Can we go to Church on this beautiful Sunday afternoon, ladies? I mean, let's really fellowship and make an attempt to get real about something we may not often talk about.
I'm willing to bet that even if you didn't necessarily "grow up" in the church, there was at least one bible in your home as a child. Whether it belonged to your grandmother or you're not really sure where it came from, many Black women can say that there was at least one copy of the Good Book in their home growing up.
Historically, black people used Christianity as a refuge from the atrocities that have been committed against them over the years. But along with teachings of morality and grace that the church has to offer, comes a lot of worldly theology that is not at all of God. Church is (or should be) a place of love that can give you the boost you need to get through the next seven days, but it can also sometimes be riddled with gossip, greed, scrutiny, and scandal.
In a recent episode of The Real, Adrienne Houghton revealed that she had encountered many of those things firsthand. Recently, the TV host attended the 2019 Daytime Emmy Awards and got a multitude of backlash from the religious community for wearing clothes that were too revealing. According to some sanctified spectators, a woman of God should dress more conservatively. Adrienne explained that at times, her critics have made her more self-conscious about her image and sometimes dictates how she chooses her clothes.
"I'm not gonna front, I try even now to be conscious of it. Jeannie [Mai] gets mad at me she tells me don't change who you are. But I am conscious of it, not so much for myself but for my husband. Y'all can talk all you want about me, but you're not gonna talk about him."
Meagan Good stopped by D.L. Hughley's show and echoed this sentiment, saying that she doesn't always go to church with her husband, Devon Franklin because she sometimes feels ostracized by the church for her onscreen work. In a conversation about Meagan's comments, fellow hosts of The Real asked Adrienne how she copes with the scrutiny she often receives due to her marriage to Israel Houghton. She explained:
"I get it pretty bad. I take that and I never complain about it because, at the end of the day, I'm not here for you, I'm here for Jesus. And I feel God's love every day in my like And people don't realize, Church is like a hospital. It's for the broken people, it's not for the ones who are already saved."
Adrienne had this message for her critics:
"We need Jesus, so instead of pushing us away, you should accept us with open arms. If you see somebody doing something wrong, be an example of God's love. They say come as you are, but do you make people feel that way?"
She explained that although like Meagan, she's had a few negative encounters, she won't let those experiences define her relationship with God or with the church as a whole. The church should be an institution where you can go to give and get love, as well as deepen our connection with God. Unfortunately, sometimes Sister Shirley is too busy worrying about what you're wearing for anybody to really get a word.
Adrienne says that instead of being the type of Christian that's hypercritical of everything and everyone that doesn't fit our belief system, we should try another route: empathy.
"Let people have their own conviction. Maybe be quiet and pray for them. And again, if you feel I've done something wrong, pray for me. And maybe God will speak to me and maybe make me recognize where I'm wrong. But that's again, for me and Christ to have that conversation, not for you."
For women who do feel judged and isolated in your current church environment, maybe it's time to move around, sis. Just because that's your grandmother's church, doesn't mean you have to stay a member. Adrienne says the key to fixing your relationship with religion is in finding a church home that feels most comfortable to YOU.
"I have found places and churches and incredible people that actually don't just call themselves Christians, but they are Christ-like in the way that they love people. I'm grateful for that, I also don't make excuses for myself. I'm not perfect and I still have ways to go in my walk with Christ."
To watch the full clip, click here!
PART TWO: Meagan Good on Why She Goes to Church Less Frequently www.youtube.com
Featured image by Instagram/@AdrienneBailon.