Friday, December 6, 2013

What Does Marriage Mean?

 As this subject has come up in conversation a lot anymore, I've decided to write up a real answer to the questions I get.

 There are many things I've been asked, but it all comes down to one question: What do you look for in marriage? 
 There are many answers to this question. But since it has been presented in such a way as to ask my personal view on it, I shall attempt to answer it from my own beliefs on the matter.

 I typically avoid discussion on this subject because of all the misconceptions, and faulty views expressed by others.  Also because I'm not your typical female, and am not a "hopeless romantic".

 To answer the fairly common question "Don't you even want to marry?":  Yes. From my experience most do want to marry at some point, and I'm no exception to the rule.  But I have a different view on it than most.

 First of all, I am not comfortable with what I shall dub the "mushy" aspect of it that others seems to look forward to a great deal.   I'm sorry, but marriage means more to me than license to kiss when ever you want to. That's a sick reason for marriage, in my opinion. (It probably doesn't help that I've never liked kisses of any kind...)

 Marriage is more than just this "boy meets girl" and being twiterpated the rest of your life.

 I am in no way saying that romance is awful, or not needed. Romance is needed... but it's not all it's cracked up to be. There is much more to life.

 Marriage to me is a union of two congenial spirits. A merging of two harmonious minds and hearts seeking to honor and glorify God in all things, placing their love for each other second to their love for God.

 So often we see others marrying someone they get along with. Someone they don't agree with all the way, but they marry anyway because they can "make it work". Often important matters are overlooked because it is believed once they're married they can work through it.  This is a recipe for broken homes.
 Sure, you're not going to find someone you can agree with fully on every issue. But certainly we (as a society) could stop settling for second best because "we'll never agree fully anyway".

 Young ladies: What we're looking for in a husband is not some "cute guy" that is "ripped" and witty.  I'm sorry, but those are hardly things that qualify someone for the duties of marriage.  And the "cute" face will get old, the "ripped" figure won't stay that way forever, and the wit will become very irksome.
 We also can't just go for any guy that shows interest.  There has to be some harmony of spirit; some unity.

 There are qualifying characteristics to look for in a guy before marriage is considered.

1) Is he actively pursuing his walk with the Lord? or is he content to say he's a Christian, but not take his position as such seriously?

2) Is he a gentleman?  No, not one of those overly refined, flowery speech sort. The kind that will guard not only your heart, but those of the other young ladies he has contact with.

3) Does he know where he is going? Does he have purpose in life?   Many think they are ready for marriage, but the only thing they have by way of a long term goal is getting a good paying job.  There's more to life than having money and learning to jog on together after the initial excitement of getting married wears off. ,

4) Does he have solid beliefs? Is he standing firmly on the word of God in the face of opposition? Most importantly, is he living out those beliefs?
 Add to that: Are you in agreement with him? Can you trust him to the point where if a matter arises that you disagree on, you can differ to him, and trust him to make a decision on it whether you think he's right or wrong?   Do you share the same beliefs/thoughts/convictions, enough that you can trust him to make right choices on any subject, knowing he will do his utmost to bring glory to God through it?

5) Does he have the same goal in life as you?  One can't marry a person, having different vocations/callings in life and expect for the marriage to not suffer as a result.

 Young men: You are looking for more in a wife than a pretty face, fine figure, and witty tongue.    One day that pretty face will wrinkle, the fine figure will change, and the witty tongue will get tiresome.  
 Something I see happen a lot.  Guys often will overlook a gem of a girl who isn't a "raving beauty", and marry a "raving beauty" who is shallow, and a flirt.   Guys, I know you're driven by sight more than girls are... but please don't pass over the dull looking treasure for the shiny bit of trash flashing at you.
 Granted, there are beautiful girls, inside and out. But there are more that are only beautiful outside, and that beauty doesn't last long.

Things young men look for in a wife:

1) Is she actively pursuing her relationship with Christ?  Not a Christian in name only; having no idea of how to live out her faith.  Is she studying to better herself, and to be prepared for what the future may hold?

