A Headcovering Testimony
The biblical headcovering, as many of us know, can be a hot issue. As some of my readers are aware, I've dealt with the issue here in the past. This time, instead of giving just a theological explanation of it, I want to provide a first hand witness. I'd like to present to you the testimony of a sister who embraces the headcovering.
Stephanie Chernyavskiy kindly volunteered to answer a few simple questions.
1. Can you share your testimony of how you became a Christian?
I was baptized as a child and grew up studying the bible and catechism but didn’t profess my faith until I was 19. I had a hard early childhood which included being adopted and many other hurdles which I needed to work through including periods when I felt abandoned by God and angry at Him. I finally professed my faith and joined a church as a member when I was 19 and have come to have a close and solid relationship with Christ and His people.
2. What was it that drew you to the headcovering?
My adoptive parents were former Mennonites from Lancaster Pennsylvania and when we would visit our grandparents I was exposed to headcoverings and I remember admiring them and the graceful spirit that the women who wore them had. After marrying and moving away from my parents who had transitioned to being Reformed Presbyterian early in my childhood I decided to research head covering and what the bible actually had to say about it instead of relying on the conflicting opinions of others. When I discovered the Greek words that Paul used in his passage to the Corinthians and realized that he wasn’t saying that our hair was to be the only covering a light bulb went off which led to further research and ultimately the decision to begin covering.
3. Do you wear one at all times or just in church?
I wear a veil at all times. I usually have my hair up but due to several health issues which cause terrible migraines I often wear my hair down but still wear a prayer veil at all times.
4. Did you experience resistance at your church, or from family?
I have not experienced resistance but I am the only one in my family and church who covers so besides sticking out like a sore thumb I do feel very isolated, lonely, and sometimes “on display”. I have had a few questions from folks in my church but they have all been amicable and a few of the older ladies said they admire it and think it is beautiful. My grandmother asked me about it since she used to wear one but it wasn’t a negative experience with her.
5. How did you handle that?
Any opposition or questions/comments that arise I try to take a breath before answering. I then usually calmly explain that while it is something I believe I am commanded to do as a woman in scripture I do not envision myself as holier than them, nor do I think that since they do not they are not a Christian etc. If I am out and about or met with a rude comment I try to respond with, “God Bless you”.
6. What, in your opinion, is the biggest cultural hurdle a woman has to deal with who decides to wear the biblical headcovering?
I think the biggest cultural hurdle is that people see the covering as restrictive, oppressive, and to some it has an evil connotation related to Islam and the practice of the Burka and Hijab. I have had women scorn me for wearing a covering and accused of “liking the oppression and abuse from men”. They are sadly mistaken and uninformed. The second hurdle I find is trying to be feminine and modest in a world that flaunts promiscuity and gender fluidity. We as women are encouraged to dress as women...in a world filled with LGBTQ activism and lifetstyles it is becoming hard to dress in such a way that distinguishes us as women and Christian women to top it off. This is especially difficult in churches like my own where young women have no set modesty standard and come to church in clothes that are not appropriate for church let alone daily wear.
7. What do you say to feminists who suggest the headcovering is a form of male oppression?
To the feminist who suggest that head covering is a form of male oppression, I like to ask them why they believe that. I explain to them that the bible has written instructions on the way women should dress and behave especially as it relates to biblical headship. Then I turn the question around and ask them how they are able to call themselves Christians when they subtract parts of the bible and refuse to follow it’s teachings. I try to make the difference between submission and oppression clear. It is ultimately almost impossible to have a conversation with them at all because they have the idea that men are oppressive and that there is no such thing as “submitting in love” so heavily set in their minds and hearts.
You can read more about her testimony HERE.