1 Corinthians 11:1–7 (NKJV)
1 Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.
2 Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you. 3 But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. 4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonors his head. 5 But every 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. 6 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. 7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man.1 Corinthians 11:1-7
Paul follows up his speech about witnessing in love and care with an instruction to the Corinthians to imitate him as he imitates Christ. This straightforward instruction calls them to return to their relationship with him as their spiritual father and founder of their church. In so doing, he asks them to remember and keep the traditions that he had delivered to them. He reminds them of the social convention of women praying and being seen in public with a head covering, while men should pray or prophesy with their heads uncovered. He refers to the idea of covering by going through a litany of Christ being the head of every man, and man being the head of the woman, and God being the head of Christ. Everyone answers to someone according to this argument. He further declares that a man should not cover his head, for he is the image and glory of God, but a woman should, because she is the glory of man.
While this does not sit well with modern culture in most cases (we still see this principal in place, at least in part, in the Muslim faith), it does still speak to a principle that is very applicable in today’s society. Even if this practice seems not to fit how men and women relate today, it does speak of the need for submission to leadership. Everyone should understand their place in the chain of command, in the social system in which they live. These systems vary greatly around the world, and even vary from community to community within the same country, even in the same state. Therefore, discern the system in the place you live, and serve with honor and humility, answering to those who may be over you in the Lord. Don’t always buck the system and make waves, unless there is clear injustice or prejudice at work. Instead, serve your role in the system in which you find yourself, knowing that you ultimately answer to the Lord. In the same way that woman seemed to submit to their husbands or fathers, and men answered to Christ, and Christ answered to God, be aware of–figure out–the system which orders your piece of the globe, and make it work for the glory of God. In the day and time in which we live, it is hard to say that, but if you are on the bottom, serve well. If you are on top, serve well and seek the good of those under you. Whatever you do, serve God and be glad He redeemed you. When your motivation wanes, imitate Christ, the ultimate example of service, submission, and sacrifice.