2) Does she guard her heart? Is she careful to not capture the attention of other young men for sake of liking the attention? Is she striving to always be a lady, and being considerate of the guys around her? Controlling her tongue?

3) Does she have purpose in life? Do her goals and desires go beyond that of getting married one day?

4) Does she respect authority?  Will she submit to you even on matters whereon you disagree?  Will she support you in your calling?  Is she forgiving?  Women have a tendency to "throw it in your face" every time you make a mistake. Is she willing to overlook your shortcomings, and encourage you to be a better man?

5) Is she content with where God has her? or is she restless and always wanting something different?

 A well matched couple will have harmony of thoughts, unity of mind and spirit, and an understanding between them unmatched by their acquaintances.   There should be perfect kinship.  A desire to glorify God together, through their vocation.

 If there is no unity before marriage, it's pretty safe to say there won't be any afterward either.

 Marriage is more than just an attraction between a man and a woman.  It's two people seeking to better serve God together in unity.

 Few of us know anyone with which we have such unity.  But whether we know someone like that or not, we should begin now to pray for the other, and ask God to cause you to have that Christian unity when it is His time.

 We would have far less broken homes if we put more prayer into marriage before it happens.

 A Christian Home 
O give us homes built firm upon the Savior,
Where Christ is Head and Counselor and Guide;
Where ev'ry child is taught His love and favor
And gives his heart to Christ the crucified:
How sweet to know that tho' his foot-steps waver
His faithful Lord is walking by his side!

O give us homes with godly fathers, mothers,
Who always place their hope and trust in Him;
Whose tender patience turmoil never bothers,
Whose calm and courage trouble cannot dim;
A home where each finds joy in serving others,
And love still shines, tho' days be dark and grim.

O give us homes where Christ is Lord and Master,
The Bible read, the precious hymns still sung;
Where pray'r comes first in peace or in disaster,
And praise is natural speech to ev'ry tongue;
Where mountains move before a faith that's vaster,
And Christ sufficient is for old and young.

O Lord, our God, our homes are Thine forever!
We trust to Thee their problems, toil, and care;
Their bonds of love no enemy can sever
If Thou are always Lord and Master there:
Be Thou the center of our least endeavor -
Be Thou our Guest, our hearts and homes to share. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

What Am I Doing?

 Yes, the title is a legitimate question. (just in case you were wondering)  Here's why...

 Ever since I was little I've had a burden for guys. I've had a burden to help them, be a comfort to them, be a sister to them.... but in wanting to be those things, I didn't bother to learn how to be any of those things.

 It has become more and more evident to me how crucial the role of a woman is in the Kingdom.    It bothers me more and more to see the way our role as women is being abused... not by the men - it's us women abusing it.

 I've always had a dislike for the way girls carry on so about the silliest things.... (I know, I do it often *is working on that*) so my way of getting away from it was to go out and "be one of the guys" playing tag, football, you name it.  My solution to the problem I saw, was to shirk my duty as a young lady and try to be a boy.

 Getting into my teens, I saw that being "one of the guys" as far as playing their rough games probably wasn't the best idea... so I got to the place of just talking to them as if I was one of them. Thinking that it would somehow be an encouragement to them.... had another think coming.

 It began to dawn on me that just talking to the guys as if I were one of them wasn't doing a lick of good. Guys need girls to be girls. Not men.
 By being tough and unfeeling we don't do them any good.   So I went to the extreme of being "soft" to the point of not standing up for what I know to be right.  Not holding to strict standards in conversation... which is almost more harmful than trying to be a guy. And in the process hurt some people, and was myself, deeply hurt by others.

 What is it to be a true woman.... by God's standard? What attributes does a godly woman have? What am I doing?

 1) Sobriety.
1 Timothy 2:9-10
 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.

