The Christian Head Covering Directory

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There's No Such Custom!

Greetings of love to you in Jesus’ Name! My name is Angela and I am 16 years old. I am a Christian living with my family of 9 and I love the Lord Jesus and all He’s done for me! Here is my testimony of how the Lord convicted me to practice this “neglected, rejected, and forgotten truth” that is found in 1 Corinthians 11. God bless you as you seek His will for your life!

I fingered the thin scarf thoughtfully, observing my friend as she busily, silently picked up the scattered clothes we had left in the little guest bedroom. Moments ago we were helpless orphans, desperately trying to stay alive in an old, worn out orphanage with a horribly cruel mistress as our caregiver in the damp streets of long ago. My friend’s poor little brother had been terribly sick, and we had tried with all our might to revive him to health amidst our unfortunate circumstances, but to no avail. He was dying, we were helpless, and there was no soul on earth to care for us… Then suddenly, we were swept back into reality when we heard our mothers calling up the stairs, telling us to clean up and then my family would leave. As my friend somberly cleaned, I was absorbed in thoughts of my own. Then, with a playful smirk, I threw the scarf back, drew it over my hair, and tucked in the ends behind the back of my neck before I said dreamily, "Look." I watched in delight as my friend looked up at me, smiled, put all the clothes on the bed and grabbed both my hands in hers as she gasped, half mockingly, "Oh Angela, you’d make a beautiful Jewish girl." I bashfully drew my hands out of hers; then, I proceeded to sing a Jewish girls’ song as I picked up the remnants of our dress-up wardrobe. But when the bedroom door began to open, embarrassment gripped my mind and I ripped the scarf off my head and my song came to an abrupt end. My friend and I looked towards the door as her Dad’s head poked in, just to remind us once again that my family had to leave, and as he left I breathed a sigh of relief. What if he would have seen me with that scarf on my head? How embarrassing it would have been! It sure was a close call…

Upon reading 1 Corinthians 11 when I was 10 or 11, I was a little confused as to what verses 3-15 meant: "But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God. Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.”

I remember talking it over with Mom and my older brother, Jason, a few times, and always ended up feeling satisfied with, what I considered, the end of the matter: "But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God."(v.16)

Mom taught me that long hair was our covering and glory, so after I got a very short hair-cut when I was 7 or 8, I decided not to get it cut for a long time and let it grow out naturally. With the exception of a trim or two, I stayed true to my decision and never got it cut.

I was 13 when the scene above occurred, and by this time my hair was very long, reaching far past my waist. It certainly was a covering and glory at this length, and was sure to be an attention-grabber wherever I went. Shortly after we all realized how long my hair had really grown to be, my Mom told me one night that I was no longer allowed to wear it down, only in a bun or ponytail, for my protection and safety. I could not see the love and protection my Momma’s heart had for me with this instruction; all I could see was that somehow, I was being treated unfairly and I was losing something by not letting my hair hang down. This talk angered my young heart, and I decided that if I couldn’t wear it down like all the other girls could, then I would get it cut the same length as all the other girls’ hair. After a few weeks of playing the idea though my mind, I told Mom what I wanted.

Months and years followed after she cut it for me, filled with discontentment within my heart about my hair. It started with the disappointment my friends and family members displayed about my hair being cut; I had gained a reputation of being "the girl with the long hair" and now my hair was short. Next came the thought of that I could never get the right style down. I had bangs, but noticed how the other girls wore theirs off to the side. Soon I followed after them and parted them off to the side. I wanted them the same length as the others, but that never worked out quite right… somehow, I always had bangs in my eyes, which terribly bugged my Mom, and eventually me. Then a friend pressured me into getting my shorter hair layered, then I cut my bangs thicker… by the middle of my 14th year, my hair was a complete mess. In desperation, I pinned the thicker part of my bangs back and grew my hair out long again. The thinner part of my bangs were hacked off too short one day out of complete frustration with myself over numerous issues, the last straw being when I was trying to figure out difficult math problems and my long bangs blocked my complete view of the page. Disbelief and awe danced in my eyes as I stood in the bathroom, holding the tips of my bangs and staring at the odd-looking girl that peered back at me from the glass, with her bangs being about an inch above her eyebrow in a slightly crooked line. What had I done to my hair after all this time??

