I wasn’t able to watch the BET Awards show when it aired due to travel, but my Facebook feed kept me informed with all the good, the bad, and the inappropriate. In particular, as I scrolled down the feed, I read the outrage over the low-cut, cleavage-baring dress Meagan Good, an actress and preacher’s wife, wore to present the Best Gospel Artist award.
A couple of days later I saw what all the hoopla was about.
My thoughts: Maybe one day in the distant, more mature future of her faith and marriage she’ll look back and say, “What was I thinking?”
It’s happened to all of us at some point in time, hasn’t it? We cringe from embarrassment of old pictures from our younger, carefree years. When someone would criticize us, we labeled them judgmental hypocrites. Then, in defense of ourselves, we spouted a bunch of independent-following-my-heart jargon.
It’s life and a part of growing up. Right?
However, I do understand some of the critique of Mrs. Good’s apparel choice, but I characterize it more as a you live and learn moment. And actually, whatever agreement Meagan and her husband have come to about appropriate and inappropriate attire, well, that is between them. Their marriage will be made stronger or weaker because of it. I wish them well.
Reflecting on my own marriage, however, I remembered a time when I almost crossed the line. And there is a line.
Getting dressed one morning, my husband, a pastor, asked me if I needed a safety pin: “I have one on my nightstand if you need it.” That wasn’t really a question; it was more like a strong suggestion.
Looking in the mirror, again, I noticed the v-cut neckline on my dress revealing a little too much cleavage. Because my husband isn’t controlling or possessive of me, I know when he makes comments about my attire, it’s from the heart. In that moment, I had two choices:
1. Take his suggestion and pin the dress.
2. Change into a less revealing outfit.
As a happily married woman of the Christian faith, those were my only two choices. I did not have a choice to wear the dress as is. Even though I am a grown woman and probably purchased the dress with money I made from my 9 to 5, I’ve chosen to represent my faith and to honor my husband more than assert my stubborn independence.
I do believe as a wife I can be sexy and fashion forward, but as a mature woman of God, wife, and mother, there is a line. My daddy taught me about the line when he would make me change into more modest attire as a teenager. Now my husband reminds me of the line whenever I come close to it or when someone gives our daughter an outfit that makes her look like she is 21 instead of 7. In my life, there is a line that I don’t cross.
It’s not about being religious, traditional, or holier than thou. It’s about being responsible, purposeful, and mature. When I was a child (even a babe in marriage), I spoke like a child and acted like a child. Now that I am an adult, I put away childish things. My marriage of almost 18 years, my daughter, my life’s purpose and ministry, and my desire to please God mean more to me than the right to wear what I want.
If my husband ever crosses the line and tries to control my every move, then we will have a problem. Just as if I cross the line and show my “goods” to the world, he will have a problem with that, and rightfully so. My “goods” are for him and him alone. My husband doesn’t need to show them off in order to feel like he’s the man. And I don’t need to display them to assert my independence or prove a point. Did I have this mindset when I was a newlywed? Absolutely not. It’s taken decades of mistakes to learn how sacred my body is as a temple for God and as a gift to my husband.
So, for me, my goods are for my husband’s eyes only. If I am going to put anything on display, it will be how good God is. That’s what the world needs to see.
Click here to check out a quote where Meagan Good explains her position of the dress to one of her twitter followers
BMWK, is there a line in your marriage when it comes to attire?