 Sorry, but silliness isn't needed.  Sure, it's fun to goof off at times. But when it's all the time, that's when it becomes a problem.  But we need to understand there is a difference between silly, and levity.
 Levity is having good, clean, honest fun. Truly enjoying yourself, with others if the situation allows for it, but not dependent on the presence of others.
 Silliness is obnoxious. It's overbearing. It's often disgusting.
2 Timothy 3:5-7
 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 
Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

I'm sorry, but that doesn't sound appealing to me...  which brings me to the next point.

 2) Knowledge.
Proverbs 1:5-7
 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:
 To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings. 
 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. 

 Being a lady doesn't mean sitting aside looking pretty, not bothering our "pretty heads" with anything other than the latest gossip.  We're wives and mothers in training. (some have made it through training and are now putting what they've learned into practice)

 Our homes are a shambles ladies: and we're to blame.  No, we can't blame it on the last generation. We can't say "If Mom had been a better mom" or "Mom never taught me that" big whoop. Chances are your mom didn't know about it to teach you.   It's called "due diligence" look in the Bible, find what your role as a woman is, and learn it. No one can make you learn anything. It has to be you.

 The way women are today is our problem. We can't wait for others to get their act together; we need to get our act together.  To go on as is isn't fair to the guys, and it's not pleasing to God.
Proverbs 2:3-6
 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;
 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; 
 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.
 For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. 

 3) Wisdom.
Proverbs 4:7
 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. 
Proverbs 2:1-2
 My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; 
 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;
Proverbs 1:2-4
 To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding; 
 To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgement, and equity; 
 To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.
Proverbs 7:4
 Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman:

 Knowledge is great.... but utterly useless without the wisdom to use it.  Wisdom is something that is greatly lacking in today's society. Let's not add to the problem.
Proverbs 3:7
 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.

4) Understanding.
Proverbs 2:9-11
 Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.
 When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul;
 Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:
Proverbs 3:3-5
 Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:
 So shalt thou find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man.
 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

We can better serve the Father when we understand our surroundings.  We can't fight a battle we don't understand.

5) Submission.
Ephesians 5:22
 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
Colossians 3:18
 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.

 What about those of us who aren't married yet?  Does this mean we can do whatever we want until we're married?
 All those rebellious wives you see around you.... started out as rebellions daughters.  Likewise, most faithful wives you see, started out as faithful daughters.
 As daughters we need to practice submission, by submitting to our Dad's. No matter what sort of "quirky" ideas he has... what makes you think your husband won't have similar quirks?

6) Instruction.
 Part of submission is accepting instruction....
Proverbs 1:8-9
 My son; hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:
 For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.

 I could go on forever about all this... there is so much to know. So much to learn. So much to do.

 I'm tired of going from one extreme to the other.  I'm tired of hurting people, and being hurt, because I didn't hold myself to the highest standards, or hold the guy to strict boundaries because I didn't think about it.  One can not go through life mindlessly going with the flow... there is so much more to life.

 Often times it seems rude to set strict boundaries and stick to them... but if you really love your brothers in Christ, you will hold them to it out of respect.

 We need to set boundaries, and hold to them. Here's why:
Proverbs 2:16-19
 To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words;
 Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God. 
 For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead. 
 None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life.

 Notice anything there?  "Which flattereth with her words" this girl says what she thinks others want to hear. She's not holding to strict standards... "forsaketh the guide of her youth; and forgetteth the covenant of her God."

Proverbs 5:3-6
 For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil:
 But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. 
 Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell. 
 Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them.

 Once you let down your guard, and start talking the way you think is most likely to be accepted, your standards are clouded, and you soon forget them. Not meaning to, it just happens.  Once you forget your standards your ways become "moveable" and cause others to stumble.  

 It's very easy to be a strange woman.  It's being a virtuous woman that is hard.  It goes against our human nature. It's easier to just say what you know others want to hear, rather than risk starting a debate.  But....
Proverbs 31:10
 Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.

Proverbs 31:25-26
 Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come. 
 She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

 So, back to the original question... What am I doing?

 From here on out, I intend to really study, and seek wisdom, knowledge and understanding. I'm going to put more thought into what I am doing, and where it is leading, not only me, but others under my influence. And I'm going to try harder at being submissive to my Dad.

