Helpful Bible Verses 15

In my struggle with crossdressing over my whole life, many Bible verses have been helpful to me.  I’ve studied them, memorized some of them, and often read them after failures.  In addition to the ones I’ve already written about, I’ll periodically mention and comment on some of them and how they relate to my crossdressing struggle.  For those of you who are still struggling, it would surely help you to write some of these down and read them daily, or in times of temptation, or after a failure when you need to be built back up by God’s Word.

 

Revelation 21:6-8

6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. 8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
This is another of many strong biblical passages that I’ve posted about before on this site.  On the surface it is such a powerful statement that we might ask, “but who then can be saved?”  We’ve all lied, we’ve all been cowardly, many of us if not most or all of us have sinned sexually.  Does this mean we won’t be saved?

I think we have to be careful to interpret passages like this correctly.  It is indeed a warning of a kind so we shouldn’t take it lightly.  But we should also not think that we are not saved just because we’ve sinned before.  Otherwise no one would be saved.  But that is the good news of the Gospel, that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).  That there is therefore no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).  That if we sin, we still are assured of forgiveness because we have a Savior and intercessor, our Lord Jesus Christ (Hebrews 7:25, 1 John 1:9).  It doesn’t matter whether we were a murderer of God’s people in the past, we can be forgiven in Christ like the apostle Paul.  And even when we sin now as believers, we are assured that Jesus’ blood still covers those sins as well (1 John 1:5-10).  When we accept Jesus as our Savior, he takes our punishment for our past, present, and future sins.

But the Bible is also very clear that true believers will exhibit transformation and change.  When we accept Jesus into our lives, when we truly do so, we can’t help but be changed by his presence in our lives.  We start living out the fruits of the Holy Spirit.  We become people of love and joy.  We become people who obey Jesus and God’s commands.  This passage in Revelation refers to people whose lives are characterized by such sins.  Liars who keep lying and are not repentant.  Those who are murdering even though claiming to be Christians.  Those who do not persevere in their walk with God when suffering comes and reject him because of their discomfort (they don’t “overcome”).  And those who are living sexually immoral lives even though claiming to be Christians.  There is a large difference between someone living a life of unrepentant continual sin, and a Christian who is struggling and trying to live for God, but still falling short.  The Christian will continually go back to God in confession and rejoicing in God’s grace.  This passage in Revelation gives us a sober truth about the judgment that is coming.  Only those in Christ, whose lives are no longer characterized by these sins, will be saved during that judgment.

So this passage should be a wake up call for those of us whose lives are characterized by sin.  Have we really chosen to accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord?  Or are we fooling ourselves and calling ourselves Christians when we are living for sin and not for God?  If this describes you, please take some time to think about the reality of life and death and God’s judgement for our sin.  If you are living in unrepentant sexual immorality, such as crossdressing, you unfortunately sound like one of the people described in this passage.  Accept Jesus into your life and repent of your sin.  Sit down and talk to him right now.  Just speak out loud to him, he will hear; that is what we call prayer.  And then walk in new life in Christ, allowing the Holy Spirit to slowly transform you into the person God made you to be.  Please read the passage below to see how much God invites you into his grace and love.

Whenever I’ve stumbled into sexual sin, I like to read this passage to remind myself of what God wants and does not want in my life.  It reminds me that as a Christian my life is not characterized by such sins and shouldn’t be.  It’s a helpful way to get refocused into living a holy life of following Jesus.

 

Revelation 22:12-17

12 “Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. 13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.
14 “Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. 15 Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
16 “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.”

17 The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.
This passage has to be paired with the strong passage of warning above.  While this passage repeats the strong warning about God’s judgment, that people living lives of sin will not be invited into God’s wonderful city of life, this passage is also so hopeful and wonderful.   God’s invitation to his grace is so wonderful.  If you are thirsty, and needing forgiveness and love and eternal life, the Holy Spirit says, “Come!”  “Come to Jesus and have life.”  He will quench your spiritual thirst that cannot be quenched in any other way.  It’s a “free gift” of grace.  You cannot earn it.  You can only accept that Jesus lived and died for you, in your place, and you have to accept it as a free gift.

