Now before you raise your eyebrows or let your mind go somewhere it’s not meant to go, let me clarify the title by saying this is my twins’ new favorite saying. Cute right? 😉
As soon as clothes are introduced to the scene of the day, they both say, “No mommy, I wanna be butt naked!” We’ve been in this phase for a little while now. I have to all but bribe them to get dressed each day and I always have to promise that as soon as we get back home, they can get butt naked. It’s not an issue unless we have to breach the doors of society. At home though, I have no qualms. It saves on laundry and their little butts are adorable! (I do force them to endure a diaper though because although potty training is in the works, I don’t want to trade laundry for daily carpet cleaning, thanks anyway!)
As soon as we get home from anywhere that requires clothing, the arms are up waiting to be stripped and the pants are off faster than lightning. They even want me, and anyone else who may be around, to join them in their nude party saying, “Mommy get butt naked too!?” And then they back their cheeks up to me and say, “Get my hiney!!!” It’s absolutely precious at home but I fear what people might think goes on in our house if the wrong ears heard them. (Likely non-parent ears.)
Yesterday at church Connor did it. As soon as we got to the nursery he looked at me with his sweet little innocent yet desperate face and said, “Mommy, I get butt naked?” It is so refreshing the lack of shame children have. They feel no need to hide themselves, cover up anything, or pretend to be something they’re not…except animals and super heroes of course! Although in many ways, are animals and super heroes really a far stretch for a 2 year old?
This constant nakedness made me think, as most things do. I wonder at what point it is in life that we lose that beautiful ability to run around naked. I don’t just mean the literal lack of clothing. At this point in my life, beautiful certainly wouldn’t be the first adjective to come to mind if I were to run around naked. I’m talking about living life open, unashamed, and free. Free from fear of what others think, unrestricted by insecurity, unimpeded by judgment of ourselves or others, unhampered by the metaphorical layers life inevitably adds to us.
At some point, the boys won’t feel confident in their nudity anymore. “Mommy I be butt naked,” will change to, “Mommy, don’t look at me.” Just writing that gives me a twinge in my heart. At some point, life will creep into their blameless world and they will feel the pressure to cover up. Their excited announcement that they are butt naked will someday change to an embarrassed recognition of their exposed bodies.
“At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.” Genesis 3:7
People have been ashamed of their nakedness, both figurative and literal, since the fall. We lost our ability to walk freely, uncovered by ignominy. That gift was forfeited by sin. When I think about the figurative layers of clothing I’ve used in my life to hide and cover up my nakedness, I realize I felt the need for those layers because of my own shame. Somewhere along the way, the lies of who I was began to cloud my vision and create a need for layers of protection. Some of those layers protected, while others suffocated.
It obviously becomes necessary to wear clothes as we get older. By a certain age, the world no longer wants to see a naked butt in public and pinch it. At some point, they want to cover it up; and if it’s not covered up, there will be lots of questions and judgmental stares, and possible CPS calls. As we grow up, it also becomes necessary to learn where and who it’s safe to be “naked” around. Full exposure is only acceptable in certain arenas, no matter what age you are.
I can’t shield my boys from the need for clothing. I’m not trying to raise little nudist voyeurs. But I do wish I could shield them from the shame driven need to cover up. From the message that says, “Hide that. Don’t show that,” and the uncertainty that is birthed as a result of that message.
I think the same way it squeezes my heart to think of my boys feeling ashamed of their metaphorical nakedness and saying, “Mommy don’t look at me,” it grieves God’s heart when we hide in the indignity of our exposed parts and say, “God don’t look at me.”
The thing is, He sees it all anyway, whether it’s concealed underneath layers of self preservation or not. Without getting too theologically and philosophically correct here, I think God wants us to live spiritually naked. To feel free to expose ourselves to Him and to others for His glory. To open our hearts completely and live undaunted by shame and insecurity of who we are in Him. To share our stories, even the parts that seem better left hidden, so as to bring healing to ourselves and others. To strip off the layers that keep us veiled and separated from God and His purpose in our lives. To live completely butt naked in the presence of God, knowing He sees it all anyway and loves us regardless.
I am so grateful for these little nuggets of wisdom God shows me through the tiniest little hineys running around my life. I don’t want to live in such a way that when God looks at me, I feel the need to cover up. I want to be free to stand firm in the truth of who I am in Him, completely exposed, trusting every part is known, loved and called good. All we can ever really offer God is ourselves. Our whole heart, raw and exposed. All I can give Him is me. Even when we feel it isn’t enough, it’s all He ever wants from us.
So let’s all strip the extra layers we’ve built around ourselves and get butt naked for the sake of the kingdom shall we?!
“I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.” Psalm 34:4-5
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17
“Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.” Galatians 5:1
“In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” Ephesians 3:12