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?
Kindly use the link below to post your comment. We can’t wait to learn from you!
Your free Printable of Proverbs 16:31 awaits you, as do all our weekly Proverbs on Pinterest.
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
Happy Birthday from Glasgow dear Liz! It’s been the most beautiful weather here (as in, absolutely can’t believe I’m in Scotland right now hot) since your group left…you must have brought it with you! Anyway, I always like to tell myself as I grow older..’Keep curious’ for me, it compliments what Jesus says ‘Do not let your hearts be hardened.’ So wonder away and keep that heart squidgy I say!
In my 40’s and just finished with breast cancer. I used to have red hair, but now it is all coming back completely gray. I needed this today….opened my eyes to a whole new perspective.
I wonder if it is God saying, ..daughter, let me crown you with a halo of silver light… would be just like Him..so awesome! Be well, Kim!
Happy birthday Liz! I also turned 60 a couple of weeks back and got an awful shock when looking in the mirror one day. It had been a couple months since getting a colour and haircut, and suddenly I realised I was looking old. Hair was ratty, grey all over, not silver, just salt and pepper, all over. Next shopping I was straight out to buy a colour, golden blonde I am now, and feeling younger again. 🙂
Happy Birthday, Liz! With redhead skin, I color so people can find me. Also, it keeps down road rage in those who aren’t fond of “blue hairs.” 😉
Thanks for your wonderful words of wisdom. My 60th birthday is next weekend, and I’ve been trying to ignore it. Instead, I’m going to dress in my clown outfit and share some laughter! And about the gray hair, when my hair started graying, my older sisters (who covered their gray) told me I had to do the same since I was younger. Haven’t touched a hair on my head since!
Happy, happy, happy birthday, Liz! 🙂 I celebrated my thirtieth a couple of weeks ago. It felt like a bit of a milestone and my motto for this new year (and new decade!) is a Steven Curtis Chapman song: “The Miracle of the Moment”. I love silver hair on older women (like my grandmother, beautiful at seventy-something, with silver hair) but I must admit that I’m not excited about the odd silver strand in my OWN locks! Not yet … 🙂
Amen, Liz! I am 43 and almost totally silver. I get compliments on my hair, and it’s mainly phrases like, “I wish I had the confidence to let my natural hair color show!” I never really made the scriptural connection. Thanks, sweet lady!
Happy Birthday! Hope your day is filled with all good things and joy.
Happiest of birthdays, Liz!! Turned 60 in February. Still can’t bring myself to let the gray grow out. Have had it with me for 20 years. Someday soon I hope to just “Let it GO”..;-) Hope you have an awesome day celebrating. We have so much to offer to the young women in our lives in the way of wisdom. You are a wonderful giver!! God bless you!
Have a blessed birthday as you have been a blessing to so many by letting your light shine! I turned 60 in May and my hair is beginning to go silver. Everyone thinks I had it streaked…some ask where I had it done and I tell them God did it! Thanks for all you do to spread the gospel!
Whoa, Liz. Touchy subject here too.
Happy Birthday, friend,
“The Lord bless you and keep you continually transparent, useful in His kingdom. The Lord make His face shine upon your silver threads and be gracious to you.
The Lord turn His face towards your beautiful countenance (because of Him) and give you His peace that passes age, grey hairs and feeble bodies.”
Lots of love from your Canadian friend & fan, Ruth Coghill
Oh, honey, you inspired me to go silver–mine is still helped along by my very smart hairdresser–but silver it is from here on out. Having turned 62 a few weeks ago, I can honestly say that the 60’s are my favorite decade so far. Am I creaky in places? Yes. However, with the creakiness has come a confidence in myself that I didn’t expect. God compensates for the aging me by giving me a smarter brain, a kinder heart and a joy in each day that comes. And I gave honor to every year a few weeks ago: I requested a cake with all 62 candles. What a beautiful light those candles made.
