Instant Family

Have you ever met someone in person for the first time and felt an instant connection? I’ve only had that experience a few times in my life. Once as a 3rd grader at a new school, I met my best friend. We are still friends today. The others have been when I have met my fellow Christian naturists. If you have read our other blogs you know we went to Florida last year to a Christian naturist marriage retreat with some other couples we had been talking to online. When we showed up in Florida and were greeting each other, one of the ladies introduced herself and as she hugged us she said a phrase that has stuck with us, “Instant Family”. That phrase has become what we use to describe how it feels we have met others who are of like mind concerning the body.

It might feel this way because, well, they’ve now seen me nude. Although, most of my family hasn’t seen me that way and it doesn’t make them any less my family. And I have friends who don’t yet know about our naturism that I consider family, so I don’t think this is why.

I believe it is more about the spiritual connection. Many of these people we have chatted with online and have built up a friendship long before we have been able to give them hugs in person. We have had silly conversations and joked with one another. We have had deep spiritual conversations concerning many different topics. We have mourned with one another in times of loss and rejoiced in times of celebration. They know things about me that only a few outside of my naturist friends know. When we are given the opportunity to meet up in person it is something we look forward to with great anticipation!

There was a time maybe a year ago as we were really just starting our journey, that because of some internet glitches, we lost contact with some people (one in particular whose story is similar to mine and was helping me deal with the emotions and struggles I was having). I was devastated! I remember telling Phil through tears, I don’t know if I can do this without her to help me through it! She had literally become like a big sister to me! Thankfully, this glitch didn’t last long and we were able to get back in contact, but it did confirm in my heart that there was something special about the relationships we were building on this road.

This same friend was one that met up with us in Florida and after that experience she wrote some beautiful words about the experience. One of the things she said was this, “I am convinced that there is an intimacy that we are missing out on walking around in our clothes. It is an intimacy so deep that we don’t even miss it until you experience it. But it is there buried deep in our core waiting for us to come home…”

We have heard other friends say the same things. That this connection is very rare in the outside world especially so quickly. During these times we can be naked physically and spiritually and emotionally. During these times, I have never been more vulnerable. I’ve also never felt more safe. It’s here that I am accepted for who I am in so many ways. I am loved without having to prove my worth, because to my Christian naturist family, I am worthy just because I exist. God feels the same way about me and you. We don’t have to work hard to impress Him. We don’t have to say the right things, or look the “right” way, or go through the right motions to prove our worth, because in reality we never could anyway. God wants us as part of His family so much so that He offers us a lifeline through His Son. He loves us just as we are and desires a relationship with us that is so deep that we feel safe being vulnerable and naked in every way before Him. We should live in the confidence of His love for us!

Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven. Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Hebrews 4:13-16

Benefits of Naturism

This is a guest post from a naturist friend of ours, Gregory Cook – reposted with his permission. See the original post here.

Introduction

Why go nude? Why do you need to go nude? What’s the big deal? Why can’t you just be like everyone else? Questions like these are common, as a lot of people have never thought to consider it. In fact, clothes-compulsive people often lack a positive attitude concerning naturism because they *assume* wrong things about it. Some think it’s simply “weird!” Others think it’s harmful. Still others think you’re sinning and going to Hell if you don’t repent. Unfortunately, too many people have refused to move past their assumptions to actually learn what naturism is really all about, much less consider its benefits.

In my own search for truth, I was surprised to discover just how healthy social nudity is. That is, when you practice it correctly, and when you practice it with the right mindset. (I admit some don’t.) The truth is, the benefits are far too many to list here concisely, and so I have listed the ones common in naturism. Maybe you will agree too if you think it through.