 This is not a time where we can sit back and wait for things to change... we need to think, and work hard. But most of all pray hard.   There is so much to be done for the Kingdom! A lot of things are being left undone because we are being careless about our role as women.  Most of all as sisters and daughters.

Proverbs 31:29-31
 Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou exellest them all. 
 Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. 
 Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates. 

            Father help me to be faithful in all things....

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Musings From A Swordmaiden

 I've always been taught that girls have no place in wars.  Girls were not made to be in combat.  While that is true, this post is all about how girls can, and should be warriors... in another way. (but it is in no way limited to girls)

 Fear, pride and in essence, self; all must be battled.  This is an inner struggle.  It's a battle we fight over, and over again.   There is no reprieve. There is no "calling a truce". It's a constant, hard struggle.

 When you think about it... these aren't each different fronts... they all connect somehow.
 Fear stems from pride, pride from selfishness, and sometimes selfishness from fear...

 So now. How do we fight it?  The answer is simple - but hard to do.
 Just like in a real physical battle, the plan may be fairly simple, but the battle itself is hard.

 Prayer is simple, right?  Just get down on your knees and ask God to take away your problems and make you like Him, right?  Now if only it was easy to do...
 But you know something? That's not all there is to it.
 Prayer is a constant hard fight.  We're not simply handing our sword to God and saying "I'm tired, You're better at this anyway, please win this war for me".  We're asking Him to lead us into battle, but we still have to fight it.
 We still have to learn not to fear, and not be prideful.

 The only way to win this war is by dying. 

 There has to be balance in this battle.
 We cannot simply "come to terms" with where we're at, and not let things bother us anymore. We must ever strive for excellence in all things!  But at the same time learn to be content with where we're at right now.

 Contentment is not pining away for circumstances to be different so we can do things better.  Contentment is learning to work with what we've been given, and make the best of it for God's glory! 

 We can't just ask God one time to "fix us" and let it go.  This is daily praying for His guidance and strength for the day.  Daily dying to self. Daily taking up our cross, and following Him.

 What does it mean to follow Him?  Was His path smooth always?   Did He wait until circumstances were perfect before using them to glorify the Father?
 It's pretty obvious He didn't have everything perfect for what He had to do. But He did the Father's will regardless of circumstances.
 What are we doing? More specifically, what am I doing with what I have been given?
 Sure, some times it seems we don't have all we need to do the work God has given. It seems we don't have the strength to continue fighting... but Deuteronomy 33:25 says: Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be. 

  Day By Day ~ Karolina W. Sandell-Berg
Day by day, and with each passing moment,
Strength I find, to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father's wise bestowment,
I've no cause for worry or for fear.
He Whose heart is kind beyond all measure
Gives unto each day what He deems best -
Lovingly, it's part of pain and pleasure, 
Mingling toil with peace and rest. 

Every day, the Lord Himself is near me
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear, and cheer me,
He Whose Name is Counselor and Pow'r.
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
"As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,"
This the pledge to me He made.

 Help me then in every tribulation
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith's sweet consolation
Offered me within Thy holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E'er to take, as from a father's hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting, 
Till I reach the promised land. 

 It's easy to feel despondent.  It's easy to feel sorry for yourself and make excuses. But did Christ ever do that? When He felt down, He went straight to God in prayer.  
"Is the servant greater than the Master, that I should say 'Exempt me from this trial'? No!"  Christ is our example, we should bring dishonor to His spotless Name were we to shrink from following His standard!

 A Flag To Follow
I sought a flag to follow,
A cause for which to stand,
I sought a valiant leader
Who could my love command;
I sought a stirring challenge,
Some noble work to try,
To give my life fulfillment,
My dreams to satisfy.

I found them all in Jesus,
The Life, the Truth, the Way;
Beneath His flag I'll take my stand
And follow Him today.
I'll follow Him today!

I sought a ringing answer
For all my doubts inside,
A torch of truth uplifted,
Me searching steps to guide;
I sought a word of wisdom, 
A true authority,
I sought to know life's purpose,
To solve its mystery.

