More “length” on the hair issue

There isn’t a supporting journal entry for this post, but I’ve been thinking more on the hair subject.

Lest anyone think I’m not supporting my views with Scripture, I will address the hair verses in 1 Corinthians 11.  A lot of what Paul was writing was culturally relevant to that time and era.  (I am a huge fan of Paul, by the way.)  Long hair was the norm in Bible days and when the workers started the meeting church, in general women still had long hair. Not for long, however. (pun intended)

In the teens and 1920’s women’s hairstyles began getting shorter .  However, early workers kept that look of then and eventually made it the professing woman standard.   On the West Coast of the United States where I grew up, professing women in the 1940’s and 50’s didn’t wear their hair “up” much at all.  They wore it rolled at the neck, and hair was much shorter.  The long uncut hair style didn’t become a rule here until the 60’s.

The focus on the outward became an obsession with professing women.  It was work to look so plain and wear such different clothes.  While we claimed be humble, it took a lot of time to get our long hair into its look.  There was real competition (although we would never ever  admit it) among the women to have a good hair-do and nice clothes. It was a big deal getting your convention clothes picked out! In other words, all efforts that were made to look professing ended up creating a look that to the world looks very odd and strict.

I remember about 8 years ago, my current boss looking out his office window one day and exclaiming, “I just saw a very strange looking woman walk by in an ankle length skirt and her hair up in a bun.”  It was not said as a compliment at all.  My boss is a very Godly man; a solid Christian through and through.  The professing uniform became the focus.  Oh yes, we could identify each other in airports and somehow that validated the miracle of the whole fellowship and the sameness of it worldwide.  But, how easy truly, was it to be identified in an airport by how we as women looked, compared to having others drawn to us by observing how we treated one another?

Jesus said how others would know us; by our love one to another.  He said nothing about appearance.  To me, that has so much more meaning, depth and weight to it. All along, I wanted something with depth to it, and little by little, God was showing me that.  The words of Paul became my mantra over and over, “Oh the depth!”  Praise Him!

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6 thoughts on “More “length” on the hair issue

  1. Darla, you really have just said everything and put it in a nutshell so beautifully. I still attend meetings because I am a “trail-blazer” not a follower, and my hair is so different from all the other ladies, short, styled and fresh and pretty, never “done for the meetings”, because a good haircut to suit your type of hair and face is already done!!!
    One thing I would like to mention about the hair issue is that it is tied right in with the entire feminine side of things, such as beauty, individuality, fashion and accessories. I heard a comment from one very indoctrinated lady and that was “there are no beautiful women in the way”, meaning that to be beautiful was considered worldly. Of course there is lovely natural beauty on the few that are blessed this way! Most women though actually need well suited clothes for their shape, a flattering hairstyle, some light make-up and the grand finale…confidence and self-esteem that they are beautiful!!
    One can see looking back in time that when the world “changed” after World War 1 and women “changed” with it, the short hair, the independence, the fashions etc…that many religious groups saw all this as “worldly”, which is very sad, because being worldly in a spiritual sense is indulging in sin and having no relationship with God.
    Another thing I feel that is very much tied in with all this is to do with the men. If the women appeared plain and unadorned there was no extra temptation and that made men feel better and more “in control”. Yes, one can see very clearly the women are a walking advertisement for the church and the first identification for who belongs. There are plenty of other religious groups who are similar and in time it will be seen for what it is, and all removed, because it proves nothing and is nothing. To all those women out there who desire deeply to be “who you really are” stop fearing men and people’s thoughts (especially other women’s) and take charge of your own beauty and femininity.
    The scriptures uphold modesty and moderation and I can tell you from my own experience, that people get over it, the change you will present, whether it be your jewellery or a new haircut. Those that use you as a source of gossip and hateful, judgemental poison, do so out of jealousy, fear and boredom. Have compassion on them and be your own beautiful self, showing the joy and happiness of your own spiritual awakening, and being “the light of Christ”. Deep down, they crave it for themselves, but fear is the blockage. Thanks for your very interesting and honest posts Darla, it certainly is a very special journey when you find God.

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  2. Appearance was such an important thing for me. Not only making sure I fit in but how best to NOT look like a complete odd-ball to those I mingled with in my day-to-day routine. As a result, I’d spend a lot of time taken up with my appearance, both looking the part for meetings and other events held by the fellowship but pushing the envelope when I was with those outside the fellowship. It not only took away from my relationship with God, it robbed me by fixing my attention on things that were just not important to him.

    I discovered being taken up with ones appearance whether trying to look as good as you can or in fitting in and being as much a part of the group as you can is all vanity. If you feel really pious in your bun and jean skirt, it may be your reward. When Solomon said it is all vanity, being taken up with ourselves in whatever condition, it is vanity. Vainness doesn’t always result in a spectacular appearance. One can be vain about how professing one looks.

    When I stopped trying to walk the fine line, when liberty finally stepped into my heart, my relationship with God deepened into greater intimacy then I’ve ever known. And THAT was worth it all!

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  3. I’m going to comment on my own post! I was remembering this morning how afraid I would be if I was ever caught with my hair ‘down’. What was that all about? In my youth, I would have said it was because God was not happy with me. If it were now, I would know that God did not care and so it would only be the approval of the group that I was so fearful of losing.

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    • Darla, I was thinking again the other day about the little girls in the meetings. I even have my own experience and my own daughter to be able to write these words! It just hit me so clearly when I remembered my own and many other “little girls” around the ages of three to four, maybe to five, with sweet little bob cuts and fringes. How sweet they looked! Running around looking like little pixies! And then, the hair was grown…….and there were no more bob cuts or pixie styles….and as the little girl grew, her pigtails and ponytails grew too. When she became a woman, she copied her mother, or her meeting friends. Straight up on top, done for the meetings always, or even worse, always up or back no matter what. I have nothing against long hair or various up styles for feminine beauty or fashion. It’s a crying shame that this cult-like behaviour still goes on today. My heart goes out to the “little girls” and their mothers who will and who have been brainwashed to ignore their most feminine beauty..their hair. Their glory. And only theirs.

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  4. I remember many times when some “Worldly” person would enter a special meeting or convention and turn around and leave because the women looked so weird. The meeting folks and workers thought that it would be a light to the lost world – but, sadly, it was just strange and showed the women to be subjected to the rules of the system. Absolutely nothing to do with obeying or surrender to Christ.

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    • It’s a very ridiculously strong, amazing, revealing, and freeing moment when you sit in a misson or at convention and look upon the rows and rows of hair UP. I don’t care how they do it but I am concerned about the UP. And because of your own spiritual revelation of what Truth is for yourself and the rest of mankind, you feel such deep compassion and pity for these women who think “they are pleasing to God with their appearance”. I have heard some beautiful words from a elder sister, who was given the spiritual revelation to look back in time and apologise for the way “they” handed out rubber bands and demanded that the long hair be put up or back. These words would have been extra beautiful if they had been spoken during her public preaching. But they made me happy, non-the-less.

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