In the Garden.
For our Sunday School class on Beauty, Modesty, and the Wardrobe, we began by laying a Biblical foundation on the topic of clothing. Namely, I wanted to address the question: What is the purpose of clothing in the first place? A strange question, but why wear clothes?
We began in the Garden of Eden, where Adam and Eve were naked and not ashamed. It is difficult for us as adults to think and understand this concept purely, because our minds have lost its original innocence. Instead of having paintings of naked people from the Renaissance and others such reproductions, I propose the best people to teach us about this "naked and not ashamed" business are little children.
Warning: digression ahead.
Recently, whenever we are about to give Emeth his bath, he enjoys running away from us as soon as we take off his clothes. We hear giggles and the thumping of feet as we watch a little naked boy running through the apartment, flinging his arms in the air. His happiness is very evident. The same ritual takes place afterward when we try to put on his clothes.
He is still in the Garden, Hans and I would tell each other, naked and not ashamed.
There are two things further to say:
1. God created, and he saw that the earth and all that was in it as good, good, and very good.
We are God's creation--both body and soul. God created us in his image. Every human being has dignity because we reflect the image of God. It is fitting, therefore, to see our physical bodies as beautiful.
2. Marriage and their relationship to God provides this safe haven.
The mention of their nakedness directly follows the passage on the first marriage (Genesis 2:25). I like to tell the girls, Adam's first words to Eve was a love poem. In this perfect state, their relationship was one of innocence, trust, and openness. Together, they were completely dependent on the Lord, trusting in Him to determine what is right and what is wrong.
Here are the links to the series:
Part 2: Shame
Part 3: Sackcloth
Part 4: Bridal garment
Part 5: Christ
Applications: Take Two
Hunger: Modesty is not just about clothes