AdministratorAugust 27, 2020 at 12:24 pm
You should take consolation that this very question was a matter of debate in the early church and is discussed by Tertullian in his book “On the Veiling of Virgins.” He discusses the debate and describes how different churches in different geographies answer this question. He basically concludes that the answer is puberty. This is largely because he reads in 1 Cor 11 an argument from modesty (I mentioned in my talk this line of reasoning which can be unpacked from verse 10). Modesty, particularly with sexual overtones, becomes more important after puberty, hence his conclusion of puberty.
I personally appreciate his logic and generally agree. We don’t have our children dress modestly beginning at baptism–we build that increasingly into their lives as they mature. Certainly by baptism, I would hope that our children are strong on this subject by that point. I would also say that there are some dangers with beginning a headcovering at baptism. It can cause undue pressure on the young woman to “fit in” with her peers and seek baptism for the wrong reason. Seeing the headcovering as a more akin to a way of life helps to diminish that unhealthy pressure.
Finally, having seen the fruits of this gentle on-ramp to these practices as the child matures, I can say that it becomes a quite natural and beautiful transition. I’ve seen this a number of times in our church.
God bless you!