Naked and Unashamed

Naked and Unashamed

Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife, and they become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked, and were not ashamed.

Genesis 2:24-25 (NRSV)

Nakedness was the first truth of Adam and Eve’s relationship. And when they ate the fruit, it became the first thing to go.

But I think there’s something in us that wants to get back to that place.

Nakedness is obviously compelling, but it’s so much more than that. It’s the implied intimacy in relationships as much as anything else—the fullness of who we are being seen by someone else without any presence of shame. The kind of intimacy that drives us toward the oneness described in this original relationship between Adam and Eve.

Nakedness, of course, can happen in a moment. Some of the shame that wants to define our sexuality can come from the fact that we sometimes get naked (literally and figuratively) much too quickly.

True intimacy always takes time.

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A Delight to the Eyes

A Delight to the Eyes

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate.

Genesis 3:1-6 (NRSV)

Why did the serpent choose this lie?

He didn’t tell Eve that God is really a cruel dictator or a figment of her imagination. And he didn’t tell her the fruit would give her fantastic powers, like flight or x-ray vision.

The serpent doesn’t tell big lies; those are easier to spot.

It’s the small ones that got Eve. The serpent pretending to be on her side. The idea that God might be holding out on her. The thought that there might be something better.

In his commentary on Genesis, Terence Fretheim notes the serpent asked the initial question in a way that is difficult to give a simple “yes” or “no” answer to. Crafty, indeed.

Eve saw that the tree was not only good for food; it was also a delight to the eyes. These facts eventually became the center of her decision-making: If it’s good for food, it won’t hurt me. If it’s a delight to the eyes, it will give me pleasure. And that’s what is best for me.

We’ve been tempted to live that lie ever since.

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