Just because we are equal in Christ doesn't mean that our roles are the same.
In chapter 11 Paul explains how roles are different and how they are played out.
But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. 4Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, 5but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven. 6For if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head. 7For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. 8For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. 9Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. 10That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 11Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; 12for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God.Women in those days, if they had their hair cut short where seen as prostitutes, women of ill-repute. Paul paints a strong picture for us here. Women who speak (prophesy) or pray during worship need to have their heads covered. It shows their observance of the way God set things up. Christ is the head of the church, men are subject to him, they show Christ's glory. Women show the glory of man. That's how God set things up. If women fail to show their observance of that fact, then they should shave their heads and be seen therefore as a woman of ill-repute. That's the picture that Paul paints for us here.
Of course, this puts me in a bit of a quandry. MOST of the women that I know are observant of the fact that men lead things in worship. It's part of running in conservative circles. I would not call them unobservant of God's order to things, BUT they don't wear head coverings in church, and many of them have shorter hair styles. So what do I do with that? Do I say, well, practices have changed now-a-days, and as long as one is observant of conservative practice (as in recognizing the headship that God has given to men) then one is still doing what is right? OR do I say, well..they aren't observing strict biblical tradition therefore they should shave their heads and be seen as women of ill-repute? That doesn't seem right either..... not be a long shot.
And yet there are some women that I know who think that to give headship to men is so very wrong. We are created equal is the cry! And that's is so antiquated! And God didn't really say that. and so on and so forth. Some are very fervent in their thinking and are positive that they are right. These are women who in so many ways strive after the ways of God. But the very idea of showing submission (in this way) is abhorent to them. What do you do with those women? I don't know.
AH!!!! T'is indeed a tough one to sort out. :)
I must say though...in my research on this I came across this quote that I liked.
The woman is the glory of the man There is no doubt that the woman is a distinguished ornament of the man; for it is a great honor that God has appointed her to the man as the partner of his life, and a helper to him, — “To be a companion to the man, to live with him, and to aid him.” and has made her subject to him as the body is to the head. For what Solomon affirms as to a careful wife — that she is a crown to her husband, (Proverbs 12:4,) is true of the whole sex, if we look to the appointment of God, which Paul here commends, showing that the woman was created for this purpose — that she might be a distinguished ornament of the man.That more women would really see how God sees us. God has appointed us to a particular role.... we shouldn't be ashamed to play that role well.
Perhaps that's what it really all comes down to...... not being ashamed to play the role that God has given us well. What do you think?