**April 4th, 2015 – Quick Addition – I had forgot to mention that there is also a chapter of the book that explores such issues as androgyny, crossdressing, and transsexualism, especially among ancient cultures. The author of that section explores how in each of these cultures the androgynous or transsexual people had roles of being the ones to have contact with the pagan religious world in some way. He talks about how these cultures (and modern New Age religion), believe that everything is part of everything, so these cultures would celebrate those who could combine various things into one unified monad, like the person who could combine masculine/feminine. It was an interesting chapter especially in light of the many crossdressers today who speak of how their lives show the ideal of a perfect balance of masculine and feminine. I strongly disagree with such reasoning, and agree that it is a pagan idea contrary to the Bible’s teaching.
One of the most helpful books I’ve read on the topic of what it means to be a man or woman is the book – “Biblical Foundations for Manhood and Womanhood.” I want to recommend it to all of you. If you click on the link you can read it for free. It’s by Wayne Grudem as well as some other authors.
Over the last few years I’ve been changing on my view of sex/gender. I wrote about that change in this recent blog post – “Gender Sameness and Difference.” Because of the liberal schools I went to for both grade school and university, I was taught that men and women are mostly the same, and that we shouldn’t overemphasize the biological differences. In a way, that was true and helpful and it showed me how much unhelpful gender stereotypes have contributed to my problems with crossdressing as well as other people their problems with transgenderism. I realized that being sensitive or emotional or gentle or a lover of beauty did not make me less of a man. I realized that being someone who exhibits the fruits of the spirit does not make me feminine, but makes me the kind of man God wants me to be.
But what I’ve found through my healing from my crossdressing addiction, was that this understanding of gender is severely limited. Over the past few years, as I have recovered from crossdressing addiction, I have also been growing in my understanding of men and women, male and female, masculinity and femininity, and the biblical roles of men and women. My growth in that area has helped me to recover from crossdressing. And my recovery from crossdressing has helped me to grow in my view of gender and the discovery of male and female differences. They have grown in a reciprocal way I did not expect, and did not fully realize until now.
I have grown in my appreciation of the differences between men and women, emotional, physical, and in our different roles. God made two sexes for a reason, and I am finding great beauty and complementarity in the differences. Men and women are suited to be together. If God wanted to, he could have made only men, but he didn’t. Clearly he wants a man and a woman to be together, not two men, not two women. As I have understood this, and understood my role as a man and my role as the biblical head in my marriage, I have been able to be much more successful against crossdressing temptations. I know who I am as a man, and can be content in living out that identity, instead of trying to be something I am not.
I think back to my times of crossdressing and much of it was about wanting to be submissive and wanting to flee from my role as a man and husband. I know I am not alone in this. If you read crossdressing fiction, you will quickly see that many crossdress to escape the feeling of stress and responsibility, or to be able to feel demure, passive, and submissive. I think because of our broken sinful natures, men are tempted to distort their leadership role either through domination or through passivity. And women, because of their sinful natures, have a temptation to distort their supportive role through either being a doormat, or by trying to take the husband’s place of authority. For some of us, it sure is difficult trying to do what God has called us to do. But I am finding great freedom in my role as a leader and finding more peace in it. Instead of fleeing from responsibility, I’m focusing on being a good leader and a dedicated servant to my wife.
As an aside, I’ve also changed on my view of women in church leadership through these past years. This book clinched it for me. I now think that in the church, as well as in marriage, men should be the ones in authority. I think this is faithful to Scripture even though at times it can bother people or even me that women are not allowed to be in those leadership roles. But I think there is godliness in leadership and godliness in submission (Jesus was submissive to the Father and that wasn’t a bad thing!), and God has called us to those different things. In striving to fulfill the role that God has laid out for us, both for us men, and for women, we learn holiness and learn to do what God wants us to do, rather than what we might be comfortable with.