When it talks about “those who wash their robes” it is referring to those who have been washed in the blood of the Lamb.  The Lamb is Jesus who died as a sacrifice for our sins.  If we know Jesus, have given our lives to him, then we have been washed.  Our sins are no longer hanging over our head.  They have been paid for and we are given Jesus’ righteousness, which are new robes, new clothes to wear.  I hope you understand this symbolism.  It’s powerful and this passage is one of my favorites of the Bible.  It makes me very emotional thinking about how wonderful God’s grace is and how wonderfully inviting God is.

I am also encouraged that Jesus is physically returning to this world someday.  May that day be soon! When he come he will judge the world but also make a new heavens and new earth where we his people will live with him forever.  There will be no more evil, pain, or suffering.  And for our purposes here at this site, when Jesus returns, he will make us new as well.  We will not only not crossdress anymore, but we won’t even desire it anymore.  He will completely make us new, including removing the taint of sin in our hearts.  He will remove our sinful nature completely, and not only will we finally be able to not sin, but we won’t even have the desire to do it anymore.  So many of us have given up crossdressing and have successfully fought that sin in our lives.  But we get so weary of the desires coming.  They are annoying and frustrating and we just want them gone completely.  Well someday soon, when Jesus returns, we will finally be at peace with no more weariness of being tempted to sin.  Of course this goes beyond crossdressing, to any other temptation to sin that we struggle with whether selfishness, greed, pride, lust, or anything else.  Lord Jesus come soon and make us new!

Sexual Addiction Therapist and websites

Here are a couple very helpful websites by a sexual addiction therapist, Dorothy Hayden, LCSW.  She has worked with many people who have had the compulsion to crossdress.  Perhaps some of you would be helped by her therapy.  I can’t speak from experience as I do not know her, but I have read many of her articles and I really have appreciated what I have read!  Her therapy is not done from a Christian perspective, which of course I see as great downside, but I think her techniques could still be helpful to deal with the crossdressing behaviors and compulsion.

Here are two of her websites each with a plethora of great articles to read:

http://sextreatment.com/

http://porn-no-more.com/

 

I really like the approach to therapy that I see here – Sex Addiction Recovery Approach
So many of the steps outlined are things I have discussed on my blog many times, but not in such a logical consistent order as she outlines it.

This quote is interesting and helpful – “Sexual addiction recovery is a life-long process.  It moves you out of a narcissist position where your needs are imperative and only see others as need-supplying objects to where you are capable of true self-love.  Personal authenticity enables you to have empathy and compassion for others and allows you to take genuine pleasure from giving love rather than always being a self-centered taker.

I’ll post some other interesting quotes from her many blog posts and articles.  Reading these quotes and thinking about crossdressing hits really close to home.  Certainly crossdressing is one of the many types of dangerous sexual addiction.

Why do some men like wearing women’s lingerie?

Dorothy, I have to disagree with you on your answer here.  I think that most of us are not struggling with gender dysphoria (though certainly some of us are), but rather we are still attracted to women as men.  It’s just that we have unintentionally found an erotic shortcut, being attracted to a pseudo woman we can manipulate and control rather than a real flesh and blood woman.  Of course other factors are involved with how we developed this – possible trauma, a way to relieve stress or feel comforted, belief in rigid gender stereotypes, etc.   Unfortunately gender dysphoria sometimes comes in later over the years, as the pseudo woman starts to become a more important identity than our identity as a man.  This does lead some crossdressers to eventually get sex reassignment surgery even though their crossdressing started as a sexual addiction.

 

Who is a sex addict?

He is able to “undo” traumatic experiences from childhood, he meets needs for pseudo-connection, he uses sexual fantasy to release pleasure-producing endorphins in his brain, he is able to meet needs for breaking taboos, for novelty, to ward off fear of intimacy, among other functions of the sexual behavior. As you can see,  sex addicts use sex to meet needs that can’t be met by sex.

