This is David & Susan Sifford's journal of what we pray is our sojourn of life (Hebrews 11:8-10) along the narrow way (Matt 7:14), even the old paths (Jeremiah 6:16), submitting to the Bible as a light unto both (Psalms 119:105). It is our prayer that these documented moments in our earthly time benefit whom God might choose to edify, but ultimately that God glorifies Himself through them.

Category: obedience

David’s Digest: What Does It Mean to Submit All Our Actions to God’s Will?

James 4:15 – “For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

At what depth should our wills in the actions of our lives be submitted to our God if we claim Him to be so? What does it mean to truly submit our lives in what we do to Him?

Puritan Thomas Manton in his superb work “A Practical Commentary, or an Exposition with Notes, on the Epistle of James” takes a deep and detailed look into what it means to submit the actions of our lives to God.

You can listen to all of verse 15 here:

 


or download it:
Download

 

The entire book is available here: https://ia800904.us.archive.org/2/items/apracticalcomme01mantgoog/apracticalcomme01mantgoog.pdf#page=375, and this section starts on PDF page 379 (in the print, page 360), or you can get it in other formats here

…or you can listen to the entire book on this page:
Thomas Manton – James Commentary

From Thomas Manton:

Verse 15. – For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

Observation. All our undertakings must be referred to the will of God; not only sacred, but civil actions. Our journeys must not be undertaken without asking his leave; as Jacob, “O Lord God of Abraham thy servant, send me good speed this day” (Gen. xxviii. 20, and xxiv. 12). No wonder, if this be neglected, that you meet with so many cross accidents; they do not come from your hard luck, but your profane neglect.

But what is it to submit all our actions to the will of God? I answer,

1. To measure all our actions by his revealed will [the Bible], that is the rule of duty. We can look for no blessing but upon those ways that suit with it. There must be a submission to his secret will, but first a conformity to his revealed will. Lust [generally, any corrupt desire of the heart] has its wills (Eph. ii. 2); but we are to serve the will of God till we fall asleep (Acts xiii 36).

2. We must the more comfortably undertake any action, when we see God in it. Acts xvi. 10, he gathered that God had called him to Macedonia: so, when we see God in the sweet means and course of his providence, or by inward instinct guiding and leading us, we may with more encouragement walk in the way that he hath opened to us.

3. When in our desires and requests we do not [try to] bind [constrain] the counsels of God; [we should say] “Not my will, but thine be done” (Matt. xxvi. 39). In temporal things we must submit to God’s will both for the mercy, the means, and time of attainment. Creatures that cannot ascribe to themselves, must not prescribe to God, and give laws to Providence, but must be content to want [lack], or have, as the Lord pleases. If any thing succeed not well, the Lord would not [wills it not to be]; that is enough to silence all discontents [discontentment].

4. We must constantly ask his leave in prayer, as before was urged.

5. We must still reserve the power of God’s providence. If the Lord will. If the Lord permit: God would not have us too carnally confident; it is good to inure the soul to changes. Two things we should often consider to this purpose, and they are both in the text:

(1st.) The sovereignty and dominion of Providence: the Lord can blast your enterprise, though managed with never so much wisdom and contrivance [of our own]; he can nip it in the bud, or check it in the very article of execution: and I have observed, that usually God is very tender of his honour in this point, and usually frustrates proud men that boast of what they will do, and conceive unlimited purposes, without any thought of the check they may receive in Providence.

It is a flower of the imperial crown of heaven, and the bridle that God hath upon the reasonable creature, to dispose of the success of human affairs; therefore herein God will be acknowledged: “A man’s heart deviseth his way, but the Lord directeth his steps” (Prov. xvi. 9). Man designs, but the execution depends wholly upon God’s will and providence.

In peremptory resolutions there is a contest between us and Heaven about will and power; therefore, in such cases, the answer of Providence is more express and decisive to the creature’s loss, that God may be acknowledged as Lord of success, and the first mover in all means and causes, without whom they have no force and efficacy.

