity.  Praise means ‘admired’ and ‘commended’. Dignity, honour and praise These are things that God intended for a woman to have as benefits for her own person.  He planned for a woman to have honour, dignity, and praise, naturally – a gift from God. Men had nothing to do with it.  Long hair was  meant to enhance her appearance and make her more unique and distinct from man.

It is a sad fact that in the last one hundred years in particular, and even more so in recent decades, many women under the spell of Western civilization and ‘progress’, and that insidious creed known as feminism, have opted out from having long hair.  Since the advent of the stage productions, the movie industry, the TV , etc, things have gone “hairwire” – i.e. haywire.

Understandably, for many woman, it is too inconvenient to have long hair.  Too much of a nuisance.  Too hard to manage.  Too much bother.  Don’t like it.  Too dry and brittle.  Women as well as men of all ages, are being taught to be disatisfied with who they are, so be like someone else, the sports star, movie star, the rock star, and so on.  Perhaps many other reasons exist too.  But changing one’s natural appearance can be a sign of rebellion against God who made them. 

When female cancer patients undergo chemo therapy etc., they often if not always lose their hair and go perfectly bald.  Most women who survive that horrific chemical ordeal to their body choose to regrow their hair, even if it is only short.  It looks odd, unnatural for women to willingly present themselves as bald in public as a chosen lifestyle.  It may be the ‘in thing’ for some, but in general it is not a natural state, and it is the natural state that we are speaking to in this study.

There has also been a resurgence back to long hair among many in the West, and this if often because it is in ‘vogue’ – i.e. fashionable, ‘sexy’, glamorous, chic, and it is promoted by influential persons – in advertising, or, because of the re-emerging of those who have become involved in the occult and attending drug usage.  These are just some of the reasons.

In India, long hair is removed from the poor women folk for a little bit of money.  Usually desperation drives this willingness on the part of the Indian women to have their head shaved.  And it is not the first time that the hair of the many vulnerable and poor persons has been used for monetary gain by the rich and famous, or to promote an industry….more money. 

This huge volume of Indian hair is sent to factories in order to make exquisite dresses for the very rich, the very famous, the very powerful.   This is INJUSTICE.  It is criminal. It is disgusting to the extreme, and God will judge those who treat the poor and needy in this way.   It is dishonouring of those women, and is dishonouring God who pities the poor.

Repent you rich people

from this injustice against the poor. 

Give back to these poor women with interest

the money you make from them . 

Give it back

freely,

and without any harm or threat to them.

Seek God for His mercy.

It may be He will forgive you of this injustice. 

For God pities the poor and will repay well those who abuse the poor and needy.

To the poor I say…

…Stop selling your hair poor people for a few scrappy bits of metal or paper, and don’t allow these rich men and women to make merchandise of you.  God has given you your long hair for honour and praise and glory – something money cannot buy. 

God understands that you are poor and needy.   He cares for you.  He sees every sparrow whihc falls dead to teh ground, adn you are much more value To the Lord God than many sparrows.

Seek His face and pour out your heart and soul to Him.  Look to Jesus Christ who alone can save you out of your spiritual and physical poverty.  He sees the sparrow fall to the ground.  He provides for them.  Yes, you are worth more to your Heavenly Father than many sparrows.  He will provide for you as you trust in Him.  Turn from your sin, confess your sins to Him, not to a priest.  Be baptized in water in the name of Jesus Christ, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Live for Jesus Christ.

Read the Bible and ask God daily to direct you each and every day of your life.  And if you do not have a Bible, ask God for one.

……………..

When Paul made this statement about a woman’s hair he opened it up by speaking about headship – authority, responsibility.

Here is the whole passage from verse 3 of 1 Corinthians 11.

