Have gray hairs begun to invade the otherwise colorful follicles of your head? For some, this is tantamount to a rebellious coup orchestrated by a disgruntled member of your mane. To ward off further invasion, some will tweezer that renegade right off the scalp. However, it seems that when you do that, it angers those remaining and three or four more reinforcements show up. Oh, no! Now what?
Camouflage! It’s not just for hunters or the military. Clairol, Revlon, and L’Oréal to the rescue! If we can’t pluck those gray hairs away and more keep coming, we will just hide them and nobody will ever know!
Let’s get some facts before we turn to the Bible. Gray hair really has nothing to do with age. When our body slows or stops producing melanin, the pigmentation that gives our hair its color, gray hairs will appear. This typically starts in our 30’s which is a long way from being “old.” However, some will prematurely gray, starting even in high school. Genetics has a lot to do with this!
To pluck or not to pluck, that is the question. The answer from the experts is that plucking is one of the worst things you can do. Damage is caused to the scalp, inflaming the follicle, and destroying the root. Destroy the root and NO hair will grow back. And, even if you don’t destroy the root and a new hair grows, it will be gray. Yanking the gray didn’t magically cause the color to return.
Maybe you bemoan the fact that gray hair feels different. It’s course and dry. The reason for this has nothing to do with the hair itself. It has to do with the fact that the body has reduced production of sebum, the natural oils that moisturize the hair and the skin.
Now, here’s something interesting that I found. Many will say that each gray hair has a name or a stressor associated with it. However, the verdict is still out as to whether or not stress alone causes gray hairs. It seems that there has to be some other physiological changes in the body. Stress definitely affects our health so stress may have an indirect cause to graying but cannot take the blame alone.
So, does this have anything to do with the Bible or is this just free beauty advise? In Proverbs 20:29, it says, “The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the gray head.” The word “beauty” has nothing to do with the guy’s appearance. The word means honor, excellency, or splendor. It seems that gray hair was meant to be longed for rather than dreaded as a tell-tale sign that we are getting older.
This gray-haired individual was to be honored by others. Leviticus 19:32 says, “Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honour the face of the old man, and fear thy God: I am the LORD.” In days gone by, this was a part of our culture. You stood up when a woman entered the room and when the elderly entered. It was a show of respect and something I desire to see restored to our culture.
The gray-haired are to be honored because of their hair. However, the Lord takes this even further. “The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.” (Proverbs 16:31) Those senior saints are a special breed within the church. Honor is to be bestowed upon them because they are saved, they live the Christian life, and the gray hairs remind us that they have life experiences we don’t have.
Too often, younger generations are quick to dismiss the counsel of the elderly, believing that they are so out-of-touch with the modern world that they couldn’t possibly understand the scope of the situation. No offense intended to the elderly, but many of them are behind the times. Technology and information have advanced quicker than they are capable of grasping. Many do not have the foundational skills to comprehend the fast-paced upgrades.
However, morals, values, Biblical truth, common sense, basic life skills, and people as a whole have NOT changed. And, while the gray-headed elders may not understand your techno-jargon, they do understand the things that are really important in life. They have a wisdom that was paid for in experience. And, younger generations are fools to disregard that wisdom and to receive that counsel.
Do not be ashamed of those gray hairs. Wear them honorably. You earned them. And, for those who aren’t gray, you will be one day! What hair doesn’t turn loose will turn gray. Till them, give great honor to those who do have gray hair. Sit and talk with them. Listen to them. Seek their counsel. Go out of your way to bless and honor them. They deserve it. They’ve earned it!