(2nd.) Consider the frailty and uncertainty of your own lives. Our being is as uncertain as the events of Providence. If we live, and God will, are the exceptions of the text, and do imply that there must be a sensible impression of our own frailty, as well as of the sovereignty of Providence, that the heart may the better submit to God. It is said, “His breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth, in that very day his thoughts perish” (Psa. cxlvi. 4).

Frail men are full of thoughts and projects; this they will do, and that they will do; go to such a city, promote their interests by such an alliance, gain so much by such a purchase; and then they will raise up some stately fabric which shall continue their name and memory to succeeding generations, and all this because they do not mind the earth which they carry about them, and how soon the hand of Providence is able to crumble it into dust. Certainly man will never be wise, till he is able to number his days, and does sufficiently possess his soul of the uncertainty of his abode in the world (Psa. xc. 12).

Observation. We shall live, and do this or that. Mark! it is not enough that God suffer [allow] us to live, but he must also by the same will suffer [allow] us to do or act. The point is, that God’s will concurs not only to our lives, but actions. We may live, and yet not be able to do any thing for the promotion of our designs: for, if God suspend his concurrence, the creatures cannot act, at least not with any towardliness and success, which quite crosses the doctrine of the heathen philosophers. Seneca said, “That we live, it is by the benefit of the gods; that we live well, it is of ourselves.” So Tully: “This is the judgment of all men, that prosperity is to be sought of God, but wisdom to be gotten by ourselves.”

But in the Scriptures we are taught otherwise, not only to seek success of God, but direction; he gives abilities to perform, and a blessing when the action is finished.

  • Without the efficacious [effective], as well as permissive will of God, we can do nothing; he must give us life, and all things necessary to action.
  • We must not only look up to him as the author of the success, but the director of the actions.
  • It is by his conduct and blessing that all things come to pass.
  • Our very counsels and wills are subject to the Divine government, and he can turn them as it pleaseth him (Prov. xxi. 1);

and therefore we must not only commit our ways to his providence, but commend our hearts to the tuition of his Spirit. In short, all things are done by bis will, and must be ascribed to his praise.

May God grant that we indeed see our frailty, His greatness, His supremacy in all things, His worthiness to be submitted to, His lovingkindness in His dealings with us, and may He grant that we be full of thankfulness at all times, especially if by His graces and mercies we have the Lord Christ Jesus as our own!

— David

David’s Digest: Can We Offer Up Our Issac?

James 2:21 – “Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

Abraham’s Issac was his only son — the son of the promise, and yet God would have Abraham offer Isaac as a literal sacrifice on an alter. I would assume this caused Abraham at least a little angst of heart and mind. However, he was quickly obedient.

What has God required of us that causes us pause by way of reason or feelings? How are we to approach obedience to God? Are we willing to offer up our “Issacs”?

Puritan Thomas Manton in his most excellent work “A Practical Commentary, or an Exposition with Notes, on the Epistle of James” applies Abraham’s experience in a practical way to our lives in this verse.

You can listen to all of verse 21 here:


or download it:
Download

The entire book is available here: https://ia800904.us.archive.org/2/items/apracticalcomme01mantgoog/apracticalcomme01mantgoog.pdf#page=246, and this section starts on PDF page 246 (in the print, page 227), or you can get it in other formats here

…or you can listen to the entire book on this page:
Thomas Manton – James Commentary

From Thomas Manton:

Verse 21. – Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

Obs 4. From that Offered Isaac upon the altar He brings this as the great argument of the truth of Abraham’s faith. It is not for faith to produce every action, unless it produce such actions as Abraham’s. Such as will engage you to self-denial, are troublesome to the flesh. David scorned such service as [that] cost nothing. There — where we must deny our own reason, affections, interest — that is an action fit to try a believer.

Let us see what is observable in this action of Abraham, that we may go and do likewise.

(1.) Observe the greatness of the temptation. It was to offer his own son, the son of his love, his only son, a son longed for, and obtained when ‘his body was dead’, and ‘Sarah’s womb dead’; nay, ‘the son of the promise’. Had he been to contend only with natural affection, it had been much — descensive love [I believe, love of a descendant, like a child] is always vehement; but for love to Isaac there were special endearing reasons and arguments.

