Whether you’re a male with a beard, a male that wants a beard, or female in complete wonder (read: befuddlement) of the masculine fascination with beards, we can all admit one thing:
But what we may not have realized until now, is that faith is one of those “everything”s that beards make better. Because the fact is that, in addition to their countless other benefits, beards also teach us a lot of things about faith. Here’s just a few of them:
1) It Looks Different For Everyone
Some beards are long and majestic, shaped like a slice of masculinity hanging off the owner’s chin.
Other beards are robust and round, enunciating the cheery-faced grin underneath.
Still others are sparse and developing, which communicate an air of “Okay, okay, but I’m trying”.
Whatever the case, each beard looks different on each individual man. For as a man grows his beard, so the beard becomes something that was not given him by mere genes, not something that can be claimed by the chromosomes of his parents, but something which is in fact his own.
So faith, as we grow, becomes something of which we take ownership. In doing so, we become a unique individual that’s part of a corporate body. Though all beards have common traits and qualities, each man’s beard is unique to that individual. This is part of the beauty of faith, the beauty of beards.
2) Dedication Is Necessary For Growth
This doesn’t just happen overnight, people:
No, it takes months of dedication. It takes perseverance through the itching, determination through the societal scorn, immunity to the naysayers and hope through the deepest darkest nights of uncertainty when even the greatest of men are prone to wonder: “Will my beard ever be complete?”
Have hope! For perseverance leads to joy and joy, when it is complete, grows one heavenly beard:
3) We Need Role Models
Without inspiration and honest men who have gone before us, how could we ever hope to develop a mature faith? Just as we model our faith after great men of the past, so we can model our beards after men like Charles Spurgeon, who sayeth:
…and St. Patrick…
And then there’s, oh um-I dunno, JESUS…
And, let’s be honest, C.S. Lewis also counts:
4) It’s Not Easy
Stepping out in faith is like the first few months of a beard on an eighteen year-old college kid. At first it looks scraggly, your friends ask strange questions, you’re somewhat embarrassed about it and people tell you it’s a bad idea. As time goes on, and your faith beard grows, you may have doubts, you may have questions, there may be days when you hold the razor to your face and consider how easy it would just to give up and shave. But if you stick with it you will come to rest in the assurance that just like life in Christ is better than life without, so also:
5) A Little Is Pruning Is Necessary
As Jesus reminded his disciples that every fruit-bearing branch must be pruned in order to bear more fruit, so must a good beard be trimmed so it can produce more fruit of magnificence.
So it is that a little trimming can turn this:
I rest my case.
And so there you have just a few of the many ways beards help turn the faith of Christian boys into that of Christian men. So take heart, ye bearded gentlemen. Go forth, make disciples, and have them grow beards! It will be difficult at times, but faith rests in the hope of an eternal joy, the never ending proclamation of Christ’s glory and the on-going story of how we all: