Friday, January 16, 2009

A Covering (Revisited)

In a previous post, I started toying with what these verses could mean:
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body.
-Ephesians 5:25-30

Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is just as though her head were shaved. If 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. A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. 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.
-1 Corinthians 11:3-10

I've heard of the "Headship" theology, that I suspect finds its roots in these verses. A part of it, I recognize as truth. But other parts of it are false. The theology assumes much that ISN'T true and has been blatantly contradicted in scripture. I could never figure out where the truth was or how to explain it...I just knew it existed somewhere in that mess.

I realize that the covering referred to in the 2nd passage is largely about covering one's head. I realize that from some "theologians" and exegetes (in quotes due to students I've heard speak of this and, frankly, I don't know what to call him), these are not referring to a man as a woman's covering. I am no exegete or theologian, but the intertwining of man as head of woman and the woman being required to keep her head covered lead me to believe there's some paralleling going on here. If I had the education that those people had, I'd probably attempt to prove that...especially with the knowledge that Paul DOES use parallels a lot.

Its so odd, but prior to marriage, my pregnancy and the sins that have led me to where I am now were something I struggled with. I felt ashamed and thoroughly unworthy. Yes, I'm definitely unworthy of God's love and forgiveness and all the gifts he has bestowed on me, but there comes a time when I should be releasing that shame and embracing his healing and forgiveness.

I was struggling with that...but on the wedding night, something just happened. It was as if my husband was providing me a covering from the shame that the world would lay on my shoulders if they knew. Finally, I could rejoice in the life God planted in my womb without feeling ashamed of how he got there.

Does that make sense? I'm still the one at fault, and yet my husband is a tool that God is using to provide healing and protection.

Well, John Thomas at Boundless said something that kinda explains what I'm trying to get at in his Answer column (found here).
Marriage is not only embracing another person's present and future, but also his (or her, in your case) past. One of the most exciting parts of marriage is partnering with God to bring healing to one another from past hurts, often caused by our own sin. We embrace this person who looks great from the front, and when we put our arms around her we discover all the wounds in her back, and she discovers ours. Guess what? You and God get to spend a lifetime enjoying the thrill of healing and restoration and being healed and restored. And what better way than through the warm, flesh-to-flesh, spirit-to-spirit bonding with another person?

I don't know, but that seems to explain for me somewhat my idea of what the husband as a "covering" would look like.

1 comment:

Coffee Catholic said...

The difficulties arise when Christians rely solely on the Bible as a "how to" manual for their life. The Bible was never meant to cover everything under the sun ~ it addressed specific questions that had been raised in the early church.

The church on the other hand is where we find all of our answers, not just some. Christian tradition, combined with the Bible, gives a clear understanding of what is expected of us as Christians.

Women covering their hair was taught since the very beginning but during the cultural revolt of the 1960's, women rebelled and threw off the head covering. Ever since then Christian women have gone around and around as they try and explain away the ancient rule that women are to cover their hair.

Most Christian women I meet have absolutely no knowledge of christain history, let alone what has always been taught (and left unchanged!) for the past 2,000 years. There's a wealth of writing from 2,000 years ago right up to the present so there's no excuse for any Christian to be ignorant of what is expected of them.

But that's a decidedly difficult thing for most modern Christans to accept ~ it would mean that they must submit rather then deciding for themselves based on what *they* individually discern from the Bible while claiming to be led by the Holy Spirit.

It seems that these days we all have leave to be our own Pope.