HAIR TO STAY

HAIR TO STAY

1Corinthians 11
1Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.

2Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.

3But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

4Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.

5But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.

6For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.

7For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.

8For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man.

9Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.

10For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.

11Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.

12For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.

13Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?

14Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?

15But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.

16But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God

Now I put the whole passage because we need to take it as a whole and in it’s context.

This is not the deepest of biblical revelations it is a simple application of the basic questions anyone should ask when reading the bible esp with the writings of Paul.
Who was he writing to?
When was he writing to them?
Why did he have to write?
What was his central point?
Who was he writing to?
Paul was writing to the church of Corinth. Corinth was similar to a business hub like new York, Miami, England, (what Trinidad wants to be lol). There were diverse mixtures of people in the city and of course many different cultures and customs came together in one place. This merger of culture would have been a breeding ground cultural influences to foster.


When was he writing to them?
He was writing to them a few months after he left them. He apparently stayed with the church for about a year and a half to establish it and he moved on.


Acts 18:11 And he continuedthere a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.

Why did he have to write?

He had two reasons for writing:
1. He got a letter from them with some complaints. (7:1 Now for the matters you wrote about…)
2. He got news from the house of Chloe (1:11My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you)
What was his central point?
In this passage (vs11) he is specifically dealing with the headship of a man and his wife.
11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
The greek work used for man and woman in this passage is “anér” and “guné” respectively

So the foundation of this script is that it is speaking about a husband and a wife not general men and women. The context of usage of man and woman here is specifically dealing with husband and wife relationships. This can be shown by the fact that the head of every husband is Christ and the head of the wife is the husband.

Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
Consequently the same two words for husband and wife in Ephesians. This shows that the context of the usage of the two words was understood by the readers because when he said “aner” in a specific context he may have meant man and in another he would have meant husband.
It is similar to the negative-positive meanings that we use in our culture… namely words like “dread” “bad” “sick”. In context bad means bad. In another bad means good. So Paul was talking about husband and wife.
11:4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.


So now when a man (husband) prayed covering his head in that culture he was dishonoring his “head” which head? The head he is speaking about is not his physical head but the head that was laid out in the verse before, meaning Christ. So the man covering his head in their custom was not showing headship over his wife. Because the covering of the head was a sign of submission in the marital context. How could he pray and prophesy if he was not taking the headship in his marriage?

11:5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.
He goes on to speak about a woman dishonoring her head (the Husband). Their jewish influenced culture understood that a woman with her head covered showed submission to her husband. If she did not have her head covered she was looked upon as a rbelious wife that had no respect for her husband.


Since in their culture long hair was carried by a woman, Paul said basically in trini slang “IS BESS SHE SHAVE SHE HEAD AND DONE. IF SHE DON’T WANT TO SUBMIT TO THE MAN, IS BESS SHE LOOK LIKE ONE”


11:6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.


So we see here that Paul wants to establish headship in a husband and wife relationship and uses the culture that they were in to bring across his point to the readers who at that time had a clear understanding of what was going on because……. they were in the culture.


11:13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?

11:14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?

11:15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.


doth not nature?

Nature here is not birds and bees and trees and animals. Nature is everything around us, meaning all that is around us including human nature and cultural nature. Their cultural nature was that women would cover their head to show submission plain and simple and they would have long hair and a man would not.


If a man had the long hair he would be seen as dishonoring his head which is Christ because what they understood it to be was.
SHORT HAIR= Man of God who is the Head of his Wife

LONG HAIR = Woman of God who knows her role as a wife and where she stands.


That was the fact in that time which is why paul used it. The word of God is not trying to lay a law about long hair. It is laying a law about the confines in which a marriage is supposed to be carried out with respect to headship and submission.

Christ —> Husband —-> Wife


Today’s Application


If we were to apply that today we could find many other things that point to a woman being humble in our society.
We could see for instance:


A woman allowing her husband to speak on behalf of the family when the need arises instead of always cutting him off.
A man ensuring that he get’s his family to church on time every Sunday.
A man leading the family in it’s spiritual growth and direction


I’m sure you can think of many things that a husband can do in our culture to show that he is the head of his wife in a spiritual sense and that a woman has a husband that she sees and respects as the head.


Conclusion


All in all this passage up to verse 16 is not about hair length and lays down no biblical law of the length of one’s hair (both male and female).
The focus of the passage is to establish headship in a marriage. It simply used cultural norms of that day to bring it across which is what Paul normally does in his teachings.


The real issue with long hair

If your hair is an expression of you it’s no problem……. if it’s an expression of your pride/idolatry then there is a problem.
Idolizing your hair is as real as idolizing a golden calf. (both male and female)
We have made style an idol and we put it higher than our relationship with God.

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