Around the time I gave myself these bangs, I met a young lady from WI through another girls’ magazine. She was 17 at the time, as well as the second eldest of 7 siblings, as I am. She seemed to be sweet and straight-forward, yet there was something about her that made her seem very different from me and all my other friends. This young lady seemed to have a wonderful understanding of being in this world, but certainly not of it in her outward appearance and attitude, and seemed content with her very simple lifestyle. She looked different from us, too: she always wore a dark headcovering over her hair, and a pretty dress with it. I often wondered why she and her mother chose to wear a headcovering – it seemed so different from what I was used to! And why didn’t she wear skirts, instead of dresses, like I did? I never did ask her why she chose to look so different, but still was curious nonetheless. I often thought with a smile, "That’s great that her family wears those clothes and headcoverings, but I’m sure glad I know the truth – there is no such custom with the headcoverings! And the Bible never commands women to wear dresses instead of skirts!"

After a year or so of knowing this young lady, right after my family sent out our family picture and salvation booklet at the end of 2009, some families responded, sending pictures and letters of their own. Three pictures that hung on our cabinet stood out to me the most… in the three pictures, the moms and daughters wore dresses, and all the older girls and moms wore headcoverings. One of these families also sent along a few tracts, the one being, "Neglected, Rejected and Forgotten Truths" from Rod and Staff Publishers. Out of sheer curiosity and a desire to see where I "scored" in this tract, I read through it and was greatly surprised when I read that one of the neglected truths of the Bible, according to their beliefs, was the headcovering! Ha! Hadn’t they ever read 1 Corinthians 11:16? There was NO such custom! It was completely unnecessary! Why even bother?

The other picture that stood out to me taped upon the cabinet, was one of a 16-year-old daughter who was a subscriber to my magazine. Along with that picture, she also sent a sweet and encouraging letter to me that had brightened up my day tremendously – I wrote her back that same day, and we quickly established a lovely letter-writing relationship. But guess what – this young lady also wore a dress and headcovering. Why? Why didn’t she understand that there was no such custom – it said as plainly as day in verse 16 that if there were contentions on the matter that there was no such custom!

In February 2010, just a month after we began writing each other, I mustered up enough courage to ask this newly-found veiled friend why she wore the headcovering and dresses. She promptly replied, and sent along notes from a sermon about the subject of modest dress which she’d penned at a recent church service, as well as a tract from Rod and Staff called, "The Veiling, a Symbol of Divine Order." I read the sermon notes right away, but decided not to read the tract… maybe the Lord would convict my heart on the subject, and I didn’t want that to happen! I leafed through it, then tucked it away without mentioning it to any other members of the family.

Around this time, the Lord began working on my Mom’s heart on the subject. She began to ask me what I thought about it, and I always quickly recited verse 16. I clung to that verse in all our discussions on the headcovering, and a few times told my Mom, "Stop being contentious about this – there is no reason to wear it!" Obviously, she was seriously considering the matter, and I began to grow scared at the thought of someday having to wear it; and yet, I couldn’t help but wonder what I’d look like in it, or what it would be like to wear one all the time, so every now and then I’d tie a white cloth-diaper on my head, just to get a feel of how I’d look. God was working softly yet swiftly on my hard heart, rather unbeknownst to me.

My journal shares some insight as to what my heart was saying right around this time:

"…Today, old Journal, I’ve had a very self-focused day since the moment I woke up … on our walk, Mom mentioned beginning to dress plainer and be less vain. But I like dressing this way! I don’t want to wear ugly clothes and cover up my hair with a towel … what about me?”

I went on to say, "Oh, you foolish girl. When, oh when will you ever realize that nothing is yours, but all your Father’s? He gave freely—now you must freely give."

In April 2010, the Lord orchestrated beautifully a short dinner with my veiled friend and her mother here in the Chicago area. I was so excited – it would be so neat to meet her! And I’d never met a girl who actually wore the headcovering in person!

