Genesis 2:15-25 Feeling No Shame

My grandmother, the formidable Myrtle May, could point out a hussy when she saw one.  The hussy would be described as brazen or shameless.  The last descriptor sounded rather attractive to me.  My grandmother used it to describe a woman who had no sense of wrongdoing, I thought of it as ‘being without shame’ or being in a condition where the self-defeating emotion was absent.  There is a sense in which the condition of Man and Woman before the fall has both aspects.  The individuals are free from understanding that their actions may be right or wrong.  They do not know what sin is and they do not experience the burden of self-loathing which comes with a knowledge of right and wrong after lines have been crossed.

Imagine a marriage lived without shame.  Imagine the joy.  Rather than fear rejection because of shame, we could be bold in walking naked together.  I do not mean that in an entirely physical sense, but also in the emotional.  A bond becomes deeper when a person feels the confidence to reveal their heart.  The environment is safe and the  God of Creation protects his children.  In the Garden of God mankind could walk fully exposed to each other and to their maker.  There was no fear in their love because fear has to do with punishment (1 John 4:18).  When we look back past Genesis 3 we see a world of vulnerability.  We should imagine open conversations and mutually fulfilling conversations.  When we imagine two, young, naked lovers walking shameless through a green arboretum and by rivers bordered with flowering plants we need to ask ourselves a question:  How do we return to The Garden?  How do we find the strength to walk without hiding ourselves?

Genesis 2:15-25

15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 19 Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made[h] into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,

“This at last is bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
    because she was taken out of Man.”

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

michael bauzon | Genesis 2:23-25 | ArtWanted.com

Prayer

May we find the strength to be vulnerable.  Can you lead us along a path to a Garden free from shame?  Give us the strength to be honest, transparent and true.  May we return to innocence.

Questions

  1. How does the last verse describe the man and woman?
  2. How does this set up chapter 3?
  3. What ideals regarding relationship does the passage communicate?
  4. To whom do you reveal yourself and why?
  5. How do we find a path back to a world free from shame?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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16 Responses to Genesis 2:15-25 Feeling No Shame

  1. Jung Kim says:

    1.How does the last verse describe the man and woman? They were shameless even if they were naked.
    2.How does this set up chapter 3? Before the Fall, we (Adam and Eve) were shameless.
    3.What ideals regarding relationship does the passage communicate? Being vulnerable and shameless. Being a fit for one another.
    4.To whom do you reveal yourself and why? I mostly reveal myself to close friends or family because I can just be who I am to them and they will still embrace me as who I am as well.
    5.How do we find a path back to a world free from shame? Jesus Christ!

  2. Maelynn says:

    1. They were naked and not ashamed.
    2. Well, they go into it innocent.
    3. A husband and wife need to be vulnerable.
    4. To my family and my close friends, because they know me best.
    5. We need to be in God’s word more. We need to fill up on his truth so that we see the reality of our state as it truly is.

  3. Michael McCardle says:

    How does the last verse describe the man and woman?
    they were naked and they had no shame
    How does this set up chapter 3?
    This provides a contrast between life before and after the fall of man and sin entering the world
    What ideals regarding relationship does the passage communicate?
    That shame should be nonexistent in healthy relationships
    To whom do you reveal yourself and why?
    My parents, pastor David, Coach Shap, grandparents and other family members. I reveal myself to them because I absolutely trust them and love them.
    How do we find a path back to a world free from shame?
    By encouraging others and building up. When we constantly compare and judge, we bring shame upon others because they feel like they are not good enough.

  4. 1. They were BOTH naked AND unashamed.
    2. Before we fell into separation with God. We were unashamed.
    3. It communicates that a relationship that is perfect in God’s eyes is one that both partners can be both naked and unashamed. And suggests that these two people (Adam and Eve) were literally made for one another.
    4. I reveal myself to my spouse mostly, and to family. Family has always accepted me even when things for ugly. And my husband has vowed to love me always, so even if he may not feel it emotionally at times-he has made a commitment that he honors and that is one of the reasons why I feel safe being “naked”.
    5. “The way the truth and the life” through the narrow path, who is Jesus.

  5. Andrew Moore says:

    1. They were naked but not ashamed.
    2. This sets up chapter 3 where men and woman experience shame for the first time.
    3. To avoid shaming each other in relationships and being able to be vulnerable.
    4. My parents, siblings and close friends.
    5. I’m not sure we can ever work towards a life where we are completely free from shame, but our walk with Christ is where our shame can be removed and our lives can be turned towards him.

