Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Recent Headcovering Experiences


Here is a photo of me (next to my husband), at a service in which our mission agency was celebrating our imminent departure to the mission field with prayer. I am wearing the lightweight scarf I mention later in this post.

After 5 years of raising support, my husband and I were commissioned as missionaries about a month ago. The church which commissioned us has never practiced headcovering, and honestly, I felt pretty nervous about going up onto the stage and covering my head in front of everyone. We had to speak first, show a video, talk a little more, then the chairman said they'd be praying for us. But God really prepared the way for me: in the weeks leading up to that Sunday, the pastor 'accidentally' started teaching on the verses in 1 Corinthians 11.

I say 'accidentally' because he hadn't planned it, but it was clear to me that God had planned it! Pastor W. was teaching on headship and brought up the passage in relation to male leadership within the local church and couldn't avoid discussing headcoverings, since the ladies in the audience began asking. He expressed the opinion that it IS for today and that we really ought to be doing it.

When we arrived for our commissioning, then, it wasn't such a huge deal that I had a headcovering. My husband and I were on stage, waiting for the men to come up and pray for us and I quickly unfolded my "pashmina" scarf and--as discreetly as possible in front of the whole congregation--put it on my head.

Then I realized that they only meant for my husband to stay on the stage, and intended for me to go sit down. I felt a little sad, since it would've been much easier to just put it on in my seat, but knew it must have been for a reason.

Later, I heard from our friend L. how it affected a young lady in the audience (A.), whom I know to be concerned with obedience to God in this area. A. said that I covered my head in a non-distracting and ladylike way and that when I sat down it was also clear that I was not drawing attention to myself, but instead "showing off" my submissive spirit in relation to my husband.

WOW. Just what I needed to hear.

In my last post, I said I'd tell you about covering my head for prayer at a Ladies' Tea. It was another interesting situation, because it was an outreach and I was seated at a table with some ladies who don't normally attend church at all and 2 Christian ladies who don't cover their heads to pray.

I used my lightweight scarf, and faithfully pulled it on whenever we were praying or singing. At the end, the lady next to me said, "So, what's with the scarf-y thingy?!" It wasn't rude or anything, just a genuine question. I was happy to explain, but did find it a bit difficult to explain why I found it so compelling and the 2 other ladies whom she knew to be Christians didn't. Which leads me to a quote from Momma Jo. [Click on her name for her website.]

"When I read those verses it seemed very clear in my mind that a woman's head being covered was of significance. It did not read to me to be a simple custom but a command to obey; that it was important for women to remember and be marked as being under the authority of God and man. It seemed to me to be an issue of serious weight so I was a little dumbfounded as to why I'd NEVER heard any pastor ever preach on this subject or any Christian I knew talk about it."

Isn't that so true? Why is it that pretty much no one talks about it? Because we don't want to do it? Because we don't read the Bible through enough to realize it's in there? Because we don't feel like submitting to our husbands?

I'm not much for resolutions, but it seems to jump-start a lot of people, so...

How about a New Year's resolution to talk about it? Let's discuss it. Let's do it, even if we don't want to. Let's actually read the Bible to see if there's anything else we're missing. And let's submit to our husbands and other male authority in our lives, even if we don't feel like it.


And, lest I forget, KUDOS to you ladies who are obeying God in this way. Kudos to those of you who are truly thinking about it! And kudos to the pastors who ARE preaching and teaching on the topic, whether they plan on it or not!

14 comments:

LisaM at ThoseHeadcoverings said...

Wow- what a great experience, and example! This is good reading, encouraging and informative. May God truly bless your light as you live to share the Light with others.

Natasa said...

it is great how God leads people...

Bethany W. said...

Sandi,
I am so glad that you are following through with this headcovering decision!

Do you think you will ever wear it throughout an entire worship service? Or, was this different - because it was a commissioning?

I love the picture! Laying on of hands is a beautiful thing! And you look beautiful as well!

Bethany

Muhala Akamau said...

Beautiful. Thanks for sharing your story...so many of us echo your feelings and sentiments. We are all on the journey...so...welcome to the journey!

Stasee said...

Thank you for sharing this story and I love the picture. May God bless you and your husband on your journey.

Muhala Akamau said...

Back again! I'm working on a headcovering project I could use your input on. Please email me at write2muhala@gmail.com, as I don't have a contact on you.

Thanks so much!
M

Tammy said...

Beautiful testimony! Glad I came across your blog. :o)

love4holiness said...

Thanks for sharing, congratulations on your new missionary post! Have you ever considered covering full-time so that you're ready to be in prayer at any time without needing to try to cover discretely & worrying about the attention it might draw? Just wondering. I find this is what works best for me & wondered if you have considered it. =) Blessings to you!

Rena said...

Hi there!

I've been reading your blog and I was wondering if you'd be willing/interested in featuring my new Etsy shop on your blog:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/bandanarama

Thanks!

- Rena

Anonymous said...

If one takes those verses literally, than a woman should always wear a covering. We are to be continually in a state of prayer--thus we should copy the Amish and always have a head covering? Appreciate the desire to be literal, but it cannot be the case here.

mercygirl57 said...

I am just now researching this, thinking maybe this is what God would want me to do. Do you think someone out there could help me???

Bethany in mid-MO said...

Mercygirl57,
I have a comment from long ago... When I used to cover. I no longer wear a head covering. I urge you to read my most recent post called "liberated." It is so easy to get caught up in rule keeping... So very easy. Go ahead and research both sides. Read your Bible and pray. Follow the Holy Spirit's leading. I will be praying for you in this hard decision. You can email me if you want to hear more of my experience.
Blessings,
Bethany

mercygirl57 said...

Bethany in mid MO: What's your e-mail? Plus if anyone knows anyone in NC or SC that might be willing to help that would be great.

Erin

Bethany in mid-MO said...

My email is flutefelicity@aol.com

How much thought have you put into this issue?