Sitting in the restaurant the evening of our dinner next to my veiled friend and across from her mother, I studied my friend from the corner of my eye—and right then, I promised myself that I never, ever, ever wanted to wear a headcovering in all my life. It just wasn’t necessary—and the whole restaurant seemed to stand still and stare at her whenever we got up or sat down! They looked so different than everyone else—too different than what I was used to. Nope, not me… I could never do it.

Shortly after I met my dear veiled friend in person, I was looking through a folder of old letters from friends when the Lord seemed to place the tract my friend had sent me on the headcovering right in front of me. This time, I sat down and read through the whole thing, about 3 months after she’d sent it. My heart beat fast as I read this part, towards the end… "In 1 Corinthians 11:16, Paul appeals to the Corinthians not to be contentious about this ordinance of headship [the headcovering]. Apparently it was not an issue in other churches. They were practicing it, and he commanded the Corinthians to do the same (1 Cor. 4:7)"

No! It couldn’t be! That’s not what Paul was saying… surely he didn’t mean, "don’t be contentious about it, just do it like all the other churches do"! He was saying not to make a fuss about it, and if any man was contentious about it, there was no such custom and it wasn’t needed… right?

Also, this part made me stop and think… "Consider that if the hair is the covering, then a man would need to shave his head to be uncovered. Also we would find an impossibility in v. 6: ‘if the woman be not covered [her hair removed], let her also be shorn.’ How can she cut her hair if it has already been removed? Clearly, it is speaking of a covering to cover the hair."

By May, the issue of women covering their hair became a huge topic of discussion between Mom, my brothers, Jason (17) and Daniel (13), and me on our daily walks around the neighborhood. Mom made very good points about it that my brothers agreed to, but I convinced myself that if I were a boy, I’d probably agree with what she said, too—the boys didn’t have to change anything! They wouldn’t have to wear a headcovering! I would! Easy for them to say they thought I should wear one!

In May, I talked to my veiled friend about the headcovering over the phone. She gently explained to me her own reasons for wearing one, as well as her family’s. But she wasn’t the one bringing up the subject—I was. I began to helplessly wonder if my thinking about this was flawed. I could obviously now see that the hair couldn’t be the covering mentioned in 1 Corinthians 11—was it really that God was asking me to give up my pride and vanity and wear a covering over my hair? So I found myself asking question after question on the matter to my friend, and she had the answer to every one. I began to seriously reconsider my stance and constantly found myself asking the Lord, "Would You require so much?"

Daniel had once told Mom that he was convicted on the matter, and honestly believed that we needed to cover our heads. He said he was going to speak with Dad on it, but he never did. A few weeks later Jason also said he was going to be talking to Dad about it as well, and yet, somehow it never happened. Mom remained strangely silent on her convictions. I told everyone I still didn’t want to do it.

And yet, the Lord never stopped working on my hard heart. On my 16th birthday on June 30, my sweet little siblings Bekah, Ducky and Hannah (with the help of Mommy) gave me the book Dear Princess by Mary M. Landis. I devoured the book within 3 days, and was struck by the way she spoke of wearing the headcovering in such a blessed, positive light. On July 6, I penned in my journal, "Maybe the Lord does want me in a headcovering after all? I’m just not sure."

I also began to see more pictures of girls in the veiling (quite unintentionally—it was almost as if the Lord Himself was showing the pictures to me!) and always noticed their meek, unassuming smiles and simply humble beauty that shone from their happy faces in nearly every picture I saw. One young lady I saw in a magazine was pictured in Israel, next to two Israeli women. She was obviously from America herself, but it looked like she was in Israel on a mission trip. She wore a white headcovering and a burgundy dress, and the soft sparkle in her eyes, coupled with the delighted smile she wore as well, made me gasp. This girl, probably my own age, looked positively angelic—I decided that she was the most beautiful young woman I’d ever seen in my whole life… not because she made herself to be, only because there seemed to be such outstanding beauty in her spirit—the type of beauty I’d come to long to have myself; the type of beauty I’d heard and come to believe would never fade (1 Peter 3:3-4). Suddenly, the Lord began to change my heart completely… and I found that maybe, just maybe, I did want to wear a headcovering. I told Mom that I was considering the matter, and was thinking about talking to Daddy about it, yet still felt unsure. What if it really was still unnecessary and we decided to do it? What about my friends who didn’t wear a headcovering—what would they think? Satan threw uncertainties in my heart, and I sheepishly bought into them. I remained silent on the matter to Dad.