 

Underlying Dynamics of the Sex Addict

Fantasy is the fodder of a person in the “Erotic Haze”. In many cases, sex addicts perform some form of ritualized behavior. This usually precedes a sexual activity. For example, an addict may cruise in a car for hours looking for just the right sex worker. He gets pleasure from the ritual.
 
When the sex addict is in this mental state, his needs are what matter most of all. He feels no anxiety about responding to the needs of another. There is no fear of closeness, vulnerability or rejection. To him, nothing feels as if it is a compromise. All that exists is the pleasure of the sexual fulfillment. It is the only time in a sex addict’s life that he knows perfect control over the “other,” and this is distinctly unlike what he experienced as a child.

 

Why you must know about the sex addiction cycle

After 15 years of working with sex addicts, I have concluded that it is not sex – per Se – that is the object of the addictive attachment, but rather it is the state of sexual arousal that most addicts find so compelling. Orgasms are rarely the goal. As a matter of fact, people purposely delay orgasm because the aftermath can involve experiences of disillusionment, emptiness and shame.

Once you’ve entered “The Erotic Haze”, your ability to control your behavior becomes nil. Acting out becomes an inevitability.  However, there are a number of stages you go through before you arrive at that state. You don’t get “struck” acting out. It doesn’t come out of the blue, compelling you to take immediate action. The purpose of understanding the sex addiction cycle is, with mindful awareness, to know you’re in one of the beginning phases and to apply newly learned coping skills before you drown in the quicksand.

Rituals are a critical part of any kind of deviant arousal template. The ritual itself becomes a fetish, capable of engendering sexual excitement and release it itself.

The exhibitionist walks through certain spots at certain times, cruising for the same type of woman. The transvestite carefully lays out woman’s clothing and lingerie on the bed, looking at them for a period of time before he dons them. The clinical literature talks about “the masochistic script”. To all appearances, the “domme” is in control. In reality, the masochist calls the shots. The room needs to be arranged just so. The type of clothing the dominatrix wears is dictated by the bottom. Often, even verbal and physical humiliation needs to follow his exact script, or he is disappointed in the scene.

This last part about rituals was really interesting to me.  I have spent hours before doing google searches for crossdressing stuff but not allowing myself to actually go to any of the links.  I was fooling myself at those times that I was not giving in to the addiction.  But I was.  Somehow I was getting pleasure just by doing the beginning stages of the ritual, which would otherwise have been google searching and clicking through to the links.

There are many more articles and blog posts that she wrote that I would like to share here, but I will save some of the better ones for later so you don’t have to try reading so much at once.  She has some very good resources for you at both sites, whether you are struggling with pornography, crossdressing, other sexual addictions, or a combination of many of these.

The Suppression of Crossdressing Guilt

I periodically peruse the forums at Crossdressers.com and a number of other sites, as well as reading crossdressing blogs and the discussions/comments on interesting posts.

One thing that has impressed me is that the guilt and shame do not go away.  Men feel guilty about their crossdressing and it is a constant battle to suppress that guilt.  Sometimes the guilt explodes in a purge of the female clothing.  Sometimes the guilt causes the crossdresser to post a new forum comment or a new blog post in which he talks about his guilt and how he feels like quitting.  (From my amateur and perhaps faulty observations, it seems there are a few people doing this in an average week on Crossdressers.com as well as other places).

The answers given by crossdressers are always the same – “You shouldn’t feel guilt and you shouldn’t feel shame.”  “You just feel that way because of how people in society look down on us and don’t understand us.”  Basically the advice given is that the urge will never go away, and so the best thing to do is to plow through the feelings of guilt and shame, accept who you are as a crossdresser, and continue crossdressing.

Shouldn’t these repeated posts tell us something?  Can you really suppress all this guilt and shame?  If you are doing something that continues to cause you such pain, anguish, guilt, and shame in your heart, might the better solution be to work hard at no longer doing this activity, to heal from the guilt and shame so that you no longer have to feel it?