  6. Christina W. says:

    1. Both naked and unashamed
    2. It shows the contrast. Before the fall, they were unashamed and after the fall, they felt shame.
    3. The need for vulnerability and the concept of being in relationship without shame.
    4. To my family and close friends because I trust and love them and know that they love me in return.
    5. We find that path through Jesus Christ and through the word of God.

  7. Maria T. says:

    1. How does the last verse describe the man and woman? Naked and unashamed.
    2. How does this set up chapter 3? It presents us with the gorgeous picture that is tainted in chapter 3. The contrast is quite evident.
    3. What ideals regarding relationship does the passage communicate? The ability to be completely open and vulnerable without having to hide anything.
    4. To whom do you reveal yourself and why? I reveal myself to people to build relationships. I reveal myself to my close family and friends in order to deepen relationships, and I reveal myself to people I don’t know very well to form relationships. The content is very different because there is a different purpose in sharing.
    5. How do we find a path back to a world free from shame? Through the love of God in Jesus Christ.

  8. 1. They were both naked and unashamed.
    2. This builds up the perfection of a world without sin before contrasting it with the ugliness of the fall.
    3. Relationships should have no shame. There should be openness and vulnerability without worry.
    4. I reveal myself to my family and very close friends. I know I can trust them with myself and they have trusted themselves to me.
    5. We will never have this perfectly on this earth till Jesus comes, but we can get a glimpse of the beauty lost through Jesus Christ and His perfect love which drives out fear. This applies both to our relationship with Him and with our relationships with others.

  9. Christa says:

    1. How does the last verse describe the man and woman? They were naked and unashamed
    2. How does this set up chapter 3? In the following chapter once they sin they feel shame, so this verse contrasts that
    3. What ideals regarding relationship does the passage communicate? It communicates a sense of freedom in relationship with joy and no fear of judgment or disappointment
    4. To whom do you reveal yourself and why? I reveal myself in my emotions and thoughts to my friends
    5. How do we find a path back to a world free from shame? We must return to the example that the Lord gave for us for marriage and life together

  10. Megumi says:

    1. Naked & unashamed
    2. In chapter three, this vulnerability and shamelessness is shattered.
    3. Ideally relationships should be a safe place for vulnerability
    4. I reveal the most about myself to my family, because they are safe and loyal and unconditionally loving.
    5. Jesus provides the path back to a world free from shame, because he first restores our relationship with our maker, and then gives the Spirit to enable us to follow more original examples for marriage and communal life.

  11. Man is described as being naked and unashamed. In chapter three, the shamelessness is broken and man feels shame and is aware of his nakedness. This passage communicates relationships should be a place of vulnerability and openness. I reveal myself most to Dom and close friends. To find a world again full of shamelessness and vulnerability, we must keep Jesus at the center of all our relationships.

  12. Emmy R says:

    1. Man is described as naked and unashamed.
    2. In the following chapter, they feel the complete opposite as they are now ashamed at their nakedness. The contrast is clear.
    3. It shows that prior to sin, there was no shame in relationships and that openness and vulnerability were admired.
    4. I reveal myself to those I trust, in order to process and understand things better.
    5. We must return to the Lord, and practice it in our Christian communities.

  13. 1. The verse describes them as naked and unashamed.
    2. In chapter three there is a clear distinction between how they felt before they sinned and how they felt after they sinned (ashamed).
    3. The passage communicated that in relationships there was no judgement or shame, and that people were vulnerable with each other.
    4. I reveal myself to people that I trust, mostly friends and family.
    5. We deny our desires to run and hide from people when they see us for who we truly are. We submit to God and allow Him to teach us and mold us.

  14. Nate Silvieus says:

    1. Naked and shameless.
    2. They were innocent and shameless, only soon to become the exact opposites.
    3. Complete vulnerability with your partner
    4. I honestly don’t think there is anyone I have completely revealed myself to. However, I ultimately acknowledge God and speak to him on all of my issues, good and bad, as he knows them already, but this practice is much more infrequent as it needs to be.
    5. Displaying the love of Christ, but this will ultimately never happen until the Lord returns and makes all things New.

  15. Molly says:

    What I find so interesting with these verse is that we generally read over these verses without giving deep thought as to how profound these verses are. Walking without shame? Impossible. Yet we can find that sort of intimacy with Jesus. He himself bore our shame as he was mocked, stripped naked and hung on a tree. He knows what that feels like because He took it upon himself. May be never forget what true intimacy with the God head is like.

  16. Olyn says:

    This made me think about how often we hide ourselves from people because we are so afraid of how they would react if they saw the true us. Even when they express their commitment and love, the thought sneaks up that they only love the image of ourselves that we project. However, the consolation is that Christ loves us unconditionally as we are, and He knows us better than we know ourselves. This enables us to love others despite their shortcomings and for them to do the same for us.

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