3. But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.
4 Every man praying or prophesying, having anything down over his head shames his head.
5 And every woman praying or prophesying with the head unveiled dishonors her head, for it is the same as being shaved.
6 For if a woman is not veiled, let her also be shorn. But if it is shameful for a woman to be shorn, or to be shaved, let her be veiled.
7 For truly a man ought not to have the head covered, being the image and glory of God. But woman is the glory of man;
8 for man is not of the woman, but woman of man;
9 for also man was not created for the sake of the woman, but woman for the sake of the man;
10 because of this, the woman ought to have authority on the head, because of the angels.
11 However, man is not apart from woman, nor woman apart from man, in the Lord.
12 For as the woman is out of the man, so also the man through the woman; but all things are from God.
13 You judge among yourselves: is it fitting for a woman to pray to God unveiled?
14 Or does not nature herself teach you that if a man indeed wears long hair, it is a dishonor to him?
15 But if a woman wears her hair long, it is a glory to her; because the hair has been given to her instead of a veil.
16 But if anyone thinks to be contentious, we do not have such a custom, nor the assemblies of God.

Let us consider a few things here as Paul instructs all believers in Jesus Christ about conduct and presentation while praying or prophesying, especially in a public meeting of believers in Jesus Christ.

Paul is not raising cultural issues.  Headship, authority under God is never a cultural matter, but a universal prnciple.  Praying and prophesying is never a cultural issue but a universal principle among all God’s people.

The primary issue here is about headship – authority and how God has set such things in place.  The primary issue – the first issue of importance is NOT hair – but AUTHORITY.

1. God the Father is head over Jesus Christ the Son .

2. The Son – Jesus Christ – Son of God, Son of Man, is head over EVERY man.

3. The man is head over A woman.

That is the order.  This has nothing to do with value, importance, or partiality, i.e, – favouritism.  God does not consider a man more important or having more value than a woman.  Paul is speaking about functional distinctions, and the issue of dependence of one to the other.

The context in which Paul addresses this specific matter of authority and thus headship is connected to praying and prophesying in the meeting place where believers in Jesus Christ are assembled, whether in small groups even in a family, or in a large group.

The issue of praying or prophesying, as with all matters, has to do with headship.  Don’t think of “headship” as the same as ‘importance’ but rather as order, function, dependence, and where direction comes from etc.  For example: a child when born naturally, is born head first.  This does not mean that the head is more important than an arm or toe.  Each body part is  dependent on all the other body parts.  Each part of the body has its own value and importance before God who created all things.

Praying is the act of asking, begging, pleading by one who has less authority to one who is higher in authority.   And Paul is speaking about praying to God, the Living God who created the Heavens and the earth.  The one who has ALL authority.

Prayer also includes intercession to God on behalf of others.

Prophesying as God intends it, is the act of declaring His truth to His creation, especially to mankind, but this may come forth as prayer too, for all things should be done as unto the Lord.

This is not about importance of one person over another,

but about

order and function,

provision, protection, dependence and blessing.

The matter of hair on a woman is about glory, honour, and praise.   It is given for HER beauty.

It is about recognizing headship appointed by God.  To uphold what is written here by Paul is to honour the Lord who made us all for His glory.

Anything that brings pure honour to a woman brings honour to God.  Anything that causes a husband to genuinely praise his wife, with all purity and honesty from the man will bring praise to God.   For it is God who made both.

Jesus said, what you have done to the least of these My brothers has done it to Me  And He was also including the sisters who are equally as valuable to Him as the brothers.

Men, watch what you do to and with the women in your house.   Your wife is not a dog, nor is she a piece of furniture, or a slave, or a picture on the wall that you look at  from time to time but have no good, honest and faithful relationship with.

As you have done to them,  that is how God sees you treating Him,

for they, the women folk are His children too. 

God will reward every man for how he treats his women folk. 

In the manner you treat the women,

in the same manner you will be treated much more by God. 

Be careful. 

God will judge every secret thing. If you have wrong any woman, repent, and be converted, that God may grant you forgiveness and times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord.  and of course, to th ewomen I say, if you have wronged any man, repent and be converted that God may grant you forgiveness so that times of refreshing will come from the presence of the Lord for you too.  Forgive, and you will be forgiven.  Forgive generously, so that God may also forgive you generously.