I used to feel guilty about something that I shouldn’t have felt guilty about.  Growing up I thought it was sinful to drink alcohol and that it always leads to drunkenness.  But someone corrected my view of Scripture on this issue, gave me a brief education out alcohol, and then I tried drinking.  And I felt fine about it right away.  The guilt has never come back even though I drink.  So my conclusion is that since Scripture and my conscience both do not give me guilt about this issue, it is not morally wrong and I should continue to drink.

But crossdressing is not like this, not for me, and clearly not for most crossdressers out there.  They keep trying to persevere in crossdressing through the guilt and shame, but no matter how much they try to suppress the guilt and shame, it just keeps coming back.  If the crossdressers were right that crossdressing should not produce guilt and shame, then why do the people keep coming back even 40 years into crossdressing, still feeling the same feelings of guilt and shame?!

I say in love to the crossdressing community, please stop trying to suppress the guilt, but rather deal with it in a healthy way.   Maybe your guilt is telling you that you are doing something that is wrong and not good for you, even if it feels good in the moment.  Once I gave up crossdressing, the guilt and shame in my life over that issue disappeared and I’ve been living in peace and happiness ever since, never once regretting the decision I made.

Please also read this other post I wrote about guilt which gives several other related ideas – Guilt is an Achievement!

Link – Accepting a trans identity only makes dysphoria worse

Here is an interesting link at a blog called – “Third Way Trans.”  The author doesn’t have my same standpoint on crossdressing and transgender issues, and he appears to more neutral on the issues.  He is not saying that transitioning to live as the opposite sex is always wrong, but he is also willing to question it and caution people that it might not be the best solution to their gender dysphoria.  I appreciate his insights.

In this blog post he discusses how once a person accepts that they are “transgender” and make it a part of their identity, they become less contented with their life and with the world, not more contented as might be expected.  Their gender dysphoria, hurt, and pain increases, and since there is ultimately no possible way to change our sex/gender, even with our advanced medical technology, the person may end up feeling more pain and dissatisfaction in life, than if they had instead tried to be content living as a man.  Those who are considering such a drastic change in their lives, whether Christian or not, should pay attention to this author’s cautions.

The serenity prayer which he quotes is a great one for all of us, whether we are struggling with gender dysphoria, or a more sexualized crossdressing addiction:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.”

We would do well to memorize this prayer and focus on contentment rather than fantasizing about things that we cannot actually change.
The Apostle Paul says –

Philippians 4:10-13

10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Necessity of a Mirror

There have been so many times in the past that I rationalized my addiction to crossdressing through such simple thoughts like –

But they are just clothes.”
I’m just being myself, allowing the feminine part of my personality out.”
This is not sexual, it’s about my identity.”
This isn’t narcissistic, it’s self-expression.”
It’s just that these clothes are more comfortable.”
I’m only doing this as a hobby, and for relaxation.”

These thoughts are such stupid false rationalizations.  And one reality clearly blows them all out of the water by itself, aside from the tons of other arguments I’ve made that show these statements to be false.  That is the necessity of a mirror.  At least in my own experience the mirror was necessary.  When I crossdressed, I might have told myself such things, but I would still spend all of my time in front of a mirror, or at least just sitting and looking at myself.

When my wife expresses herself through choosing her clothing, she doesn’t spend hours in front of a mirror.  If she did, I would think her very vain. So how could I delude myself to think that those rationalizations were true?

There are two options.  Either A.  I was being very vain and narcissistic.
Or B.  I was using myself as a replacement woman to be lusting after.

Of course for me, crossdressing was sexual,  otherwise why could I only ever enjoy crossdressing when ogling myself or looking at myself in the mirror?