I sought for satisfaction
For yearnings deep within,
I sought for full deliv'rance
From chains of guilt and sin;
I sought for peace and pardon,
For freedom from my fears,
I sought a hope to cling to
Beyond these passing years.

 The whole point in being a warrior fighting battles, is to win ground for the king!  If the soldiers are undisciplined we can't be certain of victory.
 Yes, God wins. He always wins.  But we are His army. We must be well disciplined soldiers marching out to battle!

 Mighty Lord, Extend Your Kingdom
Mighty Lord, extend Your kingdom, 
Be the truth with triumph crowned;
Let the lands that sit in darkness 
Hear the glorious Gospel sound,
From out borders, From our borders,
To the world's remotest bound. 

By Your arm, eternal Father, 
Scatter far the shades of night;
Let the great Immanuel's kingdom
Open like the morning light;
Let all barriers, Let all barriers, 
Yield before Your heavenly might.

Come in all Your Spirit's power;
Come, Your reign on earth restore;
In Your strength ride forth and conquer,
Still advancing more and more,
Till all people, Till all people,
Shall Your holy Name adore.

 Inner struggles are so hard! But we can't give up. God is still on the throne! We're still enrolled in His army. We still have a war to win.  
 The only way we'll be of any use in the Kingdom is to die to self, live for Christ, serve others, and care for others above ourselves.
 We still have many deaths to die for the sake of Christ and His Kingdom.

 Let's take up our cross and follow Him.  Follow where He leads.  He leads into battle; not only against the outward foe, but against the inner foe - ourselves: our sinful human nature.

 The first step to advancing the Kingdom is to be well trained, well disciplined soldiers.  Willing soldiers who will spend our days in fervent prayer for the Great Cause, and for others in our circles of influence.
 Regardless of circumstances, each one of us has something of influence on those around us. Are we using that influence wisely? Are we content? Are we striving for excellence? Are we disciplined?

 There's so much to being a warrior. Prayer is a battle that is rarely seen, but is so important, and is a constant, desperate fight.
 Being a prayer warrior isn't for weaklings.  

  Onward Christian soldiers! 


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Another Year

 Here I am.  Another year has passed. 

 Turning 20 didn't feel any different from being 19.  You know, you're the same person one year as you are the next. What's to be different about it? 

 21 is different.  I feel different. I am different.   This last year has changed who I am.  I'm not what I once was in many respects.   But I'm still distressingly, much the same as I was before.  But God can change that, and has been. :)

 When I turned 20 I didn't feel any more grown up.  

 Now... being of "legal age" makes me think.    Am I "grown up", am I "legal" in God's eyes? 

 There is so much to "growing up"... take Proverbs 31 for instance.  Do I fit yet?  I'm not grown up fully until I do...

 "Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies."
 Am I virtuous yet? Sadly, no.  Virtue is something I am striving for, but have yet to reach that goal.  Is my price far above rubies? Nowhere near. 

 "The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil."
 Okay, so I'm not married... (at this point it's probably best that way :P) but can my Dad safely trust in me? Can my friends safely trust in me? In some things... It's all uphill to be trustworthy. 

 "She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life."
 Am I doing good?  Or am I being lax in my duty as a daughter/sister/friend? 
 For the most part I have been very lax, to my shame. 

 "She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands."
 Ha! Finally one I could pass on... 

 "She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar."
 I carry the garden produce for a mile... does that count? ;P

 "She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens."
 Am I cheerfully serving my family, even if it means loss of sleep?   Sadly, I don't, not so much as I should. 

 "She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard."
 If this goes for gardening, that's another one I could pass on.

 "She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms."
 Yes... but still have farther to go. 

 "She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night."
 Again, passable, but far from perfect. 

 "She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff."
 Does learning the skill, but not having done it yet, count? ;P

 "She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy."
 This is one where, I have the heart for it, but haven't had the opportunity for it so much as I would like.  

 "She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet. She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple."
 Again, have the skills, but not putting them into practice so much as I should.

