Naked And Not Ashamed

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This weekend our family took a much needed weekend get-a-way to an indoor water park… or so I thought.

Friday was relatively uneventful, but as the park filled up on Saturday I was struck by something… a lot of naked people. Now, you might not call them naked. But from what God says, they were naked.

After Adam and Eve sinned by eating the forbidden fruit, notice the exchange that happens between God and his children.

Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.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. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Genesis 3:7-10

Did you notice that? Even after they sewed together some “loincloths” they were still naked. Now I know that part of that was because the sin was still there, but that’s another point for another day. The point for today is that  they tried to cover their “loins” and it was still called naked.

So I as I sat in the hot tub with my t-shirt and shorts, I noticed the influx of nakedness and planned the escape for my family. What were they wearing you ask? Loincloths. Or their modern day equivalent- the bikini. Even the more conservatively dressed one-piece wearers showed their share of cleavage and butt cheeks.

Then  my old days back to the King James bible popped into my mind. These people lack “shamefacedness.”

In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness… 1 Tim. 2:9

Before sin, Adam and Eve were naked and not ashamed. After sin, shame flooded them and forced the to hide from their Maker.  Today, I notice a lot of these women have no shame. They lack shamefacedness. They don’t even know they are naked. They are naked and have no shame.

Which leads me to the picture above… there were a few Muslim families at the park. The women were dressed from full burkas, to calf length pants with longs sleeves and veils, to just below the knee swimwear and no veils. But one thing I can say for all of them is that I could identify those women and their faith by their style of dress.

Now, in that park of 1,500 people I wondered how many of those people would identify themselves as “Christian” but I couldn’t tell by their attire. I couldn’t tell because even though they may claim to where the name of Christ, they look more like the world than a follower of Jesus the Messiah.

That is a shame.

So, ladies here’s the challenge, take your modesty seriously. It will point people to your Savior or it will lead them in the opposite direction. You are called to a holy standard of dress. You  are called to glorify God in your body, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19-20).

Gentlemen, speak up for your women. Demand a higher standard than the world expects. Encourage the women in your life to cover their bodies and glorify their God with with their modesty.

 

Comments

  1. I never noticed that with Adam and Eve! Great thoughts.

  2. Mitzy Schwarz says:

    Very good post!!!!
    Modesty is almost non existent in this society, especially
    Among ” Christian ” woman

    Sad thing is, all most people see when we dress modest is ” fuddy duddy” rather than jesus!

  3. This is a big reason why I’ve never taken my family on vacation to a beach. And the kids noticed on their own just 2 weeks ago and asked why we’ve never been. My answer, “Because there are a LOT of naked people there and I don’t want you to think that is OK. Don’t worry, some day I will find a great vacation for us near a beach that is really secluded where we can enjoy God’s creation in that setting and not worry about other people.”

  4. Maggie Bacon says:

    This is such a good article. It is not taught enough.

  5. But how much is too much? Is it okay to show the face? Is it okay to show the hands? Are there some parts of the body that a man should be able to display and the woman no? The children in the photo are much more naked than the adults, is that alright?

  6. Mitzy Schwarz says:

    I will also add..those Muslim woman are NOT a good example of being modest!
    Their religion is very strict and controlling.. woman ate to cover everything, while men do not and kids??
    Its more male control..let’s not confuse them with wanting to have Christian modesty

  7. Stephanie Moody says:

    Amen! Excellent!

  8. The Muslim women ARE a good example of being modest about their bodies, even if they caught your attention by wearing clothing in a place where people are naked. Muslim women and the women who wear clothes in a public place of nakedness are NOT “fuddy duddies” except in the sense that those who are going naked in public feel that they are so much more “advanced” that they must blend in with the crowd and wear next to nothing (which is more similar to Adam and Eve as pointed out here, or in “evolutionary terms” is more similar to animals who have not the sense to wear clothes). I am so tired of hearing women who would rather demand that Christian women and men NOT stand out by covering their more private parts with the reasoning that “because if you stand out in a crowd then you’re not being modest” – this is a failed definition of what modest means. If a person trying to be a Christian – who wants to reflect Christ and be a woman of a peaceful and modest spirit – wants to claim that another woman who lounges in a public place in modest shorts or pants and a sleeved shirt is a “fuddy duddy” or “overly modest” or “drawing attention to herself”, then that immature Christian needs to re-evaluate what Christ actually called her to do, which is to come apart from them and be separate, realizing that they will look different, not because they’re trying to draw attention to themselves, but away from their naked bodies. Maybe it will make others feel uncomfortable in their own nakedness and maybe instead of bringing out feelings of their own “shamefacedness” they will try to embarrass the modest woman by ridiculing her to cover their own embarrassment. But maybe, like with me, others will be encouraged to go ahead and cover themselves up too, and not be like the world even though living in it.

  9. Mitzy Schwarz says:

    What is Muslim faith?.. is it Christ centered?.. um no!
    These woman are made to cover that much skin because they are forced to do to their controlling non Christ centered faith..

