“Naked and not Ashamed”

And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place.  Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. 

And Adam said: 

“This is now bone of my bones 

And flesh of my flesh; 

She shall be called Woman, 

Because she was taken out of Man.” 

Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 

And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were  

not ashamed.  – Genesis 2:21-25 NKJV 

Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.  – Hebrews 13:4 NKJV 

If your experience has been like ours, perhaps one of the applications you’ve heard, based on this passage from Genesis, is the significance and benefit of mutual acceptance between a husband and wife; an acceptance that is undeterred by any so-called flaws in one’s outward appearance.  We’re thankful, however, for Dr. Aaron Lavender’s exposition of verse 25 (at this year’s [2012] marriage retreat) regarding the words “naked… and were not ashamed.” When the emphasis and focus of that verse are viewed relative to God’s perspective, the absence of shame reflects His divine approval of the physically-intimate, one-flesh relationship between Adam and Eve!  

 The Lord reiterates this attitude in Hebrews 13:4.  In some other translations, you find the phrase “marriage bed” because “bed” in this verse is koite, a derivative of a term for sexual relations between a man and woman.  Outside the context of marriage, such interactions are condemned and shameful.  Yet as believing husbands and wives we can enjoy sexual intimacy with the assurance that The Creator applauds our expression of mutual love! 

(Originally published in August, 2012, in CFL’s Marriage Messenger e-newsletter)

Leadership and Submission

Our struggle with the question of ʺWhoʹs going to lead [in our marriage]?ʺ seems to be ageless… and that should come as no surprise.  One of the repercussions of sinʹs arrival was the onset of a virtually instinctive resistance to servant‐minded leading and humility-driven following.

Iʹm thankful that we can look to God and His Word in order to combat those areas of resistance.  When the temptations come, we can reinforce our resolve by remembering the examples of Christ.  He led, not by wielding His authority with a tone of condescension toward His disciples, but with loving patience and compassion.  Furthermore, He submitted to The Father in all things, without ever negating the oneness that He and The Father share.

ʺYou call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.ʺ  

‐ John 13:13‐17

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,  who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,  but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.  

‐ Philippians 2:5‐8

When we align our marital roles with Scripture, we not only reinforce our unity with one another, but we also glorify The Lord and fulfill His purposes for our lives as wives and husbands!

(Originally published in July, 2010, in CFL’s Marriage Messenger e-newsletter)