why I cover…

covering1 The decision to cover my head was a progressive one for me.  In a way, it was also a natural progression.  I’ve always had tendencies leaning toward  modest dress.  Even as a typical American teenager I never was keen on anything too showy.  My family would describe me as weird as much for my attire as my unusual interests.  In my adult life, I’ve only worn shorts a handful of times.  I own one skirt that’s not ankle length.  Modesty is just my style.

My initial interest in head coverings came out of curiosity.  I was drawn to them but not really sure why.  I started wearing a scarf around the house a few months ago.  It just seemed right.  I’ve worn it out only a couple of times.  This particular scarf is really a hijab, so it’s quite large.  It covers my entire head and I look a bit like I’ve lost my hair when I wear it.  I’ve found that family members are most critical of my head coverings.  I think it’s because they do not understand me at all.  They often respond to things I consider to be good with an attitude that says “she’s just trying to show off” or “she thinks she’s Miss Perfect”.  I do not understand this at all.  I do NOT think anything even remotely similar to this!  I have never and will never claim to be better than anyone else or think that I’m above others.  I really think they just do not understand my relationship with the Lord AT ALL.

Anyhoo, when I have my head covered it is a constant reminder of the authority God has placed over me.  It’s a reminder, not only of my responsibility to be submissive, but also of the protection He has covered me with – through the Holy Spirit and from my husband.  It’s a reminder to “pray without ceasing”.  When I’m covered I am more peaceful, happier, nicer to my children.  There’s just a difference in my whole mindset.  A constant awareness of the Father’s presence and His desires for me.

I don’t cover to let everyone know, “hey, I’m better than you!  You should cover your head, too!”  I do hope my head covering is making a statement to others, but something more along the lines of, “Women, keep yourselves in God’s Word!  Remember his love and mercies and show them to others!”

I love the following quote by Calvin.

“So if women are thus permitted to have their heads uncovered and to show their hair, they will eventually be allowed to expose their entire breasts, and they will come to make their exhibitions as if it were a tavern show; they will become so brazen that modesty and shame will be no more; in short they will forget the duty of nature…Further, we know that the world takes everything to its own advantage. So, if one has liberty in lesser things, why not do the same with this the same way as with that? And in making such comparisons they will make such a mess that there will be utter chaos. So, when it is permissible for the women to uncover their heads, one will say, ‘Well, what harm in uncovering the stomach also?’ And then after that one will plead for something else; ‘Now if the women go bareheaded, why not also bare this and bare that?’ Then the men, for their part, will break loose too. In short, there will be no decency left, unless people contain themselves and respect what is proper and fitting, so as not to go headlong overboard” John Calvin (Reformer, 1509-1564)

While I don’t believe head covering is something we should demand of Christian women, I do think Calvin makes a valid point (as he’s been proven right by our society!).  And by covering my head and encouraging other women to do the same, maybe we can take a step in the direction of modesty and a step away from promiscuity.  Head covering shouldn’t be a legalistic mandate but, rather, a conviction of the heart to accept and cherish the submissive role God has given us.  To me, covering my head is a gift from the Father.  It’s another way He physically reminds me of his love and mercies to me.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Zoe on August 6, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    I just loved this article of why you cover . I am 18 years old, black british living in london, but originally from nigeria. I have never covered before but it is something i am also curious about. You see the majority of people that cover their hair here are muslims, and i became a bit more interested in it when i befriended a muslim friend recently in college. I saw that even though she covers her hair shes a normal human being like you or I (of course i already knew this) but shes aware that she cuold get judged by others for dressing this way, even though she;s doing it for God.

    I want to start covering, but like your parents im not sure mine would agree, its not really something we do, and they might think i am trying to imitate muslims , they wouldnt really understand. I really do want to cover my hair, so i can also feel protected. I actually put on a scarf whilst at home yesterday alone, and i felt kind of different .. like peaceful, and it just felt right. I dont mean to delay but i might have to start covering once i get married, im only 18, so thats a lil while from now .. in Gods eyes probably too long, but i dont think my parents would support.

    Get back to me if you have any advice (Zoe) ps im a christian xx


    • Posted by knittingprose on August 11, 2010 at 8:39 pm

      Thank you for your kind words, Zoe. I have a small bit of advice for you. #1 – you need to pray. Pray about this all the time. Pray that God would make it painfully obvious to you whether or not you should really do this. Pray for your parents’ hearts to be softened to the idea. Pray, pray, pray. #2 – Obey your parents. If your parents make a flat-out NO decision then you should totally honor them by respectfully and kindly obeying their wishes. Don’t be huffy or angry with them. Trust that God is in control of the whole situation and it just may not be the right time for you. If it’s meant to be, God will make it happen. My husband didn’t like the idea at first but out of the blue, he told me he thought I should do it. He asked me if I had been praying about it because he didn’t know why he would change his mind if it wasn’t God changing it for him. #3 Be prepared when you discuss it with your parents. They will be more likely to understand if you have some concrete reasons why you want to do this. Something more than it just feels right. The younger we are the more we ‘feel’ things and the older we are the more we ‘think’ things. : ) #4 – If you do decide to cover, you can cover in ways that don’t look so muslim. AND you can make your parents feel way more comfortable with it as well.
      I would suggest starting out with just bandana head scarves around the house. You parents will find that much less weird than a hijab. Snoods are also very pretty and don’t look like they belong to any particular ‘religious’ group. A great place to find these types are at http://www.garlansofgrace.com I really love their stuff and it looks beautiful. Lots of one of a kind type things too.

      I hope you find clarity and peace on this, Zoe. I’d love to hear how it’s going too, so keep me posted. : )


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