I’ve said before that although we can resist crossdressing, it is likely that our desires will never “fully” go away. See my post on that – here. But in this post I’d like to challenge myself and the rest of us who are Christians trying to give up crossdressing. I still believe that we will always experience temptation to sin for the rest of our lives, or at least until Jesus comes back to this earth to make us new (I sure wouldn’t mind if he came back in my lifetime). And I believe that crossdressing is such a major addiction that for most of us we probably will have little twinges of thought and feeling and maybe even temptation about crossdressing off and on for the rest of our lives.
But in this post I’d like to argue that, as we grow in faith, as we mature in holiness, as God teaches us to live righteous lives, as we become closer to Jesus, as we live more like Jesus from day to day and year to year, and as the Holy Spirit brings us further in the process of sanctification, our temptations should lessen, or at least change in content.
Let me try to explain. Someone who does not know Jesus at all, and let’s say who has had a very bad upbringing, or has lived a hard life and been faced with difficult decisions, they may be tempted to even do such things as murder or stealing from someone’s house. But for most of us, those are temptations we never face. Those thoughts never go through our heads as possibilities. But we may experience temptations to other things instead like hating our neighbor in our heart, or coveting their possessions. Or as another example, a non-Christian might be tempted to fornicate with many women or even prostitutes. But hopefully, a Christian who has grown in their relationship with Jesus would never have temptations to those things. They might never have those thoughts go through their minds at all. But they have other temptations. Instead they are tempted to commit adultery with another woman at church, or tempted to look at pornography.
My point is that as we grow in holiness and in our relationship with God, our heart changes. We stop wanting the things that God does not want. And we start wanting the things that God wants. Things that used to tempt us, things that we used to want, we no longer want. And so those temptations drift away. But they are replaced by something else. We will never attain perfection during this life. The Bible teaches us that clearly. But it also teaches that true Christians do grow in holiness over the lives. God does this in us. The Holy Spirit is the one who makes us more holy. The credit goes to him and not to us. Many Christians try to limit the power of sanctification in our lives, but that is only to limit God’s power. We can and do and must grow in our walk with God. But we never reach perfection, not until Jesus completes the process when he comes again.
So in the meantime, as God makes us more like him, our desires continually change. And that means the improper desires that we have continually change. This should give us hope and a challenge. If you are resisting crossdressing, that’s really good. But if you find yourself being continually pulled back to desiring it, than something is not right in your heart. There is still work that God needs to do in you.
I’m not saying that the temptation itself is sinful. NO. Only giving in to that temptation is sinful. But we need to recognize that if we are truly growing our relationship with God, and learning to desire what is truly good, we will start to desire less what is not truly good.
At first, when you give up crossdressing, your desires for it will remain the same, and you will just be choosing not to give in to those desires. But as you continue to resist the behavior, and spend your time growing in your relationship with God, more and more you will see why sin such as crossdressing is not good, and not what you really want. More and more your heart will be changed, and you not want crossdressing anymore. It will cease to be such a powerful temptation. I think for many people the temptations for crossdressing could disappear completely after a number of years.
But we must remain on our guard. Even if those temptations disappear others will crop up. And it’s not always that our temptations go from being tempted to serious sins to lesser sins. Look at the Pharisees. They eliminated many of the most basic sins. They followed God’s commandments near perfectly. But then they were tempted to pride, selfishness, self-glorification, judgmentalism, and legalism. And these were actually more serious sins than the sins they preached again. We must be on our guard.
This post explains well my experience in the last years. In the past I kept trying to give up crossdressing, and would be successful at times, but the desires for it kept remaining. Whether I was giving in to crossdressing or not, the desires for it remained constant. And because I was always battling with crossdressing I was not really growing in other areas of my spiritual life, not really growing in holiness or character. But when I really upped my seriousness about getting rid of crossdressing a little over a year ago, things were different. I abstained from the behavior long enough that my desires for it did change. They changed because I was finally able to have the spiritual energy to focus on other areas of my relationship with God and grow in my closeness with Jesus. They changed because I went for so long without crossdressing that I was able to look at it in a much more objective light and realize its destructiveness and realize I really didn’t want it. God changed my desires.