4 Every man praying or prophesying, having anything down over his head shames his head.

In this verse we have an example of a man who has his head covered while praying or prophesying. 

Is Paul speaking about the man’s hair as down over his head while praying?  No.  If this was the case, then Paul would be saying that the man needs to cut – shave or shorten his hair before praying or prophesying, or to be always bald when he prayed of prophesied. 

Paul did not practice this himself (though at one time he did make a vow and shave his head of hair).  It says in Acts 18:18 that he made a vow and shaved – sheared his hair.  This was a distinct unusual act by Paul; not the normal practice.   But for many religions, it is normal practice for a ‘priest’ or a ‘monk’ to remain bald.  This is simply a show of religion, but it does not impress God.

So Paul is not talking about his hair as the thing over his head while praying, but is speaking about a garment or cloth over his head and his hair, whether all over his head, or just over the top part of his head. 

Then Paul says such an act of covering the head when praying or prophesying causes the man to shame his head. 

A Jewish Rabbi will cover his head when praying or prophesying.  But this is not New Testament teaching. 

Is Paul talking about ‘honouring’ or dishonouring his physical head?

The physical head of a person is extremely important.  We usually give more attention to our head than we do most other sections of our body. We put food in to our mouths which is part of our head.  We see with our eyes which are in our head.  We speak from our head, and listen from our head.  The brain is in the head, so much of our reasoning is done with the head involved.

Jesus tells us that out of the heart proceeds reasonings, and all out thoughts and actions.  So while the head is used in the act of reasoning and thinking, it is simply being supplied with information that comes from the heart.

The head as we have said is usually the first part of the body that shows in a normal birth.  Breached births are different.  But the ideal is that the head comes first.  And this is no doubt because we love to see someone’s face first  rather than last.  So the head in God’s order of events is to be honoured (but each body part must also be honoured according to its rightful place and function.

But the focus of Paul is not on the physical head of a man.

The primary point that Paul started this discussion is about delegated authority? 

Paul was always more concerned about spiritual matters than temporal matters.  Paul laid out the spiritual fact that God is the Head of Christ.  That Christ is the Head of every man.  And that man, is the head of a woman.  The Man is NOT specifically the head of EVERY woman, but just a woman – one woman – namely his wife, and thus all the women in his house.  Note it does NOT say that the man is head OVER a Woman.  But he is head OF a woman.   That is he has authority – Responsibility for his wife and the women folk in his house. While in one sense the man is head over his wife, the man is not to rule over his wife.  But rule by her side… he must rule for her benefit.  Paul is not speaking about inportance, the man being more important than his wife or his daughters.

It must be noted that God did not make a King or a president first.  God made a man from the dust of the earth.  That should always serve to keep every man and every woman in a mindset of humilty; our bodies are all from the dust.  God made a person first.  Then to that person he gave a responsibilty, a task, a job description.  That person was a man.  From the man he brought forth a woman.  The woman’s existence is dependent the fact that her first mother was made from man.

Paul is very clear that the action taken by the man while praying or prophesying with his head covered produces shame – on- his – ‘head’.  The Greek word ‘kataischuno’ means to put to the blush, to disgrace, shame.  Obviously such a man who so prays with his head covered with a cloth of some sort, will not blush.   And it most likely will not cause those around him while he so prays to blush either.

If he does not blush, then his own head is not literally ‘shamed’.  If this is the case, then we can say with some degree of certainty that the ‘head’ who IS shamed which Paul speaks of, is Jesus Christ, not the man’s physical head.  For Paul is making a very emphatic statement about spiritual headship (authority, covering, responsibility, etc).

Jesus Christ sees everything that goes on and the reason for all that goes on.  He is very much saddened or gladdened by our actions etc.  He is not void of feeling.

Keep in mind  as we look at the next portion dealing with the woman who prays or prophesies, that Paul is speaking about a man-made covering over both the head and the  hair of a man or woman.  Paul is drawing comparisons between  the man who prays and the woman who prays; and between opposing actions taken by each when praying.  One is veiled, the other unveiled.

