A Response to 1 Corinthians 11

When I first started wearing my veil, it was because I wanted to give God greater glory. “…whereas if a woman has long hair it is her glory…” (v 15). I had been told that a woman’s hair is her glory, and by covering what glorifies us, we give God back his Glory. I thought that this was a beautiful statement, and I felt called to cover my hair in church as a way of honoring God.


The first time I wore my veil was a very humbling experience. I was too scared to look up because I did not want to see other people’s questioning faces, and I was too scared to move because it felt like my veil would fall off if I did. I was left with only one place to put my focus on……the altar. I left the church that day feeling not only stronger in my ability to witness to others through my actions, but also renewed and humbled because I was able to forget about the world and put my entire focus on Jesus. 


Since that day, I have come across people who have criticized me for wearing a veil, and others who tell me that it is a beautiful devotion. Those who look down upon the veil the most are women who see the wearing of a veil as a sign of submission to men. In the early days of Vatican II, feminists called out for women to burn their veils as a way to liberate themselves from their perceived submission.


“But I want you to know that Christ is the head of every man, and a husband the head of his wife, and God the head of Christ…” (v 3). God established a hierarchy within the family where the husband was the head, not the wife. The veil is a sign that a woman accepts this hierarchy, that she accepts God’s call to service. Marriage creates one life out of two. The husband, as head of his family, has a responsibility to make sure that his family lives out the ideals that both he and his wife wish to carry out in their life. The husband might be the head of his family; but the woman is the heart, and no one can live a truly enriched life without both their mind and their heart.


Advocates of feminism hate the veil because to them, it represents men’s power over women…to me; the veil is a challenge and a promise.


By wearing my veil, I honor God by telling him that His will is all that matters in my life.
By wearing my veil, I promise God to do my best to grow in modesty and humility.
By wearing my veil, I make a promise to God that I will put aside my selfishness and be a true servant to my future husband.
By wearing my veil, I challenge my future husband to lead by example and be a better man of God.
By wearing my veil, I challenge my future husband to honor and to cherish me.
By wearing my veil, I challenge my future husband to honor my God given gift to bear life because it is only through me as a woman that he can ever have children.
By wearing my veil, I challenge my future husband to see me as the most valuable gift in his life because it is only through God that he will be given my heart.
By wearing my veil, I challenge my future husband to see me through God’s eyes.
By wearing my veil, I challenge all men to respect me as they would respect their own sisters, as they would respect their own mother and, most importantly, as they would respect our mother Mary.
By wearing my veil, I challenge all men to see God’s light and love in me above all else.
By wearing my veil, I challenge all men to see me as a humble creation of God’s love and grace. 


As women, we have a choice in what we believe and in how we show our beliefs to others. I’ve made my choice…and I end with one last thought……


What is feminism if not a challenge to men to see women as more than just ordinary?

 

Originally Written and Posted: September, 12, 2008 at 9:10am