But Abraham was not only to conflict with natured affection, but reason; not only with reason, but faith. He was, as it were, to execute all his hopes; and all this was to be done by himself; with his own hand he was at one stroke to cut off all his comforts. The execution of such a sentence was as harsh and bitter to flesh and blood, as to be his own executioner.

Oh! go and shame yourselves without, you that can so little deny yourselves for God, that attempt duties only when they are easy and obvious, never care to recover them out of the hands of difficulty and inconvenience. Public duties, if well done, are usually against carnal interests; private duties against carnal affections. Can you give up all that is near and dear to you? Can you offer up your Isaac? your ease and pleasure, for private duties? your interests, for public? Every action is not a trial of faith, but such as engages to self-denial.

(2.) Consider the readiness of his obedience. As Abraham is the pattern of believing, so of obeying. He received the promises, as a figure of our faith; he offered up his son, as a figure of our obedience (Heb. xi. 17).

(1st.) He obeyed readily and willingly: ‘Abraham rose early in the morning’ (Gen. xxii. 3). In such a service some would have delayed all the time they could; but he is up early. Usually we straiten [confine, make narrow] duty, rather than straiten ourselves: we are not about that work early.

(2nd.) Resolutely: he concealed it from his wife, servants, from Isaac himself, that so he might not be diverted from his pious purpose. Oh! who is now so wise to order the circumstances of a duty, that he may not be hindered in it?

(3rd.) He denied carnal reason. In difficult cases we seek to elude the command; dispute how we shall shift it off, not how we shall obey it. If we had been put upon such a trial, we would question the vision, or seek some other meaning; perhaps offer the image of Isaac, or some youngling of the flock, and call it Isaac; as now we often pervert a command by distinctions, and invent shifts to cheat our souls into a neglect of duty; as the heathens, when their gods called for a man, they offered a candle; or as Hercules offered up a painted man instead of a living.

But Abraham does not so, though he had a fair occasion; for he was divided between believing the promise and obeying the command. God tried him in his faith; his faith was to conflict with his natural reason, as well as his obedience with his natural affection. But he ‘accounted that God was able to raise him from the dead’ (Heb. xi. 19), and he reconciled the commandment with the promise. How easily could we have slipped out at this door, and disobey out of pretences and reasons of religion! But Abraham offered Isaac.

May God grant us to be able to see the “Isaacs” in our lives that we might not be willing to easily let go of;

… may we not lessen duty because it goes against carnal selves in some way;

… may He grant us the faith and trust in Him to not hold on to any things of this temporal world;

… may we see ourselves only as stewards of anything we have, with God as the actual owner of them;

… may we cheerfully and obediently surrender and submit ourselves to whatever His pleasure is in the retrieving of these things from us at any moment, even those things most dear to us and least pleasing to our carnal selves;

… and may the Lord grant that He be our only portion, now and always!

Psa 16:5- “The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot.

Psa 119:57 – “Thou art my portion, O Lord: I have said that I would keep thy words.

Psa 73:25-26 – “Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.

— David

David’s Digest: Love of Christ: The Motivator of True Obedience

I have read to Sue, as part of our family worship, the Puritan John Owen’s Complete Works, Vol 1, “The Glory of Christ”, which I highly recommend; our fellowship is going through it as well on each Lord’s Day.

Among the many wonderful revelations of Christ in it, one point really stuck out to me that Dr. Owen spends time declaring and defending in chapter 12 of the work “Christologia or a Declaration of the Glorious Mystery of the Person of Christ — God and Man”: the Bible declares that if we love God, we will obey His commandments; but this also means that those acts which are actually accepted of God vs. ones that are not, even though they might be the same acts, are differentiated primarily by the motivation behind them — that motivation being love for Him. Any person can perform an act that outwardly performs a command of God; but if it is not out of love for God, it is selfishly motivated — performed improperly inwardly — and thus cannot be acceptable by Him.

