Ever heard of ‘manscaping’? It’s a modern term for the old concept of ‘grooming,’ a word that has some unfortunate connotations today. But both manscaping or grooming are about the same thing—it’s basic cleanliness, appearance, and posture. How you smell, and how you look, and how you carry yourself, your bearing. This subject is part of our series on stewarding our bodies for God’s glory.
You say, “Is this all necessary. Don’t you know that God looks on the heart?” (1 Samuel 16:7). Yes, but what does the other part of the verse say? Man looks on the outward appearance (1 Sam. 16:7).
This is not about your spiritual standing before God it’s about your social standing before men. We can’t see your heart. Employers can’t see your heart. Women can’t see your heart. We can only see (and smell) your outside.
Can this be carried too far and become Pharisaism? Of course it can. But the Pharisees’ problem was that they were onlyinterested in the outward, the external. They were onlyinterested in grooming their bodies while having totally ungroomed hearts. Jesus did not say, forget your appearance. He said, groom your heart and do it first.
So, grooming, or manscaping, is not about Pharisaical externalism. It’s about common sense. I know of men who have ruined their careers, relationships, and even their ministries by their carelessness over their appearance or their body odor.
Now let’s look at the three parts of grooming. I have to be careful here not to impose my own preferences and my own cultural norms, but here are some areas to consider:
The basic question is, Do you look and smell clean? Key areas are
- Brushing your teeth, shaving/beard trim, showering, washing your hair, cutting your hair.
- Do you do these things enough to look and smell clean? Ask people around you
- Other areas to think about: changing your underclothes, socks, shirts, bedclothes
- Again, do you do these things enough to look and smell clean? Ask people around you
The basic question is: Do you have a suitable range of clothing and shoes for your situation, needs, and responsibilities? More detailed questions include:
- Do you have a clothing budget so that you are regularly renewing your clothes?
- Do you have a range of different clothes: for work, church, sports, casual, networking?
- Do you have a smart suit, shirt, tie, shoes for interviews, special occasions?
- Do you care for your clothes? Folding, hanging, washing, ironing? There’s no point in spending lots of money on clothes if we’re just going to leave them in a heap on the floor.
There’s no point in getting all cleaned up and dressed up if you don’t sit up or stand up. Stand up straight and sit up straight and keep your shoulders back and your head high. You don’t need to be a Marine. But you do need to be a man.
You will also save yourself a bunch of disc and skeletal problems in your forties onwards. Many of us are storing up huge problems for future years because we spend so much of our days hunched over phones and computers. Consciously fight against this while sitting, driving, and walking. It will give you a bearing and dignity that make you stand out and will also save you lots of pain and dollars in the years to come.
Clean up. Dress up. Stand up.
Real men are groomed men.
- Have a look at the first two articles in the further reading list and write up your own grooming routine.
- Ask people around you how you can improve in each of the three main areas: cleanliness, clothing, and posture.
- How can you avoid this degenerating into Pharisaism?