When a Head Covering Becomes a Lucky Charm

When I was 16 years old, I wrote an article entitled, “Is the Headcovering for Today?” I laid out the case from 1 Corinthians 11 that a woman ought to cover her head. And I still believe that a woman should cover her head when she prays or prophesies, just as God has instructed.

However, one thing that I taught in this article was that a headcovering gave protection to a woman and her family—that demons had to leave her alone if her head was covered. After all, the Bible said that “a woman ought to have power on her head, because of the angels” (1 Cor. 11:10), and the best explanation I had heard was that this meant that the bad angels would leave her alone, and the good angels would protect her.

But recently, I was talking with God about headcovering, and He showed me that, for some people, the headcovering had become a lucky charm.

Worse yet, I myself had perpetuated the mentality that turns a headcovering into a lucky charm, and I had to repent. The article is no longer available.

But how does a head covering become a lucky charm?

Think a moment: what do we call an object that is supposed to protect the wearer from evil spirits and bad luck? It’s quite common in some cultures and religions. We have a name for it: a lucky charm.

I said in my article that the headcovering was not a lucky charm, but I actually, in the end, did believe and teach that it was a lucky charm that would protect the woman and her family. When we say that a head covering is supposed to bring protection to the wearer, we turn it into a lucky charm that supposedly:

  • Protects her from physical harm
  • Protects her from evil spirits
  • Helps her prayers be answered better
  • Signals to the world that she is a Christian

Folks, that is not Scriptural. I don’t care what testimonies you’ve heard. I don’t care what experiences you have had. It is wrong to adopt the mentality of the heathen and tell women (or imply) that the headcovering is a “scarf of hidden power” when God has not said so.

A Muslim lady with a headcovering and a smartphone

Will God protect this Muslim lady because she has her head covered?

God never actually said that a headcovering would bring any type of protection. He just said that a woman should have power on her head because of the angels. It never says anything about protection. After all, God never said what a headcovering would look like. What if a woman didn’t wear the right type? Or what if an ungodly woman covered her head? Would the angels protect her just because she had something on her head?

The purpose of head covering (and uncovering, for the men) is to bring glory and honor to God, not to protect the wearer.

Ignore the testimonies

I am well aware that there are testimonies out there about how the headcovering brought protection to its wearer. However, of what I can remember, in many cases, there was not a clear correlation between the headcovering and the incident of protection.

In other words, if a headcovered woman is approached by a robber, but he suddenly doubles over with pain and runs off, we can’t give credit to the headcovering. In the end, it was God who protected her. We don’t know from this testimony whether God would have still protected her if she had been bareheaded.

In addition, you probably won’t hear the testimonies of women like Katie Landry, a conservative Mennonite lady who was raped multiple times by her boss while wearing a headcovering.

When a headcovering is not a lucky charm

I want to be clear: just because a woman covers her head at all times, she is not necessarily viewing the headcovering as a lucky charm. It is when the piece of fabric itself is supposed to bring protection and spiritual power to the wearer and her family that it becomes a good luck charm.

It’s time for repentance

If you have fallen prey to the “lucky headcovering” mentality, I urge you to repent of it. God does not want us to dabble in witchcraft by hanging lucky charms on ourselves. It’s not that you must repent of covering your head, or telling your wife that she should. What you need is a heart change from believing that a woman gains special spiritual power from a piece of cloth on her head.

I also urge you to ask God to show you His view on 1 Corinthians 11 and head covering. What is it really all about? What is the purpose? When must we observe it?


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6 Replies to “When a Head Covering Becomes a Lucky Charm”

  1. When I read this passage of scripture it seemed to be discussing what takes place in church gatherings. The setting of the instruction – i.e. prophesying at home? – is not entirely clear to me. The praying and prophesying are tied together – a woman is not to pray or offer insights without a head covering. A woman is not going to prophesy to herself, so why would the instruction about prayer be about private prayer?

  2. Thank you, Joel. I cringe inside when I hear people saying that a head covering protects you from rape and abuse. It is not a “lucky charm”, like you said. There are many, many girls who’ve experienced terrible things even with a covering and no, they were not “asking” for it either. I believe God does protect us, but He doesn’t always protect us in the way we think He should. His ways are far above ours. You are brave for writing this. God bless!

  3. As a headcovering woman I found your article very on target. Some insights I have had – prophesy is when God gives a woman information on what will happen in the future. From my perspective when I put on the covering its a reminder that a) God may at any time give me “future information” b) that when he does I need to be discerning as to what I am supposed to do about it = is it for me or is it happening to someone else c) when God says “NOW that means I need to be obedient to Him and follow what He has instructed. Years ago God gave me several specific dreams about a situation. It was very clear what would happen. Then when they started to happen He told me what I needed to do. I didn’t. and as a result it caused a lot of pain and suffering to many people. I was devestated and felt that God could never use me again. I was just going to make it to Heaven by the skin of my teeth. God showed me that I was forgiven . I believe the reason why Mennonite church leaders have twisted the headcovering to being submission is that they feel threatened by women who DO have the gift to prophesy and use it effectively. Sort of like ” not fair that SHE has a gift and I dont”. Its something they can’t control . The praying aspect I believe is that we have power over Satan when we pray. The covering (and this is MY opinion) is a reminder to Satan that we have chosen to obey God when he gives us the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. He shows us what MIGHT or WILL happen but we deliberately choose to do HIS will not ours.

    1. Thank you, Shirley! I appreciate your thoughts. Overall, prophecy seems to be under-appreciated (to say the least) within the Mennonite church. As you said, it can’t be controlled. God forbid that the Holy Spirit disrupt things! It’s really a shame, because I believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit not only bring life and power, but also healing, comfort, and peace to the Church.

  4. I enjoyed this article and the comments. From my personal walk with God, I have used the head covering as a sign to the angels that I am available, willing and ready to prophesy to those whom God would give to me, and as a sign of submission when directing the angels when I am also connected to the Spirit in prayer (or even in worshipful dance). When I don’t wear “power” on my head, I’m trying to send the message that I’m too weak, tired or not tuned in to witness or share insight (bc ministering is draining, as Jesus even said He felt power go out from Him when touched by the lady with the issue of blood). It acts as a sign to them that I’m in “sleep” or rest mode. Not wearing it can also be a sign that I’ve fallen into following a “queen Jezebel” or some other wrong attitude instead of God’s Holy One. This happens if I’ve let an idol creep into my heart, or old habit into my mind. We trust the Lord to quickly reveal and restore us in those situations through conviction, and confession, and He will even use it for good. We push fwd in faith, despite our weaknesses.

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