Here is a snippet from Dr. Owen’s chapter, which, along with the rest of the volume, I hope you will read in their entirety:

That which does enliven and animate the obedience whereof we have discoursed, is love. This himself makes the foundation of all that is acceptable unto him. “If,” saith he, “ye love me, keep my commandments,” John 14:15. As he distinguisheth between love and obedience, so he asserts the former as the foundation of the latter. He accepts of no obedience unto his commands that does not proceed from love unto his person. That is no love which is not fruitful in obedience; and that is no obedience which proceeds not from love. So he expresseth on both sides: “If a man love me, he will keep my words;” and, “He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings,” Verses 23, 24.

In the Old Testament the love of God was the life and substance of all obedience. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, thy mind and strength,” was the sum of the law. This includes in it all obedience, and, where it is genuine, will produce all the fruits of it; and where it was not, no multiplication of duties was accepted with him. But this in general we do not now treat of.

That the person of Christ is the especial object of this divine love, which is the fire that kindles the sacrifice of our obedience unto him — his is that alone which at present I design to demonstrate.

The apostle has recorded a very severe denunciation of divine wrath against all that love him not:

“If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha,” 1 Corinthians 16:22.

And what was added unto the curse of the Law we may add unto this of the Gospel: “And all the people shall say, Amen,” Deut. 27:26. And, on the other hand, he prays for grace on all that “love him in sincerity,” Ephesians 6:24. Wherefore, none who desire to retain the name of Christian, can deny, in words at least, but that we ought, with all our hearts, to love the Lord Jesus Christ.

I do not so distinguish love from obedience as though it were not itself a part, yea, the chiefest part, of our obedience. So is faith also; yet is it constantly distinguished from obedience, properly so called. This alone is that which I shall demonstrate — namely, that there is, and ought to be, in all believers, a divine, gracious love unto the person of Christ, immediately fixed on him, whereby they are excited unto, and acted in, all their obedience unto his authority. Had it been only pleaded, that many who pretend love unto Christ do yet evidence that they love him not, it is that which the Scripture testifieth, and continual experience does proclaim. If an application of this charge had been made unto them whose sincerity in their profession of love unto him can be no way evidenced, it ought to be born with patience, amongst other reproaches of the same kind that are cast upon them. And some things are to be premised unto the confirmation of our assertion.

1. It is granted that there may be a false pretense of love unto Christ; and as this pretense is ruinous unto the souls of them in whom it is, so it ofttimes renders them prejudicial and troublesome unto others. There ever were, and probably ever will be, hypocrites in the church and a false pretense of love is of the essential form of hypocrisy. The first great act of hypocrisy, with respect unto Christ, was treachery, veiled with a double pretense of love. He cried, “Hail, Master! and kissed him,” who betrayed him. His words and actions proclaimed love, but deceit and treachery were in his heart. …

2. As there is a false pretense of love unto Christ, so there is, or may be, a false love unto him also. The persons in whom it is may in some measure be sincere, and yet their love unto Christ may not be pure, nor sincere — such as answers the principles and rules of the gospel; and as many deceive others, so some deceive themselves in this matter. They may think that they love Christ, but indeed do not so. …

There is much more, and I do hope you will read the whole chapter from the beginning, chapters 13 and 14 also, which continue on this topic, and even the whole volume.

Is your “obedience” truly motivated by love for God? A true love? Are you sure? If it is not, then your obedience is not obedience at all. Have you ever thought about it? If not, then your religious activities and worship might actually be sin. Ask the Searcher of hearts (Psa. 139:23-24 to examine yours and reveal the truth of your motivations toward obedience. Ask Him for love for Him and a true and deeper revelation of Christ, as He is the source of all things spiritual (John 3:6; John 3:27; John 15:5; Acts 17:28; Gal. 5:22-23).

May He grant us love for Him, and repentance for acts of selfish obedience.

— David

Susan’s Musin’s – Journey Into Obedience (Becoming a Help Meet, and Submission)

When Dave and I recited our wedding vows to each other, I wanted to be sure to include the words “obey” and “help meet” in mine. I was juuuust beginning to understand my ordained, Biblical role as it looked on paper; but to actually live it on a daily, hourly, minute-by-minute, second-by-second (you get the picture) basis would prove to be a HUGE learning curve.

