April 2019, Phil told me he had an idea of what we could do for our 20th wedding anniversary. I was excited to hear his thoughts! He told me there was a Bed and Breakfast that was about 3 hours from our house that was part of a vineyard. I thought it was weird that he wanted to go to a Bed and Breakfast because we had talked before about them and how we didn’t really like the idea of them. He then told me that it was clothing optional.
I immediately said no, never! I was so angry.
I couldn’t believe that he was suggesting we go to this place! I told him to drop it, it wasn’t even an option. I would NEVER do that!! I thought that was the end of our discussion on social nudity of any kind. We ended up camping on private land for our anniversary and Phil spent basically the entire time nude. I did not! Then October 18th came. You can read that story here. When Phil told me he was a nudist and had an online group of Christian naturist friends, he gave me three options of what to do with that information.
- I could forbid him from being part of this group with which he had developed relationships.
- I could allow him to continue to participate in the group and not participate myself.
- I could join him.
I want to go through some of my thinking with you and then share with you why I chose what I did. (If you’ve been following our blog you know I chose #3.)
I knew I couldn’t choose Option 1 because he had said that the naturism mindset had helped free him from a 20 year porn addiction. How could I spit in the face of that and not allow him any part of this lifestyle? That would be cruel and insensitive on my part. I knew the struggle he had been dealing with, partly anyway, and I had prayed for his freedom from it. How could I be the one to judge if this was the answer God was providing, as wrong as it felt to me at the time?
I knew I couldn’t choose Option 2 because some amount of trust had been broken. He had been participating in this group without my knowledge for several months and I didn’t even really know what the group was! And last I knew before that day, he had a porn problem. I didn’t trust him enough to choose Option 2. There was no way in the world I was going to let him be involved in something like that where I couldn’t monitor what was going on and who he was seeing.
I kept telling him that I felt like I was between a rock and a hard place. I didn’t want to participate with him because I felt like it was wrong, but I didn’t feel like I could remain married to him and go with Option 1 or 2. For a couple days I considered leaving him. It felt like my world was crashing in on me. I just knew he was going to ruin our lives. Someone was going to find out and tell our pastor or our families and then the whole world would know and everyone would hate us. I didn’t want that for my kids and I didn’t want it for me!
However, during the first couple weeks of this journey, we spent hours and hours and hours reading together and praying together. I had never felt so close to Phil spiritually as I did during those two weeks. God continuously spoke to my heart and told me to trust Him and to trust Phil. This was so hard! Satan didn’t want that battle won. There was more than one occasion that I was in a spiritual battle. Satan wants to keep us trapped. He wants to keep us living in bondage to anything that allows us a closer relationship to the Lord. The way I thought about myself and my body was unknowingly keeping me from having a closer relationship with the Lord. The addiction that Phil had was keeping him from a closer relationship with the Lord. When we trap ourselves into a certain way of thinking without leaving room for the Holy Spirit to speak truth to our hearts, that is bondage. Even when that way of thinking has been drilled into you your whole life! We need to step back regularly and examine the things we have been told. We need to make sure the Scripture supports the narrative. I came across a quote that a friend posted recently that spoke to this.
“The hallmark of an authentic evangelicalism is not the uncritical repetition of old traditions, but the willingness to submit every tradition, however ancient, to fresh Biblical scrutiny and, if necessary, reform.” – John Stott, in a Christianity Today interview.
I chose Option 3 just a week into our studying and praying. Phil was telling me he’d been on a journey of discovery and that he had been studying Scripture and praying. Part of the reason I fell in love with Phil was because of his deep faith and devotion to the Lord. When I married him I was submitting to him as the head authority in our household under God. I don’t know how many times I said, “You wouldn’t knowingly lead us astray right?” Of course the answer was always no. There comes a point, even if I’m not 100% comfortable with the direction God is leading me in, that I have to surrender and hand over the reins to one who is more capable than I am at taking care of my family. I pray often for God’s protection over my family and his favor. I know that He will take care of us and if the time ever comes that we are outed and we have to give an explanation for why we believe what we believe, I know the Lord will take care of us then too.
Since putting my trust in the Lord and my husband, I can tell you the rewards have been great!
Phil’s victory over his addiction continues, I am free from my negative thoughts about myself and my body. Our marriage relationship is the best it’s ever been. We are honest with one another and our communication has drastically improved! He and the Lord have an amazing relationship too. I am constantly seeing the things God is teaching him and I love who he has become as the spiritual leader of our home! The Lord is leading me through my husband into a deeper and more intimate relationship with Him. Our children are seeing the differences in us as well and are digging deeper into their own relationship with God. God is on the move in our family and we are embracing the journey! I’m very thankful I listened to the Holy Spirit and followed my husband’s lead. God put us together for a reason.
Wives, if your husband is on his naturist journey and you are saying, “no, I will never do that!”, firstly, I get it! However, I encourage you to stop and take a step back. Don’t just say that because you’ve spent your whole life wearing clothes and people have always told you that naked was sinful. Take the time and dig deep into Scripture and see what the Bible actually has to say about it. Ask your husband for some reading material on the subject or just go find it yourself so he doesn’t know you’re researching and pressure you. HUSBANDS, DON’T PRESSURE YOUR WIFE WHILE SHE IS ON HER OWN JOURNEY! There is a lot of reading material on our resources page that you can check out. The reading that helped me the most was www.mychainsaregone.org
Please feel free to reach out to me via our contact page. That goes directly to my email. I would love to talk with you and help you however I can on your journey. I won’t pressure you either, but I will encourage you. Our support and respect for our husbands is so important to them! If your husband is a Christ follower and is striving to love you like Christ loves the church, he desires good things for you and it is very likely that the Lord has led him on this path. As the wife of a Godly man it is our job to respect our husband as the spiritual head of our home under God. God placed your husband there to be your protector and to help lead you. In my very humble opinion, the least we can do is a thorough investigation into naturism and Scripture with an open mind and heart. At a minimum, you have spent time reading God’s word and in prayer and that is always a win! Realize that God may want more for your life, and He may be using your husband to lead you there. Don’t disregard what God may be trying to do especially if you haven’t taken the time to do the in-depth studying. If you are starting your journey, please send me an email and let me know so I can be praying for you! May the Lord bless you as you prayerfully consider these things!