My crossdressing brothers out there,  I plead with you, not out of hate, but out of love for you, please wake up to the reality of what crossdressing is.  If you are going to do it, at least face the reality of it honestly.  Don’t give yourself false rationalizations.  Look at the reality of the mirror in your crossdressing life.  Some may argue that they don’t need the mirror (but then are you getting your thrills instead through people looking at you, as you “pass” as a woman?).  That is still either sexual or focused on self or both.

Giving Pastoral care to a crossdresser or transgendered person

I know many pastors and Christian counselors and wives of crossdressers are finding my blog, probably in hopes of finding help in ministering to crossdressers, transsexuals, or people struggling with gender dysphoria.  I can tell this by looking at the search terms people use when they find my blog.  I know that I’ve written a lot on my blog and it can be daunting trying to figure out where to start.  So I thought I’d make a one stop shop, one big post for those pastors or wives or caring friends, people who don’t struggle with crossdressing themselves, but are trying to help someone else with one or both of these conditions.  Feel free to comment below with suggestions, comments, or questions in case you are still confused or unsure about something after reading this post.

 

First, what is crossdressing?  What is transgenderism?  What does “transsexual” mean?  What is gender dysphoria?

Definition of Terms

I’ll let this great link from Parakeleo answer these basic questions for me:  FAQ’s.  Their FAQ page is extremely helpful and will give you all the main facts that you need to know.  The only thing I would add to the definitions is that in many people there is great overlap between the many issues involved: sexual orientation, sexual/gender identity and dysphoria, transgenderism, and crossdressing as sexual addiction.  Most people don’t fit cleanly into the categories.  It takes many crossdressers years just to figure themselves out, and for many of us, we have both the sexual aspect of crossdressing as well as some gender dysphoria.  In others still, it could begin as a sexual fetish (being attracted to the fake woman in the mirror), but over time become less sexual and turn into desire for a complete sex reassignment surgery.

We don’t really know what causes these addictions or cases of gender confusion.  Part of my work on this blog has been to wrestle with others trying to figure out what caused us to be the way we are.  We have a lot of interesting ideas and theories, but little certainty.  Some of the triggers could be biological, some could be the environment and family setting, some could be the person not fitting into gender stereotypes of the culture, some could be personality, and some could be certain key experiences of crossdressing during puberty which misplaced our sexual desires for girls onto ourselves instead.  We really don’t know.  But even if we knew the cause, this would not necessarily change our response and form of treatment.

The rest of this post will talk about your response and about types of “treatment.”  If you are looking for an academic treatise about treatment for crossdressers, you could begin with a site like – this.  While I believe certain types of psychological conditioning or medication could be helpful to some crossdressers, I don’t see them as a necessity for someone to quit crossdressing and find healing in his heart and mind.  In addition, oftentimes medication only helps to reduce temptations and symptoms, but doesn’t get to the root psychological and spiritual causes of the problem.  I am not an expert, not in the least, about the medications involved to treat a crossdressing addiction or gender dysphoria.  So the rest of this post will focus on the other aspects of your response.  In my case, I did not find healing from my addiction through secular therapies or techniques, nor through medication.  In the rest of this post, I will focus on what I believe are the most important ways for you to help crossdressers or transgendered individuals.  The power of the truth of God’s Word, the grace we receive in Christ, and the presence of the Holy Spirit in us, together are more than enough to deal with this painful issue.

 

Scary Strange Topic?

Hopefully some of your feelings of fear or strangeness about this issue has worn off now that you have read all that good information from Parakeleo.  Please remember that the man (or in less frequent cases, the woman) you are trying to help likely did not choose to have these feelings in any way.  Remember that Jesus responded to sexual sinners with love and compassion and forgiveness.  Remember also your own sins that you don’t feel like telling anyone about, and think of the great courage it took for this man to share his struggle with you.  Or if his secret was accidentally found out, imagine the shame and fear he must be feeling.  Try to put yourself in his place.  Be a good listener.  As with other issues like homosexuality, the Church needs to be careful in its response to this issue.  See this post next to get yourself in the right frame of mind – Church’s Response to homosexuality, crossdressing, transsexualism.  If we don’t respond well, we can contribute to the shame, isolation, and persecution of crossdressers and transsexuals.  This is a serious issue given the high suicide rate of transsexuals – Suicide prevalence among transsexuals and crossdressers.