5 And every woman praying or prophesying with the head unveiled dishonors her head, for it is the same as being shaved.
6 For if a woman is not veiled, let her also be shorn. But if it is shameful for a woman to be shorn, or to be shaved, let her be veiled.

Here are some reasons that have surfaced which have seen a dramatic change in Christian church meetings over the last 50 plus years.

Paul was only speaking of a cultural issue in the Corinthian Church.

It causes too much competition among the women. (“hats” have and do, but a simple scarf or plain cloth would not)

Women don’t need to cover their head because there is neither male nor female in Christ Jesus.

The hair is her covering; no need for a hat or garment over her head.

That old practice was just pure legalistic bondage upon women; Christ has made us free.

Let us in the example given below present the case that states that the word “hair” as a womans’ covering, is meant by the use of the words – ‘veil’, ‘veiled’, or ‘unveiled’.  (I will use orange text for the orinal text given above.  Changes in this example are represented by black text)

5. And every woman praying or prophesying with the head void of hair (i.e. shaved or shorn) dishonors her head, for it is the same as being shaved.
6 For if a woman is without hair, let her also be shorn.  But if it is shameful for a woman to be shorn, or to be shaved, let her have hair (on her head)

 In v5 ‘void of hair’ replaces uncovered. In v6 without hair also replaces ‘uncovered’.  In the last sentence of v6 ‘have hair’ replaces ‘covered’.  This produces confusion.

How can one be shorn or shaved on the head when there is no hair on the head to remove in the first place?  The example text is without sense and is powerless.

Yet this is how the text is interpreted by some teachers, and thus accepted as truth by many Christians.

A piece of history: Back in the 1950’s and 60’s in  Melbourne, Australia, women wore hats or scarves to church – the meeting place.  This was because it was taught that women, Christian women, should have their head covered with a shawl, scarf or hat when praying or prophesying. 

Those  who had money had a number of different hats.  Those who didn’t have much money, like my Mum, had a scarf, usually the same scarf year in and year out.  When she could afford a hat, she ended up getting a plain hat, and had only one.  It is possible that if my Mum had have had a lot of money she too may have a lot of hats to choose from. 

But the wearing of hats ended up producing competition in the house of God, much like those who had plenty of money in Paul’s day took the extravagant meals to the meeting place and had a feast while those who were poor had little or nothing to eat.  This was disgusting to Paul and so he rubked that assembly for such behaviour.  Having money tends to do that….it puffs us up.   If the pastors wives had just stuck to a plain old scarf or shawl of simple material like cotton, and a plain colour, the ensuing competition would not have come in, at least it would have been delayed.  Those who lead others will lead them by both example and word.

But fashion, comparisons,

and feeling good about ones appearance

are grievous pitfalls

for simple folk who desire simple faith and holiness. 

A lesson from nature: A female salmon who does not have much strength will not make it up river against the strong current of the downhill stream.  That salmon will not reach its spawning grounds in the quieter waters on higher ground.  She will not produce the next generation of salmon.  There is a lesson in that.  We must be built up in our SPIRITUAL strength, love and devotion to Jesus Christ and His Word without compromise.

We must swim against the tide of filth and corruption, faithlessness and unholiness in this world, and which has also insidiously made its way into the ‘church’.

Paul also says that women who pray of prophesy should cover the heads because of the angels.  I puzzled over this for many years.  Women who wear long hair have a mantle of honour, praise, and dignity, whether they are aware of it or not.  And THE ANGELS of God who look upon the women who love God and pray or prophesy in the meeting place (if allowed), are not ignorant of the meaning of the what Paul was teaching by the Holy Spirit.

