It is love, not knowledge, that forms the basis of Christianity. Paul wrote letters to the church at Corinth to emphasize this point and lead the Corinthians back into right relationship with God and others. Join our study by reading today’s scripture below and journaling about it using SOAP (click on the “What’s SOAP?” link above to learn more). Below today’s scripture is an example SOAP from our team. Whether it’s your first time reading the Bible or you’ve been doing daily devotions for decades, God will use this One Thing to speak to you. We love hearing from you! Please use the comment section of our website to share your SOAP, thoughts or questions on the reading, or prayer requests. Join us as we build unity and community through God’s Word!
1 Corinthians 11:2-16
On Covering the Head in Worship
2 I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the traditions just as I passed them on to you. 3 But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. 4 Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. 5 But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is the same as having her head shaved. 6 For if a woman does not cover her head, she might as well have her hair cut off; but if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should cover her head.
7 A man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. 8 For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; 9 neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. 10 It is for this reason that a woman ought to have authority over her own head, because of the angels. 11 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12 For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God.
13 Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, 15 but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering. 16 If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice—nor do the churches of God.
God’s Design for Marriage | Becky Newman
1 Corinthians 11:3, 11-12
Paul is teaching about the relationship between man and woman and God. Genesis forms the basis of these relationships — God created man in His image, and then God created woman from man as a helpmate. Paul is teaching how we should honor that design. Man and woman are equal under God (vs. 11-12), but how we should relate to one another is also part of God’s design.
I learned from our life group leaders last spring who visited Corinth that this passage was particularly addressing concerns in Corinth at this time. Temple prostitutes would shave their heads so they would be easily recognizable and set apart, but as these women started becoming Christians, the church needed to address their appearance, so they could transform from being set apart in the world to being set apart for God. In the world, verse 3 gets mucked up by sin. God did not design a relationship between man and woman that would be oppressive, abusive, or male-domineered. No, sin did that. God designed a relationship between man and woman that would be centered under the headship of Jesus Christ and that would honor that headship through mutual love and respect for the glory of God. My prayer and focus in my marriage should be for God’s design to prevail over the sin that mucks it up.
Lord, may my husband and I be focused on Your design for our marriage; may we remain in right position to Jesus as our head and honor You through showing love and respect to one another. Protect our marriage from sin.
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