The Holy Cave of Nakedness*, The Marital Holy of Holies and the King’s Chamber
Somewhere in my past I heard a speaker say the first thing a young couple needs when they get married is a lock on the bedroom door. The master suite of the couple is sacred ground. It is where they are naked and not ashamed. They may or may not sleep naked, but they are naked when they bathe and naked at periods when they dress and undress and they are naked when they make love. This nakedness is private, special and to be protected. It is a picture of The Garden of Eden, of the Holy of Holies in the Temple of ancient Israel and of the King’s Chamber.
The Holy Cave of Nakedness
You remember Moses wrote when Adam and Eve were in the garden before they sinned against God, they were “naked and not ashamed.” As soon as they disobeyed God they realized they were naked and immediately covered themselves up with fig leaves. They also hid from God. We spend most of our lives clothed to cover our shame. Inappropriate nakedness reminds us of our frailty before a holy God and how sin separates us from each other.
But in the midst of our sin there are flashes of the grace of God. We don’t deserve it, but He shines His mercy on us every day. They are literally renewed every morning.** Once again, this day, God gives us more than we could ask or think or notice or list. We are sustained by His grace moment by moment, even if we are unaware.
One of those graces is the momentary glances at each other in our private Holy Cave of Nakedness when there is no shame. Or when the two of us are naked and entering and exiting the ceremony of sacred, sacrificial love. During those moments the shame leaves ever so briefly, but enough to give us a glimpse of intimacy and connection and what it’s like to be without sin…a little trip to heaven.
It is fleeting, of course, as is should be this side of the Garden and before Heaven’s Gate. And when those holy times pass, the shame returns reminding us that we have feet of clay and souls of darkness and we have a need for someone bigger than us to take away the shadows for good.
The Marital Holy of Holies
But our marital bedroom is not only the Cave of Nakedness, it’s the Marital Holy of Holies and as such needs to be protected. In ancient Israel no one went into the Holy of Holies except the High Priest and that only once a year to perform the sacrifice on the Day of Atonement. Anyone else in the Holy of Holies was put to DEATH!*** YIKES!
That’s your marital bedroom. Sacred. Private.
We’re NOT going to let kids determine if we should be sexual or naked or not. WE decide this in OUR timing. No. Your children may NOT barge in on us unannounced and can only come in with a spirit of humility.
The King’s Chamber
Just like subjects cannot enter the king’s chamber unless they are formally introduced to the king and queen, your children don’t come into the King’s Chamber unless they are formally invited.
They have to KNOCK. Then dad says, “What do you want?” And after the child answers dad says, “I’ll be with you in a moment,” or whatever, but if the door needs to be opened (NOTE: not all requests are granted!) dad opens the door, not the child. The child ONLY comes into the room if he’s FORMALLY invited. They ask their question and leave. They don’t hang out there. This is mom and dad’s private space. Having this holy boundary will quiet your child’s spirit, knowing that mom and dad are on a different level than the child. Every child needs this security.
They are not sleeping our bed.
The Boundary Between the Parents and The Children is Sacred
My wife and I heeded this advice and as our children grew up we taught them this principle. My mom and dad did this in my home as a child.
I rarely hear my clients doing it. Their boundaries are too fuzzy and their children a little too demanding.
Boundaries teach respect.
Boundaries teach protection.
Boundaries teach honor.
In most of our families children take priority and, in some cases, run the families! The Cave of Nakedness, the Holy of Holies and the King’s Chamber remind children and mom and dad that dad and mom are the King and Queen.
If your marital bedroom is the family playground, you need to give you and your husband or wife a promotion!
In fact, if you don’t have a lock on your bedroom door, you need to get off the Internet right now and go to Ace Hardware and get moving on this deal.
*My thanks to Cheryl Mendelson for her concept of the Cave of Nakedness in her wonderful and recommend book, Home Comforts.
** Lamentations 3:22-23
Dr. Bing Wall is a therapist specializing in marriage and relationships and issues facing single adults with a practice in Ames and Urbandale, Iowa. To set up a time to see Dr. Wall click here or call 888-233-8473. For more information about Dr. Wall click here.