Because of choices he constantly makes, which define the apostle’s life, Paul confidently declares himself obedient to God’s commands and an example of Christianity. He now addresses head coverings among believing men and women.
“1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1)
Wrapping-up his previous exhortation in which he deemed all foods acceptable to eat, Paul now calls on believers to follow in his footsteps which are in turn led by Christ Himself. A preacher of the word, the apostle’s mission is clear, to advance the gospel to the four corners of the earth.
“2 I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the teachings, just as I passed them on to you. 3 Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.” (1 Corinthians 11:2-3)
Paul gives praises to the Corinthians for their obedience to His teaching of the gospel and the law of Christ. Following praises, the apostle now addresses issues regarding head covering for both men and women within the Corinthian church which has caused commotion and argument.
From the Greek “kephalē” which means “origin” the apostle describes Christ as the origin by which man was created, and since women come from man, more specifically Adam’s rib, men are the head of women. As such a woman should surrender to man in reverence not only of him but Christ, and of God almighty.
“4 Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head.” (1 Corinthians 11:4)
Here Paul declares head coverings for men as a dishonor to God during prayer and prophesying, methods of worship used by both men and women meant to glorify the divine King.
“5 And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is just as though her head were shaved. 6 If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off, she should cover her head.” (1 Corinthians 11:5-6)
Revealing the importance and acceptance of women among the church, the apostle testifies of the need for Christian women to cover their heads during prayer and prophecy. Considered a sign of subordination, a head covering symbolized humility and reverence to God.
“7 A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. 8 For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; 9 neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.” (1 Corinthians 11:7-9)
Reiterating the fact man is the head of a woman, Paul calls on Christian men to pray, worship and prophecy with their heads uncovered while women should on the contrary, in reverence to man, cover their heads during worship.
Because the Corinthians were struggling with the issue of head coverings the apostle felt the need to reinforce his point about this, repeating the head or origin of woman as from man.
“10 For this reason, and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head.” (1 Corinthians 11:10)
Describing head covering as signs of submission to man’s authority over them, Paul calls on women to wear head covering so not to offend omnipresent angels of God.
“11 In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12 For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God.” (1 Corinthians 11:11-12)
Paul declares both men and women equal in God’s eyes though both have different roles assigned by our divine Father. The apostle repeats the fact woman came from man as part of God plan for companionship for Adam, then it was through woman that man reached fulfillment.
“13 Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, 15 but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering. 16 If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice—nor do the churches of God.” (1 Corinthians 11:13-16)
Paul brings his exhortation together by provoking his readers with a rhetorical question followed by a statement which justifies the need to men to refrain from covering their heads or having long hair. On the other hand the apostle describes long hair for women as a figurative head covering acceptable to God.
A simple message to be applied to our lives today. Men should not cover their heads or have long hair which dishonors God, while women should at the very least grow their hair are signs of subordination and reverence to man, Christ and God. Let us pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Paul,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre