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The difficulties of married life have driven me to read many books about marriage. Naked and Unashamed is by far one of the best I have read on the subject. The book’s introduction sets forth the author’s intention to make this book different from other books on the subject by showing God’s positive design for sex, rather than its traditional religious prohibitions. In lyrical language, Toornstra speaks to the heart of what makes marriage unique among relationships—the depth of intimacy it is designed to achieve. Garden imagery weaves through the narrative, paralleling Eden and Gethsemane and showing how Christ’s naked sacrifice on the cross redeemed Adam and Eve’s naked disobedience, providing the only sure covering for their sin, his own blood.

Chapter seven is a refreshing exposition of the Song of Songs, what Toornstra calls “God’s benediction on sex.” In well-crafted prose, Toornstra then addresses the fallenness of culture’s view of sex and how gospel-redemption of our view of sexuality is the only way to be truly sexually fulfilled. “Only when sex is no longer an idol that enslaves can it be enjoyed as a means of pleasure and intimacy” (141).

The culmination of the book is found in chapters eight and nine, where Toornstra beautifully explains how marriage and sex are meant to be reflections of our relationship with God. “God loves us the way that groom loves his precious bride. When God sees us, He doesn’t see us full of wrinkles or blemishes or imperfections. He loves us as His bride, dressed in white, pure, and perfect. You are the object of His affection. He loves you. He loves you. He loves you” (147).  “You need to know this love in your marriage. Because no matter how good or bad your marriage is, it can’t satisfy you the way that God’s love can satisfy you” (148). I highly recommend this profound and powerful book.

Naked and Unashamed: Exploring the Way the Good News of Jesus Transforms Intimacy

This book was an Advance Review Copies (ARCs) sent by the publisher — common practice in the industry. No payment was accepted in exchange for a review or mention, and the reviewer was in no way obligated to review the book favorably.