A true story: I was minding my own business, loitering in a Kansas City knick-knack shop, when in walked none other than Al Mohler. Recognizing him (he was indeed wearing a suit and Brooks Brothers tie, having preached only hours earlier at Rick Holland’s installation), I followed him over to a window, where he was looking at old razors.
“Excuse me, Dr. Mohler,” I asked. “I teach a Bible study of college students. If you had one lesson for the men of this generation, what would it be?”
“Teach the young men the art of shaving,” he replied. “You have to start young, or it will be too late.”
In honor of the end of November, this blog post is an attempt to do just that.
First, God made the world in such a way that even the most menial and common tasks can be done in a way that brings him glory. In his providence, God designed men in such a way that they need to shave every day (give or take). Many men simply assume the task should be done begrudgingly, and give up on finding a pleasurable way to do it. They exchange the truth for a lie, and plug in their razor, or—worse yet!—they use gel from a pressurized can. They live life oblivious to the fact that God has made a better way.
That better way is to delight in the mundane by doing it well. Magnify God in the ordinary by seizing every shave as you would every thought, and take it captive for the glory of God.
Here is how: First, throw any pressurized can immediately into the trash. Second, come to terms with the fact that every shaving commercial you have ever seen is designed to sell you a product that steals your joy. Advertisements lie to you, and they make money for the companies that sell you $5 blades that you have to buy, because the $4 ones lacerate your face and make you look like an adolescent with acne. Bumps from your razor are proof positive you are doing it wrong.
In their place, buy the essentials: pre-shave oil, a safety razor, blades, soap, a brush, and aftershave that could stun a buffalo. If that sentence read like the Septuagint, you should probably get this book as well: Leisure Guy’s Guide to Gourmet Shaving.
Here is consolidated list of links of places to shop and things to buy. I list each one separately, although all of them can probably be purchased for significantly cheaper from Amazon. Don’t’ be discouraged by the price. In the long run, this is cheaper (and more enjoyable!) than the money you light on fire every week buying your $25 Mach whatevers. This list is here just to help you get started, or, if you are a father and/or college pastor, heed Dr. Mohler’s advice, and teach your son/disciples the art of shaving.
- How To: Leisure Guy’s Guide to Shaving
- Oil: American Crew
- Brush: Anything from a badger (is it possible that God made this animal just for this reason? I think so). This is the most expensive piece. But as Dr. Rick Holland often says, spend the money on the brush, and remind yourself that Mach 3’s are a thing of the past.
- Soap: Classic Brand
- Safety razor: Merker
- Blade: feather. The Merker blades that come with the razor will make you bleed like you were attacked by a porcupine.
- Alumn block: Not necessary, but a nice touch.
- Aftershave: you can go the gentle soothing route. You can also drink ginger bread lattes and get manicures. A better solution is what has been referred to as Bema Seat aftershave. It judges your shave by stinging you profusely, so that you learn to do it the right way.
Combined, these items will rescue you from the drudgery of a chore, and allow you to rejoice that God made you as a creature that shaves.
Do you have anything to add to the list? Let me know below.