What to do When We Feel Embarrassed about Dressing Counter-Culturally

Hello, ladies! I have been reading a book about head covering called, …Let Her Be Veiled, and I came across a passage that I really wanted to share with y’all. While this speaks about head covering specifically, I think these principles can be applied to dressing modestly as well, especially for those who where skirts full time.

“As Scripture says, a woman’s hair is her glory – all women instinctively know this, whether they have read and believed it in the Bible or not. Billions of dollars are spent each year in this country alone for the primping and prettying of women’s hair. To cover the hair under a veil is one of the best opportunities a sister has to strike at the root of pride and vain glory in her life. Some would say the head veiling is bondage; how about being bound to the hair styles and fads of the world? If there is any bondage one should be concerned about being freed from it is the idolatry of bondage to the prideful old self, which seeks continually to grasp through the vanity and lust of the flesh.

If a Christian woman truly loves the Lord, will there be any cost too great in her abandonment to Him? No – in fact, she will have an enthusiasm for anything which deals with that self-root in her life; a passion to be rid of any obstacle to a deeper love and relationship with her Lord and Savior Jesus.

If one feels embarrassed to wear the head veiling, they should recognize that it is due to a fear of man…the veiling is a direct threat to the fleshly spirit which frantically clutches for what it considers to be its rights.”

-Tom Shank

Wow! This passage was very convicting to me. We really should try to avoid Satan’s snares in the world’s fashion system, as the author suggested.

This book is available for free in print form from Charity Christian Fellowship. Blessings!

Cover Up for Christ {12/11/17}

I haven’t shared as much as usual this week. Our days have been very full, and we’ve also been dealing with sickness and a nursing strike. I’m praying for God’s sustaining grace. I certainly need it right now!

I ordered a Navy sweater shawl/poncho not too long ago off of Amazon, and I love it! I can’t believe how warm it keeps me.

Internet shopping has been my thing lately. All of the items pictured came from online. I have two criteria for my clothing at the moment…comfortable and covering. I wear something like this most of the time now.

What I Wore:

Navy Sweater Shawl/Poncho: Amazon

Navy Floral Skirt: eBay

Navy Floral Headband: Amazon

While I like this wide headband, it has the tendency to slide. I think I might wear it with a few bobby pins next time.

I’m reading a book about head covering, and I came across an interesting point about the similarity between the veiling and Lord’s Supper ordinances, which are listed back to back. “The teaching of veiling (verses 1-16) speaks of the covering and crucifixion of self, while the teaching on the Lord’s Supper (verses 17-34) speaks of our remembrance of Jesus having done the same- His giving of Himself on the cross for our sins. This was Jesus’ way; if we would enter into His life, it is done only by the very same means.” From …Let Her Be Veiled

And so, this is something I have been pondering.

I hope y’all have a lovely week ahead of you! I’m looking forward to some much needed rest.

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Cover Up for Christ {12/4/17}

If you’d like to read about why I wear modest skirts or dresses pretty much all of the time, please take a look at this post. Read more about head coverings here. Thank you so much for visiting!

How can it already be December? This year has flown by, and I’m looking forward to entering this season of rest with an open heart.

I wore this outfit to take my children to violin lessons. I’ve realized that more often than not, I’ve been drawn to clothing that leaves me almost completely covered lately. I think realizing how our coverage level can point people to the Gospel has really had an effect on me.

What I Wore:

Striped Top: Ross

Skirt: Thrifted

Navy Wide Headband: Amazon

I love finding cheap or secondhand clothing deals, and this outfit is just that! Pretty much everything I’ve worn lately is very comfortable, and I’ve found such freedom in staying covered. I also have loved finding inexpensive headbands/head coverings on Amazon.

This week will be busy for us, but I’m hopeful life will slow down for us soon. We “remembered” the Sabbath as a family for the first time on Friday evening, which was pretty cool. I hope to share about it soon.

Oh, and I wanted to quickly remind y’all that Mary & Martha has a great flash sale going on right now. If you have any questions at all about this, please just let me know.

