By Michael Youssef, Ph D. 07/15/20
Read 1 Corinthians 11:1-16.
Just as we do today, the Corinthian church struggled with gender roles and questions of submission, so Paul instructed them in the ways of Biblical manhood and womanhood. On the surface, this passage might seem to be only about whether women could cut their hair short or men could grow their hair long, but there is a deeper problem—one that goes back to the Garden of Eden.
Almost as soon as God brought the first woman to the first man, Satan began to attack and confuse the roles the Lord had given them. Our enemy authored male chauvinism and militant feminism, devilish deceptions that keep men and women today from living up to their God-given responsibilities. These deceptions prod us to put our own gender above the other so that we do not live contentedly in the design our all-wise Creator has deemed right for us.
Head coverings and hair length were part of the gender roles in the Corinthian culture, and Paul here addresses those issues and how they should be expressed Biblically in a way that honors God. Although his words are rooted in a cultural context, his message begs us to ask ourselves, “Am I willing to accept the role God created me to live? Am I willing to receive it with gratitude, or will I rebel against God’s ordained role for me?” That’s really the issue—an issue of the heart, not the hair.
Prayer: Jesus, may I submit to the role You have designed for me since the beginning. I know You are all-wise and all-loving, so Your path is perfect. Empower me to walk in Your way. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
“Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman” (1 Corinthians 11:11).