In their innocence, Adam and Eve were not ashamed of their nakedness in the garden. Immediately after they had sinned they realised their condition and made coverings for themselves, these later being replaced by clothes God provided (Gen 2:25, 3:7,10,21).
God requires personal genitalia to be covered. Even one of Noah’s sons was judged for looking at his naked father (Gen 9:22-27). King David looked on a naked woman and this set in motion a chain of actions with disastrous long-term consequences; Bathsheba was also at fault as she was bathing naked where she could be seen (2 Sam 11:2-12:12). Looking upon a naked (or semi naked) body can quickly lead to lust, and then sin, either physically or mentally. Jesus declared sexual fantasy was just as bad as the act of adultery (Ex 20:14; Mt 5:27,28). Even young children should not have their bodies exposed needlessly before adults as countless men and women have been ensnared by pornography, the result of such ‘harmless’ observing and subsequent thinking. Don’t show off your body to others, reserve it for your marriage partner. Women especially need to be aware of the effects of wearing tight-fitting, scanty or provocative clothing on the minds of men who are easily aroused sexually by what they see or perceive. Clothing fashions have assisted in the decline of modesty and morals, leading to sexual promiscuity with the overall cheapening of the ‘special-ness’ of sexuality. The media also depicts nudity with increasing frequency, bringing to people’s awareness what should not be for public viewing.
Although the Bible only mentions women dressing in a high standard of decency and modesty, as those who profess to be true worshippers of God, the principle applies to men too, who desire to bring Him glory (1 Tim 2:9,10). In contrast, those who are self-focused will dress in a manner that will draw attention to themselves, considering their self-worth purely on the physical basis, having little or no regard for the consequences to themselves or the effect on others. Our heart attitude is displayed in the manner of our apparel.
In close friendships there is place for open and frank dialogue with accountability, and where appropriate, exposure of one’s innermost desires and struggles can take place. This calls for courage with the motive for being vulnerable should be to enlist moral and prayer support in the context of love, to spur us on to become more like Jesus and reach our potential in Him. Confidentiality must be guaranteed.
Whatever is done in secret and hidden from other people will still be uncovered for our inner lives are naked or exposed before God before whom we must ultimately give account (Mt 10:26; Heb 4:13).