Many times I had read Genesis 2:18 which states, “And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him.” and not thought much about it. I had recently been studying God’s institutions in the Bible and learned that marriage, work, and men’s and women’s roles and duties, among other things, were institutions actually ordained by God, meaning this is how God set an example and precedent to show us how He wants us to live. Interestingly and in light of that, I was recently watching an episode of the old Jack Benny show, and he had Art Linkletter on as a guest. Remember this was back in the 1950’s just before the women’s liberation movement took hold. He had three or four young children on for one of his “Kids Say the Darndest Things” segments. He asked each child what they wanted to be when they grew up. The little girl, without hesitation, said, “I want to be a housewife,” and Art Linkletter said something to the affect of, “Of course you do. You want to grow up to be just like Mommy.” In essence, she was saying, “I want to be a help meet.” Today, most women watching that would sit horrified and sorry for that little girl’s completely wasted potential in life. Well, that is the world’s opinion; however, that little girl’s desire was to obediently fulfill her God-ordained role.

I read that the term “help meet” in the Bible basically means “one who helps.” THAT is what God has designed for me to be as a Christian woman. Period. And if I had a daughter who wasn’t married, I would do my best to prepare her to be a help meet, should God see fit to bring her a husband.

Submission goes hand in hand with being a help meet. In writing this blog post, I researched the verses that discuss God’s command for wives to obey and submit to their husbands. It was startling that God pretty much hits us over the head with a hammer with all of the verses He provides; however, disobedience and rebellion among Christian wives obviously runs rampant throughout the professing church:

Eph 5:22 – “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

Eph 5:24 – “Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.” (Uh, yes, Sue, that means EVERY thing)

Col 3:18 – “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.

Titus 2:5 – “To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

1 Pet 3:1 – “Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;

1 Pet 3:5 – “For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:

Being required in the Bible to submit to my husband, I looked up the word “submission” in Webster’s 1828 Dictionary and found the following:

1. The act of submitting; the act of yielding to power or authority; surrender of the person and power to the control or government of another.

2. Acknowledgment of inferiority or dependence; humble or suppliant behavior.

3. Acknowledgment of a fault; confession or error.

4. Obedience; compliance with the commands or laws of a superior. Submission of children to their parents is an indispensable duty.

5. Resignation; a yielding of one’s will to the will or appointment of a superior without murmuring. Entire and cheerful submission to the will of God is a christian duty of prime excellence.

Wow! Some of those key words are pretty humbling and convicting: “yield”, “surrender”, “compliance”, “humility”, “suppliant”, “without murmuring”, etc…

It is clear in the Bible that Christ is our prophet, priest and king. As I have studied types and shadows in the Bible, I have learned that marriage between a man and a woman is the physical manifestation of Christ and His spiritual Church. Likewise, since Christ is declared in the Bible as the husband, prophet, priest and king over His bride, the Church, the temporal manifestation is the husband being prophet, priest and king over his wife and household. When thinking about being the bride of Christ, I would think it is inappropriate to question Christ or take on an attitude toward Him and start telling Him what to do. I am to treat my husband with the same reverence and respect. I now look at my husband as a benevolent king over me, his subject, and therefore do not have the right to disobey or disrespect him. I realize this is much easier said than done and am finding it a lifelong process to implement. HOWEVER, this is no excuse to give up or be rebellious. More and more I love serving my husband because that is what I was called and created to do. That is my honor and duty under God. And when I serve my husband properly, I am serving God properly. I cannot imagine anything to help me sleep better at night knowing I am doing God’s will in fulfilling my role as a help meet. Then the worldly importance of status and accomplishments starts to lose its satisfaction and seduction. I’ve also learned to pray, and pray, and then pray more for my husband, so God might grant him the proper, Biblical mindset and authority perspective. It takes two to tango, but all I can do is focus on my part and trust God will handle the rest.

