One of my favorite artists was Michael Jackson. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t obsessed like my sister who actually had a glove, the red leather jacket, and literally practiced moonwalking across our bedroom floor day and night; but I did love many of his songs. One of my favorites is Man in the Mirror. Go ahead, take a moment and break out in song:
I’m starting with the [wo]man in the mirror
I’m asking [her] him to change [her] his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
(If you wanna make the world a better place)
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change
I was listening to this song the other day, and as I was grooving in my car like no one was watching, I was suddenly struck with the thought that if I want greater intimacy with my spouse and with God, then intimacy has to begin with me. Intimacy is defined as “a close, familiar, affectionate and loving personal relationship with another person based on a deep knowledge and understanding of one that person.” And in typical Davenia fashion, I was led down the rabbit hole of self-reflection: How can I expect intimacy in my marriage if I’m not willing to be vulnerable and transparent? How can I expect deep and meaningful intimacy in my marriage if I’m not truly listening and observing and seeking to know and understand Derrick? How can my spouse ever know the true me if I don’t know, like, or value myself? If I don’t have an intimate relationship with Christ, who knows me, loves me, and never changes; then why am I not close to Him? Could it be that I don’t know, love, or understand God as I ought? Could it be that He’s been longing for an intimate relationship with me, but I’ve been distant, busy, and afraid?
A breakthrough. An acknowledgment of the fact that maybe, just maybe, the intimacy I crave and long for is missing as a result of me. And just before I went down the ‘woe is me’ path, I asked myself another important question, and that was “Why?”
I’ll tell you why. Because we’ve bought into the lies that society tells us. “Tuck it in, cover it up, and act like a lady, because good girls don’t do that… Sin keeps us distracted. With work, children, and health concerns, who has time to think about intimacy... Can you imagine standing in front of a full-length mirror, naked as the day you were born, and feeling no shame? Can you imagine looking at the reflection in the mirror and thinking, I love the curve of my hips, the swell of my breasts, and the pout of my lips… And then we’re bombarded with distortions of the truth—desire and passion are wrong; desiring our husbands is a curse. With all the misinformation out there, we can’t help but feel discouraged—believing we aren’t beautiful, we aren’t desirable, we aren’t worthy of love, passion, and pleasure.” (Naked and Unashamed, pg. 2)
We’ve bought into the lies that society tells us. We’re told “that Christian women can’t be sensual or sexy. Good girls wear skirts to their ankles and their hair in a bun and that the only thing our breasts are good for is feeding babies.” (Naked and Unashamed, pg. 176)
We’ve bought into the lies that society tells us. And so we repress our feelings. We “get lost in all the trappings or hide behind masks.” We tend to be fearful of being “true to ourselves —the hurt self, the happy self, the lost and confused self, the loving self, the self God designed us to be.” (Naked and Unashamed, pg. 210).
It’s time we let the lies go and embrace God’s plans and purposes for our lives. It’s time to let the lies go:
What I’m learning ladies is that “the makeup fades, the masks crack, and eventually, all you’ll have left is you, so you might as well embrace and love yourself now!” (Naked and Unashamed, pg. 210) We no longer have to hide behind masks or the lies. My prayer for each of you is the prayer found in Psalm 31:1 ‘In You, O Lord, we have taken refuge; Let us never be ashamed’. It is only through Christ that each of us can live a life naked and unashamed. So I challenge you ladies, let’s live naked! Let’s live our lives naked and without shame.” (Naked and Unashamed, pg. 218) Let’s experience the intimacy we deserve!
From my heart to yours,