The phrase – ‘Because of the angels‘ has at least one meaning.  No doubt the angels are mindful of the beauty of a woman who wears long hair.  Whether or not they as holy angels are affected by that beauty – dignity, etc, is not revealed to us from Scripture.  Whether they are held back from assisting such women in the way of salvation, or in the answering of prayers, Scripture does not reveal this either, at least not in this passage.  Refer to 1 Peter 3 where Peter says that a husband who does not honour his wife will cause answers to his prayers being delayed.  Husbands – HONOUR your wife.  The angels see all that you do too, and they will be commanded to refrain from bringing your answer in the time it should be answered.  They are messengers of God who do exactly what God tells them.  Be wise.

One thing we can be sure about, is that God was getting Paul to tell us it WAS and IS important to follow the instruction of the Lord through Paul.  While it is helpful to understand a certain thing, full understanding is not usually a necessity for obedience.  And this is the case with all Scriptural instruction.

 Let us consider Paul’s  approach  to all assemblies:

1 Corinthians 7:17  “and so I ordain in ALL assemblies (churches).”  What he ordained in one, he ordained in them all.  Paul was consistent, simply because he knew in whose authority he stood – Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 14:33; 2 Corinthians 8: 2 Thessalonians 1:4these instances indicate a consistency of sharing and behaviour among all the brothers and sisters everywhere. 

Colossians 4:16 indicates to us that Paul expected the saints in at least two different assemblies to read the letters he had written to each.  Not just for information sake and not on the basis of “choose what you like from each”, but he in the authority of Jesus Christ puts a certain expectation on each to take heed to all that he was writing about by the Spirit, who was revealing the things of Christ (John 14:26; 16:14)

If we also look at what happens in the human body we may also see the pattern of God.  When we eat good food, natural food, we will nourish all the parts of our body by that food which we put into our mouths.  If we eat rubbish foods, foods with pesticides, chemicals, or Genetically Modified foods,  foods that are not foods but are fillers with little or no nourishing factors in them, then such stuff will harm our bodies – bringing dis-ease to all our body parts. 

The principal is if one body part suffers all the body will suffer with it. If one body part is strong this will bring help to all our body parts.

But now to a far more critical reason. In the passage before us, God is mentioned, Jesus Christ is mentioned; their authority is indicated by use of the word “head”; the angels are spoken of; “every” man and “every” woman is spoken about.  Glory – dignity, honour, and praise, is spoken about.  All of these things relate to all generations and to all assemblies of saints at any one time.  As I have stsated these things are not cultural but spiritual issues.

Paul is NOT using terms like “it’s up to you”, or, “it’s a personal choice”, or “it doesn’t matter if you do or don’t”, or, “it’s not really necessary to do this to please God…but it would be nice”.

The Holy Spirit is using the assembly at Corinth in a particular way to bring out more of the truth of Jesus Christ and His gospel. And this is the case in each of the letters of Paul.

“Gospel”!! ??  “Gospel” you say?

What has hair got to do with the GOSPEL?…you ask.

The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ is the good news of Jesus Christ.  The  gospel of Jesus Christ is about restoring “glory”, dignity, honour, and praise to mankind in spirit, in soul and in body. 

Is not the glory that God gives – good news?  Is not a dignity that God provides – good news for humanity?  In case you are still arguing in your mind, ask the question in reverse.  Is it good news if a woman is dishonoured, condemned, criticised, degraded? 

The answer to that is NO.

This being the case the opposite is true unless it is contradicted elsewhere in Scripture.

It is good news that a woman is clothed with dignity, honour and praise.  And God has given her long hair to so clothe her with these things. That is good news for her, and also for her husband if he has his eyes open to the truth.

But you may protest, Long hair or short hair has nothing to do with “saving faith”, and the gospel only has to do with saving faith.

I will say this much that we cannot separate our spiritual walk from our physical walk.  Your body is a temple of the Holy Ghost.  What you do with your body, and how you present it has everything to do with your relationship with Jesus Christ.  You need to examine the word gospel whenever it is used in the new testament and its context (use a notebook) , and see how broad a brush God uses to teach us what is in His good news.  That is for another study hopefully on this site.

If Paul was only speaking about dishonouring your physical head then regardless whether we get it or not, that is important enough, otherwise he would not have been required to raise the issue.  But if it goes much deeper than that and he is speaking about dishonouring your spiritual head, is it not even MORE critical?