Thank you so much for stopping by! I would love to connect with you on Facebook. I’d also like to invite you to my Mary & Martha Facebook Page, or to look at beautiful and inspiring Mary & Martha home decor. It is a such a blessing to serve you!

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How Our Clothing Choices Reflect the Gospel

“God looks at the heart. It doesn’t matter what I wear.”

I have heard this phrase, or a variation of it, time and time again. This statement grieves me. And yet, I realize that it is totally by God’s Grace that I no longer have this mindset. I definitely used to feel like the rest of the world.

At this point in my Christian walk, my heart really craves God’s best. I’ve been learning more about the interconnections between the Old and New Testaments lately, and while studying a totally different topic earlier in the week, I came across an idea concerning modesty and clothing that I’ve never thought of before. Of course, I’d love to share it with you! I hope you find it encouraging.

What we wear is totally related to sin and shame. It is also a picture of God’s redemption, which is why it is so important that we choose wisely.

Once Adam and Eve partook of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, their eyes were opened and their nakedness was shameful. They tried their best to fashion clothing out of fig leaves, but their attempt wasn’t good enough. (Please note that here God does care about what we wear. He didn’t allow Adam and Eve up to their own devices when it came to clothing).

In order to cover their sin and shame, blood had to be shed. The first animal was sacrificed, and they were given a coat fashioned from it’s skin. It covered them appropriately, and most likely, fully.

Why do I say that this coat covered them completely? Because the first clothing covering fashioned by God was a parallel to the coming Messiah, and the blood that would be shed to cover our sins. Our outward body requires a covering since our inward sin requires a covering. My MacArthur Study Bible calls it “a shadow of the reality that God would someday kill a substitute to redeem sinners.” (Genesis 3:21) Our clothing is a visual representation of the blood that must be shed to cover, or pardon, our sins before a just and holy God.

Does Christ’s blood cover some of our sins, or all of them? Praise God that it covers them all! Our clothing should mirror this by covering our body completely as well. Tight jeans that reveal every curve and clothing with holes, (cold shoulder shirts, I’m talking to you!), do not mirror the Gospel. There are no holes or gaps in the blood that was shed for us.

In Isaiah, we can read more about what is shameful when it comes to clothing.

“Take the millstones, and grind meal: uncover thy locks, make bare the leg, uncover the thigh, pass over the rivers.  Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen: I will take vengeance, and I will not meet thee as a man.” Isaiah 47:2-3

This verse tells me that uncovering the leg, thigh, and hair is shameful. This verse is one of the reasons why I’ve recently started to wear head coverings or wide headbands on a more regular basis.  This shame or sin should be covered, and when it is covered, it points people to God’s ultimate sin covering through Christ.

These passages and this HUGE parallel and meaning is difficult for us to wrap our minds around in our culture today. It goes against everything that we have been taught.

None the less, I believe we will be blessed if we are obedient. When we wear clothing that covers us in God’s way, and not our own like Adam and Eve attempted with fig leaves, then we are a walking picture of redemption for everyone to see. We are a walking picture of the blood that Christ shed on our behalf.

The Lord is so amazing, isn’t He?

Some may say that since Christ has shed His blood for us already, we no longer must be obedient with our clothing choices. But unfortunately, as long as we are in this flesh we are still reminded of our sin and shame without a proper covering.

What an AMAZING opportunity we have to point others to Christ through our clothing choices, ladies. And men, this applies to you, too.

Sisters, if you are wondering how to best be a picture of redemption, please do a bit of research of the Greek word “katastole.” This word is found in 1 Timothy and relates to women’s clothing. Katastole is a feminine noun.  “Kata” means “a lowering, letting down.”  “Stole” in and of itself is not necessarily feminine, and is “a loose outer garment.” As Christ followers, God’s will for us is to wear long, loose fitting garments. Long dresses and skirts fit the bill perfectly. What we wear is an act of worship!

