What are you ashamed of? Your height or your hair, your deepest, darkest secret or your husband who swears all the time or perhaps you are ashamed of what you have done or the woman you have become. No matter how tiny or how huge, we all carry some sort of shame. God’s desire is that we are women who are not ashamed. This is how it was in the beginning and this is one of the areas that we need to take back.
And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
Can you imagine walking around in a beautiful garden completely naked? Just thinking about it makes me cling to my clothes! I don’t believe it was only a physical nakedness that they experienced but a nakedness of their hearts too. Adam and Eve had nothing to hide from God, no secrets, no guilt, no fears and no shame. They lived in perfect harmony with the one who made them. It must have been so amazing; my mind can’t even conceive such a thing. But sadly they blew it! They listened to someone other than God and believed what that ‘someone’ said. Once they believe the lie they then acted upon it… well you know the rest of the story. “At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.”
Their immediate reaction was to hide themselves from God, to hide their shame, to cover up what they had done. Children do this don’t they? As soon as they have done something wrong they find a way to hide it from their parents. We are no different, as adults we are still trying to hide things from our heavenly father! The worst thing is that we are also trying to hide ourselves from relationship with God just like Adam and Eve did. “And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.”
The first thing that went wrong after Adam and Eve sinned was that they hid themselves from the presence of God. Hiding from God was one of the first steps that Adam and Eve took away from their purpose. They were designed to walk with God and hang out in His presence. We need to get back to that place, the place of being close to God. It’s not that God is far from us, of course not! He very clearly said that He would never leave our side . The problem is us, we are hiding from God because we are ashamed. Imagine this conversation between a father and a son;
“Dad I am so sorry I stepped on my toy and broke it! I am so sorry.”
“That’s OK son, I forgive you. Here is another one but please take better care of it this time. I spent hours making this toy for you because I love you and I knew that you would break the first one. Perhaps you will be more grateful for this new toy now.”
Imagine if the child then went and hid in the garden shed totally ashamed of what he had done. Imagine the father’s face when, after frantically searching for the son, he found him in the shed with the new toy still crying.
“Son, what are you doing?”
“Dad I just feel so bad for what I have done. I am just going to sit here so that you can’t see me anymore, so that you won’t be angry with me.”
“But son, I am not angry. I made you a new toy and I dearly want to see you playing with it in the garden. I want to see you smile and be happy again. I don’t want to see you sitting here in the dark, garden shed. It hurts me more to see you sitting here than it did when you broke the toy in the first place. Please go out into the sunshine and play so I can watch you and enjoy your smiles.”
Perhaps this is an oversimplified illustration, but it is very similar to what we do. We have nothing to be ashamed of! The day that we accepted Jesus into our life is the day that God gave us a brand new life . Moping about feeling bad for what we have done is like sitting in the shed crying about a broken toy when we have a brand new on in our hands. Our father is more interested in what we are going to do with our new life than He is in the bad things we have done in the past!
When we are free from shame in the presence of God we will find freedom from all the other shame’s too. Slowly we start to like our physical features, no longer do we feel ashamed of the way we look. It’s easy to love the way you look when you realise that God loves the way you look! It doesn’t end here either, we walk in the grace that we have received and so we no longer feel ashamed about our husband or parents or friends. Grace are our new glasses and we begin to filter people with this new found freedom. Our hearts grows with love and compassion for people because we have tasted the love and compassion that God has shown us.
Shame slowly dissipates and we return to our rightful place, walking in the ‘garden’ close to God. What makes you feel shame? Get closer to God, ask Him to remove your shame and see what He will do. You can be a woman who is not ashamed.
The Being a Woman book and worksheets are available here.