Why I Cover

Disclaimer: Wearing a head-covering is a controversial subject in the Christian church today and the last thing I want to do is start an argument or point fingers. That is not the purpose of this post. I will not be translating from Greek words or diving into doctrine or theology. I will be sharing what I have learned about wearing a head-covering and why I choose to be covered.

 

To my friends and family who do not wear a head-covering: Please know I do not judge you, and I bless you in your walk with the Lord!! ♥  We are each on our own journey…

 

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True Stories

Recently, my sister-in-law, a missionary in Central America, told me about a village in Nicaragua called Jinotega, a place where witchcraft is heavily practiced. She told me how the Christian believers there have to be watchful and pray against curses placed on their livestock. But the really fascinating thing is what the witchcraft practioners say about the believers in that village: “We cannot touch those who wear a head-covering.”

I have heard many similar stories over the years!

•A certain woman could not find deliverance from demons as the people working with her prayed over her, until she covered her head. Then they fled!

•A young woman, recently saved, found freedom from oppression of an evil spirit after she began wearing a head-covering. (1)

•And then there are the stories told of the wicked men who share they could not abduct or harm a woman who wore a head-covering. Why?? I believe it’s because the evil spirits within them fear and respect what a veiled woman represents/ displays: submission to her head–man, and man’s submission to God.

“Satan and his cohorts hate the head-covering because of what it represents; it reminds them and puts them to shame because of their own rejection of God’s headship.” (1)

 

A Sign to the Angels

Wearing a head-covering isn’t a matter of salvation and it doesn’t magically make one’s life better. But I believe it IS a matter of protection and blessing, a testimony/sign to the spiritual realms, both good and bad.

Important as it may be, putting on a head-covering does not accomplish submission to the Lord Jesus, any more than being baptized or taking communion makes us Christians.  The veil or head-covering is just an outward sign {like water = baptism and bread & wine = communion} of the condition of the soul. It is the soul which was lost, and it is the soul that Jesus came to save.  Through head-covering, women, as a type of the church, visibly…show “to the angels” the submission of the church to Jesus Christ! (2)

That is why a woman ought to have a symbol of authority (power) on her head, because of the angels. 1 Corinthians 11:10

 

Prayer Warriors & Prophetesses

I believe that God has given us women a special role in His “army”. He has gifted us to be Prayer Warriors and Prophetesses. God has called us to fight the enemy through our prayers, (Eph. 6:12) and a woman who is inwardly as well as outwardly showing her submission to God’s headship order has a great amount of authority in her prayers and prophesies! (1 Cor.11:10)

“The faithful, veiled woman can exercise and unleash tremendous influence and power in heavenly places as she ministers in prayer and intercession before the Father. This groaning creation so badly needs the kind of church that such a sister represents, and the church likewise desperately needs such women as can truly minister in their God-ordained place of power.” (1)

 

How the Angels Worship

Something else that fascinates me is the fact that the angels cover their faces with their wings when worshipping the Lord. In Isaiah 6:2, the angels are depicted literally covering their faces in shamefacedness, showing humility as they worship our great God.  Which brings us to verse five of 1 Corinthians: And every woman praying or prophesying with her head unveiled puts to shame her head… If even the sinless angels are covered in worship, why shouldn’t we women, a representation of Christ’s bride, be covered??

 

If Anyone is Contentious

In 1 Corinthians 11:16, Paul states: But if anyone seems to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor do the churches of God. Does Paul mean that the things he had just been saying about the head-covering are not important enough to contend about? Why would he have bothered mentioning it at all if this was the case? There are two possible explanations: either he is saying some will be contentious about these matters, but that we need to accept them as the teaching of the Lord, or that the churches of God did not have any such custom as that of women praying or prophesying without being covered. (3)

 

Are the Spirit Gifts for Today?

