When my first gray hair appeared, it was well hidden beneath Clairol’s Nice ’n’ Easy Natural Medium Ash Blonde, my hair color of choice back in the day.
When I turned 40, I avoided the salt-and-pepper look by going paprika—well, Light Auburn from L’Oreal, because I’m worth it. (If you watched my video Bible study, Loved by God, you saw that very red hair. Oh baby.)
I celebrated turning 50 in proper biblical fashion: “In this Year of Jubilee, everyone is to return to their own property” (Leviticus 25:13). So, I gave my hair back to God and discovered—eek!—it was mostly silver with some dark blonde in the back. Who knew?
On July 3rd I turned 60. (This is where you say, “Wow, Liz, you don’t look a day over ____!”) My silver hair has been on display for a decade now, which is one reason I’m delighted you chose this proverb as one of your 50 favorites.
Gray hair is a crown of splendor;
it is attained in the way of righteousness. Proverbs 16:31
Gray hair is…
I wish I knew the woman in the portrait above. The warmth in her smile, the wisdom in her eyes, and the confidence in her posture mark her as someone who is comfortable living in the skin she’s in, whatever her age may be.
She also has a “hoary head” (ASV), with “hair that is turning white” (NLV). Or “grey” (YLT). Or “silver” (GW), if you prefer. I certainly do.
Gray is gloomy. Rain clouds. Battleships. Dingy sheets. Sadness.
Silver is sparkly. Nice jewelry. Sterling teapots. New coins. Gladness.
Of course, our hair color doesn’t matter in any spiritual sense. It’s the maturity, the ripe “old age” (DRA) we’ve reached, that’s truly a gift from God. Although my husband suddenly turned silver in his late twenties, gray hair is primarily “the splendor of the old” (Proverbs 20:29).
It’s years in the making. Hard won. Well deserved. Impressive.
…a crown of splendor;
How delicious is that phrase? When our silver hair appears, it’s a crown “of glory” (ASV), “of honor” (CJB), “of dignity” (DRA). From God’s point of view, it’s a “mark of distinction” (MSG) and absolutely “beautiful” (GW).
As it happens, in our look-younger-at-all-costs culture, many of us dye our silver crowns, rather than polish them. Heaven forbid we should look old. One mature woman clucked her tongue at me and said, “Honey, you are aging yourself ten years with that hair.”
(It was really hard not to snap back, “And you, honey, are fooling no one with your color not found in nature!” But I didn’t. Honest.)
Meanwhile, guess who’s excited about my silver crown? Women under 30. Wild, right? Maybe I remind them of Lady Gaga. Or Daenerys, the Dragon Mother.
Okay, maybe not.
Could be they’re happy to see an older woman take what God has given her and run with it. Why not? It’s just hair. And I love-love-LOVE not having to touch up my roots every two weeks. Saves so much time and money.
If you color your gray hair, beloved, no worries. We all come to our own conclusions about these things. I simply couldn’t miss this opportunity to say, if you’re considering taking that leap of faith, go for it. You have lots of sisters who’ve paved the way.
…it is attained…
This crown of glory—not the color, but the spiritual gift of wisdom and maturity—cannot be bought. Nor is there a shortcut. ”It is earned” (ERV) from experiencing God’s constant presence and “found” (KJV) through seasons of faithfulness.
This special “award” (MSG) can only be “worn by” (CEV) those whom God considers righteous—in right standing with him—which he alone makes possible, whatever age we may be.
We’re righteous because of his righteousness.
We’re worthy because he is more than worthy.
We’re crowned because he is our mighty King.
We’re on our way because he is the only way.
…in the way of righteousness.
This “path” (CEB) may not always be a straight line—the Hebrew word, derek, is often translated “journey”—but if we’re walking with the Lord, we’re definitely going in the right direction.
However many years we’re given on this earth, let’s aim to be “God-loyal” (MSG), always seeking after “justice” (DRA), doing everything we can to lead “a righteous life” (ESV), realizing what matters most is “being right with God” (NLV).
Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us another day, another year.
If silver hair is on our horizon, help us see it as a “beautiful crown” (GW),
a gift from your loving hands. Not a sign of old age, but a welcome sign
of age-old wisdom.
Now it’s your turn
- What words of wisdom would you offer anyone
celebrating a milestone birthday this year?
Thanks for spending a few minutes with me on this special day, dear friend. How I love opening God’s Word with you!
Your sister, Liz