Monday, December 8, 2014

So Long, Cute Hair Do

Something I have always taken great pride in is my hair. That may be because I didn't have any until I was nearly two years old. So, when it came in, it was a big deal. Once I started getting hair, it became thick and, frankly, quite pretty. I always received lots of compliments on it. I would cut it short every now and then, but always ended up growing it out. Although many times, since my kids were born, my locks ended up in a pony tail or bun, I always had this beautiful mane that could be let down and was just beautiful.

A couple of years ago, things became really difficult in our marriage. The particulars are not necessary in this post, but suffice to say, I became less and less willing and/or able to play a submissive role in our home. I had always done a pretty good job, although not purposefully, of being submissive; but starting about two years ago, I began to take on more and more of the leadership role and responsibility. I became bossy, nagging, demeaning, and frankly, unpleasant. It's not that my husband doesn't bear any fault in the situation, but on my end, I became less than desirable. So? You might be wondering....what does that have to do with my hair?  

Last spring, with all of the stress, frustration of what was going on in our marriage, and my decision to take over all aspects of our family, I just got tired of my long hair. I had way too much to do. I had decided I could do it by myself, and my hair just got in the way. So, I cut it off. And I don't mean a cute little bob like I usually do when I decide to whack it all off. This time, I went super short: 

I love it. I really do. And, I should, right? It's cute. It is really cute. And, it cuts off so much time during my morning routine. It's completely reasonable that I would want to keep it like this for the time being, until the kids get older, at least. It is. By the world's standards that is. 

The world tells me that I need to do what I need to do. If I'm unhappy with the way my home and marriage are running, I should do what I need to do to make things work better and be more comfortable for me, no matter who gets in my way - even (and sometimes, especially) if it is my husband. No one has the right to tell me what to do with my hair. That's what the world says. And, it is so easy to fall into that. It is so easy to be selfish and follow that line of thinking. 

However, as I began exploring the idea of submission in marriage, which I chronicled the beginning of in my post Falling, I stumbled upon this verse, via The Peaceful Wife: "But everyone woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for that is one and the same as if her head were shaved. For if a woman is not covered, let her also be shorn. But if it is shameful for a woman to be shorn or shaved, let her be covered....the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head... if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering." 1 Corinthians 11: 5-6, 10, 15. 

I was astounded. Honestly, this idea had never even crossed my mind. However, suddenly, the air I could feel on my neck was harsh and cold. The tips of my ears burned. I could feel the lack of a sign of authority on my head. My glory is gone; the covering God gave me as a tangible reminder of my humility and need for Him is missing. I willingly chopped it off and threw it away in an effort take control of my life. Chopping my hair off is a symbol of selfishness and following fleshly desires, and it completely illustrates my complete lack of obedience to God. 

With my recent realization that submission to all of God's commands is the only way I will get closer to Him, I made a decision.

I'm going to grow it out. 

I have to grow it out. I need the tangible reminder of my long hair, my God-given glory, brushing my shoulders and bringing me back to awareness of my dependence on Him. This is one of the first instances in my lifetime of me really understanding dying to myself, for the glory of God. I really would like to keep it short. It's cute and easy, and I get lots of compliments on it. But I believe to honor God, the Bible says to grow it out and keep it that way. So I'm going to. 

In the meantime, I need a covering for my head. I have started putting a scarf over my head while I'm having private quiet time. I have, several times, put my hand on top of my head while praying when I didn't have a cover. I have ordered, and have started wearing, headcoverings from this beautiful site: I intend to begin, today, wearing a cover at home just to remind  me of my place in the order of things. I have recently found it a little difficult to submit to my husband, and a headcovering will remind me. I think even once my hair is grown out, I will continue this practice. 

I'm not doing this because a church is telling me to. I'm not doing this because I've been brainwashed by some cult. I am doing this because I have been moved by the One True King to have a physical, tangible, visible reminder of my submission to His authority, my husband's headship, and my trust in God's beautiful design. 

For information on headcovering, a great website is:


Mary Schad said...

Interesting Tess. Not sure I agree with the logic but if it works for you, good luck!

Tessa Oestman said...

Thanks Mary. I know it's out of the ordinary, but I definitely feel like it's what I'm supposed to do!

Jessica R said...

Dear Tessa,
I have long hair, and I have been covering my head with a fabric covering during church, Bible reading and prayer for more than two years now. It is definitely worth the effort! And yes, it is a tangible reminder every time I wear it of my proper role, according to the Bible. I'm so happy that you responded to the conviction that God placed upon your heart with obedience to His will. Thank you for sharing your story.
Jessica Roldan

Kinuko H said...

Dear Tessa, thank you for your honest and sincere sharing. I can see you are very honest to God and very honest to yourself! Wonderful! Our Lord loves such a sister and He shall bless you more and more. I am also covering my head and I have received abundant blessings through this head covering practice. I am grateful that we are sisters in Christ. God bless you and your family.

Caro said...

Dear Tessa,

Thanks for sharing this testimony !

I am French and I promote biblical modesty on my blog :
www. lafemmemodeste .fr

French people need to hear about your story ! If you allow me so, i would love to translate your post in French and publish it on my blog for French readers.

I have already translated a couple of good contents from English to French for my blog, and it would be great to do it so with yours !

I would of course, put links back to your blog and your original post and mention you are the author.

Let me know !
Caro from www. lafemmemodeste .fr

Tessa Oestman said...

Thank you, ladies for your comments and encouragement! I am so humbled by all of this. God is so good. I am just about ready, I think, to start wearing my head covering full time. I will post about it! :)

Caro, please feel free to translate my blog posts for your website. I checked it out, and it is great! Thanks so much!

Deborah Florentine said...

Thank you for this testimony! I am also in the process of growing my hair out, in an effort to adhere better to the 1Cor 11 passage. I am a bit farther along than you (2 years in fact). I can say with confidence that it's well worth the effort! I encourage you to keep moving forward, even through the "awkward" stages of hair growth when it just refuses to look (even) decent and Satan whispers "just cut it again, you look so much better when it's cut!" PTL I have persevered through those struggles! Lord-willing I will continue to persevere, because it doesn't stop! Now it's "look at how much effort it takes to dry and straighten your longer hair. And it's so course, is it really worth it?" YES it is! Anyway..

I have been wrestling with 1Cor 11 for several years regarding head covering as well. My church, albeit reformed in nature, does not practice head covering, but my heart breaks each time I read that passage. I am still in the throws of researching and toiling, Lord-willing I will pull through on the side of what is truly God-honoring!

Thanks for listening :)