Upon further study in the Bible, I believe God has very graciously shown me the grave error of my previous ways in the corporate and professing Christian world fulfilling roles that are reserved by God for men alone. I was very gung ho on climbing up the corporate ladder and taking leadership roles at church; but I cannot even begin to explain the peace and joy I have experienced by understanding my role, giving up those other things, and tending to my husband and our ranch full time. It has helped me to better comprehend the spiritual type we are living out here on earth. This is so contradictory to how our society functions and teaches that many heads of women reading this will probably start smoking and eventually explode. (ewww, gross)

There are so many subjects this topic touches. In a nutshell though, I think I’ll close this post by encouraging any women reading this, single or married, to truly study the Bible concerning their role as a woman and ask God to grant them obedience regardless of what it requires. I have learned to meditate and implement the following phrase over the course of the past few years as God has shown me His truths in the Bible: “My job is to be obedient and God will handle the rest.” Period. No excuses. I am to serve my husband and household and to be obedient to him as to God. Period. No excuses; no attitude. I pray that, when I am called before God to answer for my choices here on earth, He will not find me making a bunch of excuses as to why I think I was better suited to fulfill roles that He blatantly reserved for men. I look at professing Christian women in mainstream churches in roles of worldly corporate success, and teaching, preaching, and eldership in the church; and now I see them as being in disobedience to God even though they may be very talented and intelligent. God has made it clear in the Bible they are not supposed to be in these roles (1 Tim 2:11-12). God will raise the proper men for these positions if the women will simply vacate them and obey what God has told them to do.

There is a book entitled Created to be His Help Meet by Debbie Pearl that I believe has some really helpful information to women searching for how they are to fulfill this God-ordained role. I do not subscribe to some of the author’s doctrinal positions but believe this book has some great guidance for Christian women.

May God be glorified as He leads us into all truth and grants us repentance, belief and obedience to His word.

Susan

Susan’s Musin’s – Journey Into Obedience (Head Coverings)

I remember in my teen and young adult years attending special church or city Christian events, and many times there were a few women who really stuck out in the crowd. They always wore very modest dresses and these “things” on their heads. I now believe these were most likely Mennonite women who wore prayer bonnets. I remember thinking I was glad I didn’t have to dress like that and feeling almost embarrassed on their behalf because they looked so different and “out of touch” with the times. I imagined what a drag it must have been to be brought up in their denomination. And on I went with my life giving VERY little thought of why these women dressed as they did.

Quantum leap 20 years ahead……I have gotten married, and God is teaching my husband and me so many truths in His word and is growing us by leaps and bounds (all thanks be to God). We have moved to Texas and are thriving living in community with like-minded Christian folks. God has begun teaching me about modesty as a Christian woman in dress and manner. Then the “H”-bomb was dropped.

Some earnest members of our little church community started studying the subject of women and head coverings in the Bible, particularly 1 Cor. 11, and other historical documents. Dave read a bunch of materials and then requested that I read and study them myself. “No problem, Honey! I’ll get right on it”. Laaaaa, deee, daaa, dum, deee, dum (scccrrreeeeeeeeecchhh). That was the sound of my flesh screaming NNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, NOT MY HAIR!!!!

When I saw vs. 15 “But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.”, I thought, “Yes! No sweat, I can grow my hair long as the covering”. I was home free and my flesh relaxed. But after REALLY studying the chapter and reading other historical materials, it became very clear to me that God has provided an example in nature (long hair) to show that a woman’s head is to be veiled, and the long hair is not the veil itself.

A few other verses that proved to me the case for the head covering were:

vs. 6: “For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered”. It seems to me a woman’s covering here cannot mean her hair because this verse says that if she’s not covered she is being so disrespectful she may as well be shaven or shorn which was a sign of extreme shame back then. If the hair was meant to be the covering here the verse would make no sense, but if taken to mean an example of a covering over the hair it makes perfect sense.

vs. 7: “For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.” This verse talks about a man not covering his head. Well, if people’s assumption is that a woman’s covering is her hair, then to be consistent they would be required to assume no covering on a man means he should shave his head. So you would think we would be seeing a lot more heads of professing Christian men shaved. It appears to me this passage means actual head covering and not just hair.

vs. 14-15: “Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering”. If a man grows his hair long it looks feminine and womanish which is not natural or proper according to this verse. But a covering in nature (long hair) on a woman does look appropriately feminine and womanish. It seems to me God is graciously putting up a neon sign in nature saying that women’s heads should be covered and men’s heads should not.