“We can’t have it both ways. If the Bible is really God’s Word, we can’t go picking through the verses of 1 Corinthians, accepting what we like, and rejecting what we don’t. If the gifts, (or communion–both mentioned in the following verses/chapters) are for today, so is the head-covering. If the head-covering is only for the 1st century, so are the gifts!!” (2)

 

A Challenge

“Remember that Satan’s primary weapon is deception. The minute you are willing to put yourself on the line for the truth of the Bible, its power will become abundantly evident to you. The enemy will come against you in all his lying force. During the whole Christian era, not one single martyr died for going along with the crowd. Obey the head-covering ordinance and you will stir up the forces of darkness that are attacking your church, and be up to your neck in a spiritual battle! If you still think that is a joke, just try it. If you really want to stand for Jesus, here’s your chance. But don’t think it will be easy. …You’ll get ridicule and verbal abuse, and you’ll find your friends deserting you. That is the way the Lord said it would be, (2 Tim. 3:12) and that’s how you’ll know you’re doing something right.” (Mat. 5:11) (2)

 

My Confession

I am ashamed to say that for many years I didn’t have complete submission in my heart to my husband or to the Lord. Even though I wore a head-covering I wasn’t living in full obedience to God, and this opened the door for sin and Satan to oppress me! So thankful for the Lord’s continued work of grace in my life–for never giving up on me but gently leading me back to Himself. There is HOPE and REDEMPTION available to all who ask!!

The principle of the head-covering must be lived inwardly first before it is effective outwardly! Neither can it be effective as a legalistic tradition that is blindly followed, allowing a religious “Pharisee” spirit to enter in. We must know why we wear a head-covering and live accordingly, never thinking we are better than those who do not do as we do. We are not seen righteous before the Lord because we wear a head-covering; the only righteousness we have is imputed by the Lord Jesus taking our place on the cross! (2 Cor. 5:21)

To sum it all up: My journey with the Lord is still a work in progress, but I am thankful for the way He has led me. I count it a privilege and a blessing to wear a head-covering!

 

 UPDATE: Several women have approached me with the concern that this post teaches women that they will be protected from all danger and demonic influence if they wear a head covering. I hope I have made it clear that is not the case when one is not living right before the Lord. The principle behind the head-covering means nothing to Satan when he sees there is sin in our lives, because sin gives him a legal right to oppress us. Not only that, we live in a fallen world–we WILL experience trials and tribulations–even IF we are living a life of full surrender to the Lord. The head-covering is not a magical piece of cloth; it is not our salvation; it is an outward sign of God’s headship order that Satan hates and the world scoffs at!

I simply wanted to share some of what God has shown me in this journey, (there is much more that could be said!) and to share the stories of those women who were specifically protected when they wore a head-covering.

Having said all that, please understand, I believe God also protects, loves, and blesses women–Christ followers–who don’t wear a head-covering. I don’t have all the answers; I only know that He has shown me what I am to do with 1 Corinthians 11 and I am obeying Him. 

 

Footnotes:

1-Let Her Be Veiled, Tom Shanks

2-Demons in the Church, E.H. Skolfield

3-Believer’s Bible Commentary

 

 

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68 thoughts on “Why I Cover

    1. I believe you did very good explaining this! I am concerned about a fad making the rounds in our churches today of the covering and veiling looking like girls want them to fall off the back of their heads. God said cover the head ~ not cover your hair bun. I certainly want the angels to know without question that we believe in submission and Godliness!! Don’t you??

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      1. Some years ago when I was leading evangelism teams at Calvary Bible School in Arkansas, a group pf youth stopped at the house of an elderly woman. She invited them in. They sang for her and enjoyed conversation.
        During the visit the woman said something like this to one of the young ladies, “excuse me ma’am but you are about to lose your scarf.” This was said to a young lady whose veil was considerably further forward on her head then the one pictured in this blog.
        I mention this to call attention to the fact that what seems perfectly acceptable and reasonable to those within a subculture, might look silly and make no sense at all to onlookers, to previous generations, or to future generations.
        Those outside of our subculture can often help us identify blind spots that we didn’t know we had, and help us develop practices that are timeless and consistent.