 "Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land."
 Am I bringing honor to my Dad?  That's one I'm uncertain on...

 "She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant."
 Have the skills... but not putting them to use effectively. 

 "Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come."
 Strength is one thing, but honor... Sure have a long way to go on that... 

 "She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness."
 Uh... can I just skip over this one? *hangs head* 

 "She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness."
 Hm... in ways, but again, could use improvement. 

 "Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all."
 I don't have kids, but was surprised by things my little brother said the other day that go along with this. Dad does praise me far more than I deserve... but I certainly don't excel "them all", in fact, very few. 

 "Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised."
 Learning that beauty isn't an issue really. Favor... that's one I've got more to learn on.  Fearing the Lord has become of great importance, but I've got so far to go on it yet. 

 "Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates."
 This is probably the only verse that fits me... as far as things I create and work I do. 

 So now the sobering fact.... I'm not "grown up" in God's eyes.  Growing, yes. But grown? No. 

 Going into this new year with a great deal of prayer, and seeking wisdom.   By God's grace I will be grown in time to come. 

                                                          Learning and growing,

Monday, September 23, 2013

1 Corinthians 11: A study of head coverings.

    Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
 First thing Paul points out is that we are to follow Christ.
 Part of following Christ is keeping His commandments, as stated in 1 John 2:3
     And hereby we do know that we love Him, if we keep His commandments.

 In order to follow God’s commands, we must first recognize His authority. Without acknowledging His authority, we can never follow His commands, or fully understand them to follow them; nor can we see the need to follow them.
Without recognising the headship of Christ, we can never accept His word as absolute truth, and worthy of our attention.

So many say that the covering is trying for holiness on our own, rather than letting God renew our hearts.  That the covering is “outward holiness” but neglecting inward holiness. But the fact is, if we are truly striving to be like Christ, we will keep His commands out of love and respect for Him; not because they make us holy, or like Him; but because He is renewing our hearts, and we then want to follow them.
If our hearts are in the right place, it will become evident in that we are keeping His commands out of love for Him.
If there is no outward appearance of holiness, we can then safely assume there is no inward holiness.  Outward holiness is a natural, inevitable result of having the right heart attitude.
As Dr. Daniel Botkin says in this article ~
    “We know from Matthew chapter 23 that many Pharisees of the New Testament period emphasized only outward holiness and neglected inward holiness. Many Christians, in their attempt to avoid making the same mistake, make the opposite mistake -- they emphasize only inward holiness and neglect outward holiness. The headcovering, they say, is just one of those outward symbols that only Pharisaical hypocrites are concerned about.”  

 Paul then commends believers for obeying ordinances -
Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.
At this point there is something that we ought to take note of:  Paul is addressing the Corinthian church in this letter. So many argue that the head covering ordinance is meant for the Corinthians, and not for us today.  Yet, we read the entire book of Corinthians, applying what we will to us today, but when we get to the head coverings, we skip over. This is highly selective reading in my opinion.
If the rest of the book is applicable to us today, why then do we skip over this as being only addressed to the Corinthians, when the rest is addressed in the same way, to the same people?  If the rest of Corinthians applies, then so should the head covering ordinance.
     “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Thus the head covering ordinance would be cross cultural, for all lands and peoples, through all generations.
There are essentially only two cultures, and that is how it always has been.  There is God’s culture, and man’s culture.  Man’s culture is sinful and full of error; God’s culture is flawless in every area.  The head covering is part of God’s culture, and if we would be separate from man’s culture we would then willingly embrace this symbol of being in God’s culture, as His children.

 Getting into the head covering ordinance - God being the ultimate head is an already established fact, referring back to the creation order.
     But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

 The word head is the same in every verse in the passage.
     Head - G 2776 - kephale from the prim. kapto (in the sense of seizing); the head (as the part most readily taken hold of), lit. or fig.:- head.
This meaning is speaking of authority figures.

