I Long to Be Naked and Unashamed

“How beautiful you are and how pleasing, my love, with your delights! Your stature is like that of the palm, and your breasts like clusters of fruit. I said, “I will climb the palm tree; I will take hold of its fruit.” May your breasts be like clusters of grapes on the vine, the fragrance of your breath like apples..”Song of Songs 7:6-8

I want the lights off when we are making love. I am too self-conscious.

Even before donating my body to children, I never thought I looked good without clothes. It’s worse now than ever.

We have been married 15 years, and I still cover up with a pillow in front and one behind me when I have to walk naked in front of my husband. He laughs at my human Oreo act!

These comments from Bible Study participants over the years represent women who love God and love their husbands. From gym locker rooms to the marital bedroom, women struggle to appreciate their physical appearance.

Our culture makes it nearly impossible to be content with our bodies as God gave them to us. Perfection formulas show up everywhere on social media, stare at us from every screen, and invite us to invest precious money and time and energy to achieve confidence in our own body image. We realize we should resist the pressure to compare ourselves, but we fail.

What happened to the freedom of Genesis 2:25: And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed?

As Christian women, we know what God says, that our bodies were created in His image and that our bodies are good (Gen 1:27). We need to take care of them for our own health benefit, for those we love and serve and to honor God. (I Cor 6:19-20).

How do we fight back the feelings of embarrassment of our bodies, the ones not thin and muscled (or too thin), not curvy in the right places (or too curvy), or scarred or freckled or disfigured or sagging? The list of body problems can be long. And exhausting. And depressing.

In a recent Relevant Magazine article, “Skin Deep” , Ann Swindell says, “As Jesus modeled for us during his time on Earth, we are called to live in these bodies with faith and self-control, neither ignoring the needs of the body nor obsessing over them.” Good words to tell ourselves, everyday.

What Do Men Really Want in a Woman’s Body?

Here are some interesting and encouraging comments from real men, not necessarily Christian men, just regular guys talking about women’s bodies. Read these and start to relax in your nakedness:

  • 78% of men would rather date a confident plus-size woman than an insecure supermodel.
  • 72% of men generally find that women should have more confidence in their bodies
  • 72% of men said, when asked “Have you ever been disappointed when you saw your partner naked?” Um, no. Are you kidding? She was naked!
  • 86% of men said, when asked “Do you compare women’s bodies to the ones you see in magazines—or porn?” Probably subconsciously. But I try to remember that real women don’t have the benefit of good lighting and retouching. OR, That’s just fantasy.

Lazada Philippines

Parts of our bodies beyond the Barbie-figure are seen as sexy to guys. Here is another interesting collection of scientific data about physical traits of women that give an overall healthy and attractive-to-men appearance:

  • Hips suitable for child bearing (okay, did not see that coming)
  • Girlish pitch to voice (giggle away, apparently)
  • Beautiful, shiny hair (we love this too)
  • Good smile and white teeth (better to kiss you with, my dear)
  • Less makeup (go for the natural look)
  • Wear RED – clothes, nails, lipstick (my favorite color anyway)

Bodies in the Bedroom

Culture lies again when it tries to tell us only super sleek and gorgeous bodies enjoy sexual satisfaction. Or that sex is why we exist.

God never intended His gift of physical intimacy to be about performance or the pinnacle of our existence. Sex is important in marriage for many reasons, but it cannot be the sole marker of couple success. What happens when one spouse is ill, physically unable to participate in sex, or away due to business or military deployment?

True sexual fulfillment involves more than our (imperfect) bodies. We have emotional and spiritual needs as well, and in God’s wisdom, He created true intimacy to touch all aspects of our personhood. Most lists of desired features for life partners go beyond the body: character, humor, honesty, spontaneity, loyalty, affection, good listening and communication skills.

Swindell says it well, “It’s not the shape or size of a body that makes sex wonderful – it’s the context of sex within a godly marriage to a loving and thoughtful spouse that gives sex its power and delight.”

Make Sex Happen

 In the early years of my marriage, a beautiful airline attendant from my church visited me. She was known for mentoring young women. I needed help.

“I feel like my husband is chasing me for sex and I feel guilty and mad at the same time. I have a new baby and breast-feeding is a huge challenge. She isn’t gaining weight quickly,” I told her. “What am I supposed to do? He feels like I am choosing our baby over him. I cannot be everyone’s body!”

I will never forget her advice, a mature woman, married to a pilot with teenagers at home.

“If you want to stop the chase, then initiate sex, let him know you are interested. Ask God to prepare your heart and mind, then make a plan to connect physically. Start in the morning and pray for energy and interest. Take an afternoon nap and a bath, whatever you need.”

I groaned. More on my “to-do” list.

She went on, “Once he knows he is not the only one desiring sex, he may relax his efforts. If one of you initiates and the other is not inclined at the time, then agree to return the offer within seven days. This has worked for my marriage. God sees your heart of commitment, even sacrifice and will provide His own backup strength to help you. He is all for sexually healthy marriages.”

Now, almost four decades later of our sexually-engaged marriage, I know she gave great, God-centered advice.

Lazada Philippines

Let’s be intentional about creating space for sex in our marriages. The skin-to-skin connection can communicate what words cannot during times of stress and joy. We safeguard our home and relationship from outside temptations with this powerful connection. Push through the naked insecurities thrown at us from the world and enter into the wonder and fulfillment of sex regularly. Our marriages and our bodies have much to gain.

Oh, and get a RED manicure for Valentine’s Month…for yourself and your man!

♡  Gail Goolsby is a Writer and Titus Woman at Proverbs 31 Woman. Visit her website here.

If you like this story, you’ll love this too → Can Marital Sex Be Hote and Holy At The Same Time.

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