Tuesday, December 23, 2014

"Is it OK to be naked in front of your kids?"

Parents and kids naked

I saw this question on CNN. There is an incessant debate whether it is ok for kids to see their parents naked. While parents who walk naked in front of their kids do that as a show of self-acceptance and a show of their rights to be naked, others see it as scarring the kids for life and inappropriate. I will use psychology, the Bible and logic to make my case. In this paper, I will define nudity, the nature thereof, trace its origins, and show the morality and the immorality, while exposing the logical, psychological and biblical consequences.  
            The word nakedness or naked is used in three different ways in the Bible. Literally it means shameful exposure of the genitals (Lev 20:11. Gen 9:22-23; I Sam 20:30; Lev 18:8, 16). Figuratively, it means indecency (Hosea 2:11; Job 1:21;Rev. 3: 17; 16:15; Deuteronomy 28:48) or to be exposed and undefended (Job 22:6; 24: 7; Is 47:1-15;2 Cor 5:1-5). When it is used as exposed or undefended, it means the individual was wearing merely a tunic (Jn 21:7). It is important to note that nakedness or nudity starts and ends with genitals. Although I have written another article about this, I will make some necessary appendixes here.
            For some reason, many men have included the breasts of a woman as part of nudity; however, looking at history and biblical exposition, the breasts were not part of nudity or nakedness. In prescribing how Aaron’s linen breeches were to be made, God gave Moses the exact prescription to avoid exposing his nakedness. They were to stretch from the loins (hips) to the thighs (Ex 28:42; Is 20:2-4). I am sure that the hips do not go above the belly, or do they? In quasi nakedness, the individual wore only a tunic that measured still from the loins to the thighs. In Exodus 20:26, God ordered Aaron: the high priest not to build an Altar whose ascension is through the stairs for fear he exposes his nakedness. One does not need to climb up the stairs for people to see that they are naked if they did not have a shirt and the breasts were part of nakedness. In Isaiah 47:2-3, the same notion of nudity starting with the loins and ending with the thighs is repeated.
To show that nakedness starts and ends with the genitals, the primitive people who walked without clothes covered the genitals once they reached the age of majority. That is because God had set eternity in the hearts of all people (Eccl 3:11). Now that we have proven that nakedness has to do only with the genitals, we will proceed to the question proper. Is it ok for parents to show their genitals to their children?

God created Adam and Eve naked and they were unaware (Gen 2:25). In a succinct parallelism, Job says, “Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD (Job 1:21).” He juxtaposes the literal womb and the figurative womb side by side to emphasize the nihilism of man’s quest for materialism. Just as he came empty from his mother’s womb, so will he return into the womb of mother earth without taking anything along with him.
Psychologically, the child becomes more exposed and precocious in seeing their parents naked (genitals). I am sure that some kids might have erections or hotness in them because even psychology teaches that kids above 5 years old fantasize in love matters. We can flashback at “Oedipus the King” and “The Gods are not to Blame”. In each of those books, there is a great show of Oedipus and Electra complexes that reach their paroxysm with the deaths of their parents. That is because as the kids see their parents naked, they also get sexually aroused at a stage called the oedipal stage. At 3 years old already, Lawrence Kohlberg believes that the "premoral period" has begun. If the child could be offended or be happy for what is done to them, then they can as well feel towards the opposite sex , whether stranger or relative; otherwise, why would they be able to experience the stranger and separation anxieties?  Child as young as three could build on their attachment and establish a stronger social bond. Nowadays, children as young as three talk about having boyfriends and girlfriends, talk less of a 14 year old.
One time a 14 year old came to me to counsel her. She told me that she had a crush on her 32 year old uncle, and she was unable to shake it off. She feels like she must “fck him to feel good. Is that a bad feeling?” I asked her if she had spoken to her counselor. She told me that she does not trust any of those people working in those offices. I tried to paint the damage she will do to the guy, if they were caught. She said that they always walk naked in their home, and their uncle lived with them too. I think that the feeling was buttressed by seeing him walk around the house naked too like everyone else.
By walking naked, we entice others for sex. Coca cola puts out a commercial to entice people to drink coke. It is difficult to see a beautiful naked person without sex coming to your mind. If you have sex in your mind with them, you have already sinned (Mt 5:28). It is your right to do certain things, but you should take guard that your liberty does not become a stumbling block unto others (I Cor 8:9). It was seeing Bathsheba’s naked body (2 Sam 11:2) as she bathed that made David to sin. 
The nakedness of some people will scare their kids instead of entice them because their nakedness is ugly. We cover the least honorable part which is our genitals (I Cor 12:23). That is why the Israelites had to show their true fasting by covering those who walked naked in public (Is 58:7). Here the nakedness refers to rags. It simply meant giving clothes to those who did not have.
Nakedness per se is not entirely prohibited, but it was not good in public (Micah 1:8). It is problematic when you expose it to a second or third person who has no business seeing it.
When Adam and Eve sinned and their innocence disappeared, they realized that they were naked, so God made animal skin to cover their nakedness. Initially, Adam and eve made a covering of fig leaves to cover their nakedness. It was a prototype of humanity’s shallowness in trying to cover self. We should even be happy staying naked because clothes came in as a badge of our sins. Hellas, we cannot be because God did not want us exposed. He then made a better covering with animal skin which surpassed clothing from fig leaves. It also foreshadowed blood as the prerequisite for the remission of sins.
Noah got drunk and was naked in his own house (Gen 9:20-29). We learn two things from this passage. Children were not permitted to see the nakedness of their parents. Nakedness doesn’t just come without issues. The son who did not cover the father’s nakedness was cursed because it was and it is wrong to see your father’s nakedness. It should be noted that before the law was given, the law that existed was the law of conscience. That is why the other kids knew that it was wrong to behold their father’s nakedness. It was the very law of conscience that made Adam and Eve to sew fig leaves to cover their nakedness in public (Gen 3:7). God then put a civil law prohibiting sex and physical nudity amongst relatives (Lev 18:6-23).
When the law came into existence, God stated it out clearly. The nakedness here is twofold: sex and physical nakedness. People were prohibited to have sex with their parents or siblings, but they were also prohibited from seeing them as the laws that came merely amplified that which was written in their hearts, deep in their consciences. This implies there is evil in a child seeing the nakedness of their parents. What about when they are kids or when a parent is sick and unable to take care of himself/herself. At this moment, Acts 17:30 is activated. It becomes the time of ignorance when God winks at the failures of the individual. That particular time see as if they see through a dark glass. When a parent is sick, the child becomes like the caregiver. The permission to take care of the sick is activated and the indemnity paid for.
The bible shows instances where people walked naked in public. Those were not normal people. Either they were possessed with demons (Lk 8:27), or they were under attack where their clothes have been torn apart (Mk. 14:51-52; Acts 19”13-16).  Unlike before, there was no pride in walking or exposing one’s nakedness, but today people even pay to see it. Those who exposed their nakedness were harlots (Is 57:8; Ezek 23:18), and they still are today. When God asked a prophet to walk naked, it was for demonstrative purposes only (Is 20:2-4). 
Therefore, it is not a good thing for a parent to walk naked in front of their child who is able to differentiate good from bad and can experience hurt feelings. They can do that if the child is still very young. It could traumatize the child or excite them sexually. 

Until then, It is not a wise idea for adolescent or teenagers to see the nakedness of their parents.

St Arrey of Ntenako. 

“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." (I Cor 15:19). "It is not how well you know a person; it is how well you treat them that they will live longer and happier with you." Hamilton Ayuk. Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

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