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  1. Thank you for this. I feel very alone in my head covering journey much of the time. But you have summed up my reasons for covering very succinctly. May God bless you on your journey.
    Blessings, Betsy

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for your story I also have a story that I will write someday the enemy could not touch me either I was protected by the Lord no man shall pluck you out of my hand! Thank you Lord Jesus!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. wow ,I love how you shared how we life can honor God in obedience . to God and his word. makes me sad when I see friend and family they were taught all life why they wear the covering.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the way this is expained! I just have one question that maybe u could shed some light on! I grew up mennonite & it always confused me how it says just as much in corinthians about a man not covering his head as it dus a woman covering hers, yet we totally look past that & focus only on the woman & the men wear hats most of the time & don’t even think once about it! Any thoughts??

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    1. Thanks for sharing that good question Veronica!
      First of all, we need to understand that man is the image and glory of God whereas the woman is the glory of man. This means the man was placed on earth as God’s representative, to exercise dominion over it. Man’s uncovered head is a silent witness to this fact. The woman was never given this place of headship; instead she is the glory of man in the sense that she “renders conspicuous the authority of man.” (Believer’s Bible Commentary)
      In Bible times the Jewish men covered their heads when they worshipped in the synagogues. After Jesus came, bringing about the New Covenant, Paul asked the men to uncover or display the glory of God, acknowledging Christ as their Head.

      He then asked the women to cover their glory to honor their head (man) when praying or worshipping.

      So it’s fine for men to wear hats but they need to remove them to show respect to the Lord when praying/worshipping.

      Does that make sense?

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      1. I have looked at this. By the same token and passage then, women only need to be covered when praying, not all the time correct?

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      2. Char, it would seem so if we only looked at verse 5! However, following that, verse 10 talks about wearing the head-covering as a sign for the angels. Therefore I believe while it is very important to be covered during prayer/worship, it is equally important to be covered all the time (esp. in public) as that outward sign to the spiritual realms. Having said that, I feel perfectly free to pray while I am combing my hair, showering, or swimming, etc. Does that make sense?

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      3. Thanks for the reply Kristina. But then the men must never wear hats. This passage is referring to them equally also, and they are to be upholding God’s glory, which is far greater then women honoring men. I think to look at this passage accurately, it has to be tried to be viewed from a Christian viewpoin,t but not a Mennonite one.

        I have traveled to other countries, India being one of those. Over there many of the women constantly wear a scarf around their necks. Then for worship services, some of them would pull their scarf up over their head. But they did not keep their heads constantly covered. I think this might be a truer picture of what God intended in this passage.

        God is a God of order and if He intended women to cover their heads all the time, why did He not say so, instead of specifying for prayer or prophesying?

        In the Mennonite church, the covering may have become something God never intended it to be. I have read around 100 years or so ago, that the women in these churches did not used to cover all the time either, but more for worship. The article I read said something about them even leaving their bonnets on a hook at church.

        Having said that I do wear a covering always in public, but I don’t know that God requires that.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I am intrigued as a Evangelical Mennonite (out of Old Colony Russia Lines). I read 1 Cor. 11, though to mean covering only when in prayer or worship. I see nothing in the text to suggest during daily living??

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      1. I get that reasoning, but wouldn’t it be a little odd for Paul to qualify something like that with “when praying and profesying” if he really meant it as a permanent thing? I have no problem with people practicing it that way (you mentioned convenience and there’s something to be said about going the extra mile) but to interpret that as Paul’s meaning seems distinctly pharisaical.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Julie, it would seem so if we only looked at verse 5! However, following that, verse 10 talks about wearing the head-covering as a sign for the angels. Therefore I believe while it is very important to be covered during prayer/worship, it is equally important to be covered all the time (esp. in public) as that outward sign to the spiritual realms. Having said that, I feel perfectly free to pray while I am combing my hair, showering, or swimming, etc. Does that make sense?

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      1. True, but he both introduces (v5) and concludes (v13) the subject specifically referring to prayer. Paul seems to make it pretty clear that these teachings are within the context of prayer/worship.

