Should a woman cover her head in church?

Hello C,

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“But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for that is one and the same as if her head were shaved” (1 Corinthians 11:5).

This verse brings out the contrast that should be maintained between the sexes as they take part in church activities and according to the current customs of every country. It seems that the Corinthian women may have requested to appear uncovered as did the men (1 Cor. 11:4). Some may have sought to set aside the marks of distinction between the sexes. So, Paul gave his council in this matter.

At Paul’s time, women did not go abroad with uncovered heads. It was regarded as a disgrace to a woman and to her husband if she should appear publicly without a veil, especially in the church and during worship. For a woman at Corinth to take public part in the services of the church with her head uncovered would give the impression that she is immodest.

Therefore, at that time by discarding the veil which is a sign of sex and position, the woman showed a lack of respect for her husband and then to Christ. Paul added that If a woman wanted to act like a man, she ought, in order to be consistent, to cut her hair like men. But since this action is disgraceful to her, she therefore, should be properly veiled (1 Corinthians 11:5,6). Paul in his teachings stressed the importance of being modest, “in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation” (1 Tim. 2:9).

Today, women should act in accordance to the proper customs of their country so that they will not shame themselves or their churches. “Therefore… whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.  Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God,  just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved” (1 Corinthians 10:31-33).

In His service,

The BibleAsk Team

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