Truth: The unclothed human form is a beautiful creation of God which bears His likeness.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Gen. 1:26-27 NIV)
In Genesis 1, God’s Word tells us that we are literally created “in God’s image.” (see The Imago Dei) Man is God’s crowning creation, and the only creature crafted in the image of the Almighty. We are God’s self-portrait! God wants us to know what He looks like, so he built it into our own form. No wonder we find that form so appealing and attractive. This has to be the most significant visible reality there is about our bodies (this is not to say that the visual likeness is the only aspect of God’s image in humanity, but it is one aspect that is too often overlooked or denied).
Lie #1 completely obscures this truth and causes us to think only of sexual appeal, lust, and sexual gratification when we see the unclothed human form. Sadly, the church has historically bought into the lie so deeply that you may never even hear a biblical message regarding the beauty of God’s image in our bodies… only messages on the danger of seeing it or allowing it to be seen. The sight of an unclothed body has been so thoroughly defined as a sexual event that we are compelled to strategically regulate it out of our daily human experience… except for marital sexual expression.
The price we have paid for this error is that we have – by belief and practice – trained ourselves to only have sexual responses to the sight of even partial nudity.
This dishonors God for two reasons:
- We find sexual purity elusive or impossible because we are still drawn to what God created to be beautiful, but with the presumption that our interest is driven by lust. That presumption naturally becomes self-fulfilling.
- We reduce the beauty of God’s image in human form to an object for self-gratification. This is an insult to the Almighty.