Breaking the Grip of Shame Among Christians by Promoting Body Respect.

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The Root of Shame
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Freed From Shame
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Ordinary Nakedness
In God's Image
God's Desire
Body Shame and Women
Shame, Children, and Abuse
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Ordinary Nakedness
"Being natural and matter-of-fact about nudity prevents your children from developing an attitude of shame or disgust about the human body.  If parents are very secretive about their bodies and go to great lengths to prevent their children from ever seeing a buttock or breast, children will wonder what is so unusual, and even alarming, about human nudity."

- Dr. Lee Salk, Psychiatrist

There is a great need in western culture to advance the notion of the nakedness in everyday life.  Ha, you say, "we have that!  It is called nudism."  But I say that while nudist groups have done much to bring mixed nudity into our culture, they have often had to retreat to a sub culture in order to do it, and this has reduced its effectiveness considerably.

My goal as a man contemplating nudity has always been to demystify the female body.  By doing this many boys will be spared the dead end road of teenage sensualities that sap our morality as young men.  In my view shame fosters illicit nudity and illicit nudity fosters shame.  We try to assuage our shame through illicit nudity, but the side effect is that we get hooked on a certain thrill that is hard to overcome in life even by embracing nudism.  Whenever I have encountered female nudity I have always had the desire to see it as utterly ordinary.  As a teen I remember seeing a photo in Playboy depicting a bunch of naked people from a distance standing on the side of a houseboat.  To me this was more exciting than all of the carefully posed "beautiful" women put together.  This photo was so ordinary.  Rather than bringing nudity down to the basal level, it brought everyday life up to the beautiful reality of normal nudity.  No erotica, just regular folks doing regular things, but naked.  Too bad Playboy never pursued that kind of nudity in its pages.  Now many nudist media have racier pictures than that.

The chasm is large between mainstream culture, where wholesome everyday nudity among the sexes occurs almost never, and nudism.  This chasm is where the grassroots of social nudity will flourish, not in nudism.  As I raise my kids my goal has not changed.  I don't need nudism in order to demystify the female body for my children.  Instead, household nudity is very easy to implement, especially if the children have not yet been born.  Household nudity is, in my view, something that very few western households embrace, and that even fewer Christian western households would remotely consider. Forget about nudism; these households have not even been out of their bedrooms naked once.  Household nudity is what will fill this chasm.  It is free, it is safe, and it is effective.  An ounce of it will be the ton of well-being later in life in a way that nudism could never be.  For what is our goal?

I suspect that the majority of people I see at nudist sites did not grow up in households where nudity was ever allowed outside closed doors.  It is often reflected in their children, who either will not accompany them, or will not disrobe with them because their children see a certain inconsistency between their parents' public nudity and their lack of household nudity.  How hard it is for a person to make the jump from no nudity in their past to walking among the nudists on a public beach or private club!  There really is no middle ground for this in our culture; no place where wholesome nudity can flourish with childhood.  How many nudists would not be caught naked in front of their parents?  How many nudist adults have not raised their children up with any nudity in the home?  It is unrealistic to expect people to truly accept nudity as wholesome when there is such a disconnect in their nudist lives.  How many nudists have shielded their nudity from their relatives, church friends, and coworkers?  Most.  Nudity does not enjoy any respect in our culture.  When I make a passing comment to the effect that indicated the likelihood that mixed nudity could of occurred it is usually met with stunned silence, as if the supreme faux pas had been committed.  People are sensitive to nudity and how it is used in society.  The nudist movement has not improved the cultural perception all that much in half a century.

Wholesome nudity shouldn't be a recreational sport, nor a pricey club membership, nor a restful haven for alternative lifestyles if it cannot first be accepted by the next generation.  Because in my home, my generation is where the buck stops, and the buck naked starts.  I don't need hedonism. I don't need nude pictures of pretty girls strutting.  I don't need to be a member of a club.  I don't need body acceptance.  I don't even need to be naked all that much, because ordinary nakedness around the opposite sex even occasionally, especially in the teen years, is far more than 95% of the rest of the population is doing now.  I just need to understand the role nudity plays in everyday life and be sensitive to how God would like me to pursue it.  If people would have the boldness to raise their children with simple household nudity they would realize a much greater ability to make the jump to nudism.  With just household nudity, and the rare visit to a public nude site, my children will fare better than most kids with regard to shame and their perception of the human body, and ultimately their own purity in sexual matters.  And it all started in the home, not a nudist club or beach. Through the reconciliation of Christ in the believer's life a person has received the license to keep the doors open in the home, to allow nudity to flourish where it is the most practical and safe, in the refuge away from prying eyes and the world.  Either we can be Christian Nudists, or we can be naked Christians.  Naked Christianity starts in the home in those situations where it is most practical.  Because isn't the goal of nudism to ultimately reject shame by making the term nudist obsolete?

Article submitted by J

I hadn't really intended to add whole pages written by other people, but within the first week, this is already the second one (The first, being the excellent article from Paul M. Bowman on Pedophilia). 

The only thing I might differ on is the emphasis on just family, but my Daily Living article addresses that.  Nudist clubs are fine for what they are, but they are NOT and NEVER will be part part of most peoples daily life.  This article is right on, thanks to J for submitting it.

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