Excellent writing, Liz. HA…happy birthday. In my 50’s, I ‘went’ blonde to avoid s ‘n’ p – grey/brown. Turning 60, 3 years ago, I saw the young girls in church with an amazing spectrum of funky white, silvery grey hair colours, so I grew the fake blonde out. It looked better and better by the week. I now have – ”Oh’!!! natural” hair – somehow – a naturally blonde fringe (thanks, Lord) with a ‘modern’ shining, silver head of hair. I didn’t realise how ‘matt’ and ‘muted’ dyed hair looks until now, so I’m begging the lovely, forty-something’s to take it easy. And I feel great rocking alongside the young ones, worshipping God, in church, too. YAY. XXX
Happy Birthday!!! May your 60th be filled with lots of love and many wonderful surprises…and…beautiful hair.
A blessed and happy birthday, Liz; I am learning so much from the Proverbs studies. I was great to see some photos from you Scottish trip earlier this year; I had a glorious 3 weeks in Scotland last August. At 62, I confess that I am not quite brave enough yet to let my “silver” shine – it has been there since I was 20 something! I still have so much to learn. God bless you and your work in spreading the gospel.
Happy Birthday Liz! I turned 60 last November. With redhead skin, I made my hair red to match for years but finally decided to both cut my hair short and to let it be grey. So I went to the hairdresser and did it, prepared to color it immediately if I didn’t like it, but I did! It wasn’t grey – it WAS silver! – helped out a little bit by this product that makes the silver more silvery! -and makes it go where I want it. Our paths are similar Liz – my gracious and forgiving and merciful God has brought me a long way. Bless you! Happy Birthday!
Oh do.tell what your product is! 🙂
Joyous birthday wishes, Liz! And may I say I love your silver hair. According to the wedding photo, my mother had dark hair when she married at 25, but her hair has been a beautiful silver as long as I can remember. I refuse to color mine; hopefully it’ll take on the hue of my mom’s.
And to all of you who are celebrating birthdays today: No matter your age, live fully and passionately in Christ, celebrating the gift of each day, embracing God’s unique plan for you. Blessings, dear Liz.
Happy Birthday and God bless you Liz!
I’m glad you wrote about hair today. I’ve been wanting to let my
hair go natural for some time now. I’m 55 and my hair is white,
covered by nice & easy light brown. I always lose heart when the
roots get a certain length with the brown ends! Then I end up dyeing
it again. 🙁
Happy birthday Liz! I have been enjoying your Proverbs studies!
This was a milestone year for me–80 years young. I love this proverb because it gives dignity to us “old folks.” I figured that I’ve earned every silver hair on my head, and I’m not about to cover it up. People seem to think one is so wise when they see silver. Wisdom comes slowly through the years which pass so quickly. Go for the silver!
I am almost 62 and have decided for the third time to not dye my hair. I think that this devotion has blessed me so that I will enjoy the silver/gray hairs I have, making me beautiful.
Thanks, Liz, for your sharing God’s word with us.
On another note, the quilter in me wants you to find a quilt on Pinterest to include in all of your bad girls of the bible boards!!!!!!!!!!
Hey Sis, Happy Birthday!!!!!!!! Wish I could sing you a HB song! ending with…and many more!
I turn 60 the end of this month…and it’s all good. I told my husband last week I am not coloring my hair again…now I have said this before and changed my mind. But it is whilte around my face so I might have pretty white hair. If silver is a crown, white is a blanket of????purity, righteousness…all because He is and I am covered in Him. so cool!
June Carter Cash wore hers real long and loose…maybe that’s an idea too…lots of adventures and dreams ahead Liz! Glad to be on the journey with you!
Happy Birthday Wishes Liz! I guess I just have to be different. I’ll be 65 in a few weeks and my hair is still 95% brown with just an “Angel Kiss” of silver on my forehead. With my redhead coloring I too colored my brown locks redder or wore a red wig in my younger years. Since my hubby is all silver, I keep wondering when mine will turn! I am much older and wiser in the Lord, and these days in a wheelchair have really reminded me how Jesus is in charge and I must wait upon Him…in everything. God Bless You a bushel and a peck!
