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The Woman’s Glory
I have always inquired of God on these seemingly controversial subjects and He had never let me down.
Concerning “length of hair” in the previously mentioned scriptures regarding “a shame to a women to have cut or shaved hair/head. Wouldn’t common sense tell us it’s not the length but the fact that it is “uncut”? This addresses the mentioned issues of not being able to have “long hair”. All women can have “uncut hair”. It’s the obedience to Gods Word that matters, (He knows if my hair is uncut no matter how long it looks) not if someone judges me by the length of my hair. I also believe my hair should be up out of my obedience to the Word, my “hair” is given for my covering. To cover what? My head, not my shoulders and back. I believe if you asked men if a women’s flowing hair is suductive the majority would give a yes answer. Should women walk around looking suductive? The scripture below insinuates that if a women’s locks be uncovered (let down, you can’t see my locks if it’s pinned up on my head) it is a shame and she is no longer “tender and delicate” in Gods site. It also addresses how long or how much of a women’s legs should be covered.
Come down, and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon, sit on the ground: there is no throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called tender and delicate.
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.
The Lord gave me this scripture when I was just a babe in the Lord and haven’t had any problems with these issues since.
Some people that get cancer immediately shave there heads assuming (leaning on their own understanding) that they will lose their hair from the chemo treatments. I had cancer a few years ago and had chemo and radiation, I stayed obedient to Hods Word and did not touch my hair and I did not lose it at all. I believe knowing and obeying the Word is key.
Greetings Teresa. I’m so thankful for your comments here and you do have something to share and consider. Let me respond to some of your comments, but I don’t think that I can insert my comments into your message. I’ll need to refer to your comments and then place my own response here.
1. After your first sentence, I would say: We definitely must seek Him with all of our questions and concerns.
2. AFter you say, “…not if someone judges me by the length of my hair,” I would say: Paul uses the words, “long hair” in 1 Corinthians 11:15, but I can see your reasoning here.
3. After you say, “My head, not mys shoulders and back,” I might say: That’s true, and the head is the main concern here. I do know a lot of women who think that long hair on top of the head is the way to fulfill this. On the other hand, sometimes the hair was very long, according to John 12:3 (also Luke 7:38). At least we can say that others who observe a woman will know if the woman’s hair is long if it flows down her back a distance. If it is on top of the head, it is not totally clear that it is long. Further, if we practice the artificial cloth covering, hair on top of the head might be obscured in some way. Yet, I do understanding your reasoning above.
4. After you say, “…and I will not meet thee as a man,” I would insert: Yes, thank you for sharing this.”
5. And at the end, I would say this: Knowing and doing God’s will is the key and the only way to follow the Lord. It is good to know that cancer treatment need not always result in the loss of hair. Some women will be thankful to know this.
Again, Teresa, I appreciate your willingness to write and sharing these thoughts. While we both agree that women should have long hair, we do have a few further issues. May God lead us closer, day by day, to His will and may we be willing to walk in it.
I need some help with something about this passage. I’ve kept my hair long for Biblical reasons, and at one point I started wearing my hair pinned up every time I go in public. When I read about hair being my “glory,” I realized it seems that in the Bible one’s glory is something to be hidden except for something special.
I first thought of Moses and God on the mountain and how God’s glory was concealed to others, yet a portion was shown to Moses (after that his face glowed). My husband does not agree about my conclusion to wear my hair up and asked if I would wear it down outside the home. I also appealed to the fact that it seems just about every picture of Christian women throughout history depicts women with their hair pinned up or at least covered.
I like wearing my hair up because I don’t worry about my hair the way I used to. No one else gets to admire my hair except my husband and family if they’re around. (By the way, I do wear head coverings in congregational settings.) Does anyone else wonder about this? Better yet, I’d love for someone to start with scripture and respond. Thanks.
Laura, I commend you for wanting to reflect in your own appearance something that will glorify God and you do want your hair to be your own glory in submission to this passage (1 Corinthians 11:3-16). I do know that some women do want to “hide” their hair, thus they wear a covering of sorts that would cover the “natural” covering of the long hair. Although there are some difficult aspects to this subject and this passage, I am not totally convinced that women need to cover all of their hair as long as their head is covered. We might think of the woman at Luke 7:38 and Mary at John 12:3, ones who allowed their long hair to be seen and used.
