Praying for your spouse regarding "Good Nudity"

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Praying for your spouse regarding "Good Nudity"

Postby MatthewNeal » Thu Nov 09, 2006 2:17 am

Moderator's Note: This thread began as a prayer request and mutated into a discussion of ideas for helping a spouse understand and accept the concept of "good nudity." It was moved here to allow the discussion to continue while the "Worship in Prayer" area remains a place for posting and commenting on prayer requests.
Neal wrote:So my request is that you would please join me in praying for the two of us; that you would pray that, above all, God’s will be done in this matter, whatever it may be. The thought that keeps coming to mind is how wonderful it would be if my wife were to cross paths with someone whose wisdom and faith she would respect and who would share the honest, practical, Scriptural based truth about good nudity with her.
Neal, I concur with your assessment that an outside influence just might be the the impetus that turns your wife's heart towards openness.

If you've read our story, you'll know know that we considered home nudity for the sake of our children. My wife had NO desire for it, and questioned whether it would really make a difference or if the issues we thought home nudity might address were really as tangible as we were imagined.

I was convinced, and was trying my best to make the case to my wife. But the truth is, I could not have convinced her. However, there were 2 incidents (that I can remember) which happened completely outside my control or expectation that God used to get her attention and put an exclamation point on certain things we had discussed. It impacted her emotionally in ways my "logical reasoning" never could.

When God got her attention that way, I was able to say to her one time, "It sounds like you really believe that we should do this even though you don't really want to admit it!" Her response? "Yes." That was GOD's work in her heart, no mine!

So, we've entered in. She's growing more and more comfortable with her own nudity (although at the moment, it's nude with a bathrobe against the cool weather!). I am so proud of her!

My point is, of course, that God is quite able to do what it takes to change your wife's mind.

=======

Having said that, I'll offer one bit of logic that I think might be pertinent to your case and perhaps worth mentioning to your wife...

It's pretty much universally accepted that nudity within a same-sex environment (i.e. the "locker room") is acceptable. It is even more commonly accepted that when we see our physician, that being seen by our doctors is permitted. These are certainly logical and reasonable exceptions to the "nudity is only for sex and only for your spouse" rule, even though they are neither specified in the Bible.

The problem is this: God's moral laws are NOT subject to "logical and reasonable exceptions." God's standards are absolutely immutable and inviolable.

Therefore, if we allow such extrabiblical "logical and reasonable exceptions," we are actually admitting that the "no nudity" rule itself is simply a man-made rule!

Make sense? Hopefully I've stated it clearly enough that you can take it and improve upon it!

Take care!

Matt
Last edited by MatthewNeal on Thu Nov 16, 2006 1:24 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Neal » Sat Nov 11, 2006 1:09 pm

Thank you, all of you who are praying for my wife and I to come together on good nudity. It means so much to know I’m not alone in this. I, in turn am praying for those of you that I know about.

I agree with much of the rationale that you write about. I think the main hurdle for us right now is the misunderstanding that nudity equals sex. Whenever we’ve attempted to have a discussion, she inevitably references Biblical principles on sex. I, of course agree with those principles, for sex, but when trying to explain that good nudity is not about sex, that’s when the discussions break down.

In the meantime, I continue to try to demonstrate what good nudity means to me by living it when practical and possible. That works up to a certain degree, but we’ve further to go to reach agreement. I remain open to further understanding, your suggestions, and God’s guidance.

In Christ,

Neal
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Postby MatthewNeal » Sat Nov 11, 2006 1:47 pm

Neal wrote:...I agree with much of the rationale that you write about. I think the main hurdle for us right now is the misunderstanding that nudity equals sex. Whenever we’ve attempted to have a discussion, she inevitably references Biblical principles on sex. I, of course agree with those principles, for sex, but when trying to explain that good nudity is not about sex, that’s when the discussions break down...
Neal, have you and your wife ever listened to Jeff Bowman's sermon on Good Nudity? He relates how he personally came face to face with the fact that nudity isn't always about sex. He has an article version of it here: http://experiencegrace.com/Good_Nudity.html but I would really recommend that you listen to it together... then you can really hear the man's heart as he shares how he came to understand "Good Nudity"

You can listen to it or download the mp3 of it at: http://experiencegrace.com/sermons/good_nudity.mp3

By the way, any of the rest of you, if you haven't heard that sermon yet, you really should hear it.

Take care,

Matt
Last edited by MatthewNeal on Thu Nov 16, 2006 1:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby jochanaan » Sat Nov 11, 2006 4:45 pm

Does she really think, Neal, that when someone gets naked, a hardwired subroutine activates that compels him/her to begin to do sex with the nearest human? Surely you've shown her that "it ain't necessarily so!" :mrgreen:
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Postby bn2bnude » Sat Nov 11, 2006 6:56 pm

musicman2 wrote:You can listen to it or download the mp3 of it at: http://experiencegrace.com/sermons/good_nudity.mp3

By the way, any of the rest of you, if you haven't heard that sermon yet, you really should hear it.


