“Quiet” Rebellion

My hair is blue. Yes, you read that right. My hair is BLUE. And it’s not just a cute little blue curl on the side…it’s in-your-face, shade-your-eyes, can’t-miss-it BLUE! Why? The answer I tell people is because it’s fun, it’s summer & I like the color blue. The real answer, though, that I don’t share out-loud is that it’s my way of rebelling against people’s expectations of me as the pastor’s wife.


I’m not normally a trouble-maker. In fact, I used to work really hard to conform to people’s expectations and please everyone around me. I was raised in a very conservative church & Christian school where long denim skirts & culottes were the norm and Steven Curtis Chapman was a rocker from the pit of hell. The pastor’s wives I remember from that time were always perfectly coiffed and well-dressed. Every hair was in place (which took quite a bit of hairspray since I grew up in the south in the 80’s). Every dress came at least to mid-calf, was worn with sensible shoes & had shoulder pads. Fast-forward a bit to the first church my husband pastored. We had been living and working in New Orleans and moved to a small, coal-mining town in eastern Kentucky to pastor this well-established Baptist church. I still remember the first time I wore a sleeveless dress to church one hot July morning. It was nowhere close to being indecent, mind you, just one of those long sundresses with wide straps and a high neckline I had gotten in the French Market years before. But that morning I got enough pointed looks to know I had made a mistake. One lady even offered me a sweater to wear because she thought I looked “cold.” A week or so later, another lady kindly brought me a bag of clothes that she didn’t want anymore…a bag full of dresses that were “more appropriate for a pastor’s wife.” I spent 4 years wearing ugly, unfashionable, frumpy clothing because I thought that was what a pastor’s wife did to please her congregation.


Back to present day. I am continuing to break the bonds of slavery in my life…being a slave to expectations, a slave to other people’s opinions of me, a slave of my own ideas of perfection.I’m finding my own style and dressing in a way that makes me feel confident & beautiful. I am learning to dress and live as a uniquely created child of God, not a people-pleasing, afraid-to-offend pastor’s wife. It started with painting my toenails with sparkly blue polish. Then I added big, dangly earrings. Now I have blue hair. It’s a slippery slope. 🙂

I went to the post office the other day and the postmaster lady (I can’t bring myself to call her the post- mistress…it’s creepy), she commented on my blue hair. “Wow! You have blue hair!” Me: (thinking “duh!) saying sweetly “Yes, it is.” Her: “Will it wash out” Me: “Eventually” (I hope) Her: “What do your church members think about that?” {dum, dum, dum…cue the suspensefully intense music} She continued: “I’m sure they have a lot to say about their pastor’s wife having blue hair! I’ll bet a lot of them don’t like it!” Me: “I’m sure it’s given them lots to talk about. But a pastor’s wife shouldn’t be held to any different standard than a regular church member. When it comes to how we live our lives we’re all representing Christ & the church, aren’t we?”

As I left the post office that afternoon I began to wonder if my “quiet” rebellion had become a crowd of screaming blue hair curling around my face & drowning out my love for God & His people… Nah… It’s just blue hair. It gets a little frizzy at times, but I don’t think it’s affecting my ministry. It may be giving my church people something to talk about, but if they are talking about my hair then they’re not talking about my clothes, my kids, or the fact that I raised my hands more than once during worship last week.

Our summer hair-dos 2011

On a side note, I let my daughters do their hair, too. The plan is (hopefully) that by letting them rebel in little ways while they’re young they will get it out of their system and not feel the need for any great rebellion when they are older. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

What about you? What do you do to “buck the system” or break the mold of what it means to be a PW? Have you ever experienced a double-standard of expectations for you as a PW? What color is your hair today?


13 thoughts on ““Quiet” Rebellion

  1. I guess one of the ways I break the mold of being a “typical” PW is just by being myself! 🙂 I’m glad that you and your girls dyed your hair – I love that you did it together and created such a fun memory as a family!


  2. At our previous church, the issue was where I sat each Sunday. Sometimes, I’d sit up front, sometimes in the back, sometimes in the balcony…wherever! I guess not being up front where we were all on “display” was an issue. I had a similar thought – what does where I sit have to do with ministry or salvation? I LOVE the Carolina blue hair!


  3. hahaha! Love it! My rebellion (although, I’m not a PW) was getting my 3rd ear piercing in my left ear. My mom was so against it so I waited until I was 18 and did it then. Of course, I was pretty much out the door then but I wish I would have waited until I wasn’t under her roof anymore. Now, I want to get my nose pierced but Eddie is against it. I also want to get a hair wrap so maybe I’ll do that while we’re away on vacation. I had one years ago when we were first married.


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  5. This is awesome! I am with you. My problem at church. (by the way I am a PW). The congregation feels I should wear the big hats with the matching suites, shoes and purse. I am more of the modern day PW. I love to dress. I do it with taste and style and my Husband LOVES IT!. I also, teach the young women today, they can be so beautiful without showing what they have, having a standard about themselves. They draw more young women in the ministry, their heart is pure and it reflect them outwardly. They can still be them. God looks at the heart not the outward appearance. If that is why God chose David, why not us? keep up the good work PW in BLUE! ha!ha! I love it.


    • Thanks, Angie! I love that you are focusing on helping the young ones know how to dress in a godly, yet fashionable way rather than simply allowing traditions to dictate your style! Sure wish you had a picture with this comment…I’d love to learn from your style, too! 🙂


  6. Hi, I just found your blog and am loving it! I, too, am a quietly rebellious pastor’s wife – and a pastor to boot. My rebellion: I have a nose ring. Before my husband and I took this church, my previous pastor told me that I would have to take it out before I became a pastor’s wife as it was not appropriate for that position. Really??? Hmmm…. Nope, not taking it out until God tells me to. Especially since it is a reminder to me that I am bought with a price and need to honor God with my body (I used to struggle with anorexia).
    Tomorrow, I am leading a conference for our state’s Christian Leadership Training. The subject: Life from the parsonage perspective. This could be fun. 😀


    • Hey, Annie!
      Glad you found my blog and liked it! 🙂 I love the nose ring idea…I’ll have to look into that… Hope your conference went well. I’ll bet it was both fun and helpful. Thanks for reading!


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  8. Okay…I promise I am not stalking you and I am going to bake somebody some cookies right after this comment…might even deliver them. I have a nose ring and a full back tattoo, not to mention the occasional “not in nature” hair color. AND I have actually kissed
    {sweetly…not bow-chika-wowwow}my husband in the lobby in front of God & everybody {gasp}. My favorite comment was the church “mayor” noticing my nose ring and saying ” I am not sure how I feel about my pastor’s wife having a nose ring” my response was “Well, your pastor’s wife has had a nose ring for 6 months now so I guess it didn’t bother you that much” Oh and the time a woman from another church visited an event (not service) and noticed my tattoo and said “Is that real? Aren’t you the pastor’s wife?” My response “Yep, scandalous isn’t it?” I am not real adept at playing nice for the sake of decorum, I love my congregation for who they are, warts & all and I expect nothing less for myself.


  9. Pingback: Are You The “Typical” Pastor’s Wife? | Confessions of a Not-So-Perfect Pastor's Wife

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