Lastly, I did consider the argument used by so many professing Christians today that this teaching from Paul only applied to Christians in Corinth at that time. When I thought of the principles behind the requirement to wear a head covering, it is clear to me that they are timeless principles and make just as much sense today as they did back in those times. In my opinion the only reason it is not subscribed to today is because it is WE who have changed, not God or His requirements or principles. And that is no excuse in God’s eyes.

Dave never commanded me to wear a head covering. He only requested that I wear one during family prayer and public worship. I absolutely submitted to him in that, at a minimum, because I am required to (that blog post is forthcoming, Lord willing); but also because I agreed it was my responsibility as set forth in 1 Cor 11. As for anything further than that, he simply asked me to study and ask for God to reveal His will to me. Well, at first I did only wear a covering (a bandanna in my case) during the family prayer and public worship times. But as I studied it further and understood the principles of “why” God instructs women to do this, I realized I should have it on pretty much all the time I’m in public or in any kind of prayer before God. All throughout the day I find myself praying things as they come to mind, and it would be silly to constantly be taking the head covering on and off. Also, I realized, AGAIN, that it’s not about me, it is part of putting and holding down my vain nature; and it contributes to the image of modesty I am instructed to put forth. Lastly, it is good for me to have a constant reminder of the role God has given me as a submitted, obedient Christian woman.

My prayer, since God began to open my eyes to His truths, has been for Him to grant me continued wisdom, understanding, repentance and obedience in all matters. Reluctantly, this was one of those times where it was too late to turn back once my eyes had been opened. There was no returning without my conscience convicting me. I believe that if one studies 1 Cor. 11 honestly, he or she can come to no other conclusion than that Christian women are to cover their heads. In a nutshell, I believe the head covering is a symbol to your husband, God and the heavenly realms that you are in obedience and submission to God and husband and their authority; it represents a covering or authority over you, and by not wearing one a woman is disrespecting God and her husband. (This applies to single women as well).

This was a rubber hitting the road point in my life. It is a subject that has obviously been cast aside and marginalized by 99% of professing Christianity, so I had a big question to ask myself: do I make current culture and society my compass, or God’s eternal Word and the principles behind it? Well, my conscience answered that question right quick; but my carnal man roared like a lion because I couldn’t show off my mane anymore!! Good grief, when it actually came down to putting on the head covering every day, I practically had to have a funeral to memorialize my hairstyle and all the cute ways to wear my hair. I had no idea how vain I was with my hair until I had to cover it. (That was another part of my journey into modesty).

I am not a Mennonite, nor do I subscribe to all of their theology; however, I now look back on those women and greatly appreciate that their desire to obey and honor God and their husbands in their lives superseded their desire to look cool for a fleeting time here on earth. It grieves me that I have spent so many years plainly dishonoring God in so many areas in my life, including this one, and thank God for dropping those scales from my eyes to show me how He wants me to live for Him. And I can’t stress enough the importance of learning the principles and purposes behind all of these commands that appear to be legalistic in the world’s eyes. What a blessing to live a life of increasing obedience to my God and husband. I have never desired to be called a “peculiar” person, but now I consider it an honor. (Deut 14:2; Deut 26:18; Titus 2:14; 1 Pet 2:9)

I could go on and on about the proof and reasons I believe for wearing a head covering, but I won’t. If you are interested in looking into this issue for yourself, here are a few modern-day resources I have found to be very helpful:

Headcoverings Required: the Biblical basis for a neglected practice by Steve Richardson (audio sermon)

Should Christian Women Wear Head Coverings Today? by Robert Spinney

Head Coverings in Public Worship by Brian Schwertley

Reasons for Head Covering by Troy Dukes

My prayer for those God has brought to this blog is for Him to draw them to Himself and lead them on a journey into all truth which will bring glory to Him, and that is what it is all about.

Susan