Gospel singer Kierra Sheard is receiving some criticism for comments shared about the boundaries she feels necessary to set with her friends as a married woman. She shared them while revealing the advice she received from her mother, Karen Clark Sheard, in regards to the belief some have that you can’t “let another woman into your household,” specifically single friends. When asked if she was mindful of this and if her mother warned her about it while speaking to Page Six reporter Tashara Jones, Sheard said the following:
Absolutely. My momma has already — ‘Look…don’t have too many people around your house. Don’t get comfortable. I don’t care how good you trust or whatever it is.’ I’m very mindful and careful. I would buy a friend a hotel room before I let them stay at my house. However, I am a prayerful woman to discern the space that I am in. I’m also very cautious of what purpose am I supposed to serve in this person’s life. While I am very prayerful I’m always also asking God outside of mom to direct me. In this season, am I supposed to let them into my home? Because we as believers, we believe that what we have we are supposed to share with others, but I’m not sharing my man. Since I’m not sharing my man, I have to be cautious with everything else that I share as far as with him being there, too. That’s a lesson that I get…And I think it’s such a thing as a balance. That also goes to why we have to have wise friends. Encourage our friends, too. You know how they say a lot of single women, they can’t give you counsel, but I was single. I was able to tell my married friends good advice. I definitely think it’s such a thing as boundaries.
While this wasn’t in her video interview, she’s further quoted as saying, “Some friends don’t know that balance and can’t understand the balance.”
As her words spread online, Sheard was accused of not trusting her friends or her husband, Jordan Kelly, whom she wed in December of 2020. There were comments about insecurity and the whole “if a man wants to cheat he will cheat” message was prevalent online. However, the singer wasn’t deterred. She took to her IG Stories to share Proverbs 26:4-5 about not answering “a fool according to his folly, Lest you also be like him.” She captioned it, “Healthy boundaries and prayerful moves, seem insecure to the foolish.”
I won’t speak on the not-sharing-my-man part, but I do have thoughts on boundaries. They get a bad rap.
In this day and age, especially in the social media age, people tend to look at the way some people do marriage as archaic. The practices and beliefs that may have sustained marriages in the past are now deemed as being steeped in insecurity and control. I get it. As independent, confident women, the idea that you can’t be 100 percent comfortable with your girlfriends in your home all the time, anytime sounds odd. If you don’t want them there because you don’t trust them or your spouse, that’s one thing, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with people finding it important to create boundaries with friends as married women and men.
When I was younger, my mother had to let a girlfriend know that boundaries were necessary, and it had more to do with my mother’s patience and peace than about my father. The friend, a recent divorcee, would come by after work and sit in our living room for hours talking about her ex-husband’s antics. As my siblings and I were coming home from school extracurriculars and my dad was preparing to come home from work, the woman’s presence got in the way of my mom’s plans in regards to cooking and having a home ready for whatever conversations about the day, help with homework or just peace and quiet was needed for everyone — namely her. My mom, not one to hold her tongue, made her feelings known. The friend was a little hurt, but she got the message and understood it.
And as a married Millennial, I don’t want my friends sitting in my home all day and night, nor do I want to be on the phone with them for hours while neglecting conversations with my husband or playtime with my son before he goes to bed. Doesn’t mean I’m insecure, or see little value in my friends now that I’m married. I love my friends. I’ve text with them in the wee hours of the morning about stressful moments and strife they’ve experienced. And there have been times where I talked to my husband, more than once, about letting single friends stay with us for a while when they were going through significant financial turmoil. They’re welcome. All that being said though, the door isn’t always open. I too wouldn’t have a friend staying the night just because and neither would my husband. (I won’t pay for a hotel but I can help with an Uber!)
All that being said, I think everyone’s motivations for creating boundaries is different. Sometimes it’s out of a desire to prioritize family. Perhaps it’s to avoid situations that could be awkward or inappropriate. Maybe as a wife you need them just so you’re not spread thin pouring into everybody else.
As for Sheard’s desires, she can only speak to what she receives in her prayer time that motivate her to set the boundaries she spoke of (I’m not here to judge them). I would just say that whether you’re married or single, base how you do things not off of what someone married before you encourages or what social media says, but off of what works best for you. Be true to that. Just know that boundaries are crucial in every relationship. And we can love our friends, trust them, and support them — but still have healthy limits for them and ourselves.