For wives, if you are feeling betrayed and no longer trust your husband, or are feeling like the marriage is at an end, please hold on.  Keep up your hope.  Keep trusting in the Lord.  I will address wives directly and the difficult of such feelings in a special section for you at the end of this post.

Now that you’re ready to listen well and give empathy, also be firm to stand on the truth of God’s Word.  Don’t judge the morality of this complicated issue of crossdressing based on your own feelings or the culture’s view.  Look at it objectively.  See the destruction this addiction or confusion has caused in the man’s life before you.  Crossdressing may have always seemed harmless to you, but now you know it isn’t that simple.  See this post to understand why crossdressing is far from harmless – Summary of why crossdressing is sinful/harmful.

 

How can you help?

Be a good listener and be patient.  It might take some good time for the crossdresser to figure out his own feelings, and his own beliefs on the subject.  He has to want to get help, he has to want to stop, and he has to want healing from this condition.  You cannot force him.  So be patient, keep listening, and point him to good resources.

First of all, you can point him to my blog’s page of all my blog posts – Full Blog Post List. He will have hours and hours to read about this topic if he wants to.  And you can point him to my blog’s page of helpful links of many different organizations, recovery tools, articles, and other blogs – Links, Resources, and Testimonies.  And you can invite him to join our prayer and accountability group, of about 50 other men (though some have come and gone as they beat their addiction), who are together quitting crossdressing, resisting transgenderism, and trying to be content with who we are, and recover from our brokenness caused by these addictions and confusions.  Email Prayer Group

It is good for you on the one hand to think of crossdressing as an addiction like alcoholism.  So the way you would help an alcoholic as a pastor might be very similar to how you could help someone struggling with crossdressing. You should expect several failures before abstinence.  You should expect a family intervention might be necessary in some cases.   You should understand the need for accountability, prayer, and encouragement.  You should understand how important it is for you and the family members to repeatedly give encouragement and forgiveness, as the man goes through the process of quitting.  You should realize that getting out of crossdressing and masturbatory addiction is as tough as getting out of a drug addiction in many ways.

Set goals with him that are achievable.  If he can go cold turkey, great.  This is certainly possible and probably the best approach.  Otherwise set increasingly better goals until he quits completely.  Celebrate the successes.  When failures come, help him deal with failure in a healthy way so that he doesn’t wallow in despair and shame, but finds new motivation to have self control because of God’s grace and forgiveness in his life.  Encourage him to work hard to quit.  Perhaps he can memorize Scripture that will help him during times of temptation, or journal when tempted so he can write down and describe his feelings.  See this post for more practical things he can do – No more half measures.

Much of your ministry will actually be focused on caring and supporting and listening to the pain of the spouse.  In addition, you will be in a position to help them work through the complications this causes in their marriage.  Here are some of the most important issues you will be in a position to help with as a pastor: forgiveness, confession, repentance, rebuilding trust, going to God in our pain and suffering, setting boundaries, accountability, understanding the crossdressing or gender dysphoria from a theological perspective, help for reducing temptations, help in fighting temptations, etc.

However, when gender dysphoria is put into the picture, the treatment and the way you can help such a person gets a bit more complicated.  You will have to help him sort out identity issues, what it means to be a man or woman, the biblical importance of our bodies, and learning how to be content with being a man.  Remember that some people may struggle with both crossdressing as sexual addiction and gender dysphoria, or they might not even be sure how to describe their struggle until they read more.  As I list helpful resources, blog posts, and articles below, I divided them into two categories.  Some of the articles talk about both issues, but I’ve only put them under one of the headings.  You may want to look through both lists for this reason.

Here are some of the posts and articles I recommend you and he both read if he struggles with crossdressing as a sexual addiction.

12 Steps to stop crossdressing

Can God deliver me from crossdressing?

