The shame of a life past is oftentimes compounded by the failures of yesterday, and even the battle you still wage today. But the light of Christ is brighter still.
“Both the man and his wife were naked, yet felt no shame” (Genesis 2:25, CSB).
That hasn’t been my experience.
Healthy body image aside, the vast majority of both men and women have a natural aversion to having their nakedness exposed—not only is indecent exposure enshrined in law, it is embedded in our deepest being. But maybe natural isn’t quite the right word to use here. It seems that our shame was never meant to be natural, it only became that when we exchanged God’s glory for a lie.
In the beginning God would look over all his hand had made and say, “It is good,” but as he watched the crowning glory of his creation discover each other—man and woman unclothed and unashamed—he would nod his head in approval and say, “It is very good.”
But Then Sin
“Claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man, birds, four-footed animals, and reptiles. Therefore God delivered them over in the desires of their hearts to sexual impurity, so that their bodies were degraded among themselves. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served what has been created instead of the Creator, who is praised forever. Amen.” (Romans 1:22–25, CSB)
This has been my experience.
At the root of all sin rests the false notion that we may become like God, and in this, the naked body has not escaped. We have desired to stand in God’s stead, where it is we who gaze on another’s nakedness and say, “It is very good.” This is the power of pornography. This is the posture that fuels a multi-billion dollar industry. This is the lie that destroys relationships. This is the lie we’ve worshipped. We’ve willingly traded glory for shame.
“Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.” (Genesis 3:7, CSB)
“So the LORD God called out to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.”” (Genesis 3:9–10, CSB)