    We don’t need to cover ourselves that much to show our faith..let’s be real folks!

  10. I’m fairly sure that no matter how much Adam and Eve were wearing, they would still have felt naked before God. But I do agree that modesty is important, although what is “modest” is extremely culturally subjective. Not every good Christian finds a slightly bum-exposing one-piece to be too provocative for public pools.

    • I’d disagree with that. Men are men, whatever their cultural upbringing. Our preacher in a strong sermon about modesty noted that even men who grew up among women who went topless since that was normal in their culture were still aroused when they viewed a woman’s breasts.

  11. Carol Ann Mustin says:

    If I remember my study of this for a teenage class , the word “modesty” means “shyness toward men.” What you wear for water-play should be something that covers you as much as other activities in which you participate in male company. If you wouldn’t go out for other activities in just a bra and panties (or just your spanx), then it doesn’t matter what the activity is, you shouldn’t have to undress to participate in it. We need not be ashamed of looking a little different than the world. If people ask why you wear something different, and they will, you can use it as an teaching opportunity.

  12. Why should modesty be limited to women? Let’s not create a double standard; after all, Adam and Eve BOTH felt naked before God, and many women struggle with lust just as men do. If women should avoid undressing more than they otherwise would in mixed company, then perhaps men should do the same and avoid shirtlessness.

  13. “You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.”

  14. Immodesty is an issue all around us. I’ve never been to a water park even though it looks like a lot of fun. Why subject myself and my family to other people’s nakedness. In fact, there’s not too many places to go for fun that does not involve people taking their clothes off. I guess that’s why we tend to stay home or visit relatives for fun.

  15. IT sounds more like Man is opposed to nakedness than God though.

  16. Wow, very good article!! Thanks for sharing!

  17. With the upcoming naked season approaching, we certainly need to focus on how Christ would have us to be clothed. It would be an excellent time of year for this subject to be approached by mothers, Bible class teachers and yes, even the pulpit. Parents, we all need to open our eyes and address this subject with our children, grandchildren, etc. The teaching of shamefacedness, modesty, etc., has to be so very difficult for our young people.

  18. Continue reading in Genesis 3. God made tunics or coats for Adam and Eve. They had made loincloths for themselves, but God showed them how to clothe themselves modestly. A tunic or coat would cover at least from their shoulders, chest and back to some or most of their legs.

  19. Interesting.. So you relate more to an oppressed, woman-hating culture than Christianity. You understand why they where burkas, don’t you? You might want to read up on their culture/religion a bit more before you make such a comparison.

    With all due respect, I think this blog casts a a judgmental tone. I’m all for being modest and not showing off as much as we possibly can, but at the same time you have to realize the world you live in. You are not surrounded by Christians, you’re surrounded by people who don’t know Jesus yet and therefore don’t know how their supposed to dress and act; the world has taught ALL of us differently. If you don’t like how others dress, don’t dress like them. If you don’t like you’re family being surrounded by immodesty, then don’t take them to places where that’s likely to happen. Live YOUR life according to what YOU know and believe, don’t project it on others around you; it won’t change them. Instead be the example of change you want to see.

    • Rachel H. says:

      Does the fact that some Muslim women dress modestly now make following God’s commands to do so wrong? Regardless of the reason, it is still right to do what is right. And I didn’t see anything in this post that suggested that the Bible commands that Christian women wear burkas.

      I think the point of this article was to encourage those of us who DO know Jesus to not give in to peer pressure and temptation to dress in such a manner that is not worthy of our calling.

  20. Nobody finds it ironic God made us all naked to begin with? Why then would he have issue with our being naked. Wouldn’t the issue be with our sin?

  21. Interesting thoughts Serena.
    You know, I don’t even own a pair of shorts. When its hot out, I still always wear pants or jeans. Swimming? I wear a tee shirt with swim trunks – with inner undies sewn inside. My wife covers up similarly but occasionally wears shorts at home outside on a hot day. RARELY does anyone ever ask about our dress; I’m guessing b/c the world doesn’t really care. But when they do its a teaching opportunity.

  22. To those criticizing the use of the picture of Muslim women….

    Was not Queen Vashti not a GOD GIVEN example of common sense modesty though she was not of God’s chosen people. Esther Chapter 1.

    Was the faith of the Canaanite woman a GOD GIVEN example of faith? Mathew 15:21-28 And no, I am not say that a Muslim woman’s faith is based on faith in Christ, I am saying that she was not of the “chosen” people and still an example of applying the correct principles to her life

    No matter what the reason for covering themselves (and knowing a few Muslim women personally I can tell you that MANY do it for the sake of MODESTY and not just because a MAN told them to….there are other areas of life and their treatment that are derived from taking Male domination to horrific heights.

    We can look at the picture used above to really make us Christians THINK HARD before we walk out of the house to go to the beach, work, the grocery store…

    We MUST admit that with changing times and changing CULTURAL ideas of Modesty the BIBILICAL idea of modesty is in danger of being lost….