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      2. I see where you are coming from. However, because of verse 10, I see the headcovering as an outward sign of God’s headship order to the angels and the world, therefore it makes more sense to wear it consistently, rather than just for prayer/worship.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. yeah, I definitely get that. I mostly just trying to figure it out myself. My concerns are these:
        1) If Paul was referring specifically to prayer/worship and we apply it to everything, we may be diluting or missing the point of what he was teaching. i.e. saying that the teaching is applicable all of the time instead of specifically during prayer/worship may cause us to miss what he is saying about prayer/worship
        2) You can’t argue with stories 🙂 That being said, I cringe a little at the argument that God’s power/protection is manifested in the head covering. You did make it very clear that it is only a symbol, so I’m not trying to put words in your mouth. Even so, I believe that Jesus gives us power over demons and it seems a little catholic-y to qualify that with the head-covering, particularly if that’s not what Paul actually said.

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  6. I have struggled with this issue for years. I’m blessed to hear it explained in the way you did. It has helped me to see it in a better light. Its always easyer to not wear it to keep from being critisised by family or friends. Thanks again and may God richly bless you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I too have privately struggled with this issue for years. My heart’s desire is to be obedient to the Word of God, however I know if I covered my head at my church then people would focus on ME rather than God, and I do NOT want that to happen – I don’t care what they say – many have already called me “holier than thou” because of my passion for the Word. But last week I did buy a pretty scarf (so this is “interesting timing” to read your article) – now I just need to find a way to keep it on my egg-head! With your teaching, I can see a good reason to have it on!

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      1. The timing is interesting–I find it amazing how the Lord meets our needs just at the right time! Blessings to you as you endeavor to honor the Lord when it will be difficult. Standing out from the crowd is hard, but God is faithful and I belive He will bless you for your courage!

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  7. Veronica, as I understand the scriptures ,it is no difference , the man needs to be uncovered and the women needs to be covered, where you grew up tradition got in the way, but the scriptures make it plain.
    Urie Byler

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  8. This is well written, Kristina. Having lived and travelled in foreign lands also gave me a distinct appreciation for the veiling serving as a witness, prayer and protection. The scriptures will forever stand regardless what we human choose to believe.

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  9. Thank you for writing this. I just started covering in the last year. I feel like I can now read the whole Bible without having to ignore part of it. It’s been such a blessing.

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  10. I’m so interested to hear what you have to say on this!! You have said everything in such a kind and thoughtful way!! I love that…

    I also wonder about the protection thing when sexual abuse is so rampant in the plain Amish and Mennonite circles. I heard a licensed professional who works with tons of these cases say that it’s no secret even in the secular world that the Amish and Mennonite have the highest rates of sexual abuse and that the rates have to be much higher because we are the least likely to talk about it. I honestly don’t have any answers, I’m just wondering so much what you think…

    And I wear a covering all the time too, in NO way am I trying to bash anything you said!! So many blessings to you!!

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    1. Thank you Sherilyn! Yes, the sexual abuse in the Plain circles is so very sad…it breaks my heart!
      It’s important to me that people who read this post realize I am not saying bad things won’t happen when wearing a covering! We live in a fallen world! I only wanted to share stories where God chose to protect in that way in that situation. But from hearing about the sexual abuse happening–it’s all done by relatives and people who know the victims. Not strangers.
      The spirits behind incest and molestation are some of the worst kind of evil spirits out there. I feel like the sins of the fathers are being passed down and bringing curses on the next generations and that is why the cycles of abuse are not ending.
      Some in the Plain circles tend to lean toward a Religious spirit where they feel they can get by with sin as long as they look right on the outside. This is wrong and opens the door to Satan! Too often the head-covering is only a legalistic tradition to them and it loses it’s meaning. Does that make sense?

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      1. Thank you for being brave enough to approach this subject. Well-said. You get to the heart of the issue: the veiled head is to represent what is in our hearts and it is that surrendered heart that God honors with His special power; it is not some magical protection. Sadly it is true that sexual abuse is more common among us Mennonites and Amish than general society, and that counselors/ therapists know that. (Even the Bible refers to that possibility.) I know this for reasons I don’t care to share here, but want to bless you for your openness. Your reply here explains it well. God bless you!

