Where I come from in the south, going to church is like going to the grocery store. It’s a ritual. My grandmother always told me to make sure that I look my best when at church, but she was pretty cool on the dress code because being comfortable was always priority. She never stressed me out about wearing long sleeves in the summer or made me wear super long dresses so my full body was covered.
Here’s my story: On a hot summer day at 14 years old, I’m sitting in church on a Sunday morning with a summer dress that falls below my knees and has no sleeves. I am at my most comfortable space in my own world enjoying the service. All of a sudden my neighbor who happens to be a 72 year old lady leans over to my left shoulder and tells me that I should never come in church with my arms out. It is not appropiate and I should always have a sweater to cover my arms. “God wants you to be fully covered”, she said.
The air is hot and Lord, the spirit is moving. Mind you, I am tending to my own business in the Lord and this has never happened to me within my mature stage of my teenage life up until this point. I listened to her and leaned back over in my bench and kept paying attention to the service. But all along, I felt like I had did something wrong. I mean, my dress fell below my knees for God’s sake and now it was my skinny arms that was causing such a distraction? Come on now, either that was God speaking or the devil was angry.
How would that make you feel? Cause I know some of you out there would have given her a piece of your mind… Is there still a dress code in the church these days, because I’m sure it can go beyond extreme with short skirts, halter tops, etc. Please help me understand.