It is very clear from the Apostle Paul’s writing in I Corinthians 11 that men should cut their hair but women should not (I Cor. 11:14-15). Various adversaries to this teaching have used Paul’s words in I Corinthians 11:16 as a defense for their point of view, saying that he dismissed the essentiality of his own argument when he said, “We have no such custom…” However, history gives us clarity on which custom Paul was referring to. He was referencing a pagan custom practiced by the Corinthians in their city (See National Geographic, June 1972, page 774), where the women would cut off their hair and burn it in mourning for Aphrodite’s lover, Adonis. Otherwise, why would the Apostle Paul spend 15 verses explaining this doctrine, and then dismiss it by saying something akin to, “Well, if this irritates you, we just don’t do this stuff”?
Paul was emphatic about this teaching. He said it was a shame for a man to let his hair grow, and a shame for a woman to not let her hair grow. It is important to recognize that the word shame was not used in reference to cultural shame, as some have stated in an attempt to lessen the weight of a violation of this doctrine. Instead, Paul told us that nature teaches us it is a shame. Nature was created by God and has nothing to do with culture. Therefore, any violation of this teaching is a violation of God’s natural order and has nothing to do with cultural shifts.
When Satan began his attack against humanity in the Garden of Eden, it is important to notice that he targeted the woman for his deception. Many have said he went after Eve because she was the weaker of the two. However, it seems very clear in hindsight that he went after the woman because of the influence she had. Satan knew if he got the woman, he would get them both. It was not Satan that convinced Adam to sin. It was Eve. Evidently, Satan understands how powerful the woman’s influence really is. Paul taught Timothy that the woman is the guide of the house (I Tim. 5:14). Additionally, Peter said that the backslidden husband could be won by the conversation of the wife (I Pet. 3:1). It does not show us this level of influence in the reverse order.
While there is no doubt that Satan hates both men and women, it can be seen that he has a peculiar hatred for the woman. God said to Satan in Genesis 3:15, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman…” It does not say this in reference to men. The woman has incredible influence over the man and over society as a whole. The woman is the regulator of morality in culture. Excepting Israel, any time a country or city is given a gender, it is always female. In addition, the book of Revelation speaks of Babylon as the great harlot. It was a “she” that corrupted the nations, not a “he.”
From the beginning, Satan has used the woman to spread his influence in society. In particular, he uses the image of the woman. The image of the woman has incredible power over the spiritual atmosphere. Men were not given that power. This is visually evident as you walk through the grocery store checkout aisle. There are a plethora of magazines featuring women on the cover but not many featuring men. Men showing off their bodies simply does not have the same effect as the image of the woman.
When God made the woman, He made her so that Adam would have a suitable helper. The counterbalance to Adam the man was Eve the woman. Woman means the opposite of man, according to Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English lexicon of the Old Testament. An opposite has equal power, but in the case of man and woman not equal authority. Paul gave us the hierarchy of authority in I Corinthians 11:3, in which he stated the descending order as God, Christ, male and female. The lower office is submitted to the higher office, facilitating the flow of power and authority from the higher office. Christ was submitted to His Father, yet He said in Matthew 28:18 that He had all power. Being in a lower office did nothing to diminish His power because He was totally submitted to His authoritative head. In other words, submission is the channel through which real power and authority flow.
Paul said that if a woman uncovers her physical head, she dishonors her authoritative head, the man. Therefore, the woman’s covering, which verse 15 reveals is the hair, is a sign of her submission to her authoritative head. The reason why her covering is a sign of her submission is because God made it an earthly pattern for a pre-existing spiritual reality. Every act of obedience we perform in response to God’s commandments on Earth connects us to God’s pre-existing reality in the heavens. In Exodus 25:40, God told Moses to be sure he followed God’s pattern when building the tabernacle. His preference didn’t matter, because the purpose of the pattern was to make a connection from heaven to Earth. When the pattern was correct, and God’s commandments were followed, the glory of God in the heavens became a reality on Earth. When the pattern was broken, and God’s commandments were disobeyed, God’s glory left Israel and God’s judgment fell.
Several places in scripture give us a view of the presence of the Lord in the Heavens. In particular, Isaiah 6:1-2 and Ezekiel 1 show us pictures of God’s glorious presence and what the angels were doing there. The angels guarded the glory, and they covered themselves in the presence of that glory. They guarded the glory in ministry to God, and they covered themselves as a sign of their status of submission to God. The Ark of the Covenant is a physical example of this spiritual reality. Here again, the angels covered the glory, and they covered themselves in the presence of the glory. Ezekiel 28:14 tells us that Satan was in the head position of guarding the glory. The word covereth here means “to hedge, fence about, shut in, to block, overshadow, screen, stop the approach, shut off, to cover.” In other words, Satan was the restraining force of protection for the glory of God. Ezekiel 28:13 tells us that he was also “covered” in the presence of the glory he was guarding.
Isaiah 14:13-14 tells us that Satan despised his position of submission and decided he would change his God-given role. Because the Most High had no covering, to be “like” Him, Satan would’ve removed his covering to show that there was no difference between them. But, instead of going up, Isaiah 14:15 told us that Satan will be brought down to hell.
What is a woman doing when she does anything to shorten the length of her hair? Whether she realizes it or not, she is attempting to change her God-given role and show that there is no difference between her and her authoritative head. In other words, gender doesn’t really matter. When Satan removed his covering, he became a fallen angel. The fallen angels that removed their covering can relate to women that cut their hair. In contrast, the submitted angels that refused to remove their covering can relate to the women of God who refuse to cut their hair. This is why Satan hates the woman so much. The woman who refuses to remove her covering is doing on Earth what Satan used to do in the heavens. She is now the keeper of the glory instead of him.
Finally, Paul said in I Corinthians 11:10 that the woman has power on her head because of the angels. The phrase because of can mean “through, in and among” the angels. Because the woman of God refuses to cut her hair, the pattern that connects heaven to Earth remains unbroken. The covered woman works with, in and among the covered angels of God. The word power here is the Greek word exousia, which means “authority, power, jurisdiction, moral influence, and more.” The jurisdiction that Satan used to possess as keeper of the glory is now given to women who remain covered.
Paul’s teaching on the hierarchy of authority puts women on the bottom. That might not sit well with some women, because they are, in fact, on the bottom. However, so is the foundation of any building. Women are the foundation of spiritual authority in the Earth. They are the restraining force of protection for the glory of God. Satan’s attempts to remove the glory from any church will be confronted by ladies who stand with uncut hair on the first line of defense. Ladies, with your uncut hair, you are the keepers of the glory of God. Stay covered. Stay powerful!
Bio: Joey Campetella began his ministry at Souls Harbor First Pentecostal Church in Belleview, Florida under the Apostolic leadership of Bishop James Barnum and Pastor Jason Barnum where he served as student pastor and outreach director. Bro. Campetella travels internationally as an evangelist with the UPCI, along with his wife, Jessica, and their three sons.