My veiled friend’s birthday came in mid July. I called her to wish her a happy birthday, and was surprised when I brought up the subject, yet again, of the headcovering, without mentioning my changing heart much. I came off the phone that day, wondering even more if I could possibly want to wear it. Shortly after I hung up the phone, Mom asked me to grab the booklet that she had printed and bring it up to her. Absorbed in thought about my phone conversation, I grabbed the papers and read the title: "The Biblical Headcovering: Scarf of Hidden Power."

My curiosity was piqued; I stapled the booklet together, sat on my sewing desk, and read through the booklet. I didn’t read the whole thing, but I sensed the Holy Spirit at work on my softening heart. I read for close to 30 minutes and could have read more—I felt so hungry to know the real truth!—but had to stop to make dinner.

On Sunday, July 18, just a day after she printed the booklet, Mom finally told me her own thoughts about it. She said she’d been convicted of it since December 2009, and now, after reading through some of the new booklet, had received confirmation from the Holy Ghost. Now was the time for her to speak with Dad about it. She said she had stayed quiet on the matter for so long because she wanted to get her own heart right before the Lord and Dad, and now, she knew it was time to bring it to Dad. They talked that morning shortly after Mom and I discussed it.

Not much was said about it the rest of the day; on the 19th, Mom told us on our walk that Daddy was considering the matter. She also mentioned that the way 1 Corinthians is written does seem to imply that the hair is the covering—but to me, it suddenly didn’t. Somehow, the Lord took the scales from my eyes and opened to me the truth of all the things of that chapter that once seemed vague and mysterious. My stony heart was changing! I shared my thoughts that night in my journal: "Now the headcovering issue is being brought to Dad. I’ve such a beautiful peace about the whole thing it is utterly awesome. I’m actually alright with wearing one! Can you believe it? God took my stony heart and made it flesh!"

But I couldn’t help but wonder if Daddy believed our hair was the covering, and if he’d say another would be unnecessary. At first the thought troubled me; then, I promised myself if God made Dad to believe that Mom and I didn’t have to wear a covering, I would be fine with it, and accept it as if it were direction from Jesus Himself—and yet, my desire was this: "I long to wear a headcovering. I really do. The protection, the love, the simplicity all appeal to me like flowers appeal to a gardener." (written in my journal on 7-22) Finally, after 7 months of working softly, the Lord had completely changed my heart and made it fully submissive to His will, whatever it would come to be.

On July 23, I received a note from my veiled friend, which was written on July 20th. She gave me some information on a book about the headcovering that I had expressed interest in during our phone conversation on her birthday, then she went on to say the following:

"I think I’ll write a paragraph from the last chapter of the book: ‘Commenting on obedience to Biblical Christian practices, Charles Finney once proclaimed, ‘You will appear eccentric. Your obedience will challenge others.’ Our society is bulging with self-seeking, and self promoting people that need to be challenged to consider submitting to God. In a culture which loathes meekness and submission to authority, it requires spiritual strength and sheer bravery for a sister to cover herself in public. Perhaps for those sisters who are persecuted for their convictions the veil itself becomes a badge of courage for all to witness! Be of good cheer—the Lord is pleased!

"'Remember that He did not entrust the visual beauty of the local assembly to the brothers, but to the sisters. Sisters, you’re on display for the entire universe to see. The angels are watching you. Will you be a glory seen or unseen?’"

This note from my dear veiled friend was all the confirmation I needed from the Lord—my heart and my mind were finally in total subjection to His will in this matter. I became increasingly excited at the thought of being counted worthy to wear this covering and to therefore be specially set apart as God’s own, with His love and protection placed like a crown of His glory on my head.

The suspension was building; by early August, Daddy hadn’t said a word on the matter. He had promised to read the booklet Mom printed about it, and that was all. Daily I prayed that the Lord would reveal Himself to my Daddy, just as He had to Mom, my brothers, and me. Mom and I talked practically every day about it, as did Jason and I. In this time of waiting, Mom and I had the perfect peace in our hearts, as found in Isaiah 26:3: "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee." We had to keep our focus on Jesus, and remember that He would work out everything for us.