 It is dishonoring for a man to have his head covered while praying or prophesying. Dishonoring to his head, or authority, which is Christ.
     Every man praying or prophesying having his head covered, dishonoreth his head.
     Man - G 435 Husband
     Covered - G 2596 kata. to be in opposition, against, distribution or intensity.  More excellent than God.
 That’s pretty strong rebellion right there....
     Praying - G 4336 proseuchomai. To pray to God, i.e. supplicate, worship:- pray (earnestly for) make prayer.
     Prophesying - G 4395 propheteue. To foretell events, divine, speak under inspiration, exercise the prophetic offices - prophesy.

 Now addressing the women:
     But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoreth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.
     Woman - G 1135 gune. Prob. from the base of 1096; a woman; spec. a wife:- wife, woman.
     G 1096 ginomai. To be married.
     Uncovered - G 177 akatakaluptos. unveiled;- uncovered.
     Dishonoreth - G 2617 katauschuno. To shame down, i.e. disgrace. confound, be ashamed.
     Shaven - G 3587 xuaro. To shave or shear the hair.
The women being addressed are wives, or married women, but the principal can be applied to both married and unmarried women; the reason being that the covering is a symbol of not only the woman’s own authority in the home, but that she is in submission to her head - or authority - which can be her husband, or father.  Unmarried girls still being under their father’s authority would then wear the covering in submission to their father, until such a time as they should be married; at which time they would then wear it in submission to their husband.

 Expounding further:
     For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.
 This quote from Watchman Nee says it quite plainly:
    "Today people keep neither of these two commands [covering or shaving] of the Bible. If a sister will not cover her hair but shears or shaves it, she may yet be reckoned as hearkening to the words of the Bible. But today a woman neither shaves nor covers her hair -- a double disobedience.
     Covered - G 2619 katakalupto. To cover wholly, i.e. veil:- cover, hide.
     Veil - Websters 1828 n. (L. velum) A cover; a curtain; something to intercept the view and hide an object.  A cover; a disguise.  To cover with a veil; to conceal.  To invest; to cover.  To hide.
     Velum - Latin word, translated to English - Sail which is made specifically of cotton, linen or hemp fibers.
The head covering specifically mentioned for use during prayer and prophesying, is a veil or scarf, covering the head and hanging over the shoulders (at minimum),  made of cotton, linen or hemp. Essentially, natural plant fibers.

     For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
     Glory - G 1391 (same for both man and woman) doxa. dignity, glory, honor, worship, praise.

     For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman: but the woman for the man.
 The woman has been under the man since creation.
     For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.
     Power - G 1849 exousia. Capacity, competency, freedom, mastery, delegated influence: - authority, jurisdiction, liberty, power, right, strength.
The covering is not only a symbol of her being in submission to her head - authority -, but also a symbol of her own authority in the home.  Her “delegated influence” as wife/mother, sister/daughter.   
     Angels - G 32 aggelos. Messenger.
An excerpt from this article written by Dr. Daniel Botkin ~ (while there are many things in the article that cannot be agreed with, he makes some very interesting observations on this part “because of the angels”)
     “The second major reason for the headcovering, "because of the angels," is very closely related to   the first, God's order of authority. The two reasons are tied together in 1 Cor.11:10: "For this reason [i.e., because of the roles of man and woman discussed in the verses right before this verse] the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head because of the angels." In other words, the headcovering shows that the woman is submitted to man's authority, and it is important that this token or badge of authority be seen by the angels, both the unfallen angels [the "ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation" (Heb.1:14)] and the fallen angels [those that are "chained in darkness" (2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6) as well as those presently operating as demonic powers].”

    “Those who do not take the Scriptures seriously may be amused by the idea that the presence or absence of a piece of cloth can affect angelic and demonic activity. After all, if angels and demons are real, do they really need to see a headcovering to tell them the woman is submitted to authority? Don't they already know such things?”

    “Even unfallen angels are not omniscient; there are many things they do not know. The Bible tells us that the good news of the Messiah contains "things into which angels long to look" (1Pet.1:12). "The secret things belong unto God our God," Moses tells us, "but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law" (Deut.29:29). As it is with man, so it is with angels. There are "secret things" which God has not revealed to angels, and other things which He has revealed to them. God has decided that He will show the angels and demons His authority, and the woman's submission to His authority, by means of a visible, tangible covering on the woman's head.”