Happy Birthday! May you be blessed with many more years of blessing others with your wit & Godly wisdom!
Happy Birthday, Liz! A birthday truly is a gift from God. I will be 60 in September.
I thank God for every birthday. I thank God for you, my sister in Christ.
Be abundantly blessed this, your special day.
Sylvia in WV
Happy Birthday, awesome woman! I am sixty-six, have never coloured my hair in my entire life. It used to be firey red but has mellowed out to strawberry blonde. I just don’t have any grey. No dye. I think grey hair is beautiful and if ever mine starts to grey I’ll get my daughter to help it along – she’s a hair stylist. Our culture worships youth, but the people I respect most in my life have all been older than me. My grandmother was one of the loveliest people I ever knew. My dad was the best dad in the world. I had lots of aunts and uncles who lived to be old and have grey/ white hair. They are all dead now and I miss them every day. I may have strawberry-blonde hair but in my heart I’m a “Grey Panther”!
Happy Birthday Liz! I am in my early fifties and the grey is just starting to show up here and there. I haven’t decided whether to color it or not. Thanks for the great perspective in today’s post. My words of wisdom would be to enjoy whatever age you are at because you can never go back and thank God daily for the days he has given you.
Happy birthday Liz! Thanks you for your wise words today! I have wanted to go gray now for years! My daughter and my friends say “but you will look so old!” Who cares! As long as the light of Jesus can shine through me, who cares how old I look?! I’m proud to be a Jesus girl! Your wise words today are a blessing! Enjoy your special day! You deserve it!
This is such a timely message for me. Today, I made the decision to stop coloring my hair and let the gray be. I am nearing sixty and it seems the appropriate time for me. Thanks for sharing!
Liz, from one “silver hair” to another……I think your hair is beautiful. I will have to admit, it was a bit of a shock when I viewed your first video with silver hair. Bravo for you! Can’t believe it’s been a decade!! I so appreciate this Verse from Proverbs and the way you unpacked it. Thank you and may your days be blessed.
P.S. I have enjoyed all your books and Bible studies. Thank you for sharing “YOU”. God has gifted you in a very special way. Would love to meet you one day!!!!
Just this year I have let myself be “white”.. It’s still a shock to walk past a mirror but also freeing. Thanks for your reassuring words – help when we need it.
When I have a decade birthday coming up on the next few years I mentally refer to myself as being the next decade number. Currently I am 67 and I consider myself to be 70.
Just a thought–Life is a series of mountains and valleys. If the traveler can minimize the valleys and soar on top of the mountains, then truly he is a successful traveler.
If you’ve ever been out West and stood on top of those beautiful mountains , perhaps it is because when you do so God’s presence seems to surround you. So just because we are getting closer to the top of our life’s mountain doesn’t mean life is over. There is still so much we can do to help others . After all, every one of those gray hairs (hidden or not) has been earned and each has added a little wisdom we can use to help others.
Happy Birthday Liz!
Happy birthday, Liz! My wish is for you to have a wonderful birthday and year! I greatly appreciate your posts, as I struggle with the gray that is quickly spreading throughout my own head. You are beautiful both inside and out!
Happy Birthday Liz. A year filled with love, peace and joy.
Regarding gray hair, remember 60 is the new 40, don’t you love it.
I loved your article on Silver hair. I used to frost my hair blond over dark for so many years, when I retired I decided to see what was under all of those chemicals and found that my hair had turned a beautiful shade of silver. So, I had it cut in a nice bob and let it go back to its natural color and I have had more compliments on my hair than I ever did when I colored it. I even have people say, I wish my hair would turn that color when I am older, I wouldn’t color it. My hair is also in better condition than it ever has. Like you Liz, I wear my crown of silver proudly because the Lord put me together the beginning and the finish so I think I will just await His coming after me and placing the real crown on my head, I imagine that it is silver. Happy late birthday, I love your books, have them all! Sharon
I hope you had a Happy Birthday! I enjoyed this “favorite proverb” talking about the color of hair. I have been blessed with blond hair all my life, of course it has changed somewhat in intensity over the years, and not by Clairol. I am now starting to get a little white mixed in but at age 65 who cares! I am thankful that God has enable me to live this long and for whatever time He has ordained for me, I pray that I can be an inspiration to others.
