[Anabaptists: The Web's first conservative site introducing Mennonites, their history and their beliefs.] NewGuideHistoryDoctrineWritingsBookstore
EspañolChurch LocatorRSS
to the glory of God and the edification of people everywhere

SPECIAL NOTE FROM CLP: To improve our coverage of the Scriptures, we are making some changes. For the next number of quarters, special studies will replace one regular lesson per quarter. The March-May 1997 youth and adult quarterly will feature "Maintaining Biblical Headship."

NOTE FROM MARK ROTH: Since I had already written the comments for the original lesson for this day, I make them available here as well.

Maintaining Biblical Headship
Original Lesson Comments

Maintaining Biblical Headship

(1 Corinthians 11:1-16)

Lesson 1 -- second quarter 1997
March 2, 1997

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 1997, Christian Light Publications

It isn't fair!
Messages of the veil.

"Why do I  have to stand out so? Wherever I go, I don't blend in unless I am at a Mennonite gathering. I stand out like a sore thumb in most places. But the fellows.... They just melt into the human landscape. They don't have a covering to distinguish them from other men. It just isn't fair!"

No, I suppose it isn't. You sisters have a visible, tangible reminder of the God you live under. You have a "banner" to unfurl before the world to declare who you are, what you stand for and for whom you live. You can reveal your loyalties without so much as a word. Wherever you go, your message can be that of humility, integrity and purity. I envy your position before God because He has given you a special sign which He has chosen not to give me. I suppose I could say that you got a big break in an area where I didn't get any. Not fair? Let's just let God decide such matters!

You don't have to stand out, you get to stand out! Why should we as Christians want to blend in with the heathen or the apostate, with the unbelieving or the unlearned? As far as the sore thumb business is concerned, remember the accusations against the Christians long ago? "These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also" (Acts 17:6). Upside down? No, they were putting it rightside up again! Dear sister, you don't stick out like a sore thumb, you stick out like a healthy thumb!!! I praise the Lord for you.

Thank you for wearing your covering. I am blessed, challenged and encouraged by your faithfulness and courage. I have had few greater honors than to walk "out there" in the company of your kind. God bless you.

We have already noted some of the messages of the headship veil. Permit me to add some personal messages I receive from the covering.

The covering reminds me that I am in authority. I find that sobering indeed. Authority is about much more than telling people what to do, making decisions or having my own way. Authority is about headship! This means I am responsible and accountable for those under me. What have I done today to guard, guide and provide for these in my care? How am I encouraging them and building them up? And, oh, to have a life that enhances their life and their outstanding witness for the truth!

The covering reminds me that I am under authority. These sisters wear the veiling to show acceptance of my authority. But God's headship plan is much more than my own authority! In encouraging the use of the covering I am showing my own acceptance of God's plan. And that plan puts me under authority also. So I must ask myself: Do I model the submission and obedience I want from those under me?

The covering reminds me of purity and safety in an unclean, dangerous world. After circulating in the presence of immodesty, striving to maintain purity of eye and mind, what relaxation to be in the company of the covered!

Those are some things for which the covering stands. Sadly, not everyone that wears the covering stands for those things. May the Lord build in us those qualities and perspectives that complement the covering!


Lesson 1 Comments
for the Second Quarter of 1997

What are some hindrances to effective witnessing?
How can I change?

Each day we preach our own sermon, pen our own message and present our own testimony. And each day the prince of darkness works with great zeal to silence our voice, to make our pen squiggle and to discredit our presentation. Furthermore, every day our traitorous flesh willingly yields to the seductions of our enticing enemy. But we fight on in the confident knowledge that Jesus is victor over our foe, and the Spirit is lord of our flesh!

God wants me to be a witness of His truth. And I want to be a witness of His truth. Sounds like a winning, productive combination, doesn't it? But so often it seems there are "things" in my life that suffocate my witness, or at least leave it so winded that it is left in the dust of the race. Instead of being convincing, my testimony is discredited. By me.

As much as lies in us, we ought to cleanse our lives of those contaminants and distractions that impede the clear proclamation of our witness. Let me put down a few here; you pick up where I leave off.

ATTITUDES. Guard your inner responses to life. You don't like the food set before you. Time for another one of those grade-school-level bedtime devotionals. Your covering gets dented or you car scratched. The driver beside you pulls a fast maneuver on you or a fellow committee member (through carelessness?) leaves you in a lurch. You've just had it with having to do so much of the work at home. How come this person has to be your sibling, anyway?! Those characters didn't have to be so rude! And on. And on. And on! Face it, my friend, all kinds of situations and people are, sooner or later, going to get under your skin. Forget about changing them; just respond properly. Never excuse a lapse in proper attitudes. The minutest aberration from godliness will often be bump to the elbow of your writing hand as you pen your testimony for Jesus!

FACIAL EXPRESSIONS. Your countenance reflects your mind and mirrors your heart. So work on those muscles that lie within a three-inch radius of your nose! Look pleasant and cheerful. Beware of the set of your mouth. And whatever you do, don't let scorn, bitterness, anger, contempt, mockery and their kin flit across the landscape. For sure don't let them settle in to become part of your facial topography! Such expressions totally draw attention away from the beauty of Jesus.

VALUES. Remember your treasure determines the placement of your heart. So you can yak all you want about how wonderful it is to serve God and read the Bible, but if your values are temporal.... Well, you get it. Is it awfully important to you that your dress and hair and face be just so? Do your words often drool over the wood, hay and stubble of this life? Is your position in your community of great price to you? Oh, beware of your heart! And what about the heart of the beholder and the listener?

"Ah, yes. What I should be. What I want to be. What I have tried to be." Discouraging sometimes, isn't it. Oh, to be different, to be changed!

I point us again to "the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe" (1 Thessalonians 2:13). Daily exposure to It and frequent meditation on It will deluge us with godly attitudes, expressions and values. May It cleanse and restore and refine our witness of the truth!

Return to Sunday School Comments index

[Anabaptists: The Web Page]