Saturday, 16 August 2014

The Realm of Hair

Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ and the head of every woman is man and the head of Christ is God.  Every man who prays or prophesies with long hair
dishonours his head. And every woman who prays or prophesies with no covering of hair on her head dishonors her head - she is just like one of the shorn  women. If a woman has no covering, let her be for now with short hair, but since it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair shorn or shaved, she should grow it again. A man ought not to have long hair. For man did not come from woman but woman from man; neither was man created for woman but woman for man. For this reason and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head.
In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God. Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair it is a disgrace to him but that if a woman has long hair it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering. If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice - nor do the churches of God.” I Cor 11:3-16


In essence: 
Men are to have short hair. 
Woman are to have long hair. 
If a married woman has short hair then when she prays or speaks on God’s behalf, she is to wear a hat or head covering of some sort, until her hair grows long.

Why?? 
Why would Paul spend so long talking about hair length. 
It’s just hair isn’t it? 
Does Jesus really care about hair? I know He created it but still, that doesn’t mean He owns it, does it?
Where is my say in all this?
Surely there are bigger issues to worry about.
Do I really need to hand over Lordship and control of the length of my hair to God? 
Is it that big a deal?
Isn’t this all just cultural?
No one else is doing it.

These are all the questions I have had for many years. You see, I liked short hair. For the majority of my life I’ve had very short hair. Plus, I don’t like hats. In fact, I have been known to chop my hair very short when breaking up with a boyfriend or following an argument with my husband. Surely there was no connection? Surely I could stick my fingers in my ears and sing lah lah lah to drown out the small still voice. This was not a comfortable passage for me. I used to partly hyperventilate whenever I considered that Jesus actually meant what was being said here.

It was just so..so... so... shocking! 
There. 
I said it.

I was going to have to change! 
I was going to have to repent! 
I was going to have to admit I was wrong! 
I was going to have to admit that in my pride I thought I knew better. 
I was going to have to submit.

What Paul is explaining here is that the hair is a symbol of what is going on in the spiritual realm and in the heart. Let me explain. I should warn you that this may not be comfortable. It certainly wasn’t for me.

There is a hierarchy of authority, whether I like it or not, designed by God. It goes like this, in descending order.

God the Father  
Jesus 
Man
Woman.

Jesus submitted his will to the authority of the Father. He led by example. He trusted the Father’s love.

So Jesus explained to them “I tell you the truth, the son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.” John 5:19

“For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.” John 6:38

“For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken.” 
John 12:49 

“Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather it is the Father, living in me, who is doing this work.”
John 14:10

The head of Christ Jesus is God.
1 Cor 11:3


Though in submission to God the Father’s authority, Jesus remained in very essence equal with God. He was not a second-rate citizen by any means here. This is about roles and not value. He saw his role as a privilege not a burden to be fought off.

Likewise men (males) are told to submit their will to the authority of Jesus. To follow Christ’s example. To trust Jesus’s love for them. To see their role as a privilege and not a burden. They demonstrate this submission, this attitude of the heart by keeping their hair short.

The head of every man is Christ.

Every man who prays or prophesies with long hair dishonors his head.

Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair it is a disgrace to him.

Husbands love your wives just as Christ Jesus loved the church and gave himself up for her.

Culturally, this is not such a big jump for many of us here in Australia. Most men wear short hair in the church. Whether or not they understand the spiritual significance of this, only they will know.

Now we get to the sticky part, for our Australian Culture. It is not popular for women to speak of submitting their will to the authority of men. We don’t see it as a privileged role but rather we view it as a sign of us being determined second-rate citizens. Something you want to discard. Usually you hear more ‘but’ s, and ‘if’s than you do enthusiastic ‘yay’s. I have been there. I am still there are times but I desire to nail this issue to the cross and be done with it!

Long hair is an outward sign that I am submitting my will to the authority of my husband whom God has put in authority over me, if I wish to declare myself as a child of God. The bible here calls it a covering. It is a sign I am trusting in my husband’s love for me. It speaks of long hair in spiritual terms not just physical hairdressing terms. Paul doesn’t mention humidity or drying times or knots or nits  or grey hair when discussing why a woman should have long hair. It’s all about God’s spiritual structure of authority. 

For long hair is given to her as a covering.

Every woman who prays or prophesies with no covering of long hair on her head dishonors her head.

The head of every woman is man.

If a woman has long hair it is her glory.

It is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair shorn or shaved, she should grow it again.

For this reason and because of the angels, the woman ought to have a sign of authority on her head.

Wives submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ Jesus is the head of the church...now as the church submits to Christ so also wives should submit to their husbands.
Eph 5:22-24


How do I define ‘long hair’ you ask?

Jesus didn’t give me an exact measurement. I like that. He lets me determine it. He doesn’t say I can’t trim it, or shape it. Just that it should be long. 

These are my thoughts.

If I stood in front of a hairdressers’ and there were three prices for women’s hair cuts: short, medium and long, which category would the hairdresser automatically put me in, to charge me?

If a child was asked to sort photos of women into three subsets ; those with long hair medium hair and short hair, which subset would a child put a photo of me in?

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.
1 Cor 6:19-20.


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