How sexual addictions destroy our lives

Healing doesn’t mean no more temptations

Progress Report 1-30-13 – How I successfully fought temptation, but then failed.

Crossdressing is like pornography

I quit crossdressing and I am happy!

Becoming the woman my wife is not

Guilt is an achievement!

How do we know what is true? Is crossdressing sinful?

They are just clothes right?

Deeper reasons for crossdressing

You have a choice

Your Brain on Porn

 

Other articles not written by me:

The Transvestic Career Path – Interesting article about how one develops into a transvestite or crossdresser.  Talks a lot about the internal marriage that is created where the crossdresser functions as both husband and wife.  Very helpful for understanding what crossdressing and transvestism are really all about.

Randall Wayne’s testimony  about overcoming crossdressing

My Un-ordinary life – Blog written by a wife of a crossdresser sharing her painful experiences

RAIN approach – Simple and effective tool to resist urges and temptations when they come.

 

Here are some of the posts and articles I recommend you and he both read if he struggles with gender dysphoria and transgenderism.

But I was born with these desires

Gender Sameness and Difference

The myth of “Choosing to be yourself”

Transabled and Transgender

Race and Transgender Issues

Don’t follow your heart

Good Resource – “In Search of Unification”

Crossdressing without sexual component

The Inconsistency of Transsexuals

Intersexual Conditions – There is still a binary

Our bodies Matter – Good article

No such thing as transgender

Detransitioning and Regret

Helpful link explaining transsexual types

 

Articles not written by me:

The Transgender Triumph – Long informative article about transgenderism’s history in the US.

Understanding the Transgender Phenomenon – Analyzing transgenderism from a Christian perspective.

Bruce or Caitlyn? He or She? Should Christians accomodate transgender naming?

The Psychpathology of “sex reassignment” surgery – Assessing Its Medical, Psychological, and Ethical Appropriateness.  By Richard P. Fitzgibbons, M.D., Philip M. Sutton, and Dale O’Leary. This is a interesting and convincing academic article about why doing such surgeries is unethical and is actually mutilation.

The Transgender Con?  Many “Transgender” People Regret Switch – Helpful article talking about people who have detransitioned and why, and it dismantles some transgender ideology.

 

For many more articles, testimonies, organizations, and resources see this page – Links, Resources, and Testimonies.

 

 

Helpful Bible Verses

One of the best and main things you can do as a pastor is to focus on the Word of God together.  And you can do this even if you are still struggling to understand crossdressing and transgenderism!  God’s Word can bring wonderful transformation to anyone regardless of what kind of psychological or spiritual issue they face.  The man you are helping will likely find a lot of resources on the internet and from counselors about crossdressing and transgenderism.  Likely he knows more than you already and if not, will certainly know more than you soon.  Honestly, he will probably learn so much about the science, sociology, and ramifications of crossdressing and transgenderism that soon he will be talking about stuff that is over your head and out of your expertise.  So stick to what you know, that is God’s Word, and help him to see and understand the theological side of the issues.  Here are blog posts of mine that reflect on how God’s Word relates to these issues.  You could meditate together on several of them each time you meet.  And pray pray pray, when together, and pray for him regularly on your own.  I cannot emphasize the importance of regular prayer and Scripture reading enough.

Deuteronomy 22:5

1 Corinthians 11:2-16 Prohibits Crossdressing

Psalm 119 – God’s Commands Bring Freedom

Put the “cross” into “crossdressing”

Living in our Resurrection Hope

1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Crossdressing can become idolatry

How Satan tempts us to crossdress

Helpful Bible verses 1

Helpful Bible verses 2

Helpful Bible verses 3

Helpful Bible verses 4

Helpful Bible verses 5

Helpful Bible verses 6

Helpful Bible verses 7

Helpful Bible verses 8

Helpful Bible verses 9

Helpful Bible verses 10

Helpful Bible verses 11

Helpful Bible verses 12

Helpful Bible verses 13

Helpful Bible verses 14

 

Other articles not written by Me:

Body Modification – Article/sermon about body modification in general and how Christians should view their bodies.  Connects various issues together under one theme – transgenderism, crossdressing, tatooing, transableism, anorexia, etc.