I love this! Happy Happy Birthday! 🙂 Im going to be 51 this month and am debating about letting my hair go natural, Im not sure whats under there but my mom has lovely white hair, hoping thats what mine will be. Im just not sure how to go about doing so. I have only had demi color in my hair so its suppose to just wash out. What kind of product ladies can I use to tame those wild small hairs around my face? They want to stick straight up nd hair spray and gel surely doesnt work! Hahaha
Oh and I have to find another hairdresser because mine refuses to let me go gray and shes the only one who can do something with my natural wavy hair! Help!
We had silver on the ground this morning Liz with a -4 c frost. We we are into our winter in Christchurch NZ. The silver matches my hair. I have never wanted to colour it. Probably because of this wonderful proverb. What a gift from God. He planned and honours us with a silver crown as we reach our older years. I loved your photo of the older lady. May your crown sparkle on this SPECIAL HAPPY BIRTHDAY LIZ. May you know His rich blessings.
You precious Liz, Happy birthday !! I am sharing my brother’s words of wisdom: “You have to move.” hahaha. It’s true though – he teaches self-esteem classes. I love your hair and honestly I thought you were blond. I am weaved, but the silver is peaking through more and more. Actually I think some looks white. My one grandmother was pure white hair, and my granny was silver — but it is our culture. What if women would not have started wearing make-up? We would not know the difference. I laugh when my cousin says, “Do you ever notice with married people, the man is gray and his wife has brown hair…” I think the reason I have not done it is knowing I will be 2-toned…lol.
Happy Birthday, Liz! I’ve been completely gray since the age of 38, which was 24 years ago! My mother also grayed early. I have many memories of her coloring her hair with a rinse. Even before I found my first gray tucked under the hair at my temple at 12 years of age, I vowed I would never color my hair. Too much trouble! Mom finally quit coloring hers when she was around 85 and found that it’s a gorgeous shade of white. She’s 92 now and proudly wears her shiny beautiful crown, especially after her weekly beauty shop appointment…
HAPPY BIRTHDAY LIZ! I get such great joy from this site and your books! Your hair is beautiful! I always thought it was blonde. You do not look 60. I’m 62 and started graying at 29…it was dark brown and most unattractive. I’m now beautifully Clairol ‘blonde’. 🙂 But the ‘crown’ is under there somewhere. 🙂
Wishing you the best birthday ever!
Well, I must say this is a much nicer way to think of my gray hair–“A crown of splendor”. I love it–I just don’t like my gray hair. 🙁 My “crown” is peeking out so I’ve got to go the beauty shop. 😉
Happy Birthday, Liz! This is a regular topic around our house, because our elder daughter is a hair stylist, and she is in charge of my hair, for now. It is “salt and pepper” but I was born a blonde, and the natural look for me would *not* be attractive right now. I keep a sharp eye on the percentage of silver, and am anxious for it to be closer to 75% so I can transition away from the coloring.( There is a very interesting book on this subject called “Going Gray” by Anne Kreamer.)
Birthday love and joy to you!!!!! Your hair is gorgeous and a real crown. I have mousy brown and do a frosting of blond. I couldn’t believe it when my hair dresser said that it would be good so I can cover my wisps of gray! I didnt even know I had gray!. I thought of myself as always around 40 till we had our pictures for the church directory taken. My husband and I sat there looking at the proofs and didnt know who we were looking at. The worse part was when he asked us to choose between A or B. Almost like taking an eye test. Which do you like better. None, it couldn’t have been us. I just never count how old I am! Just revel in waking each day and thanking God, no diapers, no bib, and no tubes!
