1 Corinthians 11:5 And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is just as though her head were shaved. 6If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off, she should cover her head.
This is probably one of the most unpopular and most rarely obeyed command in the Bible. I suppose that is because many believe it lowers and subjugates women.
But in reality, it is a beautiful symbol of the harmony between Christ and his church.
Ephesians 5:24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
A commonly held theory is that women are exempt because it was a "cultural thing." However, looking at verse sixteen, we see that all women were expected to cover their heads, regardless of culture or background.
1 Corinthians 11:16 If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice - nor do the churches of God.
What if I don't get married?
I asked this question, and a wise woman explained to me why she believes it is a command for all women to follow. Notice in verse ten that women are to have a sign of authority "because of the angels." A woman bears witness that she believes in the biblical line of authority and is willing to submit to it.
I'm not certain what "because of the angels" means, but it could mean that by following this command we encourage the angels in their own obedience. It could serve as condemnation to fallen angels. Or it could be a marker of sorts that we are God's daughters and that we have his protection. I have seen this used as a reason not to cover my head, but it's ridiculous that God would place a command in the Bible, just to be followed by a reason not to obey.
I also do not believe that women ought to cover their heads at all times. Some believe that we should in light of Ephesians 4:18, which says to pray always. It is to be an outward sign for when everyone knows that a woman is praying or prophesying. Also, taking 1 Corinthians 11:4 into consideration (Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head) the same command would have to hold true for men. A man would never be allowed to cover his head. I see some inconsistencies here.
It was difficult and even embarrassing when I first decided to wear a head covering to church and when I pray. It's especially hard when no one else is doing it. But that's not what's important, thankfully. Imagine how pleased God is with his children when they obey him in everything because they love him, and not because they have to do it to earn his favor. It's really freeing to know that what other people think doesn't matter. That the only thing that matters is what God thinks of me. And I know that he loves me more than anyone else does, so what can I do but love him back, and demonstrate that love by obedience?
John 14:15 If you love me, you will keep my commandments.