The date was August 8, exactly 4 weeks after Mom had first asked Dad to pray about letting us wear the headcovering, and I was busily sewing at my desk when I heard Mom coming down the stairs. She came into the playroom and stood by my desk, and after she and I had a bit of small talk, Mom smiled at me with a glimmer of excitement in her eye. I wasn’t quite sure why…

"Hey, Bee," she said quietly, as she extended her arm toward me that had a white crib-sheet draped over it, "what do you think about putting your sewing project off to the side to design us some headcoverings?"

I looked at her, unable to hide my surprise and delight.

"Did you talk to Dad?" I gasped breathlessly, my smile growing wider.

"Yes, I did," Mom said confidently.

"And he said we could?" I was on the edge of my seat with suspense and hope. My heart beat fast as I awaited

the much-anticipated answer.

"He did."

"Really?" I shrieked happily.

"Yup, he did!"

Within an hour, I had designed two coverings: one sat atop Mom’s head, and the other on mine.

I had mixed emotions on this eventful day; on August 9, an entry in my journal reads, "I wanted to inform you that today is officially my second day wearing the Biblical headcovering, or veiling. Dad agreed to Mom and me wearing them, "until death do us part." It seemed as if I’d cry as I was making them—was it for joy, or was my pride, broken and departing, crying out one last time, "No! Don’t make me go! You’re my friend!"? I quieted it down by slapping this cloth that sits even now atop my sweating head, and smiling at the girl who stared at me blankly in the mirror, and saying quietly, ‘Hello new friend. You’re on my head because I love Jesus.’"

My two friends who also wear the veil were so happy for me and my Mom at the news! They both encouraged me so much in my new journey by sharing their own insights as well as some Scriptures on the subject; they certainly helped build me up. My brothers and Daddy were happy for us as well, and encouraged us daily to keep obeying the Lord. It was so refreshing to be surrounded by family, both physical and spiritual, who were supportively and lovingly telling us to press ever onward in Christ!

An amazing thing happened for Mom and me as soon as we began to daily wear the headcoverings—it felt completely natural. It seemed almost as if nothing at all had changed, only the joy in our spirit had excelled now that we were obeying the Bible more and more. It was no "burden" to wear it whatsoever; we counted it all joy! We also began to wear dresses most all the time; when I asked Mom why she wanted to, she said it’s because it seems to set us apart from the rest of the world even more than a skirt and shirt could—and besides, it’s so much easier to put on a dress that is modest and flowing, than to try to find an acceptable and modest skirt and shirt anyway!

People are always asking us now if we’re Amish or Mennonite, or "what we are" because we look so different. It opens up a beautiful witnessing opportunity, even more so than before we wore the headcoverings, and we are able to point the questioners to Jesus. It is a lie of Satan to believe that we must look like the world to witness to them. Remember the verses in Hebrews 11:14-16: "For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city." This world is not our home, and we are not of this world!

"Angela, what’s up with the white thing on your head?"

"It’s to symbolize that Dad is my head, and Christ is his head; also, because it is unseemly for a woman to pray without her head covered. I pray without ceasing, or stopping, so I wear the veiling all the time."

"My neighbors are asking me if you all are Amish—I told them I didn’t think so, but I wanted to ask you, just to make sure. Are you Amish?"

"No, we’re Bible-believing Christians, and we adhere to the Anabaptist beliefs."

"My, do you ever look dressed up! You look ready to go to prom!"

"Actually, I wear this dress for extra modesty and ease. And I don’t believe in young ladies going to prom!"

"By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith." 1 John 5:2-4

The commandments of the Lord are not grievous to the Saints who love Him—not a single one is. We love Him more for His commandments, for they are given to draw us closer to Him! Will we buck up against the commands for women to cover their heads in obedience and submission to Him, or will we cheerfully comply? I pray that all young ladies who do not cover their heads might prayerfully consider talking to their parents on the matter, and seek out the Truth in it as well, with pliable hearts and minds open to His call. Remember, the angels are watching, as is the world. Are we doing all we can to obey our Lord Jesus?

Now, I must ask you... what do you think? Is there really "no such custom"?