When You Go Nude Socially…

  1. You eliminate class distinctions that we all automatically recognize through clothing. When someone is nude, you cannot tell whether they’re a doctor, nurse, policeman, in the military, a high paid executive, clergyman, or whatever. If they’re in a gang, there are no “gang colors” that say so (except maybe unless they have tattoos). Of course, that means you have to get into relationship with the person and get to know them better if you want to know more. That’s a good thing, right? We all want relationship.
  2. You experience more genuine and intimate relationships with others. When you go nude with others as a naturist does, you’re saying, “I am open and honest, and I trust you. Please accept me as I am flaws and all.” Consider the fact that even in clothes-compulsive society nudity is generally a time of intimacy, such as being born, bathing, having sex, or having a doctor examine you.
  3. You learn to separate nudity from sex, and thus you reduce your tendency to see others as “sex objects.” Naturists keep nudity and sex in their proper contexts.
  4. You learn to accept others based on their character, not their image or appearance. Your appearance is less of an issue among naturists. This includes the size or condition of your body as well as its various parts.
  5. You begin to focus more on the whole person and less on their various parts. You even start to see the body itself as a part of the whole person, and you accept each body regardless of its condition.
  6. You see the physical differences between the sexes easily, and realize that nature defines it. Instead of thinking that wearing a dress, something pink, or makeup makes you a female, you realize the real factors that define both the male and female. It becomes generally undeniable and better understood. In a naturist environment, children learn the differences quickly and easily without anyone having to tell them.
  7. You obtain greater awareness, acceptance and appreciation of your own maleness or femaleness, as well as that of others. Modern society is trying to blend and devalue the sexes but in my opinion, we should be celebrating them without degrading each other.
  8. You begin to see how incessant clothing actually contributes to porn and unhealthy fetishes. The moment you make something unavailable is the moment you create value. Rare things are more valuable than everyday things, so when the nude body becomes an everyday thing, it loses its lust value.
  9. You gain a healthier self-image and greater confidence. There’s no need to try to impress others with a certain appearance when others accept you just as you are.
  10. Your desire to improve or maintain your body becomes a matter of health and respect for your body, rather than an attempt to be or feel accepted.
  11. Your body functions as designed. Whether you believe in God or nature, our bodies function a certain way and do better under certain conditions. For instance, your skin is the largest organ of your body and when you cover it with clothes, it cannot “breathe” properly. It benefits from fresh air as well as moderate sunlight. Besides, you can plainly see what all of the other creatures on earth wear. Nothing! That is nature’s design.
  12. You begin to see just how comfortable, practical, and healthy going nude is. You start asking questions like… Do we really need bathing suits to go swimming? (Some rightly call them “costumes.”) After all, what purpose do they really serve? They don’t keep you dry, warm, or clean. In fact, tight fitting clothes are shown to harbor harmful bacteria. Do we really need pajamas to go to bed? Do they help or do they hurt? Studies show that sleeping nude is better for you. If you would simply go nude for a while, you would begin to ask your own questions.

These are just some of the reasons why social nudity is beneficial. All of the reasons boil down to one thing — health — a healthier mind, a healthier body, and a healthier soul/spirit. We all want to be healthier, and this is why naturists go nude.

The truth is, naturism started as a health movement, and for the most part it remains a health movement even though you may not hear many say it flatly. Each naturist has their list of reasons but whatever their reasons are it all inevitably boils down to health. The benefits are so great that many naturists adopt the philosophy, “clothed when practical and nude when possible.”

All scriptures NIV unless otherwise stated.

© 1997, 2020 Gregory Cook

Florida Thoughts from the Mrs.

Over a year ago, my husband stumbled upon a way to defeat Satan’s schemes by dealing his porn addiction a final blow! In October of last year, after he confessed to me the journey he was on, I started a journey into learning about the image of God in my own body. I’ve done a lot of study of scripture and reading books written on the subject and talking with people who have been on this journey longer than I have. It’s been a combination of very scary and so enlightening and liberating!

This summer my husband and I joined 5 other Christian couples at a villa in Florida. We were putting the things we have learned over the last several months to the test. We were about to find out if ethical naturism could really be a thing in our lives.

These couples all believe in our bodies as the image of God. We all believe in treating people with dignity and respect.

We all believe in monogamous marriage relationships. This is a group of married Christians who believe that non-sexual nudity can be experienced with others of like mind without it causing any of us to fall into sin. Last year I would have thought this was crazy! “NO WAY! That’s not possible! Oh my gosh, those sinners!!  I’m too insecure! Everyone will be thinner than me! I don’t look good naked! No way I’m gonna let my husband see other naked women who have better bodies than me!” I would have said, “I will never do that!” Actually, I think the phrase I used with my husband regarding going to a nude beach was, “NOT IN A MILLION YEARS!” Oh and we did that too and it was awesome! At the beach, I had my sunglasses on and the 2nd or 3rd wave knocked them off my head and the ocean took them!

It’s as if God was saying, “No, you won’t wear anything this time, enjoy it as I created you!”  

There was a lot of anxiety going into this week, even though I was excited to get away from the craziness of life for a bit. When we arrived at the villa after grocery shopping and putting everything away, it was time to cool off in the pool. I took a deep breath, took off my clothes, grabbed my towel and headed out to the pool where some of the others had gathered. It was weird at first because it was new. It didn’t take long though to embrace the feeling of the water on my bare skin without a tight bathing suit clinging to me. Actually, it was an amazing feeling!! After a while, I climbed into the hot tub with about 5 others and we began to talk.

I can honestly say the conversations we had have been some of the most open and honest and amazing conversations I’ve ever had in my life!

You know what I haven’t experienced? I haven’t experienced anyone acting inappropriately. I haven’t experienced anyone staring or gawking. Am I the skinny one here, no? Do I feel insecure about who I am and what I look like? Maybe a little bit if I stop and think about it too much, but as a general feeling, I am not even noticing it! I’m just enjoying the pool and laying out working on my tan free of tan lines. I’m cooking breakfast nude and eating it around the table with 11 other nude bodies. We are playing games and laughing and studying scripture and praying together and living out Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”

We are learning about the Lord from each other and having a great time in the process!

I learned this week that being naked with others of like mind, not only physically but emotionally, spiritually, and mentally is nothing short of amazing! Literally nothing to hide! I never felt like I had to stop myself from saying something I wanted to say because of how it might be perceived. We spoke our minds and our hearts. We let God speak through us and to us. We were relaxed in the skin we were in.

Never in my life have I felt so confident! Even fully clothed!