Some of us feel ugly as men and we crave to be beautiful as women. Some of us despise our bodies and long to get rid of our male bodies and have female bodies. We want intimacy and love, good things, but we try to find them through crossdressing instead of in God. We want to be valued, affirmed, and seen as precious and beautiful, but instead of seeing that we are these things already in God’s sight, we try to change our bodies or our identity in the way we see fit in order to be beautiful in the way we want. We must be true to ourselves, to who God made us to be. We cannot fashion ourselves in our own desired image. We are made in the image of God. He created us. We must find contentment and joy in who he created us to be. As much as our culture touts “being true to ourselves,” pursuing crossdressing or transgenderism is the opposite of being true to ourselves. It’s being what we want to be, instead of what we are.
You are not alone if you struggle with such feelings. I have struggled as well. When I struggle, I try to remember this psalm and let God remind me that I am beautiful in his sight, that he is the one who created me as a man, who created me to be the type of person that I am. He delights in me, so I must learn to accept myself and take joy in the fact that God created me in such an amazing way!
Listen to this intimate beautiful Psalm today. Let it sink into your soul. And then read my reflections below.
1 O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.
5 You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.
19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!
20 They speak of you with evil intent;
your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD,
and abhor those who rise up against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
Too many of us denigrate masculinity, and therefore despise the masculinity in ourselves. We deplore ourselves and our bodies. Instead we love women and love femininity, and we want these things so much that we are not content to be “with” women or “with” femininity, but we want to claim them and possess them as part of ourselves.
In 1 Corinthians 11, Paul says that woman is the glory of man. This means to me, that as a man, I was made to enjoy the beauty and the wonder of womanhood, of women, of femininity. It is a glorious thing. Women are breathtakingly beautiful in both looks and often in character. But for many of you, like me, we want more than that. We want to go beyond that. We want to seize and take that feminine beauty and glory for ourselves. It is a theft, it is robbery, it is envy. We don’t want to just partner or cleave with a woman and her femininity, we want it for ourselves. We want to become it, and encompass it, and control it. This is a total distortion of what God intended. It it taking what we were made to love and enjoy, and misusing it.
I don’t know why you and I developed these feelings. I don’t know why you and I not content with our bodies, or why we look at them sometimes with pity and disgust, or why we think they are much less beautiful and amazing compared to feminine bodies. But we have to believe and trust the words of Psalm 139. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. God is the one who crafted us together. We have to accept what and who we are, what we’ve been given. Our bodies, ourselves, our lives, it is all a gift from God. He is our creator. It is his job to create, and our job to accept that he created us as he saw fit. We did not choose what country we were born into, what parents we would have, whether we would be born with healthy bodies or not, whether we would be born into wealth or poverty, and whether we would be born as male or female. If we chose how we would be created, we might have made different choices than God. But the fact is that we are not the Creator, God is:
9 “Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker,
to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground.
Does the clay say to the potter,
‘What are you making?’
Does your work say,
‘He has no hands’?
10 Woe to him who says to his father,
‘What have you begotten?’
or to his mother,
‘What have you brought to birth?’
11 “This is what the LORD says—
the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker:
Concerning things to come,
do you question me about my children,
or give me orders about the work of my hands?
12 It is I who made the earth
and created mankind upon it.
My own hands stretched out the heavens;
I marshaled their starry hosts.
19 One of you will say to me: “Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?” 20 But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ ” 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?
We were all born into circumstances that we might not see as ideal, things we might not like, things that might not seem fitting. But we are not the Creator, God is. We have to accept the reality he has placed us in. We have to accept ourselves. Anything less is a rejection of God, our creator, despising what he has made. He is the potter, we are the clay.
But we need to also go a step beyond accepting a difficult reality. The better and next step is to realize that God is good and he has a good plan for our lives! The Potter knows more than us, the clay. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. We can trust that we are God’s precious and beautiful creations even when we don’t understand why God chose to make us a certain way. We might not fully understand, but we can trust that how God chose to create us is actually far better than what we would have chosen for ourselves. God’s mind and power and goodness are far beyond ours, and he knows what is best for us better than we do ourselves. Psalm 139 makes clear that he knows ourselves better than we do, he even knows what I am going to say before I say it! He has a good plan for my life.
Romans 8:28 –
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
“Father, thank you for making me in the way that you did. I have not always loved and appreciated how you have made me. For that I ask your forgiveness. Thank you for your patience and mercy in my life. Thank you for forgiving me for all the times I’ve complained to you and thought my way was better than yours, for thinking my plan was better than yours. You have made me to be a man, and so a man I shall be. I will continue to try to appreciate myself as a man, my body, and my role in marriage and life as a man. Give me understanding of who I am and how you have made me. Help me to be content and to accept myself. Give me confidence in myself. Forgive me for desiring womanhood that does not belong to me. I give up that envy and place it at the cross. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I thank you for giving me life and being my wonderful loving God. Your works are beautiful and amazing, including your work of creating me. No more will I denigrate myself, your creation, but I will appreciate and praise the good works of your hands, even me!”