The teaching to the church at Corinth was a man must not have long hair nor cover his head when praying or prophesying for it would dishonour Christ (1 Cor 11:3-16).  For a woman at that time in history to have her hair cut off was a disgrace indicating she was an adulteress. Long hair was her glory, and provided a covering indicating she was under the authority of her husband.  Today some believe women should still wear a head covering in church. Regardless of our understanding of this instruction to the early church, believers should look and behave in ways that are acceptable and modest in their own culture and practice what the outward covering indicates – submission.

Satan had to get permission to attack Job who, because he walked blameless and uprightly, was protected by a divine hedge (Job 1:8-12, 2:3,6,7). “God is a shield, guarding and protecting His faithful ones” so nothing gets through unless allowed by Jesus (Prov 2:7,8). If we choose to get out from under that umbrella of protection and operate independently, we are exposed to needless spiritual

Jesus protects those who walk close to Him

attacks and must take full responsibility for such rebellious actions instead of walking in obedience to the Word, sheltered by the blood of Christ. While bad things do happen to righteous people, the Bible’s message is “All things work together for the good of those who love God” (Rom 8:28). God uses the seeming destructive experiences we encounter to outwork His good plans (Gen 50:20; Act 2:23, 4:27,28).

God has ordained authority structures to provide protection, accountability and security to those in submission to that authority.  In each strata of society there are ‘line of authority’ structure systems to safeguard each person who submits.  God has established a chain of authority too – God, Christ, Holy Spirit, man, woman, children – in that order (Gen 3:16; 1 Cor 11:3; Col 3:20).  As Christ loves the church so husbands are to lovingly safeguard their wives and children, caring for, guiding and protecting them from spiritual and worldly attacks on their lives (Eph 5:21-33). By his God-honouring lifestyle, the husband should have the respect of those he is charged with protecting. Several times the Bible records the father making inclusive statements about their families or their families being included in the father’s decision – “As for me and my house…You and your household” (Josh 24:15; Act 16:31-34). Although each person must make their own decision to follow Christ, the example set by the head of the house often is followed. Men, take your responsibility seriously to have a Godly impact on the lives of those you are accountable for as the head of the home. Each of us must function within our God-given role submitting to those over us. “Can two walk together unless they agree?” (Amos 3:3). For us to walk closely with the Lord we must be living in obedience and submission under His spiritual authority, because to be under the protection of any covering requires some level of compliance.

See also: authority, clothing, cover, hair, hide/hidden, protection, submission.