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One of the deep desires of our soul is simply for the freedom to be who we are, and to be accepted. In fact, this is often the motivating factor behind many illicit relationships. It’s intoxicating to have someone see our naked truth and still desire to be in relationship with us. 

To be fair, this was Adam and Eve’s first experience in the Garden – being naked and without shame in each other’s presence. They were able to enjoy a holy transparency in which they were free to be fully seen and known without shame or judgment. And part of us still longs for this Eden experience. 

But sin and shame have now entered the picture, and allowing ourselves to be truly seen and known is risky. Not everyone is safe to open up to. And not everyone will handle our vulnerability well. As such, we’re prone to create many fig leaves to protect ourselves from feeling too exposed. 

Of course, this makes sense and there’s much wisdom in discerning who we open up to. But while fig leaves can help protect, our deep desires remain.  And when these desires are not intentionally brought to the light, they will often come out in sinful and destructive ways. 

For instance, this is at the root of many affairs and inappropriate relationships. We want the freedom to be who we are, but we’re not sure we want to risk this in our committed relationships. The cost seems too high if things don’t go well. And this makes it easier to open up to others since we are not jeopardizing our committed relationships if things don’t go well. But the sad irony is that this approach puts us at greater risk for blowing up these very relationships. 

To be sure, our desire to be naked and without shame is good. But it causes much unnecessary heartache when it’s not kept in the light.

In the end, you were created to be fully seen and known – free to be who you are and accepted. But you must be wise and take the necessary risks to drop your fig leaves to experience this holy transparency and naked truth. 

Photo by Tero Vesalainen on Shutterstock

Dr. Corey Carlisle

Licensed marriage and family therapist and certified sex therapist - providing Christian counseling and soul care to individuals and couples, with a special emphasis on developing the masculine soul. Suwanee, GA 30024

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