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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

What is the Spiritual Significance of a Woman Wearing a Head Covering? (1 Cor. 11:4-13)

What is the spiritual significance of a woman wearing a head covering? (1 Cor. 11:4-13)

Simply put, the head covering for a woman (that is only necessary when performing what are customarily the man's duties in the Christian congregation and would not apply to her normal daily activities at home) has a spiritual significance among God's servants in connection with the God-ordained principle of headship in the Christian congregation that the apostle Paul wrote about in 1 Cor. 11:3:

"The head of every man is the Christ; in turn the head of a woman is the man; in turn the head of the Christ is God." (1 Cor. 11:3)

Paul brings out that a head covering is "a sign of authority" that the woman should wear in acknowledging the headship of the man. This, then, shows that she is submitting herself to proper theocratic authority when she is praying or is prophesying in the congregation:

"Every man that prays or prophesies having something on his head shames his head; but every woman that prays or prophesies with her head uncovered shames her head, for it is one and the same as if she were a [woman] with a shaved head. For if a woman does not cover herself, let her also be shorn; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to be shorn or shaved, let her be covered. That is why the woman ought to have a sign of authority upon her head because of the angels." - 1 Cor. 11:4-6, 10.

On the other hand, for the man, it is the normal position under God's arrangement to not wear a head covering when taking the lead before the congregation, as when praying or prophesying. But if he did wear a head covering in these instances, he would bring shame upon his own head and would also show disrespect for Jesus Christ as his head. Because the man was created first, Paul goes on to write, that the woman is "out of man" and was created "for the sake of the man," (1 Cor. 11:8, 9) and therefore her qualities are an expression of the man's honor and dignity, just as the man's qualities are a reflection of the honor and dignity of God. So it would be proper for the Christian woman to acknowledge her subordinate position by the modesty and subjection she displays, and she should be willing to represent this visibly by wearing a head covering.

The following is a quote from the - Insight, Vol. 1, p. 1052:

"Paul calls attention to the naturally long hair of the women in the congregation to which he wrote as a continuous God-given reminder that the woman is by nature subject to the man. She should, therefore, acknowledge this when performing what are customarily the man's duties in the Christian congregation, and she should wear some form of head covering besides her hair, which she normally always has. She will thereby show that she recognizes the God-ordained headship principle and that she makes a distinction between her normal daily activities and the performing of special duties in the congregation when, for example, there is no qualified male member present, or when she is teaching others individually in a formal session for Bible study in the presence of her husband or a male member of the congregation."—1 Cor. 11:11-15.

For much more, see:

HEAD COVERING - Links to Information (INDEX; Watchtower Online Library)

HEAD COVERING (Insight-1 pp. 1052-1053; Watchtower Online Library)

Head Coverings—When and Why? (lv pp. 209-212; Watchtower Online Library)

In what situations is it appropriate for a Christian woman to wear a head covering for spiritual reasons? (w02 7/15 pp. 26-27; Watchtower Online Library)

Is it appropriate for a sister to wear a head covering when interpreting Bible discourses into sign language at Christian meetings, assemblies, or conventions? (w09 11/15 pp. 12-13; Watchtower Online Library)

Why does Paul tell Christian women to wear a head covering? (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

What is the spiritual significance of a woman wearing a head covering? (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

Are 1 Tim. 2:12-14 and 1 Cor. 14:34-35 really referring to women being totally silent with a man about the Scriptures? (Search For Bible Truths)

"While not permitted to teach in congregational assembly, a woman could teach persons outside the congregation who desired to learn the truth of the Bible as well as be a `teacher of what is good' to younger women (and children) within the congregation." (Tit. 2:3-5) (Jehovah's Witnesses Questions and Answers)

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