I think the problem is in our minds that have been puffed up with worldly wisdom and philosophies.  We have become very intelllectual in our faith and this appeals to our human minds.  But this supposed wisdom stikes a blow at the simplicity of a childlike faith in Jesus Christ.  We in the Western church have  been largely affected by the world nad have embraced many things that generations previous would have been ashamed to hear about.

In Jesus day, simple minded folk, or hard working people got the simplicity and power of the doctrrine of Jesus Christ, very clearly.  But those who were set in their ways, in their own wisdom, in their own religion, stumbled at the plainness of Jesus’ teaching.

Humanity is often more concerned about show and ceremony and modernization than simplicity, humility, and obedience.

As an example.  It seems now that (almost) every church must have an electrically operated speaker system; must have drums and electric guitars, must have coloured lights, must have soft chairs and carpets on the floor.  How much money, how much effort, energy, times goes into the pursuit of these things for your regular church? Sure it’s nice to be comfortable.  Sure it’s nice to be surrounded with modern stuff.   Sure it’s nice to have quadraphonic sound, and all the sensual things which help stir our emotions.  But most of this is unnecessary.  Whatever happened to good old fashioned preaching, old fashioned singing, old fashioned praying and fasting, old fashiioned brokenness of heart and spirit before a holy and righteous God, old fashioned simplicity?

And…

…How many of our brothers and sisters in impoverished countries survive without such stuff, and yet seem to have greater persecution and greater blessing and increasing numbers than we with all our stuff can manage to whip up?  How many brothers and sisters only ask for a Bible in their hands, when who have multiple bibles and food laid on, we must have drums and electric guitars without which we cannot serve the Lord properly…SO WE THINK? 

DOES THIS  REALLY HONOUR THE LORD WHO IS LORD OF US ALL?  Does it also honours our brothers and sisters elsewhere.

In Samuel’s day as he was getting older in years, the Israelites,  leaders in each tribe, came to Samuel and said in rather insistent tones, WE WANT A KING LIKE ALL THE OTHER NATIONS AROUND US.   And what if Samuel resisted them in this request?  They were not going to be put off from their demand. In essence they were  saying….

…..WE WANT TO BE LIKE THE WORLD.  WE DON’T LIKE THE STATUS QUO.  WE ARE DISSATISFIED WITH WHAT YOU ARE DOING FOR US.  WE ARE NOT WANTING YOUR LEADERSHIP ANYMORE EVEN THOUGH YOU ARE A NICE PROPHET, AND WHAT YOU SAY IS ALWAYS RIGHT.

God told Samuel in plain terms.  It is not about you Samuel, it is about ME.  They are not rejecting you but it is Me they don’t want as King.

This is essentially what has happened in the westernized church system.  The world has stuff, we want what they’ve got, and we want it regardless.  That sounds very much like covetousness from my angle.  I am not judging the heart of anyone.  Maybe God wants every church to have drums and a sound system, and carpets on the floor, and all that they do have.   So be it. 

It should be enough that we have nice homes with carpets and stuff and all kinds of food.  Let us get back to simplicity as the people of God and collectively serve God more like our brothers and sisters do in their circumstances and send more finance to them for bibles and food.

Say for example if there were 100 churches who do preach the gospel of Jesus Christ in my country, at least they think they do, and they have spent collectively $2 million on nonessentials for worhipping God, just think if that money had have been sent for the poor and the needy elsewhere, how much joy it would have brought to those who just want Bibles and some cheap rice or corn.  Let us lay up for ourselves treasures in Heaven.

Back to topic.

Long hair is given to a woman for her praise etc.  But when she prays to God by covering her natural glory with a shawl or scarf – IN A SIMPLE AND PLAIN MANNER – she is deferring to one who has been given authority to care for her.  The head covering OVER HER HAIR thus becomes a sign of her humilty, and submission to God’s authority. 

