Head Covering — rubber meets the road

Luke 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man

As most of you know I have been reading and writing a lot about head covering and modesty.  I do not mean to teach or preach to anyone else, I am by no means qualified to do THAT 🙂  but I find this a fascinating topic, the material is so rich (if not varied) and comes not only from the Christian schools of thought, but the Muslim and Jewish schools as well.  The approaches, the paths, are diverse and the roots of the practice are so interesting.  If nothing else, it is mental exercise for me, challenging and engaging and worthwhile. 

Here are my previous blogs posts on this topic, you will notice that there has been a bit of a stir about my thoughts and my observations on life as reflected in the discussion of modesty and covering.

A good friend, after reading my last post and a few of the comments asked me “well what did you decide, what are you doing?”

Oh, yes, I guess looking back I have never actually spelled out anything about reality, only thought and my constant reading.  Ooops 🙂 .  So the point this short post is to give you a glimpse of reality, how my current reading, studying and thinking (and praying) is impacting my daily life as a wife, as a mom.

A couple of points:

I have never in my life heard a teaching / preaching / sermon or Homily on either the practice of covering (in general or in church or pray) or on 1 Cor 11:2-16.  I find this fact amazing.  I am well over 30; and I grew up in the Church and have been in one church or another most of my life (a couple of years off in college, you know how that goes, I am not proud of it, but it is the reality).  If you take 30 years (given I was not paying attention as a small child) and assume one sermon a week for lets just say 45 week a year (and that is a under-estimate since for at least 2 years I attended service 2x a week, each week and for at least 3 years I attended service 3x a week each week) – that is 1350 sermons.  I have been to retreats and Bible conferences and other such activities, and again never heard a word about I Cor 11; not even as part of another message.  I am amazed and stunned at how seemingly intentionally and carefully the subject is avoided.   I am actually would love to ask our current pastor about it, but I can’t think of any way to do so without appearing to be looking for conflict. 

My hubby is not in favor of me covering, honestly he is more opposed to it.  His reasons or feeling on the matter:

  • He does not think I look attractive with my hair all pulled back from my face, says he makes me too harsh looking.  He likes me to look nice when I am with him.
  • As far as covering as an element of modesty:  Hubby feels that covering attracts attention rather than ‘defecting’ the attention as an article of modesty should.  He feels that given where we live covering would be more ‘drawing’ notice than ‘actually covering’.

So neither Hubby nor church, needless to say, are a driving force behind my covering, or my path to modesty, and really Hubby is in no way a proponent of me choosing to covering, and actually is somewhat opposed to it.

Again, so what is the practical application of all this? What am I doing? 

  • I have been covering about 80 to 90% of the time I am not with Hubby.  I find it a great reminder.  A visual sign outwardly than convicts me inwardly.  I remember a pastor’s wife once talking about how much more of a courteous drive she found her self to be driving the church van.  I think it is the same thing, covering is a visual ‘talking the talk’ and so it makes me more accountable to walk to walk. I am a better parent and a more controlled person when I cover. 
  • I do not cover with Hubby. (so I currently do not cover at church, ironically enough)

I am not sure long term what this is all going to look like for me.  I am trying to be lead and not take the lead in that, and that in and of itself is a growing process for me.  I am not at a place where I can call this topic done, but I am trying to diligently apply to my actual life the learning and thinking that I have been occupying myself with. 

This is still a topic very much on my heart, I have more research to share, more reading I am doing and wish to do. 

I am excited that I got a copy of Glories Seen & Unseen: A Study of the Head Covering of my very on coming, I got it off paperbacksvap.com.  I have had it on my wish list for a long time (I read it of ILL) and find it a nice coincidence that I got the e-mail today saying that it had been posted and I could have it. 

 

 


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16 Comments

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16 responses to “Head Covering — rubber meets the road

  1. Quinn

    So how much are you covering? What do you use?

