God, in the creation of men and women, gave both sexes unique anatomical, physiological and psychological features, to distinguish the two sexes at a glance. The unique features of each sex is to complement those of the other, inorder to achieve wholeness and oneness when the two come together in marriage.
Genesis 2:21 So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.
Genesis 2:22 And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.
Genesis 2:23 Then the man said, This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
Genesis 2:24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
By divine design, each sex is easily identified at a glance. The God of nature made it such that there should be no confusion or ambiguity in the identification and distinction of the sexes. God is not an author of confusion. Therefore, there is normally no confusion in gender identity from early childhood.
Nowhere is the distinction between the sexes more striking than in the natural characteristics of the hair. By nature, the female has long hair covering the head, significantly more lengthy than that of the male. In every tribe and in every race, this is the rule: the female hair is always longer than that of the male. The longer the hair, the more graceful and feminine a woman looks. The woman’s long hair is her glory, for it dignifies her and accentuates her femininity. It is therefore a shame and a disgrace for a woman to cut her hair! This is what Scripture says!
1 Corinthians 11:6 For if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head.
1 Corinthians 11:15 but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering.
On the other hand, nature teaches us that it’s a shame and a disgrace for a man to wear long hair. It’s unnatural and effeminate for a man to grow his hair as long as that of a woman. It is a blurring of the natural distinction of the sexes. It is forbidden by both God and nature.
1 Corinthians 11:14 Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him?
Apart from the natural and cultural need to distinguish between the sexes at a glance, there is a spiritual purpose to the difference in the length of the hair between the sexes. A woman is to cover her head in worship (whether praying or prophesying), while a man is to keep his head uncovered. The reason is that, a man dishonours his head if he prays or prophesies with a covering on it, while a woman dishonours her head if she prays or prophesies without a covering on her head.
1 Corinthians 11:4 Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head,
1 Corinthians 11:5 but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is the same as if her head were shaven.
We need to understand the head of the woman and that of the man, and the reasons why they need to honour their respective heads in prayer and worship. The head of the man is Christ, while the head of the woman is the man, her husband. This is what Scripture teaches.
1 Corinthians 11:3 But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.
Ephesians 5:22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.
Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.
Ephesians 5:24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
The Scripture is very explicit about the relationship of the sexes: the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the man. The woman is to submit to the man as the man is to submit to Christ. It is these various headships (Christ and man) that are to be honoured in prayer and prophesying.
1 Corinthians 11:7 For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man.
A man is the image and glory of God. He reflects God’s glory directly, and should not cover this glory, but should display it for all to see. Christ is the head of the man, and should not be covered. He should be openly displayed and honoured. That is why the man should not cover his head during prayer and while prophesying.
1 Corinthians 11:8 For man was not made from woman, but woman from man.
1 Corinthians 11:9 Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.
1 Corinthians 11:10 That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels.
A woman is the image and glory of the man, who is her head. She should not display her head in the presence of the angels, during spiritual worship. By uncovering and displaying her head, her husband, she dishonours him. She should therefore have her head covered symbolically, to show her subjection to her husband.
Now, how is the woman to symbolically cover her head? And how is the man to uncover his head? Surely, God should factor this into the nature of both sexes such that each, in his/her natural state, will honour his/her respective head? Of course, God makes it such that by obeying nature, we obey his word. Let’s examine Scripture to see the natural covering for the woman. By extension, we will see how the man is naturally without a covering for his head.
1 Corinthians 11:13 Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a wife to pray to God with her head uncovered?
1 Corinthians 11:14 Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him,
1 Corinthians 11:15 but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering.
There it is, friends! The woman’s long hair is given to her by nature as a covering for her head! No wonder it’s a dishonour for a woman to cut her hair, for her long hair is her God-given covering for her head. Without her long hair, the woman’s head is shamefully uncovered! Without her long hair, the woman dishonours her head.
Conversely, a man who wears long hair not only violates the law of nature, he also dishonours his head (Christ) by having his head covered, for the long hair is the covering for the head for both men and women. Thus, without the need for an artificial covering, a woman who maintains her naturally long hair covers and honours her head. In the same vein, a man who maintains his naturally short hair uncovers and honours his head.
How beautifully nature works to honour God and his Word! God, working in tandem with the laws of nature that he created, puts no unnatural burden on people to obey his laws. Thus, women can prophesy and pray 24/7 (even in the shower) without the need for an artificial head covering, because their hair, as long as it’s maintained in its naturally long state, is the God-given covering for their head, not a hat or a scarf! Hallelujah!
Sisters, your long hair is not only your glory, it’s the natural covering for your head, and not your scarf, which is a man-made tradition. God forbids you to cut your hair, for that is not only cutting off your glory, it’s also uncovering and dishonouring your head. Use your long hair, like other parts of your body, to glorify God, for your body belongs to God and is for his glory!
1 Corinthians 6:20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
And that’s how a woman glorified Jesus with her long hair, using it to wipe his feet dry after washing them with her tears. She used her glory to wipe the Lord’s feet, and the Lord acknowledged her worship and blessed her!
Luke 7:37 And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that he was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment,
Luke 7:38 and standing behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed his feet and anointed them with the ointment.
Luke 7:44 Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair.
Luke 7:45 You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet.
Luke 7:46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment.
Luke 7:47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.
Luke 7:48 And he said to her, Your sins are forgiven.
I wonder how the short-haired sisters who delight in bobbing their glory can muster enough hair, like the lady above, with which to wipe the Lord’s feet, if given the opportunity? Not only is it instructive that the lady wiped Jesus’ feet with her long hair, she had no hat or scarf on her head in the presence of Jesus! Her long hair, given to her naturally by God, was her glory and her God-given covering. She used it to glorify God and God received the worship and blessed her. You don’t need to cover your head with a scarf in the presence of Jesus, once you keep your hair long, for that is the covering for your head.
For those who argue fervently for the hat/scarf as the woman’s covering for the head, rather than the long hair, I want to pose a few questions. If the women in Apostolic times had their heads veiled with scarves at all times, how come the Apostles were able to notice their elaborate hairdos, which made them plead for moderation in the making of their hair? If the women were veiled with scarves in the assemblies, would there be any need to worry about their hairdos, seeing the scarves would cover whatever hairstyles they had on?
1 Timothy 2:9 likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire,
1 Timothy 2:10 but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.
1 Peter 3:3 Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair, the wearing of gold, or the putting on of clothing—
1 Peter 3:4 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.
In conclusion, it is a shame and a disgrace for a man to grow his hair long, as this covers and dishonours his head, who is Christ. In the same vein, it is unnatural and unscriptural for a woman to wear her hair short, for she uncovers and dishonours her head (her husband). The long hair is the covering God has given the woman for her head. As long as she keeps her hair long, her head is covered and honoured. Conversely, the man ought to keep his hair short, as wearing it long is not only unnatural and a disgrace, it also dishonours Christ. May we use our members to glorify God, as well as present our bodies a living sacrifice to God.
Romans 12:1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.