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July 29, 2009 / beidson

Nudity Is A Bedtime Story: Seeing Our Bedrooms As The Context For Our Nakedness

We have a big problem: we are getting naked in all the wrong places.  In our own culture and in so many worldwide, nudity hasbedroom been ripped out of its proper context and placed beyond the boundaries of the bedroom.  We rightly understand that there is a glory in our nakedness, but many fail to see that this glory can only be manifested when we are uncovered without shame.  Scripture says this happens in the marriage bed.  When we get out from under these proverbial sheets, we ought to be rightly ashamed.  But are we?

What we need to see is that nudity is a story for the bedroom.  There is a context to our nakedness revealed in the larger narrative of Scripture.  Our bodies were made for pleasure, sure, but for the pleasure experienced in the pursuit of biblical, monogamous sexual satisfaction to the glory of God.  When we wander away from our bedrooms uncovered, we wrongly hold up the glory of human sexuality divorced from its ultimate meaning: to behold the wonder and majesty of God in Christ as we gaze upon our spouse with sexual desire.

Let me explain.  A man and woman may get naked together without shame, so long as they are married and so long as they are alone (and not breaking any laws).  In this sense, wherever they go, they are in their “bedroom”, even if it is a borrowed hotel room or an old tent tucked away in the woods (but be careful!).  In this case, nudity is good because the husband and wife are unveiling themselves in the sight of God, understanding that they have given themselves to one another permanently, and by the grace of God, have been made to delight in one another physically.  Whatever they want to do, so long as they both want to do it, they may do it, sinful acts being excluded.

God has made us for sex, but more significantly, he made us for his glory, and his glory is to be our highest delight.  This being said, sex is one way in which we may glorify God by delighting in his good design.  However, when we pursue sexual gratification outside of its biblical context of marital fidelity, we are exalting our sexuality over the purposes of God and making gods of ourselves.  Pornography isn’t wrong simply because of the fornication and adultery involved.  It’s wrong because it’s telling the wrong story about creation.  It removes nudity from the context of monogamy, where God has placed it within the story, and puts it into a different narrative, one of rebellion and self-worship.  In essence, pornography is wrong because everyone involved, from the “actors” and “actresses” to the viewers, thinks he or she knows better than God, which is nothing less than high-handed treason, rooted in Adam’ original rebellion.

And it’s not only pornography that rebels against the knowledge of God in Christ.  Anywhere human flesh is uncovered for sexual satisfaction, apart from marital intimacy, there is a problem.  Nudity is a story for the bedroom, not the public square.  Our moral decadence and sinful depravity is revealed most honestly, ironically, in the fact that we have learned to live with and love nudity outside of the bedroom.  In a strange twist, the sheets have been pulled over our eyes because we believe we do not need bed sheets for sex, or the bedroom for that matter.

Christians, more than anyone else, ought to be the people celebrating sex as God’s goof gift and as part of his natural revelation.  Though we cannot come to know Christ in the marriage bed, we must certainly know him in the marriage bed after we have come to him by faith.  If we are to ever recover biblical sexuality in the public square, it will happen when we learn to regain the context of monogamous intimacy.  But more than refusing to view sexually offensive content, we must hate the spirit by which it prevails in the hearts of men.  Satan may rule over the powers of  darkness in heavenly places, but Jesus is Lord over everything, even the bedroom.  It is not enough to abstain from evil; we must do good also.

And so we must do good in the bedroom, even while we are naked . . . especially while we are naked.

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