Any woman who is familiar with Paul’s letter to the Corinthians has probably contemplated his words about a woman’s hair being her glory. (cf. 1 Cor 11:15) At times I’ve attempted to wrestle with his words, but, usually, when I get the that part, I simply dismiss it as antiquated or culturally irrelevant and read on. The fact is, it just didn’t feel relevant to me. But, as we all know, what feels right to us at any given time may not be the best indicator of what actually is right or true. Granted, this is a very small topic. Certainly, no one’s faith hinges on Paul’s comments about hair. Nonetheless, I wanted to share what I recently realized.
I never felt as if my hair was my glory because I hate my hair. I’ve always hated my hair. It’s flat. It’s dull. It’s fine. And, worst of all, it isn’t even a color. It’s not brown. It’s not blonde. It’s just…blah. I have the most boring, lifeless hair on the planet. At least that’s my perception. With that being the case, I think its easy to see why I never equated my hair with glory.
Last week, I stumbled across a post by Jennifer Fulwiler (whom I don’t know, but love) and finally discovered the truth in Paul’s words. She wrote,
“Our hair is one of the main ways we express our individuality. Even for those of us who have no skill at hairdressing, the cut and style of our locks speaks volumes about how we want people to perceive us. It’s also one of the primary ways we make ourselves beautiful. Imagine a girl standing in front of a mirror, heading out to a party, determined to look as gorgeous as possible…but totally neglecting her hair. It wouldn’t happen.”
How right she is! I would never make the effort to put on makeup and get dressed up, but fail to fix my hair. In fact, if I’m really trying to look special, I spend more time working on my hair then everything else combined. Well…unless I change clothes 80 times. Which has been known to happen on occasion.
Even on the days I don’t wear any makeup and run errands in workout clothes, I still fix my hair. It may not be glamorous, but I do something with it.
The vast array of hair care products available at any store is enough to confirm the value that women and modern society place on a woman’s hair. There are at least three whole aisles dedicated to nothing but women’s hair care products at the Walmart closest to my house. The men’s hair products? They take up about 3 feet of shelf space on the deodorant aisle. And even that is a recent expansion. It wasn’t too long ago that those products didn’t exist.
My point is simply that Paul was right and I was wrong. It may not be a theologically significant point, but I take great comfort in the hidden truths I find in Scripture, even if they’re very small and seemingly meaningless. Truly though, I’m not sure that truth can ever be meaningless. Perhaps that’s why I find it so comforting and exciting when I recognize even such a little piece of it?