Saturday, December 26, 2009

Head Covering

Here are two posts I wrote in a thread about head covering in Ravelry (see 1 Corinthians 11).

Oct 15th 2009:

"My own reasoning, however weak, is that it would defeat the goal of modesty by drawing more attention to myself, rather than less."

I’ve had this experience. Although wearing a head-covering didn’t attract any attention when I attended Brethren meetings, whenever I wore it elsewhere I was met with strange looks and even offence from other women who then tried to reason with me out of the Word why women shouldn’t cover their heads. After about a year of this I got sick of the attention and stopped, it was becoming contentious & causing division.

That said, I have no issue with wearing a head-covering or with women who do, I think it’s a mark of submission, obedience & devotion to God. When I asked a friend who is an experienced bible teacher he gave me this cultural take on it that I’d never heard before: Covering in Israel in the 1st century AD was a sign to everyone that you were married. What’s the modern-day equivalent? How can you look at someone and know whether they’re married or not? They wear a wedding ring. He took this as an exhortation to let people know that you are married by wearing your wedding ring all the time as a mark that you are under your husband’s covering and not available to anybody else.

Dec 21st 2009:

Resurrecting this thread… have been doing some thinking and praying about this since I first read this thread. I haven’t fully settled the issue in my heart but I have decided to cover in Church and while praying in the meantime. Here are a couple of my thoughts:

  1. I think it is possible to cover without sticking out like a sore thumb. When I first covered I did so by tying veils around my head (this is one I used often). But lately, I’ve been thinking that wearing a hat/beret (there are some lovely patterns on Rav!) would be fulfilling the same purpose without necessarily drawing attention to yourself.

  2. When I first started covering, many of the Christian women who asked me about why I was doing it were not offended by the piece of cloth on my head but by the idea that man is the head of a woman and that wives should submit to their husbands. One thing they overlooked is that men are also in submission… to Christ, who is their head, and Christ is in submission to His Father. This is not to say that man is woman’s mediator or that a Christian woman does not have a direct relationship with God.

  3. Similarly, in the fellowship my (male) friend belongs to, the pastor’s wife recently gave a word on submission and she wore a head covering as she spoke (which is unheard of in that fellowship). According to my friend, if looks could kill then the women in the congregation would have killed this woman in 3 seconds flat, their hostility was so strong. Submission seems to be a thorny issue in the Church. I know that women have been (and in some cases still are) subjected, enslaved, trodden on and treated like second class citizens by men- this is very wrong and un-scriptural. But God has still commanded wives to submit to their husbands and husbands to love their wives. I was just shocked that there was such opposition to covering (and perhaps submission?) by this particular group of Christian women.

  4. Covering should never just be about wearing a hat/scarf/veil/whatever. It should serve as an outward sign and an inward reminder that I have chosen to submit to God. You could compare it to tying a knot in a hankie or wearing your wedding ring on the opposite hand to remind you to do something. It reminds me that I am not in control of my life, I have surrendered it to God and that I should act in a way that is submissive to Him. It reminds me that I am accountable for my words and my actions, and this awareness is heightened because I am wearing something that tells other people I have chosen to submit to God. It reminds me that I am His and He looks after me, like a husband takes care of his wife, or a father takes care of his daughter. Can a woman be aware of these things and not cover her head? Absolutely. But as for me, I can be a bit forgetful and the reminder is helpful!

  5. There’s a romantic part of me that thinks: wouldn’t it be really cool if my husband was the only person allowed to see my hair? Then a practical part of me says: yeah, but he’d always be seeing hat-hair, which probably wouldn’t be so cool.

  6. Since I began covering again, nobody has commented on it and I haven’t said anything about it. I can see that it could lead to an opportunity to discuss submission and attitude to someone if they did ask me about it.

Merry Christmas

Last night (Christmas Eve) as my parents went to mass (Mum was disappointed none of us kids wanted to go) I got to spend an hour on the guitar worshiping God. Somewhere behind the pine trees, holly boughs, tinsel and decorations my precious Jesus was waiting patiently, waiting behind turkey & ham dinners and alcohol, waiting for someone to say "Happy Birthday, Lord".

I don't know whether Jesus was born on 25th December, September or mid-July and to be honest, I don't think it matters all that much. What matters is that He was born. He gave up the glory of heaven, the constant worship of the angels to be born as a human being like me and eventually grow up and be killed for me.

I remember Christmas as a child was a real time of excitement. Santa always outdid himself :) eventually the thrill of receiving presents faded away (though I did receive two cracking knitting books today!). At first the fading away used to leave me feeling disappointed but today I felt contented. God looked at me through the eyes of eternity and said to Himself, "she's worth dying for". This revelation is becoming more and more real to me, leaving me (for one of the first times) to conclude that I have something to live for. Happy Birthday, Lord.

Thank God for...

... the mooncup! An alternative to traditional (and disposable) sanitary-wear. Boots in the Republic don't stock 'em so I picked one up across the border in Newry.

It's my second cycle using it and I'm hooked. It did take a couple of days to get used to inserting & removing it but now I'm loving it.

  • One off payment that covers up to a few years versus continual payment each month
  • Nothing to dispose of- good for the environment as nothing goes into landfill/incinerator/sewerage system. No embarrassing "wondering where the heck to dispose of it when staying with someone you don't know very well" feelings
  • Handy for travelling and camping- no space taken up by pads/tampons in the case & no need to worry about disposal
  • I feel more in touch with what my body is actually doing during my cycle
  • I actually looked forward to my next period just so that I could use my new cup (yes, I know how weird that sounds)
Thank You, Lord for making me a woman, for my fertility and for the mooncup.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


"Handmaiden of the Lord" is a phrase that has been prophesied over me on two occasions by two people who have never met and it has stuck in my heart. I can't say that I'm a prime example of a handmaiden of the Lord but by His grace He is teaching me to walk with Him day by day and He leads me by the hand in case I fall.

I became a Christian in May 2004. I remember reading a children's bible cover to cover a few times as a young girl and from January 2004 I started reading the "grown-up" version, a Gideon's New Testament I had received in secondary school. Two scriptures that the Lord (Adonai) first laid on my heart were:

"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5-6

"Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance." 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

These verses gave me such comfort and over the next few months I continued reading the bible and through its words I heard the gospel for the first time, that Jesus Christ had paid for my sins on the cross and by believing and trusting in Him I could be saved. "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Romans 10:9 This is a promise from God to us and He will never renege on a promise. A weight lifted off my shoulders the night I asked Him to forgive me and be my Lord and Saviour. I slept soundly that night, safe in the knowledge that I was now His.

I thought I knew a lot about God, but nobody had ever told me that I could know Him.

If you, dear reader, do not yet know God and the peace and joy that comes from knowing Him, then I pray that your spiritual ears would be opened and that you would be born-again (spiritually) into a relationship with Him, adopted into His family.
If you do know Him then I pray that you would continue to fall deeper and deeper in love with Jesus, our redeemer, the lover of our souls.