May God bless you as you walk out your calling. How amazing it is to be a walking picture of the redemption the Lord offers through Christ!

Food for thought:

But after Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, immediately, “the eyes of both were open, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.” Notice that no one had to tell Adam and Eve that being naked in their sinful state was a problem; they realized it naturally. Some have linked this self-awareness with sexual knowledge, somehow implying that sexuality in and of itself is sinful. However, this cannot be, since Adam and Eve were married before they sinned, and had already been told to be fruitful and fill the earth. If now they were ashamed to be naked in front of each other that is a secondary focus at best. Their real concern (and the inadequacy of their own attempts) is revealed when they heard God walking in the Garden: they knew that they could no longer appear before God naked—their nakedness was now shameful, because of their guilt before their Creator.

Adam and Eve’s shame at their nakedness was really an outward reflection of an inward reality. Their exterior bodies required a covering, because their inward sin required a covering. God’s subsequent actions confirmed that their instinct to cover themselves was appropriate: He took care of both their inward guilt by slaying animals (creating the precedent that sin is covered by the shedding of blood) and their outward nakedness by making clothes out of the skins.Credit

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Head Covering as a Form of Protection

For most of my life, I never gave head covering a second thought. I believed it was antiquated, and not at all applicable to today.

A few years ago I began to study head covering more thoroughly. At that time, I started to feel like it might be a good idea to wear head coverings (in the form of a wide headband or hat) during public worship. After all, I wanted my glory, or hair, to be hidden in the place where all glory should go to God.

This probably sounds really silly, but once we moved a few months ago I felt almost like a spiritual battle had begun around me. We were in God’s will. I was sure of it. And yet I felt really unsettled. During this time I began searching for answers as to how I could walk more closely with God. I wanted this unsettled feeling to go away.

Let me stop for a moment to say that I don’t usually talk much about the spiritual battles that surround us on a daily basis. But we must remember that these battles are indeed very real. Praise God that we are more than conquerors through Jesus!

I began staying in the Word and praying almost constantly. As strange as it may seem, the Lord lead me to study the similarities between His covering, or protection, and the symbol of head covering. I read testimonies of women who overcame spiritual battles, and even nightmares, once they began to wear a head covering.

I found this article very interesting. In it, the author writes:

“So that Shabbat, I looked up the meaning of that word “covering” from Isaiah and was surprised by the discoveries that ensued. The word “covering” in Isaiah 4:5 is the Hebrew word “chuppah” (pronounced “huppah” with a throat-clearing “kh” at the beginning). A chuppah is a cozy booth-like canopy that has enfolded many Hebrew weddings for century after century. The Bible mentions a bridegroom coming forth from his chuppah in Joel 2:16 and Psalm 19:6. But let’s go back to the verse in Isaiah where “covering” was translated from chuppah. The meaning of this word is incredible. Chuppah means: “divine protection.”

How does this apply to head covering?

It seems at first glance that the chuppah word is left out of this picture. However, upon a deeper look at a comparison of the Hebrew words with the Greek (www.studybible.info/strongs) we find that “katacalupto” in Greek (G2619) corresponds to… would you believe it? “chuppah” in Hebrew (H2654)! This implies that, based on the meaning of the word, the headcovering is literally given for divine protection! How exciting!”

Over the past month or two, I have been wearing a head covering much more often. I don’t understand why a simple piece of cloth could remotely hold even a bit of God’s power and protection, but I do know that my understanding (or lack thereof) is not what dictates how the Lord fulfills His purposes.

I’ve also read testimonies of women being sparred from sexual assault by dressing modestly and/or wearing a head covering. These stories are very interesting, indeed. I’d love to encourage you to do some research on your own!

I hope to share more about head covering and Modesty from time to time. There is so much to learn about this topic!

Thank you so much for stopping by! I would love to connect with you on Facebook. I’d also like to invite you to my Mary & Martha Facebook Page, or to look at beautiful and inspiring Mary & Martha home decor. It is a such a blessing to serve you!

Head Covering in Modern Times. Is This a Necessary Practice?

Head coverings.  While Paul spends a good bit of time discussing them, whenever I read the 11th chapter of 1 Corinthians, I usually walk away terribly confused.  However, this past weekend I believe that the Lord has opened my eyes to something in this passage that I have never seen before, and I am just bursting to share it with you!  (Hint:  It doesn’t have much to do with headship, and everything to do with God’s glory).

My “view” of head coverings has changed over my life.  When I was a teenager, I was taught that the entire passage was cultural, and had absolutely no place in our life today.  I was told that in Corinth, only harlots wore their hair uncovered, so it was unbecoming for Christian women to do so during that time.   At the same time, men in our culture regularly remove hats during worship and prayer.  I was confused by the double standard.  As a young adult, I believed that a covering was called for, but that this covering was long hair in women.

Let me step back for a moment, and share the passage in question with you.

Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.   Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you.  But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.  Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonors his head.  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.  For if a woman is not covered, let her also be shorn. But if it is shameful for a woman to be shorn or shaved, let her be covered.  For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man.  For man is not from woman, but woman from man.  Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man.  For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.  Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord.  For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God.   Judge among yourselves. Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered?   Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him?  But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering.  But if anyone seems to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor do the churches of God.  ~1 Corinthians 11:1-16

You see, I took the words, “But if a women has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering,” as meaning “long hair fills all of the confusing requirements above”.  Also, verse 16 wiped away the requirement in it’s entirety if there was “contention” (or so I thought).

A few years back, I ordered some homeschool material from Christian Light Education.  With my order, they happened to enclose a tract about head coverings and my interest was peaked.  Then almost one year ago I somehow stumbled upon a website called Garlands of Grace, that had the most beautiful head coverings that I had ever laid my eyes on.  I did some research about head coverings, and realized that up until the sexual revolution all women regularly wore hats to church.  If you have ever read my blog before, you probably know that I think that the feminist movement is detrimental to our families, and I aim to basically be the opposite of a “feminist”.   I learned that Jacinda from Growing Home and Olivia from Fresh Modesty cover during worship, and my curiosity grew all the more.

Although this passage of scripture was still a puzzle to me,  through study I figured out a few of the pieces.

  1. Paul did not say that the reason to cover is to distinguish the ladies of the Corinthian church from the harlots in town.  I believe that if this was the reason, he would have said it.  Instead, he appeals to the creation order and angels as the reasoning behind head coverings.  I would say that these are reasons that are still in place today.
  2. While studying, verse 6 really sounded like hair was not the intended head covering.  “For if a woman is not covered, let her also be shorn. But if it is shameful for a woman to be shorn or shaved, let her be covered.” It wouldn’t make sense if the “covered” in this verse meant “hair”.  For example, “For if a women does not have long hair, let her also be shorn”.  If she didn’t have long hair, she would already be shorn.  This just didn’t make sense to me.
  3. While the KJV and NKJV, says that “if anyone is contentious, we have no such custom,” a few other versions such as the NASB say, “if anyone is contentious, we have no other custom“.  The use of “other” made so much more sense to me.  Before I would wonder, “Why would Paul spend so much time on the topic, just to say, “never mind if you don’t want to”.  Besides that, we should never be contentious about a teaching of scripture.

Given these discoveries, several months ago I decided to make a couple of wide headbands and purchase a few hats to begin wearing to worship. (These verses are in a section where Paul is discussing public worship).  I was still puzzled, still confused, but I thought if this is something the Lord might possibly want me to do, then I should do it.  It is a little thing, but  I want to be obedient in the little and big things!

Up until this point, the only arguments that I heard concerning the covering was as a sign of headship.  While it is true that covering is a sign of headship, it is also so.much.more!

Are you still with me?  I hope that I haven’t lost you, I am getting to what in my opinion is the really important part.

Months ago I began subscribing to a site called The Head Covering Movement. (Yes, my husband has teased me for this, ha!)  Anyhow, while reading their articles and blog posts I began to piece a few clues together that has made this passage become clear to me.