I am not sure of the relevance of Moses’ experience. We can also understand your husband’s desire for your hair to be exposed away from the house. Perhaps he is thinking of the fact that outsiders may not even know if a woman has long hair unless they see it! Otherwise, it could be very short if it were always covered. At least this is one way of looking at it. As for paintings, we do know that they are not always accurate. Think of the pictures of Jesus with long hair and even a halo! But, there is something appropriate too about a woman who fully covers her hair, whether it is hair up with a veiling or hair long with a long covering. My wife usually allows her hair to hang long but she also uses an artificial head covering that does not fully cover the hair.
Laura, I’ve seen various demonstrations of this teaching. At present, I am not entirely settled on the issues that you raised. You seem to prefer your hair up but your husband prefers to have your hair down. If there would be a definite point of obedience to a known command, it is true that you would need to obey God rather than man—any man (Acts 5:29). However, since it is not altogether clear that a woman must keep her hair up at all times, you might consider going along with your husband’s wishes, providing that your conscience is not hurt thereby.
It is always good to learn of ones like you who are determined to please God in your appearance. May God bless you in your desire to cultivate this desire!
I am a christian and used to veil with a scarf but was too hot and annoying and attracts alot of attention from others. Now I have a short feminine bob haircut. Used to have it really long and pinned up but I started thinning and being pinned up alot gave me headaches from the pins and the weight of the hair in a bun. Go by your gut and ask God for a sensible direction..
Hello “Mom of Three…” I’m so glad that you wrote and expressed yourself here. It does sound like you one time read and studied the passage in the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 11:1-16) and concluded that you should have both long hair and a cloth covering. I would suggest that you did the right thing.
However, you seem now to want to “go by your gut” (to use your terms) and have found what you think is “a sensible direction.” Is that right? I would suggest, “Mom,” that it is quite dangerous and wrong to come to conclusions based on what is comfortable or convenient. Further, we know that it isn’t safe to be led by our inner impulses and subjective feelings. As Proverbs 28:26 says, “He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but he who walks wisely will be delivered.” We must always go to Scripture for our answers and not rely on our inner impressions.
Although I am male, I can imagine that the scarf was somewhat hot, as you say. I would encourage you to find something that covers and yet is of a lighter fabric. As for attracting attention, it is true that a woman should not want to be “the center of attention.” However, anytime that we seek to obey the Lord when those around us are not interested in this, it will arouse at least some interest. Some may even dislike us or oppose us, perhaps because they’re convicted themselves and think that this is what they should be doing. When you do this and they don’t, it could cause some resentment.
Since at one time you had long hair, you must know about the fact that a woman’s long hair is a “glory” to her and has been given by the Lord. Therefore, your decision to have a “bob” haircut seems inconsistent with Scripture. I suggest that you look up (on the Search feature) the article on this website titled “A Woman’s Glory.” This should help you to see once again the Scriptural teaching on the woman’s long hair. Instead of “pinning up” your hair, as before, could you just allow it to grow long, without any pinning? I don’t know.
“Mom of Three” (that is the only “name” I see), you can be encouraged by the fact that there are tens of thousands and probably hundreds of thousands of conservative women in America who do have convictions about their long hair and covering. And, as you probably know, there are probably millions of women around the world who assume that it is right to have long hair and a covering. Although most women during the past century have discarded by a head covering and long hair, it is still being done by many on earth.
Please think about this, read over the Biblical passage again, and also read the article on this website I mentioned above. Seek God’s will and He will show you. Thank you again for writing and may God bless you as you do His will in all things.
I have a question is the long hair the covering of a woman when she prays. Thank you.
I’m glad that you wrote. It is always good, right, proper, and commendable to seek God’s will and His truth on everything.
As for whether the covering/veiling in 1 Corinthians 11:3-16 refers to an artificial cloth covering or whether it refers to a natural covering of the hair is a question that has been raised again and again over the years.
We do know that God has supplied a natural covering for the woman–and that is the long hair (see verses 13-15). This long hair has been given to the woman “as a covering” (v. 15).
However, it would seem that Paul also refers to an artificial cloth covering that the woman may use when she “prays and prophesies.” The apostle says, “If a woman does not cover her head, let her also have her hair cut off; fut if is is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her cover her head” (v. 6).
If we suppose that the long hair is the only covering, Paul would be saying “if a woman does not have long hair,” then let her also have her hair cut off.” But if she doesn’t have hair that is long, then she has already had her hair cut off, and this statement would be superfluous.
Further, the sentence reads in a way that it is possible for a woman to either wear or not wear this covering. But if she doesn’t have long hair (that is, if she doesn’t have the long hair as a natural covering), this is not something that can be put on or taken off instantaneously. It would take many months for her to grow long hair and thus have the natural covering.
History also tells us that the early Christian women wore a cloth covering when they prayed or prophesied. Of course, history isn’t always a reliable guide and we need to go by Scripture. But if Scripture does point in the direction of an artificial covering and if history confirms this, then it is helpful.
Interestingly, women generally did wear long hair for many centuries until about 1920 when worldly women began to “bob” or cut their hair. Also, until relatively recently, even church women would wear some sort of bonnet, hat, or veiling when going to church.
I would advise you to wear a cloth covering along with long hair–and do this for the purposes that Paul gives in the chapter.
Thank you for writing and may God bless you as you seek to please the Lord in your appearance.
I been reading and wondering about this hair thing and when I read and let the Holy Spirit guide me I get that men should look like men and women like a woman. When it talks about the braiding I do not hear that it says you can’t braid at all – spirit says to me watch your intentions and your heart. You spoke of not condemning a new sister in Christ who had short hair as a sinner nor condem a sister sho is genetically unable to. God says it is not our place to condem at all – that is God’s place only. Corinthians also states that we should not be contentious about this. Do not get me wrong, I understand and so see that some Christians today want to read certain parts of the bible as something that was meant for a certain group or church at the time. I disagree with this because everything in the bible was meant for all in all circumstances because God knew we would come across these particular circumstances at some point in all churches. We should not be picking and choosing what applies and doesn’t apply to our time. As far as judging/correcting the bible gives us clear guidelines on how to do so and only with those who are fellow Christians. It should be so with gentleness, not in a condemning way i.e. Disgusted looks, etc. We do not know the heart of another – only God knows. Therefore, if a Christian woman chooses to be a cosmetologist she should do so if that is what Gods gift is for her. It’s to know your heart and intentions and I myself am a Christian Independent Beauty Consultant and my heart is to have all women young and old feel their inner beauty and know they are all beautiful because God doesn’t make mistakes. My primary goal is skin care – caring for our temple. I agree with light make-up not gawdy and caked on for “adornment”. So with my gift I may in turn teach and show girls and women that they don’t need all that stuff to be beautiful – it’s what is inside.
I been reading and wondering about this hair thing and when I read and let the Holy Spirit guide me I get that men should look like men and women like a woman.
You are definitely correct about this. God, our Creator, apparently had this in mind when He tells us about our appearance.
When it talks about the braiding I do not hear that it says you can’t braid at all – spirit says to me watch your intentions and your heart.
I would caution you about receiving certain thoughts or ideas and thinking that you are “hearing” from what the “Spirit says” to you. It is better to simply go to Scripture and see what the Bible says, then take our guidance from this Word.
you spoke of not condemning a new sister in Christ who had short hair as a sinner nor condem a sister sho is genetically unable to. God says it is not our place to condem at all – that is God’s place only.
There is a sense in which we can and must point out sin wherever it may be. My point was that even though I believe it is wrong for a woman to have short hair (by choice), a woman who is saved cannot immediately allow her hair to grow. It takes many months, as you know. Also, how can we say a woman is wrong if she doesn’t have the ability to have long hair? A person is responsible to do what she can do, and no more. Of course, God can change a person’s ability if it is His will.
Corinthians also states that we should not be contentious about this.
This probably means that Paul was aware that there were some in Corinth who were contentious and not following His instruction in this matter. In this case, such an attitude was wrong.
Do not get me wrong, I understand and so see that some Christians today want to read certain parts of the bible as something that was meant for a certain group or church at the time. I disagree with this because everything in the bible was meant for all in all circumstances because God knew we would come across these particular circumstances at some point in all churches. We should not be picking and choosing what applies and doesn’t apply to our time.
I appreciate your attitude here. So many just dismiss huge portions of Scripture by saying that it was a reflection of NT culture or Roman culture.
As far as judging/correcting the bible gives us clear guidelines on how to do so and only with those who are fellow Christians. It should be so with gentleness, not in a condemning way i.e. Disgusted looks, etc. We do not know the heart of another – only God knows. Therefore, if a Christian woman chooses to be a cosmetologist she should do so if that is what Gods gift is for her.
I must definitely disagree with you about this. Why would God give a “gift” to a woman (or a man) that she is forbidden to fulfill? To take an extreme example, would God give the “gift” of abortion to a doctor or nurse? Would He give the “gift” of pornography to a person to produce wicked literature? I know that you wouldn’t agree to that, but I just offer this as an example. Let us be careful what we call a “gift.”
