1 Corinthians 11:2-16 (NIV)
On Covering the Head in Worship
2 I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the traditions just as I passed them on to you. 3 But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. 4 Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. 5 But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is the same as having her head shaved. 6 For if a woman does not cover her head, she might as well have her hair cut off; but if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should cover her head. 7 A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. 8 For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; 9 neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. 10 It is for this reason that a woman ought to have authority over her own head, because of the angels. 11 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12 For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God. 13 Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, 15 but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering. 16 If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice—nor do the churches of God.
Concern for the glory of God, the interdependence of men and women, and the sensitivity to the culture are three principles here. How do these principles apply to your church?
God of all creation, You created both men and women as a vital part of Your grand design. It is true that the first woman came from a man, but all other men have been given birth by women. Yet God is the one who created everything. There are stories in the old testament, where You used women to lead and prophesy. It is also clear that women were serving as worship leaders and prophets in the New Testament church. The same is true today. You have given both men and women leadership gifts to be used in the church. Although appearance should not be dictated by the culture around us, all leaders need to be aware of the image that they present to others. In all that we do, help us to present ourselves in a way that honors You especially when we are upfront in church or representing You while we are in the world. Help us to be considerate to those who we are leading so that we never distract from the songs we sing, the service we perform, or the message being preached. In all we do, help us to bring glory to You. Amen