"There are some details of the body which are there for simply aesthetic reasons, and for no practical purpose - for instance, the nipples on a man's chest, and the beard on his face, the latter being clearly for a masculine ornament, not for protection. This is shown by the fact that women's faces are hairless, and since women are the weaker sex, it would surely be more appropriate for them to be given such a protection." - Augustine (City of God, book 22, chapter 24)
"How shall we then live?" asked Francis Schaeffer. Apparently with a sweet looking chin beard.
Last year at this time I decided to branch out stylistically and sport a "soul patch" through the Advent season. This year I decided to grow a little chin beard, again in the spirit of Advent.
It's remarkable how open members of my beloved congregation feel in giving me their opinions about such facial hair choices. It's a mite funny.
Here's the thing about facial hair- a full beard itches and makes me look fatter, a goatee looks a touch satanic and accents my double chin issues (something I admire about Rick Warren's comfort with self), a moustache is too 70's, and I did the soul patch last Advent. I like the chin beard for now. My wife isn't crazy about it, but she didn't protest hard enough for me to shave it.
"There are two kinds of people in this world that go around beardless — boys and women — and I am neither one." -Greek saying
I received a funny response from a woman in my church (I will not mention Susan's name so as not to embarrass her) on my Facebook posting of this blog post. It shows how closely my dear parishioners pay attention to my various stylings, but it also makes a great point about the importance of wearing a robe-
"I must confess to being a little distracted in Sunday school. The combination of your Italian heritage, the black suit and the new facial hair somehow brought with it images of the mafia and I was actually on the verge of giggling. However, the robe during the service helped immensely and I now appreciate the pastoral robes (which are totally new to me) more than ever. I also confess that this probably says more about my maturity level than it does about your choice to wear a "chin beard." Giggling is not very becoming in one over 35."