    “To the natural mind, a piece of cloth on a woman's head may seem to be a weak, foolish instrument for imparting divine revelation of God's authority to angelic and demonic beings. But the Bible tells us that God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and "God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things that are mighty" (1 Cor.1:27). Readers of the New Testament may recall that when "handkerchiefs or aprons" which Paul had touched were brought to the sick and the possessed, "the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out" (Ac.19:12). This passage confirms the fact that a piece of cloth can, indeed, be used as an instrument to display God's authority to evil spirits, and affect what happens in the spiritual realm, which in turn affects what takes place in the physical realm.”

    “We do not need to understand all the mechanics of exactly how and why God's ways work, in order to walk in them, just as we do not need to understand all the mechanics of how and why a car works in order to drive it. If the car works, and we drive it according to the rules of the road, we can expect to reach our destination. God's ways work, and if we walk in them, we can expect results.”

     Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.
For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.
Here Paul is saying that men and women are equals in Christ’s Kingdom, tho’ not equal in station.  The man is placed in authority over the woman because of the fact that the woman was deceived in the garden. Her punishment was being placed under him, rather than being his equal in all things. But even in punishment God gave the woman a high station: He gave her the high station of being a wife and mother, and being the second in command in the home; a station she has spurned, shunned and abused.
     Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?
     Comely - G 4241 prepo. To tower up (be conspicuous) i.e. (by impl.) to be suitable or proper, fit, right;- become, comely.
Paul is not suddenly changing his tune, and saying it is for us to decide if we should follow the ordinance of the head covering; but he is asking the question in such a way as to get your attention, and make you think it out for yourself, and ultimately reach the same conclusion - that the head covering is a command from God almighty, and is not something to be ignored.
He is asking: Is it conspicuous when a woman prays with her head uncovered?  As God’s children, we are to stand out.  We are a “peculiar people” we are to “shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;” (1 Peter 2:9)
     “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.”  (2 Corinthians 6:17)
How are we to “be separate” , how do we “shew forth the praises of Him…” if we do not look any different from the world?

     Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?
     Long - G 2863 (same for men and women) kamao. To wear tresses of hair:- to have long hair.
     Tress - Websters 1828 A lock, or weft of hair; to weave, braid or twist. A knot or curl of hair; a ringlet.
     Weft - Websters 1828 A woven thing.
This reference to nature I have heard interpreted as saying it is perfectly fine for men to have long hair, and women to have their heads uncovered because of how african lions are. The males have long manes and the females have short hair.  That is one of the most absurd arguments, because the verse plainly says “it is a shame unto him”.  “It is” is an objective statement. “Is it” is subjective. The “it is a shame unto him”  statement is objective, not subjective, which leaves no room for personal interpretation. There is a time for interpreting, but when it is quite plain, and very clear what is being said, it is then rebellion to try and make it mean other than it says.

     But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.
     Covering - G 4018 peribolaion. Something thrown around one: i.e. a mantle, veil:- covering, vesture.
     Mantle - Websters 1828 To expand; to spread. To joy; to revel. To be expanded; to be spread or extend. To gather over and form a cover: to collect on the surface, as a covering.
     Vesture - Websters 1828 A garment; a robe. Clothing, covering. Dress; garments in general; habit; clothing; vestment.
The hair being a covering is obviously only for the times one is not in prayer.
The woman is not required to wear the veil/scarf always, as her hair is also given her as a covering, but in accordance with the admonition to Pray without ceasing. (1 Thessalonians 5:17) it would be wise to wear the covering as much as possible: Most importantly for corporate prayer/prophesying; though it would be advisable to wear it during any and all prayer/prophesying, whether corporate or private.
It is certainly not required, but it is also not prohibited to wear it at all times. Therefore we can safely say the scarf/veil can be worn at all times for convenience sake, or any other reason.