A Lifelong UPC Woman's Experience

Dear Sister,

I have been raised UPC all of my life. My parents came into it in their early teens, and that has been the way ever since.

I have attended 2 churches and sat under the ministry of  3 pastors. In my lifetime of 19 years, I have seen dozens of families leave the UPC over just this issue alone.

Until about a year ago, I would have dismissed your website as one done by someone with a personal vendetta against the UPC, or even worse, a backslidden heretic who only wanted to draw others deeper into sin.

I began to do my own personal Bible study on this and other issues. I do not believe that it is wrong to trim hair. Trimmed hair is healthier and has more life and is generally more attractive.  Untrimmed hair tends to look unkempt and scraggly. Not attractive at all. It gives the appearance of poverty. A woman that has the identical haircut as her husband, on the other hand, is pushing things too far. The Bible says to do all things in moderation.

I personally have trimmed my hair for years. Keeping it a secret from my parents, of course. They firmly believed that it was a sin.  Lately, I have begun to experiment. I have my hair a good 6 inches shorter than I used to, and I love it. My hair is still past my waist, and considered long. It is very bouncy and full of life, like it has never been before. I am very pleased with it. I still feel God's presence. I still pray. I still feel that God is listening to me. He still answers my prayers. He still walks with me and helps me to make decisions. Trimming my hair did not "deprive" me of the Holy Ghost, nor did it cause me to "backslide."

That was a big problem that I saw in the UPC. If a woman was to cut her hair or wear makeup or a sleeveless dress or shorter skirts, she was basically made to feel that God had left her and that she had no business even praying because He would not listen to her. This erroneous thought led many of my friends and relatives to actually backslide. Cutting their hair did not cause them to backslide, but rather not following God- praying, fasting, Bible reading, living a Christian lifestyle. I thought that it was not right that something so trivial was allowed to become such a big deal.

The spirit of rebellion is rampant. But that does not make you cut your hair. The rebellion part of it is deciding that you don't want to live for God anymore, so you decide to do whatever you want to do and you don't care what anyone says. You go out and party and lie and sleep around and do all kinds of bad things because you think that you were wrong to cut your hair- that God doesn't love you anymore, that He won't forgive you even if you ask Him to because you knew what you were doing when you did it, and a lot of other wrong ideas.

I never did any of that. (Just for the record.) But I have friends who did, 3 of whom became pregnant before the age of 16. All because they thought that if they let go of one thing, they had to let go of it all.

I don't know why I have written all of this, except in the hope that you will print it and that some other struggling UPC girl will see that she doesn't need to "backslide" to cut her hair or to give a more professional appearance by using corrective makeup.

Sincerely, A Sister in Christ


Posted July 16, 1998

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