Do you fear your husband

It has to do with several contextual features, to wit:

  1. Prior to 1 Cor. 11, Paul’s been dealing with crimes and misdemeanors of various parties, factions, or individuals within the Corinthian congregation. Beginning in Chapter 11 and running through chapter 14, perhaps 15 as well, Paul is dealing with congregation-wide problems, most of them involving the conduct of the congregation when it is gathered for worship.

For this reason, I cannot treat 1 Corinthians 11:1-16 as dealing with married women to the exclusion of single women, any more than it does with married men to the exclusion of single men or vice-versa. No, it’s the whole passle of them - old, young, married, single. All of them when gathered for worship.

  1. Paul’s statements about women in this passage are “categorical” with respect to that sex. Single women are created for the man’s sake, just as much as the the married woman. The single woman’s hair is her glory, just as much as it is for the married woman. The single woman’s hair is a covering, not just the married woman’s.

Indeed, if you can discern that glory - whose is on display in worship - is the key to this exhortation, it becomes mandatory that all women have a covering. That way all three glories are rightly displayed in the worship service - the man’s glory is covered (i.e. the woman), the woman’s glory is covered (i.e. her hair), and only God’s glory is uncovered (i.e. the man). Who is married to whom (or not), is an irrelevancy. What’s at issue is whose glory is covered or uncovered.


Sorry, some of us just have trouble with our forum notification settings. :slight_smile:

Is a wife’s obedience to her husband part of the meaning of fear? Fear is a disposition to quickly obey, and reactance to disobey, and obedience is a state summing up a series of obedient actions. Is that true or a false conflation?

(Given the negative comments we got for keeping “obey” in my wife’s wedding vows next to love, imagine what “fear” might have provoked!)

Along the lines of covering, at what age did you all have your daughters covering?

I know this is veering from the topic, but since headcoverings came up, any guidance on what kinds of headcoverings fulfill the command? I’m single and lately convicted on it, but confused with the different styles and levels of coverage. Does the entire head/hair have to be covered, or just the top of the head? Would a wide headband similiar to this ‘count’ (for lack of a better word)?

The Head Covering Movement website has lots of useful articles. Here is one on various styles:

And one on where to buy:

The Head Covering Movement is good, but I would recommend avoiding their Facebook discussion group unless you want to get frustrated. Some odd people on there with odd beliefs, and moderation is not particularly strong.

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I avoid Facebook in general, so no issues there!


Since they never knew Mommie not to cover, our four daughters wanted to cover as soon as they were old enough to recognize that Mommie did something special with her dressing when going to worship. And, so, we provided covers for them from an age not too far beyond toddler. Honestly I don’t remember.

The girls (four of them) were always in worship with us. If there were toilet or disciplinary issues (rare) Mom would take them out of the chapel.

All the young girls in our parish covered for the same reason - their Moms did, and the girls wanted the distinction of their sex which the cover gave to them. When allowed, they chose Big Headcoverings when their Moms would wear something far smaller or a hat. I know from conversations with the parents over the years that the particular “tastes” that the girls displayed in their choices (when they had choices) often gave occasion for discussions at home. This is good.

Paul’s exhortation is aimed at a cover for the woman and an absence thereof for the man. I think if the particular style of the cover were important (use this kind, not that kind), he would have let us know.

In the history of the church, styles have varied widely. I know some Christian communities where the cover is standardized - exactly the same thing for all women, all girls. It’s a band of cloth about two inches wide and about 18 inches long. White. No adornment on it at all. The church houses have a supply of them in the narthex for those harried mothers who forgot theirs when shepherding the kiddos into worship.

For reasons I do not know and have never inquired, women in our parish have opted for two styles (the mantilla variety or something equally commodious) which they sometimes choose more often in the winter, or the smaller “chapel cap” or doily style, which is common to see in the hot summer months.

My maternal grandmother would pull a tissue out of her purse to substitute for any of her daughters who forgot their normal coverings. I never asked what the normal was. I just remember this story.

When she was in high school, my eldest daughter got to church before she discovered she’d left her cover at home. I told her I didn’t think lightning was going to strike her - it never had struck the women who didn’t cover (we were Episcopalians at that time; my female family members were the only ones in the whole parish who covered).

She was a choir member, as was I. She said that she’d feel really out of place not covering. So, I fetched a white napkin from the parish hall kitchen and offered it to her. She used that.


My wife joined it for a while but left for that reason.

It’s a pity because it could serve a great purpose.