This chapter in the book was entitled: Naked and Not Ashamed. Genesis 2:24-25 states, “A man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” In this chapter, Piper delves into the meaning of this often-overlooked verse, verse 25.
Piper discusses two reasons that the man and woman may have been unashamed in their nakedness. The first is that their bodies were completely perfect. While this may have been true for Adam and Eve, it certainly is not for us. The reason, however, is because of the covenant love which we discussed in Chapter 1. Because of the love that I know my husband has for me, I can be unashamed. Although I am not perfect, I have no fear that I would be anything less than perfect in the eyes of my husband. Is it this way because my husband is the perfect husband? No. It is because he is gracious, forgiving, and he loves me with the love with which Christ loves his church, covenant-love. This love, covenant-love, covers all flaws which exist in us individually, and in our relationship. “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8.
We all know that the tree from which Eve eats the fruit and gives the fruit to Adam is called the “Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.” Well, it turned out that the knowledge which Eve and Adam gained from eating from this tree was the knowledge of their nakedness and, in turn, shame. Their covenant collapsed when Adam listened to his wife’s voice and she led him into sin. Suddenly, they both became aware of their own flaws. They began to feel shame for two reasons: They could no longer trust the other person (because of the collapse of their covenant) to see them as perfect and, they saw within themselves guilt.
The greatest point I think Piper makes in this chapter, though, is the idea that, in the garden, came the origin of hypocrisy when Adam and Eve attempted, in their shame, to clothe themselves. They were attempting to hid their sin and rebellion from God. When Adam and Eve saw that they were naked, they attempted to conceal themselves with loincloths made of leaves but, God made better clothes for them with animal skins. Some may say God was assisting them in covering their sin but Piper states, “This was not only a witness to the glory we lost and a confession that we are not what we should be, but it is also a testimony that God himself would one day make us what we should be.” None of us are capable of anything without God. We need Him. It is repeatedly evident in my life that, when I attempt things in my power, I fail miserably, until I invite God in to do it much better.
Although Adam and Eve, in the garden, took something so perfect and pure as their marriage covenant and ruined it, God knew that they would. However, when He clothes them better than they themselves could, He exercises mercy upon them and their marriage.
Thus, our marriages don’t have to be perfect. We will mess up. I will fail Michael and he will fail me. I will lead him to sin and he me. But, because of God’s great mercy and the picture of mercy that we have in the Cross, it can be redeemed. If we remain faithful to each other and faithful to Him, He will continue to display that covenant which exists between He and His church.