Monday, July 9, 2012

Christian Women's Headcoverings

On a recent trip to Los Angeles I noticed a huge presence of Muslim women with their various types of coverings all of which clearly identified them as Muslim or were some of them actually Christian women?

The Bible in 1 Corinthians 11 doesn't give any size, color etc regarding type of coverings but I wonder if we Christian ladies are going to obey this scripture should our coverings convey that we are Christians and not Muslim?  This is just a question that's been on my mind lately. I've seen pictures of lovely Christian ladies who cover but their coverings indicate they might be mistaken for Muslim.
Please don't think I'm condemning any Christian woman who choses to wear those type of coverings. I'm just wondering if the Muslim type of coverings is ok for a Christian woman to wear. Those who choose to respond I'm looking forward to your answers.

10 comments:

  1. I wonder about that too and while I find the coverings beautiful, I prefer to stick to kapps or veils for fear of sending the wrong message. I want them to think of the Lord when they see me and not possibly be angered believing me to be muslim.

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    1. Thank you Michelle. I was thinking along the same lines.

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  2. I've wondered about this too, and keep in mind that Muslim women were covering long before Muhammed was even born. Both Clement of Alexandria and Tertullian noted how the Arabian women covered and felt that Christian women should be so veiled:

    "For some, with their turbans and woolen bands, do not veil their heads, but bind them up. They are protected, indeed, in front. However, they are bare where the head properly lies. Others are to a certain extent covered over the region of the brain with linen doilies of small dimensions . . . which do not quite reach the ears . . . Let them know that the whole head constitutes the woman. It's limits and boundaries reach as far as the place where the robe begins. The region of the veil is co-extensive with the space covered by hair when unbound. . . . Arabia's pagan females will be your judges. For they cover not only the head, but the face also." -Tertullian (c. 207)

    Such a covering should be worn as is necessary for covering the eyes of women. -Clement of Alexandria, (c. 195)

    Clement had more to say on the subject, but you get the idea that he believed women should cover their faces as well.

    I'm not saying they are right, and Paul doesn't say anything about how long, what color, or other details us women would surely like to know! As far as I know though, Christian women didn't cover their faces. I haven't seen any pictures or other writing that would suggest they did. All the pictures I have seen show faces. Of course, from an artistic stand point, what good would a picture of a totally covered woman do?

    I look forward to seeing what others have to share with you on this topic!

    God Bless!

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    1. Tia,
      I will need to do some reading of Clement. I'm pretty sure that Paul didnt mean for women's eyes to be covered too. I know that in some of the Middle Eastern countries women wear burqas but I really can't see Christian women doing this.
      This thread is really interesting.

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  3. I need to correct my first paragraph: I said that Muslim women were covering long before Muhammed was born. Well, they wouldn't have been Muslim, they were Arabian. My point was that being Muslim isn't what keeps them covered. The culture has been practicing this before Islam started.

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  4. the Muslim head covering isn't necessarily their own. Christians technically have been wearing that very similar style a lot longer than Muslims and Christians in the middle East still wear coverings out of respect for the Majority which a lot of the time is Muslim and it probably because of the culture and society. there many pictures of Christian women that give us clues as to how they covered. the question if we should cover that way today I think should be left up to the individual and God. For I have worn a variety of coverings from Kapps, charity veils, tichels, snoods and I struggled a lot and didn't really feel peace or contentment and now I wrap my scarves around my head and over my shoulders and I have so much more peace, joy and contentment when I am more covered. I don't go outside much and so no one sees me, but when I do I usually have a cross pinned to my shirt or a cross necklace to show that I am a Christian and muslims won't wear crosses and really people don't really care especially here in America where individualism is encouraged. anyways that's my 2 cents worth. be blessed!

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  5. o and also the beautiful gauzey shawls that the Christian and non Christian Ethiopian and Eritrean women wear.

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    1. Jules,
      There is a lady in our congregation from Africa somewhere who wears the most beautiful scarves.
      BTW your scarves are beautiful too!Do you make your own scarves?

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  6. No I wish i did make my scarves and might in the future since i Have a loom now.

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  7. My head covering is white like the Amish and mennonites.
    I find that Muslim women tend to wear dark colours, but we as christian women are children of light. I believe our head coverings should be white, whether they are bonnets or head scarves or what ever style we wear.

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