  2. AB

    Aimee, there are ways to cover that don’t look out of place. My grandmother would wear a sheer floral print scarf over her hair. I don’t know if it was a modesty or a style thing, but it was never frumpy or unattractive. Even a small triangle kerchief could be enough of a reminder TO YOU without drawing the attention of others thinking you were a step short of becoming a flagellant or coming out Muslim. I seem to remember old movies, pre-Vatican II of women with an up-do and what looked like a small doily pinned to the top of their head when covering in church was the rule not the exception. I believe this is one of those things where intent is more important than going to extremes. I had a friend that covered her hair when she needed that spiritual connection or reminder. I tried it as an experiment around the house and it definitely provided the ability to focus on the things that were important. While it did impact the way others treated me in the house, it wasn’t so much because of what I wore, but because of how my mindset was showing through. I was much more humble, focused, productive, and content. And yes, it made some people uncomfortable because my actions and attitude reflected poorly on their own. But the only outward thing that had changed about me was the bandanna tied around my head/hair to keep it out of my face and clean while doing my normal chores as far as anyone else was concerned. I guess to sum things up, you don’t have to be plain to be modest. Some of the most beautiful women I’ve seen photos of were covered nearly from head to toe, and were not in shapeless, drab, frumpy clothing either. You can be modest and confident at the same time as well. I think that is where some women get defensive about the idea of being modest. Too many people equate it with shutting up and putting up with things you aught not.

  3. carolyn bledsoe

    Very interesting, Aimee… very interesting. But then, you are an interesting person. :o) I applaud your efforts to learn as much as you can and to recognize in yourself that you need a reminder to be as Christ-like as possible. Do whatever it is that you feel lead to do – that’s why God created us and gave us choices. Yay Aimee!!!

  4. I have 3 of these http://www.gypsymama.com/shop/products.php?cat=21 (the cotton one at the botton) and I really like them. I have an assortment of “headbands” from like target and so on that are the same basic idea but more ‘fasion assessory’ and also smaller. the 3 cotton wraps are large enough, if i wanted to, i could cover all my hair with ease. in fact one of mine is the same “chain” fabric as the wrap on the main page of the site.

    I just wear them like a headband — i push all my hair back at home, but normally show my bangs (small amount) if we go out 9store, OT, ST and so on). My long ponytail hangs out the back all the time.

  5. lol – I drive a lot better once we have put the Christian Fish symbol on our car.

  6. If husband is totally opposed to it and turned off by it, then why do it, even when he’s not home? I don’t get it.

    Seems like deliberately trying to appear unattractive not only to the public, but to your spouse. To what point and purpose is that?

    That would be like me deliberately dressing and talking like Michelle Obama, just to be something my husband absolutely can’t stand to either annoy or repell him.

    Maybe you should consider doing it just at church.

    You need to be mindful in this stuff of the expectations that you are setting for your sons as well. Little boys grow up, they become teenagers and then men. In setting such a rigid example of “the feminine” to them as a mother, you could very well be limiting your sons in the ability to date and then find a wife of their own, for fear that mommy won’t approve of a nice girl in jeans and a t-shirt. Very few young, unmarried women in the United States would dress in this manner you are adopting. (Hueterite girls are the only ones I know of who dress as you propose to do. Do you want a Communist Luthern/Mennonite daughter-in-law an your son to live in a commune?) As well, potential future daughters-in-law will quite likely be frightened off by your manner of dress. But maybe that is the point for you? Keep the boys home and “mama’s boys” well into their late 20’s or even their 30’s? How is that healthy by any stretch of the imagination?

    As a mother, I want both of my sons to be as completely independant as possible by the time they graduate high school. I would be thrilled if that included a wife for both of them. Charlie will struggle in this area because of autism, if fully expect him to be a “late-bloomer”. Henry is in kindergarten and already precocious with girls… he figured out in preschool that if he played dolls, the girls would play with him. He’s a big flirt, even though he doesn’t really understand what that is or means yet. My responsibility is to teach him to treat the girls at school gently and with respect… a lifeong task. If he doesn’t learn this now… I will very likely be a grandmother before he’s in college.

