If you are from the deep south, the word “naked” is pronounced, “neked,”
and it is almost always said with a smirk.
Both words mean the same thing - being without clothes or covering; being bare, stripped or defenseless.
My first thoughts when I hear the word “naked” are of my oldest son, JP. He loved to be naked. Well, not completely - just down to his batman undies. As a small child, he quickly mastered the art of taking off his clothes - long before the child development books predicted. So, you have heard of early walkers, right? I had an early stripper 😊. Every time we got into the car, he would quickly strip down to skivvies stating he wanted, “to get comfortable.” I got it for long car trips, like to his grandparents, but JP would get naked on our way across town to Wal Mart! I was forever standing outside our car waiting for him to redress so that we could go inside and shop, eat or visit the dentist. He was always “neked” when he was home too! When he got older, and the second he walked into our house after school, he would start peeling off his clothes. If we had guests, we all knew to yell as soon as we heard JP walk in the door, “COMPANY IS HERE!” And then he would grab a snack, head upstairs to his bedroom and “get comfy.” JP was completely comfortable in our home, and, quite literally, he let his guard down. He didn’t fear ridicule - he was safe. He knew he was known and loved.
Being naked is more than just being without clothing. It is the state of being exposed, unprotected and vulnerable. Being naked, or the fear of it, can reveal the status of your heart. The degree in which you allow yourself to be transparent is a tell-tale sign of how comfortable you are with those in your marriage, family and community. Truthfully, we all want to be completely naked and accepted for who we are; without the fear of rejection. All of us seek validation.
If nothing else, my son’s willingness to be “comfortable” was a compliment, I guess, to the love he felt in our family and to his security as our child. And by the way, not much has changed. If you plan to swing by and chat with he and his lovely wife, Sarah, call first. 🥴!
Sin is on the Scene
I am immediately drawn to a story in Genesis where Adam and Eve realize for the first time that they are naked. They had disobeyed God and had eaten from the tree of knowledge.
“Then the eyes of both were opened,
and they knew they were naked.
And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths (Genesis 3:7).”
Having sinned, they hid from God because they were afraid of standing in God’s presence. Until that time, they had not sinned and they had nothing to hide. Adam and Eve were comfortable with God and enjoyed fellowship with Him. The Bible talks about them walking with God in the cool of the evening. They were righteous, meaning they had not sinned. But as soon as Adam and Eve sinned, they realized that they were unworthy. They knew that they could no longer stand naked in front of God. Everything had changed. So, they tried to hide and cover up. They forgot that God was God.
“And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden (Genesis 3:8).”
Instead of seeking forgiveness they were moved to camouflage their sin. But God knew what they had done. Being a perfect parent, he disciplined them, initiated boundaries and forgave them. God then banned Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden because they could no longer be trusted in proximity to the tree of knowledge. In this, God shows us how to handle broken trust - remove the temptation. And new rules are sometimes needed when trust is breached in our earthly relationships too. God graciously killed animals for their skins. He made the first couple clothing – God couture! I love the illustrated pictures in children’s books that depict Adam and Eve wearing fig leaves. I wonder though, why do these books not also show them wearing leather clothing? The Bible clearly states that God made Adam and Eve clothes from “hides.” I can imagine a cute leather mini skirt, or maybe a smart jacket, but I digress.
“And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them (Genesis 3:21).”
The garments are important to the rest of the story. After Adam and Eve sinned, God required a blood sacrifice in exchange for His forgiveness of sin. Throughout the Old Testament, God required a blood sacrifice of a clean animal, all the while hinting that one day a permanent sacrifice would be made.
Jesus Enters the Picture
Then enters Jesus - 100% God, 100% man, without sin, and willing to take on the sins of the world – your sins and mine.
“All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned - every one - to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6).”
It is just like in the beginning. But instead of animal skins, Jesus clothes us in His robes of righteousness that He bought and paid for on the cross. Upon entering a relationship with Jesus, you don righteousness that will allow you to one day stand in God’s presence and walk with Him in the cool of the evening. Wow! That is something to anticipate for sure – no more sin, all covered by the precious blood of the lamb, naked before God, validated through the cross, and not ashamed or fearful.
“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins,
according to the riches of His grace (Ephesians 1:7).”
How Sin Impacts Marriages
Marriage is our most naked relationship on earth. So, I am drawn to the comparison. When sin enters the marriage covenant between a couple and God, one or both of the couple no longer feels safe. The couple is naked and exposed. The spouse who committed the sin feels shame. The one blindsided by the sin feels vulnerable and is left feeling alone and afraid. Typically, the guilty party tries to hide and cover up his or her sin. But sin will always find you out! (Numbers 32:23) And God knows that it is not good for us to live hiding in a lie. He instructs us to handle sin and anger quickly:
“Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,
And give no opportunity to the devil (Ephesians 4: 26-27).”
Every day that we hide our sin we further damage the trust with our spouse. In order to establish right relationship, we must consult with the third member of the covenant - Our holy God.
When a couple seeks God’s face, His answer is always the same - love each other, repent and forgive, allow my Spirit to heal the place that the sin spoiled, and do not let go of the covenant!
I know it is not easy, but forgiveness is always the right answer. Even if the trust has been broken to the point that you can no longer safely live with your spouse, you are still to forgive and love. God commands us to love our neighbors and our enemies. Sometimes they are the same person. You may need to set up new rules or boundaries until trust is restored, but you cannot withhold forgiveness without the consequence of bitterness.
The Gift of Being Naked
The beauty of the naked experience is that it meets a deep need inside each of us – a need to be fully known and fully loved. In 2019, practice forgiveness and repentance on a regular basis. Do not allow sin to force you to cover up and create barriers in your marriage and with your relationship with God. If you have unconfessed sin or try to “pull the wool over God’s eyes,” you only fool yourself. God sees all. He calls to you like he did to Adam and Eve and says, “Why are you hiding my child?” God is ready, willing and able to forgive you of all unrighteousness. Don’t wait another moment. Confess and repent. Let the light of God’s love and righteousness shine in your life. I promise it is better than hiding and it will allow you to get comfy again!
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony (Colossians 3:12-14).”
Thank you for faithfully reading. Stay washed in the word, my friends!