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      2. Thank you, Kristina, I’m still thinking about your reply and just haven’t been able to get back to you…

        I totally can see where you are coming from and sometimes wish I was closer to having good answers than so many questions. I am on my own journey of healing from this specific heartache, and so am needing to learn to embrace some of the pain and questions that go with it.

        I do know the ultimate answer for healing and protection is Jesus, and that many times simple faith in seeing Him through His Word is what brings healing. I so, so affirm you for following Jesus through His Word! Thanks so much for responding and interacting with my question!!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Bless you Sherilyn. I am so very sorry you have been hurt in this way. I see Jesus shining through your pain and I BLESS you in that!! You have a soft heart that is beautiful and can be used by your Heavenly Father. I pray He continues to bring you healing on your journey!

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  11. Can it be proved/disproved that there is truth/merit in the following scenario?: The normal societal custom at the time had long been that women covered their heads in public. This was a traditional practice, not only among the Jews, but also among the Gentile nations. Only the minority fringes of society broke with custom by discarding the coveredness. When women converted to Christianity, they were already accustomed to covering their heads, though they may have only considered it to be a generally expected gender custom. Such Christian women were now hearing such things as “All things are lawful for me” (as seen a few verses earlier in 1Co.10:23), and also “There is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ” (Gal.3:28). As a result, a new custom was starting to bud: that of continuing to cover the head out in the regular public encounters, but then uncovering the head when coming into the Christian worship assembly where they have freedom in Christ. Paul has to tell them “we have no such custom” (1Co.11:16). The main part of Paul’s discussion focused on why they should not drop the tradition ESPECIALLY during the worship gathering. Continuing to cover would identify them within God’s order of things, whereas uncovering would identify them with the rebellious fringes of society.

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  12. Thank you for writing this – I am always looking for ways to teach my children and this is a good article to do that. If we don’t teach our children – the world will!

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  13. My concern is that the head covering gets the credit for any kind of protection. It’s wrong. I’m also disgusted by the gossip the judging the hypocritical lives at someone and live while wearing a beautiful head covering . I know some of the greates Christian woman that did not use the covering and their mission work and protection was all credit to God not to their covering …

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    1. I agree. It is sad when people wear a head covering but live hypocritically. I was one of those people at one time. But we are all human and we all fail at times–we must extend one another grace. It is only through a life of full surrender to the Lord that we can be overcomers! And yes, there were and are many wonderful unveiled Christian women who serve the Lord! He is our ultimate protection!

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  14. Thanks for your honest discussion. I can say that I firmly believe God has protected me because I was veiled, I was a rural mail carrier for 27 yrs, many miles on rural rds., never was I mistreated while I drove those lonely roads, but was treated with respect, to God be the glory!! God says he will honor those who honor Him. I WANT to be identified with my LORD

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  15. Very interesting article and discussion. I’ve considered this question periodically over the years as a member of the Church of the Brethren (first cousin to the Mennonites 😉 ) and have always sort of fallen back on the verse that talks about a woman’s long hair being her covering, which is convenient since I’ve always worn my hair long. I know I need more scriptural and prayerful “meat” in my decision but it’s a work in progress. Our congregation has seen the full spectrum from full-on plain dress to high-fashion and every stage in between but most of us just wear working-folk-Sunday-best, no covering, but there is a pile of coverings available to borrow if you don’t have one at our biannual Love Feast and Communion, which includes foot washing. I don’t know about every day vs. just for prayer, but I always thought it was silly to wear them just twice a year.