    Special needs children, especially boys, need to learn how to interact with other young people (in this case girls). It takes them much much longer to learn these social skills than “normal” kids. I’ve seen the effect of special needs boys not learning these skills, being too sheltered from learning them by unreal expectations of parents with my own brother. At 24, my brother still lives at home with mom and dad. Never goes anywhere except for grocery shopping, my other brother’s place to babysit my nieces and nephews and to church. He is so diabled socially that he can’t even simply call a girl on the phone. But he found a girl he liked (had the worst crush on her for YEARS!). She was seeing so other guy, and got pregnant. My socially challenged sibling, asked her to MARRY HIM… instead of asking her to go to dinner or a movie with him. CART 10 MILES AHEAD OF THE HORSE! This brother has Asperger’s Syndrome (type of autism)… no common sense, no mental edit button and he’s been in this crazy fundamentalist church my parents started attending a couple years after I moved away from home. This church and my folks have set some really impossible standards for him as far as relating to other people, especially those his own age.

    You can teach your family to be respectful and courteous of young women without covering up like a nun. The girls your sons encounter as they grow up are very unlikely to dress as modestly as you plan to… that does not mean they deserve disrespect from young men.

    The problems seen in society in this regard stem more from government taxation and mother’s being forced to work outside the home (only to fuel the communist political machine by taking parents out of the home and rearing of children intentionally delegated to schools and daycare centers who’s job is to indoctrinate children in to communist thinking liberals), than from any mode of dress issue. Motehrs are the ones who are primary role models for teaching their sons to respect women. Father’s should as well, and unfortunately don’t… I know far too many of them (my husband’s step-father included) who think it is appropriate to take sons to a brothel and throw hookers on them. Teachers are school are afraid to even discuss the subject of how young men should treat young women, until they are going through college orientation week (where they show the standard video about when a girl says “no” she means “no”, too bad it’s too late by that point)… and yet schools are teaching sex ed in 4th grade.

    I dread raising sons when they get to be teenagers. At 7 and 5 years they are handful enough and difficult enough to get them to listen to anything at all.

    • Tami

      This is not a comment, it is a commentary. If you have so much to say, please start your own blog. Otherwise, quit trying to hijack this one.

  7. Quinn

    I don’t believe Aimee ever stated that she wants everyone else to cover. I know she want’s her sons to grow up and be happy, healthy, well adjusted boys. I know she wants them to stay devoted to God and find girls with the same morals and beliefs. I know for a fact that she is not one to judge others. If so, we would not still be friends. We have many different opinions on things. But she loves me and would never expect me to do something that was not right for me. She is working on becoming the best woman that SHE can be. It has nothing to do with everyone else. Nothing to do with attractiveness or what others might perceve, but with who she is to herself and to God.
    Sorry, Aimee, I certainly don’t mean to put words in your mouth, so please correct me if I am out of line anywhere. I am just angered at the assumptions being made above.
    I feel there are so many assumptions being made that Aimee’s whole point is missed.
    This is HER blog. I believe a blog is a place to think aloud and bounce ideas off people. Not a place to judge. And if what she writes is not to your liking, then there is no reason to keep reading.
    I do not mean to sound harsh, I just get frustrated at this.

    This post seems to jump all over the place…

    Sex education… not sure how this is related. But I am pro-education in general. I think the more information a person has, the better. There is still a huge responsability with that to instil morals and ethics and so forth, and all of this falls to the parents.

    I do not see how Aimee (being true to herself) is giving any other impression to her sons than a positive one. I believe that she is showing her boys how to be true to one’s self (And to God). Not by everyone covering. That just happens to be what she is finding works for her. I want her boys to find wives that want to grow and better themselves in all sorts of ways all their lives. If they want to cover, if they find that helps them become better people, then great! If they do this other ways, that is great, too.

    My father is balding. I do not think this was relevant to my future mates. I will not only look for balding men. It is what is on the inside that counts. I do believe that I have found men that have portrayed many qualities similar to my father, good and bad. That is normal. Not always good, but normal.

    Not sure what you are implying with the statement that boys need to hang out with other kids… Not sure how this is relevant, either. I assume her boys have friends of all ages, and both genders.

    As for Aimee raising “mama’s boys,” I have no idea. I have a son and I love that he is a mama’s boy. He is 18 months old. 🙂 I want him to grow up and move out. I will miss him dearly, but that is what we are doing. We are raising children to become productive members of society. I have no doubt that Aimee is doing this and cannot find anything stating otherwise.