    I believe the article and the picture should make you think and reflect on your life the life of your brothers and sisters in Christ rather than to focus on Muslims and whether or not their religion is fair, or male dominated, or way too extreme…look at OUR walk and our claims of modesty and see what better matches scripture.

    PS. Never thought about the fig leaf loin clothes like that….thank you for your observation and sharing it with us Sister Serena.

    PPS. Some of the assesments of modesty vary from country to contry. My father’s side of the family is not from the western world and are devout Christians but think that Americans and Europeans walk around naked and have no shame. Yes it is a generalization but we have to keep things like this in mind as well…..

  23. I agree with you….modesty is so rare these days. I find the photo of these ladies very interesting but one thing stood out to me was the little girls with them are not dressed modestly. I wonder when they teach their children modesty. We need to dress our little ones modesty too.

  24. Great points. It is tough to stand out. At least my inclination is to want to just blend in with everyone else and not stand out. I think it’s wonderful when people are willing to dress in a way that covers themselves adequately even if it means they look strange or stand out in the crowd.

  25. God bless you, Serena, for your courage and honesty. There is so much diversity on this subject, but I appreciate how you took us back to the beginning of the world where God Himself saw the necessity of covering Adam & Eve with coats. Yes, it was because of sin, and it is still because of sin that we need to continue following God’s heart on this. I pray many, many more women who call on the name of the Lord, will open their hearts to what God’s heart is on this matter, and cease to expose their nakedness for men to lust after! There are many Christian men who also greatly appreciate it when Christian women reserve the display of their bodies for their husbands (or future ones), so they do not have to fight their flesh to “look at the sign but do NOT read the words” — as one sister likened the daily struggle for Godly men striving for pure thoughts and hearts. :) May God bless you!!

  26. Serena, I applaud you for this article. This indeed is a topic that needs taught more often in homes, group Bible studies (for men and women), and everywhere. When I go to the beach or have the opportunity to play in a pool, I wear capris, which come below my knees and a short-sleeve shirt or if in a very private area possibly a sleeveless shirt that still provides full coverage. Shorts and short skirts/dresses (anything above the knee or that might show the thigh) are not even part of my wardrobe. Some have commented to me directly in the past about my dress – similarly to how they have commented even to your article. I believe in letting it slide off like water off a duck’s back and knowing that outer dress matters more than what many in our society – and even or especially within the Lord’s church – want to admit.

    When I consider modesty, for both men and women, I can’t help but think of the attire that God prescribed for the priests in the Old Testament (Ex. 28:40-43), which included linen breeches that covered from their loins to their thighs to cover their nakedness as well as a linen coat that, presumably, covered the rest of their body. Then, when you consider that we who are children of God today are called the Holy Priesthood (1 Pet. 2:5,9) of the new covenant, does it not only make sense that God would expect that we too would WANT to cover our nakedness in much the same way as He prescribed (albeit perhaps with different styles) for the Priests of old? After all, the Old Testament is our tutor and as such there is much we can learn from it – including, I believe, things regarding modesty.

    Hold fast to the faith.

  27. Dwight Gingrich says:

    As a man, I simply want to say Thank you. I wish more Christian women were as wise as you.

  28. Why would anyone who has a strong conviction about modest dress decide to take their family to a public place of nakedness? While it’s wrong for Christians to dress immodestly and cause others to lust, it is also wrong for Christians to lust after others. No matter how faithful a woman’s husband can be, he will always have to look away to keep from lusting after a naked woman, and in a place where there is nowhere else to look, lust is nearly unavoidable. Young children exposed to extreme immodesty are conditioned to it before they can understand the sin of immodest dress, young men are also caused to lust, and young ladies are enticed with the desire to look like that, to be seen, and to be lusted after.
    Even though it is a shame for so many people to go naked without shame, and we must be good examples of modest dress, we must also take the necessary measures to avoid sin.

  29. anonymous says:

    While I respect where you’re coming from and the point you are trying to make, I would also respectfully disagree with your basis for this argument. I too am all for women respecting themselves and others and dressing modestly. However:

    God didn’t clothe Adam and Eve with skins to make them more modest. It was in fact a symbol of the blood sacrifice that would be necessary to cover their sins-not their bodies. Our man-made efforts to clean ourselves up are of no avail. Our righteousness is as filthy rags.

    Secondly, no where has Jesus ever said that people will know we are Christians by the clothes we wear. Muslims are easily identified by their clothes because that is a huge part of their religion/lifestyle. Our mandate however is much different. (John 13:35). If the biggest thing we have to “label” us is our choice of clothing, we are poor disciples indeed.

    We might feel Muslims are overdressed. We might then turn around and judge the woman next to us for being under-dressed and showing more of her breasts than we are comfortable with. Who are we to define what modesty is going to look like? God help us if we feel we have arrived at the perfect spot and observe with condemnation/condescension those who “don’t measure up”. This is the attitude that Jesus condemns and addresses more than He ever once talked about the clothes we wear.

    Love Jesus deeply. Love your neighbor deeply. This is how the world will know we belong to Jesus.

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