By doing so she is putting out of sight her own dignity and honour for a time while she talks to her Creator God or speaks on His behalf, and instead is consciously honouring His dignity, His glory, His honour His praise.  This then is something the angels take particular note of and give praise to God who is glorified in this particular way.

Then with regard to men who pray, the action of covering the head is reversed in order to achieve the same results.  Does a man of importance or any rank appear before royalty with a hat on his head?  Does he not take off his hat when in conversation with such royal persons – unless he is required by the ruling laws to keep his hat on being part of the uniform for defence personell?

In older times it was considered an insult for a man to remain with his  hat on in Church, especially if he were preaching.

Whom do we despise or honour?

Many think that what Paul says in v 16 dismisses the necessity for wearing of head coverings over the hair.  However, by doing so, they admit that it is about wearing something over the hair.  The ‘no such custom’ clause is to do with being contentious rather than teaching a woman to have her beautiful hair covered, and the man should not have his head (of hair) covered.

The woman while also made in the image and likeness of God, is required to show honour to her own man (or to men in general if she is single) for the Lord’s sake, whom God has placed as a spiritual and physical covering over her.  And the man is to honour Him who made him as the primary factor in human society by not covering his head in prayer or when prophesying.   An alert conscience acknowledges that a man should not pray with his hat on.  If this is so, then the opposite side which Paul raises concerning women should also be seen as valid, especially when it is made clear by Paul.

Paul elsewhere addresses the idea of modesty in dress, attire.  Men are attracted to women mostly by the visual senses.  Men do notice beauty; it is in the eye of the beholder.  God made each man with the capacity to be attracted to a woman – ONE WOMAN.  While he can be attracted to any woman, it is his responsibility to guard his heart, and his eyes, lest he fall into sin and become guilty before God and the angels.

Job says (Job 31:1) I made a covenant with mine eyes; How then should I look upon a virgin?

Jesus said if a man looks upon a woman to lust after her, he has commited adultery in his heart.  Matthew 5:28

God made woman to be admired and desired by ONE MAN and by one man alone.  The woman has every duty to see that she does not become a stumbling block to men other than her husband.  And this also applies to virgin women – young girls.
It is man’s job to guard his eyes and his heart.  It is the woman’s job to cover the glory God has given to her especially while she prays or prophesies, as a sign of respect to her husband or her husband to be, that her hair – her glory, is for her husband only.

A woman will often push her hair around ot ‘play’ with it when wanting to draw attention to herself. 

In saying all of this, I am not being contentious, but seeking to bring us back to simple obedience for the Lord’s sake, and for the common good of man.  Each is responsible for their own actions.  And the man is repsonsible for his own house.  and if there be a woman who lives on her own, she is responsible before God how she conducts herself before God who sees all things.  You can do what you like but know this…

Ecc 11:9 Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth, and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thy heart, and in the sight of thine eyes; but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.
Ecc 11:10 Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh; for youth and the dawn of life are vanity.

Ecc 12:13 This is the end of the matter; all hath been heard: fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man.
Ecc 12:14 For God will bring every work into judgment, with every hidden thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. 

I want to finish here with one question.  On what authority do we declare a Biblical practice to be no longer essential…on the authority of men or God? 

Peter said to the religious elite, You judge for yourselves, is it right to obey God or men?

Acts 4:19 and 5:29

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Additional interesting info not necessarily from Bible believing persons can be found from http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2011/03/why-we-are-supposed-to-take-our-hats-off…

the comments given in the web page ‘todayifoundout” is not necessarily supported by the opinion or judgment of the author of endofharvest.com, but is simply provided to gain some understanding of mostly past practices for wearing hats or taking them off in certain circumstances.

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  • Among most Christian churches, it is also typically considered very rude for men to wear their hats in church.  Once again, ladies are traditionally exempted from this and indeed, traditionally were required to wear hats in church.  For the reason behind this, read the next factoid.
  • In Jewish synagogues, non-married women are not to wear hats or scarves.  Married women may do so as a sign of their increased modesty towards men that are not their husband.