Thanks for the link. I have read the "print" version but have never heard the sermon.
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Postby Neal » Mon Nov 13, 2006 3:27 pm

jochanaan wrote:Does she really think, Neal, that when someone gets naked, a hardwired subroutine activates that compels him/her to begin to do sex with the nearest human? Surely you've shown her that "it ain't necessarily so!" :mrgreen:


jochanaan,

I understand where you’re coming from, but it’s so much more entrenched and irrational than that. As of yet, no amount of her seeing my example (27 years) has changed her mind. No amount of discussing it from any perspective (Biblical, cultural, historical) has changed her mind. This is something that she as well as many others are totally blind to. And not just blind, but they have it so completely backwards. Backwards to the point of being in error. That’s why I’m reliant on God to change her mind. Not just her mind, but also her heart. Only God can do this. He may work through me or others to do it, but it will only happen if he wills it. That is my continuing prayer and I’m grateful to you and others who have and will pray for us.

In Christ,

Neal
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Postby jochanaan » Mon Nov 13, 2006 4:07 pm

Neal wrote:I understand where you’re coming from, but it’s so much more entrenched and irrational than that...

I hear you, brother Neal. If logic alone could convince anyone of anything, the whole world would be naturist by now! :roll: *sigh*
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Postby looking4light » Mon Dec 11, 2006 11:08 pm

I've been wondering lately... why is it that men seem to grasp naturism with little or no hesitation, and women seem to respond, at least initially, like it's the end of chocolate? Panic, outrage, anger... just to name a few emotions I've felt in the past months! I had a bit of a lightbulb moment and thought I'd run it past you all. Does it go right back to the beginning, when the woman, being the more easily deceived, was approached by Satan? Is he still doing that? If I am deceived about my body and my worth, about my husband's motivation in embracing naturism, about the negative effects naturism will have on my kids... Not only do I remain in bondage, I also hinder my husband in his quest for freedom and growth, and train my kids to believe the same lies we have believed and start the cycle all over again. It's no wonder that Satan is willing to work so hard to keep me deceived. He has a lot to lose. When my husband first brought up the subject of naturism and we'd had a few discussions about it, I was so frustrated that he couldn't see how potentially hurtful this could be to our marriage. There were times when I was pretty freaked out. I didn't think anything that could be so divisive could possibly be of God. But as we've mentioned before, God is not the author of "freaked out." :D While I'm still not on the same page as my husband, at least we're now in the same book.

~L4L
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Postby jochanaan » Tue Dec 12, 2006 2:39 am

I don't think it's that, L4L. I see women's difficulties with naturism as a result of the increased societal pressure on you to "look good"; that is, to look young and conventionally beautiful. There's also a big double standard there; if a man acts against some sexual more, people just say "Boys will be boys;" but if a woman does, she's immediately labeled a "bad girl." :roll: And there's an old, harmful tradition in the Churches dating from medieval times that sees woman as a temptress and weak in character and constantly trying to undermine men's chastity. *rrrr*

As a man, I have learned that our chastity is OUR responsibility. Whatever a woman does or doesn't wear, however she acts, we must keep ourselves pure and not blame others for our mistakes. Nothing excuses lapses from chastity. (Of course, they can be forgiven.)

Has your husband mentioned that embracing naturism actually helps us keep chaste? It works like this: Too many men in America still associate a naked woman with sex, or at least with temptation. But once we've broken this association (for me, it took a little reconditioning), we can look at a naked woman the same way as if she were wearing a choir robe over a business suit. Incidental nudity, or even the skimpy outfits I often see in summertime here, have little effect on us now except that we rejoice in beauty with no thought of taking it to bed. I have known of men who were healed from an addiction to pornography as a direct result of embracing naturism. So it's actually GOOD for families! :D
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Postby LivingFree » Tue Dec 12, 2006 10:07 pm

L4L,

I see it in two different ways.

Women are more relationally oriented than men, and Satan knows that. So the serpent used that relational connection to "talk Eve into" adopting a growing relationship for her and Adam (knowing as much as God). Deception par excellence!!! Then Satan turned on his heels and again deceived the woman (read women) into keeping her body covered, even from her man, so she would stay pure and not sin again. And in so doing it creates all kinds of temptation for men and causes even more sin. Then the Tempter induces the woman to dress in tantalizing ways to solve some of the curiosity of men, and again men fail. What a never-ending cycle. The only way to break that cycle is to go back to the purity of the Garden of Eden, paid for by Christ on the cross, and reject all of Satan's lies. As Christian nudists so often say, "covered only by the righteousness of Christ."