Happy 60 Liz! I turned 60 two years ago!! Just another number I think. Keeping my hair dyed, although temped to let it grow out. My friends tell me not to.
Oh, Liz, you made my day\week with this one! I just love your lightheartedness about this Proverb. You sure know the right things to say. I love your white hair wish mine would hurry to completely turn white. I never colored it and I never will. The only thing I regret is that my hair has always been thin but now at 63 it seems to be thinner and I’m losing a lot of hair at the top of my forehead. That and around my face is were it’d turning gray and if I am to get a hair piece I don’t know whether to go all gray or have it colored as close to my natural color as possible. I think that if I have it colored to as close to my natural color it just won’t look natural. Decisions, decisions. I’ll keep taking this to God, maybe a haircut style will be a solution? Thank you for this timely Proverb, dear sister.
Happy birthday, Liz!!! I just shaved my head in support of my sister who is deep in her 4 year plus battle with ovarian cancer. I say let God’s confidence shine through your heart no matter what’s on top of yourhead.
Liz: Again Happy Birthday to you and Mmwah back to you! I am turning 60 in just two weeks and I decided a long time ago not to color my hair, but to let God have His way with all of me. As we know we can’t hide anything from Him and the good news is that He loves us anyway! Thank you always for sharing God’s word to encourage us!
Happy Birthday, Liz!
I will turn 65 in January…and just got the courage to go ” natural”. After coloring my hair on an almost regular basis since my teens, I decided to stop. I’ve gotten so many compliments on my highlights and lowlights , and I’m loving it. I love telling people God did my hair. I’m comfortable…no, wait a minute…I’m elated about celebrating 65! Good genes help, but I thank God for a youthful spirit!
As usual I really needed your words, but I also agree wholeheartedly with your thoughts. I’ve just recently retired from doing senior care and have always enjoyed the older citizens they seem to have more real things to say.
God has used you well. I love being silver and consider it a badge of honor that I’ve earned by being given these years and living with my Lord.
I grayed early too. Thought I had gray hair until I got a passport 5 yrs ago and the clerk crossed out gray and wrote white. Wow, that made me feel old at age 55.
Read this while sitting in a burn/ trauma ICU with my 92 yr old father who has multiple fractures. One nurse asked me if I was his wife. He was more embarrassed than me when I said daughter. I have to admit that sometimes it bothers me that I look older because of my hair, but I get compliments on it all the time, frequently from women who wish they were brave enough to show their natural color. I still go jogging and find it fun to pass someone in a 5 or 10k race. The look on their faces is priceless , depending on how old they think I really am.
Hope you had a great birthday Liz.
Precious Liz – thank you for today’s devo. “They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord. Ps. 112:7
I truly loved and appreciated the way you took care of your lost money bag. What you did for that dear woman was priceless and profound!!! That is a wonderful example of God’s love within us in a tangible way and a great reminder to trust God in all our ways. Because of your amazing devotion I had to read more about you and I’m so glad I did. Not only were your words to my heart needed but also I found great blessing in all the comments. I write an ‘encouragement’ blog and my passion is to encourage believers, young and older to walk close to the Lord Jesus. After reading your words of wisdom and the many comments, I went straight to the mirror and took a good long look. I am turning (just had to stop and count-:) 68 and still have a lot of light brown. However, I always admire people with grey/silver/white hair. Thank you so much for using your God-given writing gifts and for speaking from your heart which radiates right into your countenance. May 2014 be filled with abundant blessings from the Lord Jesus.
I believe this thought is borrowed from a toast, but I’ve always found it both encouraging and wise: May you look forward with pleasure, and backward without remorse.
Happy Birthday my dear friend and beloved sister!
Happy birthday Liz…first heard you speak in Phoenix for a teachers conference…. Enjoyed every minute…we went straight to the closest book store n bought a couple of your books..I just turned 65 and feel blessed thank you for the words you write and blog…God Bless