Looking on Nakedness
By Joanne Highley
God created the world and placed Adam and Eve there to have dominion over the earth and subdue it--to be fruitful and multiply and increase in number to fill the earth. After Adam and Eve were united as husband and wife, They were naked and felt no shame. But after they ate of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, their eyes were opened and they realized they were naked, and they made coverings for themselves. God came in the cool of the evening to have sweet fellowship with them as usual, but Adam said to God, “I heard You in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked and I hid.” This was the fall of man and the entrance of sin into the world, making man the one who is the standard in place of God and being the one who says what is good and what is evil.
Why was Adam afraid of God because he was naked? Why did he hide when he had been so close before? This is what happens when we become the one who says what is good or evil in place of God, and when sin enters our lives. It breaks up the sweet fellowship with God and the focus many times becomes our nakedness.
If we agree with God about what is good and evil, we can live balanced lives and sex does not rule us. It is only a lovely part of our experience when we get married. God wants us as husband and wife to “re-experience” Eden, and be naked with our spouse and be unashamed. But if we have had twisted views from pain in childhood, and we have felt bad about ourselves, and hopeless about heterosexual relationships, we can become many times fixated looking on nakedness, whether in fantasy, in our minds, looking in the mirror at our own nakedness, or seeing nakedness on the Internet or in pornographic material.
This preoccupation with looking on nakedness can be compulsive, gaining more and more control over our eyes and our minds as we continue to give ourselves to it. The major problem in this harmful practice is that we no longer can see sex as an expression of love as God ordained it to be. Nakedness begins to separate love from sex. It becomes an escape, a drug-like rush or high seeming to take you out of depression, discouragement or despair; a quick fix for feelings of failure or fear. It becomes an addiction. You are no longer seeking a relationship with a person, but a sensation. This is all inner-directed—“whatever will work for me”. This is not love. This is not sex as God designed. This is a demonic trap.
The Bible shows clearly that God desires that we not look on anyone’s nakedness except that of our spouse. He showed that when Ham saw his father Noah’s nakedness when Noah was drunk, and Shem and Japheth walked backwards with a garment on their shoulders to cover their father’s nakedness. A curse was put on Ham’s family because of this. (Genesis 9:22)
The priests of the Israelites were not to go up steps to the altar to prevent exposing their nakedness. (Exodus 20:26)
Many times in the Bible, nakedness is connected to shame as in Exodus 32:25—the people around the calf of gold were naked unto their shame.
Isaiah 37:40—Your nakedness shall be exposed and your shame revealed.
In Leviticus 18, we see the listings of sexual impurities spoken of as uncovering your mother’s nakedness or the nakedness of any other relative or person with whom you may have had illicit sex .
Nakedness is also connected to drinking in God’s Word.
Rejoice and be glad, O Daughter of Edom, that dwells in the land of Uz, but the cup of the wine of God’s wrath also shall pass through to you and you shall become drunk and make yourself naked.(Lamentations 4:21)
Woe to him (who delays that day) who gives his neighbors drink, who pours out your bottle to them and adds to it your poisonous and blighting wrath and also makes them drunk, that you may look on their stripped condition and pour out foul shame (on their glory). (Habakkuk 2:15)
As we discussed this entire area of looking on nakedness and why we get so drawn to it, we saw it is a problem of believing there is some intimacy in looking at nakedness. This is such a lie. People can sit on a beach naked together and never have any intimacy or even married couples can have years of seeing each other’s naked bodies, but have no intimacy. Nakedness does not equal intimacy. Intimacy must be gained by having trust and confidence that the deepest desires, hopes, emotions and pains can be spoken and you will still be loved, understood and not be judged. There will always be unconditional acceptance.
If two people try to gain intimacy through nakedness, it will always fail because the body will get in the way of learning to trust and communicate. That’s why sex before marriage is so wrong. It makes the person close communication and focus on sexual connection. We are intended to develop emotional and spiritual intimacy with a person who is to become our spouse before we are joined in one spiritually by the wedding ceremony, and only after we have pledged ourselves to each other are we to be joined in one flesh. It all works so well if we do it God’s way.,
Are you fixated on nakedness? If so, it is time to clean out (or get rid of) your computer, all pornography or magazines that draw you to look on nakedness. This blights your view of sex, of others and of yourself. It is not a means of godly connection or any kind of intimacy. It will harm you and hold you in isolation. You can learn to take thoughts captive to the obedience of Christ. We have no right to look onother’s nakedness (unless we’re married). Give your eyes to the Lord as in Psalms 101:3, “I will set before my eyes no vile thing.” Or as Job said in chapter 31:1, “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl (person)”. Get rid of this ungodly habit that keeps you on low simmer sexually—or can bring you to the boiling point. It is sinful. It is lust. It is not intimacy. It will keep you lonely and without love.
There is great justification of lust in our society. We are not to be the one who says what is good. God has spoken about looking on nakedness and it is time for us to listen and obey. It will bring great blessing to us all.