    Anyway, I’m getting a headache, so I’ll step down off my soap box.

  8. Just a quick question, although I haven’t read the other comments – Do you children ask, and what do you say? In particular, when you cover without your husband around, but don’t cover when he is present?

    Thanks!

    • the boys are only 3 and 5 and frankly ALL the females in their reality (teens and younger girls included) dress the same — the girls their age wear shorter shorts and slevless shirts, but the older ones do not. Honestly they have never asked, i do not think they have anything TO ask, you know. I have, commented in shopping, that a shirt was too “skimpy” but I think i present it to them, as little as they notice at 3 and 5, as simply “respecting myself” and “looking nice” and “being apporipate”.

      as for them asking about me covering when Daddy is gone and not when daddy is with us? the only differnce is if i wear a BIG head band or scarf and that is , i think, too small a detail for the boys to notice, even at 5.

      when they notice, i expect I will say something like “I use the head cover to help me remember things when Daddy is not with us” and point out my role changes if daddy is or is not with us. As they grow then they can understand more about useing the head cover as a physical reminder of God in my day.

      that is how it is now, i admit, it might well change

    • My daughter is 3.5, and sometimes it seems like she notices everything. I think that is neat about remembering things when ‘Daddy’ is not there, and your changing role.

      Do you always wear a headband with your husband around? What does it look like, and what does your scarf look like?

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts. 🙂

      • I’ll post phonts soon.

        My role changes if daddy is home or not, so i see no issue with how i present myself changing — like work time, garden time, bedtime — if Daddy is home he is the Head (though generally doesn’t push that role unless i need back up — but frankly i back him up more as i am rouutine and he is fun, yk?).

        it is working for us so far, the boys don’t notice, and honestly might be too young to understand an explanation now anyway — i have to assume God will make them questions when they are ready to understand?

        Thanks

  9. pamela

    Ok so I didnt read all of the comments above, I admitit. But I think some people reading the word “covering” are thinking of Burkah or scarves or drapes over a woman. I think the term “covering” is simply not wearing mini skirts or plunging necklines.

    I think the most important thing in how we dress is also to consider how we feel about ourselves. As women of any religion we should consider that having a positive self image and attitude is often reflected in how we “look” to others. Not to say that we should dress or wear make up to “please others”. But for our children do we went to come across as confident, warm, welcoming, spiritual etc. Or do we want to come across as ultra sexy, reveiling, etc.

    I think balance can be found in everything we do and everything we wear. I think there is a time and place for nearly everything (notice I say nearly). I prefer to think of the words “modestly dressed” rather than “covering”. I used to live in Japan and quickly noticed few women wore shorts. And only young school girls wore short dresses above the knee. I asked a friend about it and she said it simply wasnt appropriate. I accepted that answer. I’m good with it. I personally HATE to wear shorts. Other than on the beach I cant think of the last time I did! Now I live in China. And I see mini skirts and plunging necklines more than ever. Still not so much of shorts except in High School girls and younger – but much Sexier dressers. hummmmm….something more to think about.

    How does what we wear, and how we wear it (ie is it a bit too small or unbuttoned??? or too big and oversized and sloppy??? or fitting just right, hemmed just right) speak about us?

    Just thinking. Good for you Aimee to think outside the box. Ask questions. Read. Learn. Explore.

  10. Laura

    Rebecca, please get your own Blog… Aimee, you might seriously consider blocking her ISP from your Blog, her diatribes are distracting for the rest of us who appreciate your insight and thoughts. I totally respect your thoughts on modesty and covering, you should not be judged for your personal choices. This woman seriously needs psychological help.

  11. Shawnele

    Hi Aimee,

    I found you from the Mothering forum and just wanted to encourage you. Regarding your husband not liking the way you look while covered:
    a) Have you studied the Scripture with him? What does he think it means?
    b) Perhaps there are other ways to cover that don’t pull back your hair. I think the mantillas (that I think are mainly a Catholic thing) look lovely… The veils draped over hair that is down look very nice…although I’m not sure how well they stay on…

    God bless you as you strive to honor the Lord!

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