It’s to know your heart and intentions and I myself am a Christian Independent Beauty Consultant and my heart is to have all women young and old feel their inner beauty and know they are all beautiful because God doesn’t make mistakes.
Inner beauty, yes. But God doesn’t call on us to emphasize the outer beauty. This surely is an offense against God who wants a woman to be humble, unassuming, gentle, and modest.
My primary goal is skin care – caring for our temple. I agree with light make-up not gawdy and caked on for “adornment”. So with my gift I may in turn teach and show girls and women that they don’t need all that stuff to be beautiful – it’s what is inside.
I know all the things in the bible regarding hair length, but there are various instances that will show you that short hair on Christian women is o.k. when:
1. A woman is African American
2. A senior citizen
3. Recovering from Chemotherapy
4. There are more examples !
As for me, I am 50 years old and wear my hair short. I dress appropriately and 99% sure anyone considers me very much a woman- and feminine to boot. Why do I have a short style? Because I have very unruly ethnic hair! Keratin treatments are the only thing that tames my hair if I were have it shoulder length. The expense for this is embarassing to repeat. BTW, I am Christian. There have been several Christian sisters who have given me the “look” and of course comments about my hair, simply because it’s short. I am led to believe they think I am deliberately going against God. Not true. It seems to me that if my profile was different, as shown in examples #1, #2, and #3, no one would even notice the terribleness of my hair.
Thank you so much for writing your concerned letter. It is good that you are not just dismissing 1 Corinthians 11:14-15 as being too “old fashioned,” or simply a cultural matter, or a local custom at Corinth.
I agree that there are some instances in which it is difficult or even impossible to obey the Lord. We may sincerely want to obey His directives in Scripture, but something hinders us. Yes, generally we can obey God in every circumstance, but there are some times when we need to do the best we can and commit the rest to God. You might be interested in this article on the website: “Can We Always Obey God?”
Just copy and paste the above in your browser. Or go to the website and type in “Can We Always Obey God” in the Search line.
It is true that a woman cannot have long hair if she has chemotherapy or if she has a form of African-American hair. Just talk to the Lord and acknowledge your desire to obey Him but these hindrances stand in the way. He will understand.
Then it is good to help others to see the Scripture on this matter and encourage them to obey 1 Corinthians 11–if they do have the ability to obey it.
Thank you for writing and may you always love, trust, and obey God to the best of your ability!
Hello , my question is , I’m going through thining hair and I’m loosing a lot of hair. My scalp is showing more than hair. At the beginning I was so sad , I cried because my situation is genetic. I hat to cut my hair because there was no reason to keep it long ( over my shoulders ) , it looked so bad and it was embarrassing for me. But I do cover my head when I go out and when I go work and when I go to the congregation. Since I’m doing that , I feel free , protected and I feel that is pleasing to God.
Greetings friend…. I hope that you will read the related question and comments here. Much of my comments would be the same as in the other response. Thank you so much and may God bless you!
While I love long hair and yes, envy women who can grow theirs really long, were I to try to do so, my hair ends up thin with broken ends and looks terrible, not a glory to God. But the reason for my comments center on another article “A Question of Hair Length” wherein one person says “based on the apostle Pauls words at 1 Corinthians 11:14-15:
“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.”
I’ve always wondered how “nature itself” teaches you if a man has long hair it dishonors him, for men’s hair can easily be grown long. So from where did Paul get this idea? Although, I’ve noticed men with long hair tossing it about as would a woman, and that is feminine and disgraceful. Is it this behavior with long hair to which he was referring or something else?
I’m so glad that you wrote and expressed your thoughts about a woman’s long hair and a man’s long hair. Brandy, I may not know all that there is to know about the length of a person’s hair but I’m simply seeking to understand and follow the teachings of Scripture, whatever that may be.
Some things are inherent in a person’s heart and life and perhaps this is at least a partial answer. Generally speaking, in all cultures, there is something within us that has lead nearly all people to the same conclusions. Thus, down through the ages, women have generally had long hair and men have had short hair. In America this has been true until women began to “bob” their hair in the 1920s and the men began to let their hair grow long in the 1960s.
Paul seems to be saying that just as “nature” has women with long hair and men with short hair (natural coverings), likewise men and women are to abide by the teachings on the cloth or artificial coverings/veilings that he discusses in 1 Cor. 11:3-16).
God is loving and understanding. He is Creator and knows what you and I are capable of. If a woman cannot grow her hair long, God understands. He has the power to change this inadequacy and if He doesn’t, He must have a reason. We should not feel guilty for what we can’t change. God looks at the heart and knows if a person would like to submit to His instructions if he can.
