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Hello everyone! What are some of your favorite things to do on Sabbath? I like to watch nature shows, listen to music, and read! :)

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No Braids on Sabbath?


What’s wrong with wearing braids on Sabbath? I’m a young Black man, and I have an Afro. During the week I cornrow or braid my hair, and several people have told me it looks neater that way. But my parents don’t want me to wear braids on Sabbath. So what’s wrong with wearing braids on Sabbath?

Steve Answers:

It sounds as if those who don’t want you to wear braids are people in authority. So I suggest that you ask them for the reason(s) they don’t want you to wear braids on Sabbath.

If you’re looking for an answer from God, you’ll find a clue in 1 Timothy 2:9. It says, ”And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes” (NLT).*

Don’t zero in on the word “women” and think this doesn’t apply to guys. Males should dress modestly, just as females should. It’s the words “decent” and “appropriate” that people interpret differently!

What’s appropriate? You think your cornrowed hair is appropriate, and your parents think your Afro is more appropriate.

Here’s a potential irony: When your parents were your age, they probably got hassled if they wore their hair in an Afro. Many in authority at that time thought an Afro style wasn’t appropriate!

Anyway, I don’t think you’ll be able to prove or discover what hairstyle is appropriate from the Bible (length of hair, color of hair, curls or straight, rolled or spiked). But people have strong opinions based on social connotations and their own taste. And sometimes people try to suggest that God sees things the same way they do.

That’s pretty dangerous! We need to be transformed to become like God, rather than trying to transform God to be like us! (See 2 Corinthians 3:18.)Let’s consider the last part of 1 Timothy 2:9 again.

It says, “not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair.” That’s true for all ages, not just teens. And yet many Adventists try to fix their hair nicely to help make Sabbath special.

I suppose I didn’t follow this principle last summer when I went to speak at a camp meeting. I had the letter M shaved into the back of my hair (see my photo above). I did this primarily to get attention!

While many thought the M stood for Marit, the woman I married in January, it actually stood for a different M word I talked about in each meeting—mind, message, map for life, missing young people, modesty, money, mercy, etc.

It worked—I got attention. But if you’re going to stand out, why not stand out for something godly?

vPaul wrote in 1 Timothy 4:12: “Be an example to all believers in what you teach, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity” (NLT).

*Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

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