Now, I barely desire crossdressing at all anymore. Once in a while a thought about crossdressing desires pops into my head still. I don’t deny that. But the desires are 95% gone from what they used to be. And I’m hopeful that in a few years, if I keep up my vigilance, that I will never even desire crossdressing again. We shall see. (But even if the desires don’t disappear completely I still don’t plan on giving in). What is also interesting is that while I’ve grown in holiness, my temptations have changed. My own sinful nature is rearing up in other areas and the devil is attacking me in other areas. I’m not so tempted to crossdressing, but I’m finding myself having bigger struggles with laziness, not spending enough time with God, being stupidly prideful in myself, judging and criticizing others, and feeling less dependent on God. These are serious serious sins. Part of me wonders if those were things I always struggled with, and I am only noticing now, since I now don’t have to focus all the time on such basic aspects of discipleship, like not giving in to crossdressing. But perhaps as I’ve become closer to God, the sinful things I struggle with have changed, because I have changed.
Think about an criminal who comes to know Christ. At the beginning of their walk with God, they are going to pretty consumed with just abstaining from old behaviors like not doing drugs, or not stealing, or whatever they used to do. The beginning of their discipleship is going to be very basic, just trying to obey the law like normal people and not commit these obviously wrong behaviors. They won’t be thinking about other areas of discipleship at first, and that is fine. But a year later after they have resisted those old behaviors, they will start growing in other areas of discipleship, like studying the Bible, going to church, learning how to pray. In year 3, they might start to become more gentle and loving, and so grateful for God’s forgiveness and salvation that they want to tell others about it. In year 4, maybe they get involved in some ministries at church. And they will start working on other character flaws they hadn’t noticed before, such as not dealing with anger properly, or realizing that the root of their criminal actions were based in jealousy, or being low in self esteem from not knowing God’s love. It might not be until year 10 that they start realizing all the pride and idolatry that they’ve always had, but only now are dealing with. The sanctification and discipleship of a Christian is a long process. But notice that by year 10, the criminal’s biggest temptations could have become apathy, or judging other Christians who aren’t as thankful for God’s forgiveness, or pride, or legalism or something else. The temptations are no longer for the crimes he used to commit. The temptations have changed as he has changed. Or some temptations have drifted away, while other more serious ones that were always there, have remained.
For those of us who believe crossdressing is sinful, we have to think about it in this schema. So to summarize, I want to give you hope and a challenge through this way of thinking.
1. Hope. Don’t believe the lie that your crossdressing desires will never go away. (But also don’t believe any simple false promises either that all you have to do is pray and God will make all the temptations go away). But realize that as you grow in your relationship with God, as you resist crossdressing for longer and longer, you will change, and crossdressing will have less of a hold on you, and the temptations should get less and less. There is hope! As you grow in the Lord, you can experience less and less frustration with desiring crossdressing. Eventually it can seem foolish and stupid and something you don’t want to do at all! Keep on persevering!
2. Challenge. If you have been resisting crossdressing for a while and you don’t find the desires changing at all, and you are just totally frustrated, perhaps there is another more important change you need to make. Why aren’t your desires for crossdressing changing at all? Perhaps you aren’t growing in your relationship with God, allowing him to transform your heart. Perhaps you are still looking at crossdressing from a wrong perspective, seeing it as a good that you want, rather than as something that will wreck your life and not please God. If your desires for crossdressing haven’t changed at all, my guess would be is that you have not had much heart change yet. And that is quite important. Sure, you can keep resisting crossdressing even though you want it. But that is going to be tough. God wants more for you than that. He not only wants you to have self control and give up crossdressing. He also wants you to be in such great communion with Him, that you learn to desire what He desires. So get to know Jesus more. Grow in your relationship with him. Pray continually. Read his Word. Let the Holy Spirit work on your heart so that you can not only give up crossdressing, but give up the desires for it too!