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    1. As a fellow Church of the Brethren, I thought I’d share. I know it’s tough to step out and be different if it’s accepted to let it be a certain way.
      I always understood the hair was for a covering, like belt loops on men’s pants are for a belt. They aren’t the belt, but they are there for a belt. I don’t think the English translation of the Greek New Testament helped make that one very clear. And honestly, how often do we hear it explained anymore?
      The early church was given the charge to share the Gospel everywhere and with everyone who asks. In 1 Peter 3:15 it encourages us to always be ready to give an answer of the hope that is with in you.
      If you are always ready to ‘pray or prophecy’ (give an answer) should we not encourage the ladies to always cover their head?
      I know it was mentioned earlier in the comments, should men then always have their head uncovered? When practical, yes. I do encourage common sense. I think it is wise to wear a hard hat on construction sites, food net hats during food processing, wide brim hats to keep from getting skin cancer if you are outside a lot, or a warm hat if you are out in the cold. (Maybe it’s just my lack of faith, that I’ll get sick if I don’t wear a warm hat when it’s freezing outside)
      But again, when was the last time you had a man preach against men wearing hats? Probably never. Especially when we’ve seen some brands of Anabaptists differentiate themselves from other groups by the width of the brim of their hat, or the lack of the label of the hat.

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  16. I find your post very well and lovingly presented! Thank you. I wore a covering years ago after studying 1 Cor 11. It seemed to me that if Paul was talking about hair verses an item…only bald men could pray! I don’t wear a covering now as my husband doesn’t see the need. I do purpose to be under his authority so it would be hypocritical at the very least for me to do something his isn’t behind. But thank you so much! It was a blessing. May God change my husbands heart if He desires this! 😊

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    1. Thank you for sharing! Yes, you are doing the right thing submitting to your husband if he doesn’t want you to wear a head covering! You said it well: may God change his heart if He desires this. Blessings to you!

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  17. Thank you for writing such a great article! I started to cover a little over a year ago and you were so right about how your family and friends will react. It has been a struggle but I am at peace about following what the Lord has tried to have me do for years. (My husband and I were raised Mennonite and after my we had our first child we left the Mennonite church and just returned this spring…the church that we attended only had a handful of older women who covered while I was growing up. I had wanted to cover when I was a teenager but it seemed to be not very excepted so I stop, I felt again that I should cover as a young married woman but it caused a lot of fuss and strife within our extended family….Which brings us to this past year when I was really studying the word of God and felt that I must cover. I discussed it with my husband and he encouraged me to do what the Lord was leading me to do.) Thank you again for sharing your heart.

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  18. Thank you for your beautiful writing on this! I’ve recently been convicted to cover. And this came at the right moment! I praise our Heavenly Father for showing me He wants us to stand out! And to think that the Angels also cover their heads! Thank you, Kristina! Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Kristina,

    Thanks for tagging me in your Facebook post or I would have never read this fascinating article.
    How cool that those who are a part of the occult cannot touch those with covering.
    I’ve never thought about how the angels cover their faces in regards to head covering.

    If you want to guest blog over at RadicalChristianWoman.com – please email me at Elaine AT RadicalChristianWoman DOT com

    Is that a photo of you on the blog post?

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I would love to be in a discussion with you about whether (or not) and why (or not) you celebrate Christmas. Whenever I see people willing to make changes in their life to obey scripture it gets me excited!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. What a wonderful post! I am a head covering woman and have found that many blessings and break throughs started to happen for both my husband and me after I started to cover but also some significant trials as well. Even the trials though have proved, at least in my mind, that I am on the right track and to keep moving forward and improving myself in this area. Thank you for this post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Thanks for a good article! As far as what the Apostle Paul said about custom, at least one version reads “We have no OTHER custom”, as in that’s the only thing we do! 🙂 Some have claimed it was for public worship. But Jesus said “Where two or three are gathered together….” So if you were with even one other person, that could be considered public. The covering is a sign covering, a purposeful covering, not just any old thing that happens to end up on your head! So a man wearing a hat for protection from the sun does not qualify for a sign covering. But that being said, it is still respectful for a man to remove whatever is on his head when praying.

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  23. I have never studied or heard about head coverings until I became a Messianic Believer. Now I am studying and sometimes confused. Could you share scriptures with me for my study? Or email me and share. Email is dandidreaming@gmail.com

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