Is nudity shameful? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
Genesis goes on to tell us that the man and woman were both naked and unashamed. Why would this need to be said? Because Moses knew about his own time, (Presuming he wrote this which is secondary to the point anyway) and he knew that there was shame in his day.
That shame has extended to our day. Why is it this way? Is the body something we ought to be ashamed of to hide before everyone else?
Genesis ends with a favorite verse that says “What you intended for evil, God intended for good.” Indeed. Unfortunately, what God intended for good, the human body, is often used for evil.
Of course, you could ask why that would be the case today. Why would people be concerned about how their bodies look? Do people still think that way?
Hey. Have you seen that show with all the hot females in skimpy clothing?
Odds are, you might have thought, “Which one?”
That’s the problem.
I want to focus on women first because most women I know tend to have this problem. When I hear news stories about concerns about people struggling with image due to Instagram or Facebook, it’s teenage girls. They look at all the other girls around them and they think they don’t measure up.
These women tend to shame themselves with their bodies. They might think there is always someone prettier out there. The truth is in some aspects, someone will always be better at you in something out there. No human today is a master of everything.
However, the #1 person to compete against is really yourself. Are you doing enough to make yourself a better person today? Not just a physically beautiful person, but an internally beautiful person. That is the most important beauty.
And ladies, if you are married, you no longer have to compete. Your husband already chose you. If he tells you he thinks you’re beautiful, believe him.
Of course, there is that one exception.
Guys. Stop watching porn, especially if you’re already married. Whether you mean it or not, you are telling your wife that she is inadequate. Yes, women. In that case, I fully understand you distrusting your husbands. Their actions and their words are not lining up.
Some women unfortunately go the other way. They go all out freely offering their bodies to most anyone who comes along. The idea of nudity is really saying how much you trust someone. The problem is people are saying “I trust you totally with my body, but I don’t trust you totally with a lifelong commitment.” It’s a way of being used.
When a man and a woman come together in matrimony and are engaged in sex, what they are saying is they alone are the ones who trust each other entirely with their bodies. Marriage is the place for that total trust and commitment. Marriage is where that promise has already been made and then the action of sex lines up with that promise. It is a way of saying that here there is no shame.
It is a recreation of Paradise. When you have covenant love fully going on, you are to have Paradise. In this way, some secular artists do have it right. Intimate love is often compared to Heaven and Paradise. They’re right in that this is a microcosm of what God has for us. They’re wrong in thinking that this is indeed Heaven and Paradise. The finger is great to point at the moon, but it is horrible to mistake the finger for the moon.
Now on to men.
Yes. Men themselves struggle with this. I have had my own difficulties. I weigh just a little under 130 and I am 5’7″. Technically, I am underweight, but I am incapable of gaining weight too much due to the steel rod on my spine being designed for a certain weight.
I well remember as a man in my 20’s working at a grocery store in the back room on break and seated with the girls and here them talk about some guy going by and one of them jumping up to pursue him because “You’re so hot.”
Yeah. I’m just some guy in the room.
Guys worry that they don’t compete with other guys as well. Maybe not as much as women do, but that is there. Men have a tendency to want to one-up one another in anything. It might be the stupidest kind of contest ever, but we want to be #1.
Years ago I remember working at the Christian Research Institute and sitting in the break room with some of the guys there and we were talking about painful physical experiences in our lives. Slowly, I noticed that after one of us told our story, another guy had to come and say “This is my story.” We weren’t just sharing stories. It was along the lines of, “You think you went through a lot? Let me tell you what I went through!” It was as if the bigger man had the bigger story.
By the way, I think I won when I brought up my back surgery.
When I was married, I remember going to the Titanic museum in Pigeon Forge with my ex-wife. There, you could stick your arm in water that was the temperature that the water was around the iceberg when it was hit by the Titanic. I thought I would roll up my sleeve and show her what a man I was by putting my arm in there as long as I could.
I think I lasted about a minute.
So yes, guys do have those insecurities, but I noticed when I was married, I had none of that around my ex-wife. In my mind, I was already accepted. Why hide? Not all guys are like that. Insecurity is real.
Shame has distorted what God meant for good.
We somehow think if our bodies are less in some way, we are less in some way.
Our values are not determined by if we have a super hourglass figure or how tall we are or if we have six-pack abs or how much we weigh on a scale. These can matter to some extent, as we should try to be healthy, but they don’t determine our value. Our value is found in being in the image of God.
Every marriage is meant to be a microcosm of the love of God and man together. This includes even a secular marriage. Just because it wasn’t done in a church doesn’t mean it’s not something from God.
We are to have no shame before God. We are to have no shame before our spouses. Treating the body like it’s just something common and anyone can see is a false view as not everyone is worthy of that covenant relationship. Marriage is a way of saying one person is.
Treat your body well. Respect it, and save it for someone who is worthy of it. You are worth that too.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)