Our household object today is a hat, and our Bible passage is 1 Corinthians 11:14-16. Nowadays, hats are both practical (keeping us warm in winter and cool in summer) and fashionable (worn at weddings and other special occasions, especially for women), but they have frequently been seen to be a measure of respect and honour. In the past, women used to wear hats to attend church services; convention tells us that a man wears a hat outdoors only and a woman wears a hat whenever she wants!
The idea of hats being linked to freedom may seem strange to us today, but in the past, this topic has aroused much controversy. An emphasis on the outward trappings (what we wear) seems pointless to us today, but the concept of having to become a Jew before you could become a Christian is something Paul had to fight against; an outward sign of conformity (circumcision) is no longer needed because of Christ’s sacrifice for us on the cross. Standing firm for freedom without offending others is something we still wrestle with today, and will look different for different people and cultures. We have to remember that Christ died to bring us into a relationship with God; relationship and not simply rules are what matter now. (Rules can be really helpful, but relationship gets to the heart of the matter!)