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  1. says

    I hear you. Even with non-essentials there are a whole lot of wisdom/heart issues to search through before saying whether something is a good idea in your family at any given time. After dying a bit of my hair I actually became more aware of the issues, and I've talked to a mom or two about whether I'm making their lives more difficult (aka “If Mrs. Short colored her hair why can't I color mine?). It's tricky sometimes. You don't want to draw the rules too tightly so that your children feel hemmed in every direction by the law, but then again you don't want to pretend that they don't need the fences at all.

  2. says

    Thanks, Nancy – I thought he looked pretty cute myself.

    Ladies, I just wanted to point out – this post really wasn't about legalism. It wasn't about whether a mohawk is right or wrong.

    My point was that we need to be cautious of over-emphasizing appearance, lest we give our children the impression that therein lies their identity and self-worth.

  3. Nancy says

    With all due respect to your father-in-law, we can easily tip into legalism if we put over emphasis on looks. How is a Godly christian supposed to look ? Is she head covering, skirt wearing only ? Are we allowed to poke holes in our ears ? Some parents freak out and say well if God had wanted to give you a hole there he would have given you one. Other parents seem to not care too much about hair color, holes in the ears as long as they know the Lord. Many christians walk away from christianity because 'being a christian' has become so much difficult with courtship vs dating, the 'right' kind of clothes, music, homeschooling vs public school and it divides us so much. Actions speak louder than words. Christianity is so simple, when we make it about Jesus and not the other things. Sorry for the long winded post, but this is a subject so close to my heart.

    Most of all, your Jesse looks incredibly cute.

  4. says

    Yes, Jess – that middle ground is what I'm trying to find. It happens when we listen for the Holy Spirit's nudging on a subject. For me, he spoke through my FIL and very clearly exposed something I wanted to address in my own parenting.

  5. says

    I'm of two minds on this one: One being that it's a hair cut and not a big deal; two that I, personally, wouldn't go out of my way to cut my child's hair in a mohawk.

    The first because it is hair and what is on the inside is more important.

    The second because I see how people judge others based on appearance (my sister had a mohawk this past summer…not shaved down all the way, but definitely a mohawk and she was certainly ). Of course, then you could say I have issues with how people perceive me (which I do).

    I also agree with smoore a bit…growing up my parents were very “controlling” about how I dressed/hair/etc (or at least I thought they were and never bothered asking). With my sister, they've been much more permissive…both ways aren't good.

    There has to be a middle ground somewhere: I think that's the hardest part of parenting. (boy this ended up long!)

  6. says

    Natalie and Sara – thanks for your comments. It's funny that the whole reason I gave Jesse a mohawk was out of the same desires you both expressed – to show him that I never wanted what he looked like to be an issue between us. But even though my heart was to encourage freedom to express himself without so many rules, I realized I was still putting an over-emphasis on physical appearance by styling his hair in a way to attract attention.

    True confession time: the mohawk was all my idea, and I actually had to talk Jesse into it. LOL He didn't even care – it was his mommy who had a lesson to learn. :)

  7. says

    I don't have many issues with the way my parents raised us, but one of the things I have chosen to do differently is majoring on the majors and minoring in the minors. What I mean is that I can remember my parents making big deals out of small things–my wanting to get a second earring hole when I was 13(it was a no until I was 18 and they knew I was just going to do it), certain Christian music styles, and, yes, hairstyles. Looking back, did it matter if I wanted my hair cut above my shoulders or a second earring hole? Is it important to eternity? No, it isn't. I am hoping that, as a parent, I will be able to differentiate between a conviction and a preference–just because I don't think my son's hairstyle looks good doesn't mean it is wrong or unscriptural. And sometimes that is a very hard line to draw! I think that allowing your children creativity in their appearance(to a point; I may not, for instance, allow my daughter to dry her hair green two weeks before a family wedding, or my son to get an earring at the age of twelve because he thinks it looks cool) actually tells them hey–I love you know matter what you look like. I also think a certain amount of leeway actually takes the emphasis OFF their appearance; I know that when I was a teenager, I desperately wanted short hair and a second earring hole, neither of which were allowed, and I spent a lot of time noticing what other people were wearing/had their hair cut/how they wore their jewelry, instead of noticing their personalities and character. It wasn't that I was doing this purposely, but the message my parents had inadvertently given me was OUTWARD APPEARANCE IS SO IMPORTANT THAT WE ARE GOING TO MAKE A BIG DEAL OUT OF WHAT YOU CAN AND CAN'T LOOK LIKE. And modesty issues aside, no, it really isn't important.
    Okay, sorry Trina that this was so longwinded, it's just an issue near and dear to my heart. :-)

  8. says

    With all due respect to your father-in-law I think you can take his advice generally without worrying about a haircut. I'd say that when this kid is 13-17 he's probably going to look back on that picture and think “You know my mom was pretty awesome. X's parent would freak out if he so much as mentioned it, and he's 18.” So when he does come to you and says “I was thinking of dying my hair purple” you can have a talk about the wisdom of doing so (and maybe what would be acceptable) without being “those parents.” I happen to think that hair cut is pretty awesome, but then again I dyed a swatch of my hair green :)