I have a teenage son who is wearing his hair long, just to the top of his shirt collar. He is an awesome son who loves God and witnesses along his daily walk in life. I have heard people at church say things to other kids like "If you don't get your hair cut you're going to look like ______." And one parent even told their son "I don't want you hanging around with the crazy long hair boy." He has even heard things himself. I know him better than most, because he is my son. How do we as parents handle this within our church? I feel like everyone is looking to us to make him cut his hair. Are we as a Christian family setting a wrong example? I know God looks at the heart.
Well, I write this to you as the mom of a former teenager who came to church one Sunday with his hair not only long but GREEN . . . when my husband was chairman of the board of elders!
There are certain areas where it's safe for our kids to display the fact that they are different and distinct from us, and hair is one of those areas. It's not a moral issue, it's not a character issue, it's a cultural issue. When you can see that his heart is good and that he loves the Lord, the hair thing just doesn't matter. . . because in a few years he will choose differently, I'll bet.
If I were in your shoes, I would not say anything to the other people in your church because it really isn't any of their business. And if they said something to me, I would smile and say, "You know, it's not the way I would choose for him to wear his hair, but we're so proud of his heart and his character that it just outshines the length of his hair. We'd rather have a son with long hair who walks with the Lord than a son with short hair who ignores Him."
And then tell yourself that it's unfortunate that the people in your church are being judgmental and shallow, because they are.
For what it's worth,
P.S. The Lord took care of the hair thing with our son in time. . . he developed severe male-pattern baldness while in college. He's now completely bald on top and, since he's in the Air Force, it's shaved WAY short. :-)
© 2003 Probe Ministries
About the Author
Sue Bohlin is an associate speaker with Probe Ministries. She attended the University of Illinois, and has been a Bible teacher and conference speaker for over 35 years. She is a frequent speaker for MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) and Stonecroft Ministries (Christian Women's Connections), and serves on the board and as a small group leader of Living Hope Ministries, a Christ-centered outreach to those dealing with unwanted homosexuality. Sue is on the Bible.org Women's Leadership Team and is a regular contributor to Bible.org's Tapestry Blog. She is also a professional calligrapher and the webmistress for Probe Ministries; but most importantly, she is the wife of Dr. Ray Bohlin and the mother of their two grown sons. Her personal website is suebohlin.com.
What is Probe?
Probe Ministries is a non-profit ministry whose mission is to assist the church in renewing the minds of believers with a Christian worldview and to equip the church to engage the world for Christ. Probe fulfills this mission through our Mind Games conferences for youth and adults, our 3-minute daily radio program, and our extensive Web site at www.probe.org.
Further information about Probe's materials and ministry may be obtained by contacting us at:
2001 W. Plano Parkway, Suite 2000
Plano TX 75075