The other way to see it is historically. Adam and Eve had no tools to tan leather or create clothing from textiles. According to what archaeologists have found in the soil (and I truly have a hard time dismissing their honest work), the creation of clothing didn't come along for thousands of years after Adam and Eve began their journey. No one knows how men and women related to one another, and how they managed their urges. But it's safe to say there was as much fallenness then as there is now.

After coverings for the body were invented (and the scriptures say it came from God, so I want to believe that at the right time God gave humankind the wisdom to create clothing), men began to use clothing to "protect" their woman from other men. And women learned that they could demand certain types of fancy clothing not only to enhance their standing in the community, but also to catch the eye of others.

In the era surrounding the First Century of the church (ca. 500 BC to 200 AD), the twin teachings of Platonism and Gnosticism surfaced, teaching that it was more important to preserve the soul (for eternity) than to preserve the body (which is only and ever only earthbound). Therefore, the body should be "held under" and "buffeted" in order to preserve the soul. Feelings of pleasure were renounced, and sex was viewed as an spiritually "evil." necessity only in order to preserve the species. It all climaxed with the Puritan ethic, followed by the Victorian embellishment of high prudery, which even required skirts on the legs of pianos and tables, so men would not be "tempted."

Men in the US only won the right to bathe openly without shirts in the 1930s, and women gained the right to use bathing suits some decades later. And now we live in a society with terrible double standards. No wonder women struggle with how to view, and care for, their bodies.
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Postby SteveNTL » Sat Dec 16, 2006 8:40 pm

looking4light wrote:I've been wondering lately... why is it that men seem to grasp naturism with little or no hesitation, and women seem to respond, at least initially, like it's the end of chocolate? Panic, outrage, anger... just to name a few emotions I've felt in the past months! I had a bit of a lightbulb moment and thought I'd run it past you all. Does it go right back to the beginning, when the woman, being the more easily deceived, was approached by Satan? Is he still doing that? If I am deceived about my body and my worth, about my husband's motivation in embracing naturism, about the negative effects naturism will have on my kids... Not only do I remain in bondage, I also hinder my husband in his quest for freedom and growth, and train my kids to believe the same lies we have believed and start the cycle all over again. It's no wonder that Satan is willing to work so hard to keep me deceived. He has a lot to lose. When my husband first brought up the subject of naturism and we'd had a few discussions about it, I was so frustrated that he couldn't see how potentially hurtful this could be to our marriage. There were times when I was pretty freaked out. I didn't think anything that could be so divisive could possibly be of God. But as we've mentioned before, God is not the author of "freaked out." :D While I'm still not on the same page as my husband, at least we're now in the same book.

~L4L


Your thoughts make the most sense to me, L4L - I guess they mirror my experience. There are pieces in other responses, of course, that I feel have merit, but one statement in a couple bothers me, at least on its face - God cannot change anyone's mind. He will harden and soften hearts (minds, if you wish), but He generally does not choose to override freewill, and cannot violate His own will. God will not (I am generalizing, of course) override a closed mind that is determined to not be open to a new way of understanding, by "making" a person see the light.

Steve
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Postby jochanaan » Sun Dec 17, 2006 1:40 pm

You know, L4L, you are concerned, and rightly so, about naturism's effect, good or bad, on your family, particularly your husband. But if he's the loving husband he seems to be, he's probably thinking all the time of how much it will help you! :D And it will; women stand to gain even more than men from a changed attitude toward human nakedness. 8)
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Postby natman » Mon Dec 18, 2006 5:31 pm

SteveNTL wrote:God cannot change anyone's mind.


Not wishing to create another rabbit hole, but thought I should say that this statement probably should say "God DOES not change anyone's mind." This is one of those thinhs that I believe it is POSSIBLE for God to do, but that He chooses not to do because, in this case as you pointed out, it would override free will.
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Postby MatthewNeal » Mon Dec 18, 2006 5:50 pm

natman wrote:
SteveNTL wrote:God cannot change anyone's mind.


Not wishing to create another rabbit hole, but thought I should say that this statement probably should say "God DOES not change anyone's mind." This is one of those thinhs that I believe it is POSSIBLE for God to do, but that He chooses not to do because, in this case as you pointed out, it would override free will.


Then again.... Proverbs 21:1 (NIV) "The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases."

Sometimes he DOES change people's minds!

Matt
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Postby natman » Mon Dec 18, 2006 5:55 pm

I thinkk that, as we read scripture, we see that God directs things oft times in such way as to direct our thinking, but I do not recall a situation where God forcibly changed or set someone's mind. Of course, if He did, how would we know?
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