By Rae Lynn DeAngelis
“Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves” (Genesis 3:7).
When our daughter was little, she spent as much time as she could get away with running around the house in her underwear. (It’s true. We have the home movies to prove it.) I can’t tell you how many times I’d have to say, “Heather, you need to put on your clothes!”
Apparently clothing was far too restricting for our Pretty Little Princess. Not to mention, pants and shirts made her hot and sweaty (or so she claimed).
When it came to parenting styles, my husband was more relaxed; I was more structured. When mommy went out for the evening and daddy was left to babysit, it was play time! Heather and Ben loved it because daddy got down on the floor and played too. He even set up the camcorder so I could see just how much fun they were able to have without me. Wink. (Heather in her “Underoos” and Ben in his diaper…it was a naked and unashamed free-for-all.)
Sadly, something happens when children grow up and become adults. Inhibitions, embarrassment, and shame replace carefree fun and innocence. I personally started picking apart the things I didn’t like about my body as early as kindergarten. And contrary to our spirited daughter who at the same age felt no shame, I remember feeling horribly embarrassed when I wore a dress to school because I was worried someone might see my underwear.
In the beginning, before sin entered the world, there were no hang-ups concerning our bodies. Inhibitions didn’t exist. “Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame” (Genesis 2:25).
I believe Adam and Eve’s self-acceptance went beyond feeling comfortable in their skin. They had self-awareness that was pure and unstained. They believed what God said about them… that is until Satan told them otherwise.
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, ‘Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?’
The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’
‘You will not certainly die,’ the serpent said to the woman. ‘For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it” (Genesis 3:1-6).
The irony in Satan’s temptation is the fact that Adam and Eve were already “like” God. They were made in His image (Genesis 1:27).
We, too, have been made in God’s image.
The innocence of children proves that we do not come out of the womb with our body-image hang-ups. Deception begins a little at a time, with each bite of the lie-filled apple.
While we can’t go back to Eden and undo what’s already been done, we can start fresh today, believing what God says about us and accepting the covering Jesus offers us through the His finished work on the cross—forgiveness of our sin: past, present, and future.
I’ve heard it said this way, “Jesus slapped a price tag on our souls, declaring, “Beloved, you are worth all of me!”
This is why we can stand before the Father now, and for all eternity, holy and blameless, forgiven and redeemed… naked and unashamed.