  • Clue #1  Paul used two completely separate Greek words for “covering” in the passage. 

“The ‘covering’ mentioned in verses 4 and 5 is katakalupto  which means to veil, cover up one’s self. The ‘covering’ in verse 15 is peribolaion which means to wrap around (as in peri-meter).

Why would Paul have used two different words if the Holy Spirit had wanted him to mean the same covering?”

Now the scriptures began to become clearer to me.  Sometimes the English language doesn’t translate exactly right, and we must go back to the Greek.  Paul most definitely wasn’t talking about hair in the beginning of the passage.  He was specifically instructing women to cover their hair with a veil.  But why?

  • Clue #2  It is all about God’s glory!!

Okay y’all, this is the most important part!  I do not know how I have missed this as many times as I have read this passage!

When we are praying and prophesying in public worship, who should get the glory?  Where should all of the glory fall?  To God. 

If we look back to 1 Corinthians, we see that in verse 7 “women are the glory ofman“.  Not God.   Now let’s look at verse 15 again, which is the verse where many of us become confused and declare that our hair is enough.

 But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering.

1 Corinthians 11:15

So…while long hair is a “covering” given by nature, it is a glory to…us.  I believe that Paul is instructing us to cover our peribolaion (hair covering) with a katakalupto (physical covering, like a veil or hat) so that all glory will go to God during worship.  I also now better understand why some women chose to cover full-time, and I totally respect that.

I’m a big advocate for modest dress.  I’ve been known to say that men cannot pay full attention to the worship service if women around them are wearing short skirts and low-cut tops.  Why is this?  Because women are the glory of man.  In the same way, I believe that Paul is telling us that our hair is our very own glory, and that this should be covered during worship as well.  Because when it comes to glory, God deserves it all!

Earlier in 1 Corinthians, Paul instructs us that no flesh should glory in His presence.  (1 Corinthians 1:27)  Our physical bodies and hair are parts of our flesh.

From an article that I found online:

Notice the references in verses 7 & 15 to glory. When the church comes together as a congregation to worship God, whose glory do we want to see? Man’s glory? Or God’s glory? The Apostle Paul tells us in 1st Corinthians 1:27 “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.” Think about the implications of this.

When we gather as a congregation to worship God, His glory is paramount, and our glory needs to disappear, get hidden, be out of sight. We don’t need to see any sort of human glory in God’s presence, the only glory seen in the church meeting ought to be the glory of Christ. Whether a person covers or uncovers their head depends on whose glory they want to be displayed.”

Since a woman’s hair is her glory, it cannot be the covering of her glory.

Also, I have always wondered why a covering would not be necessary if a woman’s hair was cut short.  If it was a simply symbol of headship, why should it matter if a woman had hair or not?  A woman is still a woman regardless of her hair length… For if a woman is not covered, let her also be shorn. But if it is shameful for a woman to be shorn or shaved, let her be covered (1 Corinthians 11:6).  I believe that Paul wrote this since if a woman’s hair (glory) is cut short or shaved, there is no longer any need to cover it in the presence of God, since it has lost it’s glory.

I think that I better understand verse 10 as well now, which has always been a complete mystery to me!

For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.

1 Corinthians 11:10

Why in the world should women wear a head covering because of the angels?  Because angels are in the business of glorifying God!  Angels are present during our worship, and wouldn’t they want to see all glory going to God, and not the least bit going to ourselves?

I am beyond thrilled that a “mystery passage” of scripture has been made plain to me.  If you have ever been confused about this passage, or have contemplated head coverings, I hope that this has helped.

Another resource that you might find helpful is To Cover or Not To Cover by R.C. Sproul at Ligonier Ministries.

Soli Deo Gloria!

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Thank you so much for stopping by! I would love to connect with you on Facebook. I’d also like to invite you to my Mary & Martha Facebook Page, or to look at beautiful and inspiring Mary & Martha home decor. It is a such a blessing to serve you!