“Now the man and his wife were both naked, but felt no shame”
– Genesis 2:25
So I’m starting with a question. Ever looked at yourself totally and completely starkers? You know what I’m saying – naked. I’m guessing you probably have but it’s not exactly something you’ll talk about openly with your friends. Truth be told some of you reading this might not have even met me to be fair (according to my stats I have readers in America?! Hello friends across the pond!), so it’s probably a bit weird reading about this – ha, even weirder for the people who do know me, eh? ANYWAY.
I totally have done this. I did it tonight actually when I was getting ready for bed. See the thing is, I’ve been fairly unmotivated to write recently because I’m wondering if I’ve completely exhausted the whole concept of beauty and image. Of course I haven’t, but perhaps the day will eventually come 😉 hehe! I was thinking about this whilst getting undressed and dressed again tonight, that short interval in between where there was some definite nakedness going on – COME ON, we all have these moments – heck, you SHOWER, right?! – and I wondered to myself how important nakedness is to us as people. I mean, for me anyway, the thought of being naked in front of someone always makes me feel all nervous and a bit shaky because, well, it’s new and kinda scary isn’t it? I’ve thought this through a fair bit since brushing my teeth and pulling the covers over me before writing this (with pyjamas on, I hastily add) and I’ve come to the conclusion that shame really is an issue for us, especially surrounding the whole nakedness issue.
I looked into some bible verses and some cheeky Christian comments on nakedness, and from what I can gather from most of the bits I picked out, nakedness is associated heavily with sin and shame – not because of sex, which everyone seems to think Christians hate (hello, have you read Song of Songs?! Move over, 50 Shades of Grey) – but because, I suppose, nakedness makes us feel ashamed of ourselves when put in the wrong context. See, the verse up the top is straight from Genesis, pre-Fall of Man and pre-sin. What fun that must have been. Anyway, so Adam and Eve both have their respective lady & man parts out and it’s all cosy and lovely and no one really seems to notice – but it’s after the initial sin happens that they become aware of their nakedness, and they begin to feel ashamed. I’d like to point out, that I’m assuming and hopefully quite rightly, that Adam was crazy about Eve. I mean, he was basically the first romantic proclaiming “bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh” (Genesis 2:23) when he saw her, cause you know, she’s the one for him and all that. Cute, right? But the point is, he was totally okay having his wang out and being with her at the same time. Just as she was totally comfortable with him.
Then sin happens. Oops.
I’m not going to get into the whole Fall issue cause that’s a blog post in itself (you know, where people go ‘oh it’s all Eve’s fault because she gave Adam the fruit’ erm, excuse me, but if Adam really did have a pair where were they when he should have said no?!) ANYWHO, back to the actual point. It was after this introduction to sin that they felt the shame. I don’t know whether you believe in sin or not or even the bible itself or whatever, but for some people nakedness is a real issue and it’s something we’re afraid of. I think being naked can illuminate all of our flaws because it’s as if there’s nothing to cover them up with. Know what I mean? Like tonight, it would have been so so easy for me to just pin point bits of my body I don’t like and wish weren’t there (and honestly, a little bit of that went on) but I also had a serious bible bubble moment where I remembered this cheeky bit of Genesis and not feeling shame. The key thing to remember here is that Adam and Eve loved each other and Adam and Eve were loved by God.
Ever seen those cute and kinda cringey post-breakup but on the whole lovely films where the girl and the guy get down to it for the first time and he’s absolutely speechless at how beautiful said girl is? Or when it’s the other way around and she’s breath-taken because he’s so lovely. I’m thinking that it was like this with Adam and Eve, too. See, nakedness isn’t so scary when you’re with someone you love. Someone who cares about you and loves every single inch of you. I read somewhere once that your naked body shouldn’t be seen by someone who doesn’t love your naked soul. I don’t know where you stand on the whole sex before marriage thing, and to be honest it doesn’t bother me either. My own personal choice is to wait because that’s what I want to with my body, and because I think it’s what Jesus has called me to do. But I want to stress here that if that’s not your bag that’s totally cool with me. I’m not gonna be that person who suddenly dislikes you because you’ve gotten down with it before there’s a ring on your finger. Come on, guys. Anyway, what I’m saying is that the person who loves my soul first can then love my body, too. Does that make sense?
I hope so. This is where the proper Jesus bit comes in.
Jesus died for me. Have I mentioned that recently? There’s this lovely theological term called atonement, and another that’s pretty related (well totally related) called justification. The short version of the whole thing is that Jesus works as an atoning sacrifice before God for our sins and all the crap that happens to us and that we do ourselves. Atonement is a means of making amends, or building the bridge. And the justification part is that legally, we have an alibi. The perfect alibi, one with no holes or weaknesses in it. Jesus has covered us, and when the Father looks at us he sees Jesus, instead. He sees Jesus’ record, His spotless record, and not our messy one. We are justified before God, because of Jesus. As those lovely words of Isaiah say, I am clothed in the salvation and righteousness of God, and I believe that to be Jesus Christ. So when I look at myself all naked in the mirror, and not like all that I see – when I feel that shame post-sin and wonder how anyone will ever love me or find me attractive or think I’m beautiful, how anyone could love my naked soul let alone my naked body, I remember Jesus and what He did. Because of His sacrifice I can be beautiful before God, I can be a hottie like Eve in the mirror and feel the Father’s love – you know, the one who put me together and knitted me in my mama’s womb. That guy.
God loves me, and because of that, I can keep learning to love myself. The logic is if I love myself then other people will learn to love me more, too. And if someone else falls in love with me, mirroring the way Jesus loves me, that’s fabulous, because through the amazing safety of love comes comfort, comes security, and comes healing and grace. Not shame. As it says in 1 John, we love because He loved us first.
I hope all this makes sense. I’m only 20, what do I know right? 😉
Basically, you’re beautiful. So next time you see yourself in the mirror, take a good look. You’ll never know the beauty you might see staring back at you.
Peace and blessings x