More Than No Clothes

Intimacy and vulnerability are two words that make me uncomfortable. These words share a strong connection, because in order to be intimate I must be willing to be vulnerable. Imagine a time without vulnerability—but there it is in Genesis 2:25: “And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” Naked. The word alone communicates vulnerability.

Yet at creation Adam and Eve were two completely comfortable and uninhibited sojourners in paradise. Naked did not conjure up feelings of body image, insecurity, acceptance, exposure, or exploitation. Naked and unashamed was God’s intended plan for marriage. The original state of being for Adam and Eve was intimacy. God provided everything they required and they were content.

God defined the initial concept of intimacy by nakedness, which he characterized by innocence and integrity. Adam and Eve hid nothing from each other. They had no secrets, no agendas, no deception, and therefore no shame. Their nakedness represented openness and trust.

Physical nakedness is a gift for a husband and wife to enjoy together. It is also a metaphor for the emotional and spiritual intimacy of marriage. To disrobe my fears and failures feels risky. What if my husband does not like what he sees in me? Deeper levels of intimacy take time as we erratically remove each layer of concealment until our souls are bare and we are not ashamed.

As the years progress in marriage, two naked bodies will fade from their youthful beauty. But two naked souls can grow into a lovely intimacy that will keep the gleam in the eye ’til death do you part.

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