You might want to check out the article, “Can We Always Obey God?”
“Can We Always Obey God?”
1) In Africa were we have wooly hair, and braiding of hair is part of our culture. And in modern times, is a way of reducing hair breakage, etc. Is it still a sin?
2) I have stiff and spiky hair, that breaks each time I comb it and braiding hair to me is the only way to keep it from breaking. Do I leave it the way it is?
Greetings to you Emem,
It is so good that you have written with your sincere questions and deep concerns. I believe that you definitely want to obey the Lord as much as you can in your circumstances.
We can know at least two things about this. First, God has expressed His will in a way that can be understood, and He also expects us to obey it as fully as we can. As God said in Isaiah: “To this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word” (Isaiah 66:2b).
Second, God is also merciful and kind. As we read in Exodus 34:6, “The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in loving-kindness and truth.” We also read in Psalm 103:14, “He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust.”
The question remains, “What can we do when circumstances would keep us from obeying the Lord?” We must not deny what the Bible has clearly revealed. As you know, many people in places like America (North and South), Europe, the Middle East, and Asia are able to obey the instructions of the Lord but they refuse to do so. From what you say, because of the nature of your hair, it seems impossible to fulfill what we read about in Scripture in regard to hair.
Is God Creator and has He made you? Yes, definitely. Does He expect you to do the impossible? Not at all. He does want you to do all that you can and doesn’t expect more. For instance, Scripture says that one must “confess with the mouth” that Jesus is Lord to be saved (Romans 10:9). But what if a person has no vocal cords and can’t speak? Let us do what we can and commit the rest to God who knows our limitations.
I would recommend two articles on this website:
1. A Question of Hair Length
2. Can We Always Obey God?
Emem, both of these articles will give further thought to your questions and desire to obey the Lord. Just seek God, purpose to obey Him as far as you can, and commit the remainder to God. He loves you more than you realize!
So my only question is braiding your hair a sin, or when you are using your braids for a sinful nature like to boast or get the attention of others is that when it becomes a sin? Please explain to me.
Hello Shakiyla… Thank you so much for writing. Your question does reflect an issue that has been raised again and again in different places and contexts. As you know, the places that deal with this would be 1 Timothy 2:9–“not with braided hair,” and 1 Peter 3:3–“braiding the hair.” If we take this literally, and if we don’t braid the hair at all, under any circumstances, we would be “safe” in our practice. On the other hand, some have pointed out that in that context, some women would braid gold and jewels into their hair, and this ostentation is what both apostles would condemn. I wonder what you–personally–have discovered in regard to this braiding? Personally, since there is some doubt on the matter, I might want to avoid any braiding, but if someone chooses to do what she thinks is right here and simply avoids ostentatious braiding, perhaps that is what is condemned.
Absolutely agree women are to have long hair and men short hair. How long is long? Long enough for there to be a difference. There is to be a definite distinction between men and women. I don’t believe Paul wants us to get out a measuring tape, but rather simply exemplify a difference. Heritage may be a factor too.
Greetings Susan! Thank you so much for commenting on the Woman’s Glory article. I could spend 10 paragraphs replying but I’ll try to keep this short.
I’m glad that you don’t have a problem with Paul’s comments on the hair in 1 Corinthians 11. Many people do deny the inspiration of the Scriptures and say that Paul merely replied out of his own preconceived ideas and prejudices. But you are right, his words are the words of God (see 1 Corinthians 14:37–in regard to women’s silence in the assembly).
As for “how long is long,” this can be a problem issue for it depends on the age in which we live and the prevailing culture. For centuries and millennia, women just allowed their hair to grow without cutting it. That is the “safest” response, as you can see. Otherwise, we end up trying to determine what culture says is long and what culture says is short. And this becomes a matter of what people want to see.
As for heritage (by this I guess you mean what we have been taught as we grew up?), this may have a bearing, but the question that has been asked of me has to do with genetics. What if a woman simply can’t grow long hair? We know that people from certain ethnic backgrounds have difficulty with women’s long hair. I agree. I answered a woman who inquired about this–a very sincere and submissive woman who wasn’t trying to evade the apostle’s words. I replied that she can do only what she can do. God doesn’t expect more. He knows her heart and intentions. For her, “long” would mean as long as she can grow the hair, even when this may be considered “short” to a European or Asian.
Susan, do all you can to allow your hair to grow long, as long as nature will allow, and don’t feed guilty if your hair simply won’t grow as long as you wish. God looks at the heart in such cases.
May the Lord bless you, Susan.
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