Spiritual Warfare – Sermon by Tim Keller, helpful ideas for resisting Satan’s schemes to accuse us and tempt us to sin.

 

Consequences:  Divorce and Church discipline

I do believe that crossdressing or trying to change our bodies to appear as the opposite sex are both sinful activities.  That means that if someone persists in these activities there will be consequences.

While I believe divorce should be a last ditch effort after all other possible solutions have been tried, I do think divorce is permissible in these cases.  If a woman is married to a man who is persisting in trying to become a woman, this is marital unfaithfulness to a very perverted and distorted degree.  It is abandonment of the marriage.  The woman did not agree to marry another woman.  And if the man is persisting in crossdressing as sexual sin, this is sexual sin no less than adultery or pornography.  He is lusting after the false woman he made of himself.  It is marital unfaithfulness.  If a husband regularly failed from time to time, but always repented and always kept working on quitting, I would not consider this grounds for divorce.  Divorce should be avoided at all costs, and it is important to do all possible to counsel the wife and help her to forgive the husband and rebuild trust.  There is sin and brokenness in every marriage.  A wife’s first gut impulse might be fear, rage, disgust, and so she may start thinking about divorce immediately.  Help her to be patient, to forgive, and to do all that is possible to work on the marriage and help the husband repent and change, before even thinking about a divorce.  If a divorce becomes necessary because the husband persists in sin, with no repentance, for example if he starts living full-time as a woman, then the wife should be counseled that she is not doing wrong in getting a divorce and should not be mired down in guilt.  But even in these cases, continue to work with the couple and pray for change, for the husband may come to senses after being apart from his wife for a brief time, and there may be a possibility for reconciliation.

Besides the issue of divorce, there is the issue of church discipline.  This is something that most churches in the US have simply stopped doing in general, although many churches around the world still continue to do loving, gentle, and effective church discipline.  I’m not going to give a whole treatise on how to do church discipline.  But church discipline is a long process of calling people to repent and step out of sin.  Excommunication is only the very last ditch step after all other efforts of discipline and discipleship have failed.   And church discipline is not to be undertaken when someone sins, but only for the sin of unrepentance.  If someone repeatedly sins but they do not repent and do not try to stop, even after repeated confrontations by church members and church leadership, then this can and should lead to church discipline and even excommunication.  Just as I would put someone under church discipline who refused to repent of adultery or pornography addiction, I would put someone under church discipline who refused to repent and quit crossdressing.  But even if this last terrible step happens, the idea is still for the person to realize their sin, come back to the church, receive assurance of grace, and the whole church can celebrate together that they’ve been restored.

 

For you wives

You are in a terribly difficult position if you are a wife of a crossdresser.  All people are sinful, all people are broken, and so therefore all marriages have some degree of brokenness.  But I feel more pity for you than for the average spouse in painful marriages.  The reason is that this issue is so little understood, so strange, and yet our culture is so accepting of it.  Instead of celebrating husbands who repent of their crossdressing and reconcile with their wives, our culture celebrates those husbands who get sex-changes and then remain married to their wives as “women.”  It is a sad state of affairs we find ourselves in.

But please, don’t despair, don’t give up hope.  There are resources out there to help you.  First of all, you may feel free to vent, to get advice, and to ask for prayer on this page – Wives of crossdressers chat.

You have a difficult road ahead of you.  Jesus promised that if we followed him as his disciples that we would suffer.  That is the reality of our lives, and often the more Christ-like we are, the more we will suffer.  Sticking with your husband and continuing to love will cost you.  But the good news is that Jesus is with us through the presence of the Holy Spirit!  He comforts us with his Word.  He gives us strength and power to persevere.  He gives us his love and compassion and mercy!  And we know that we have a sure and wonderful hope of eternal life with our Lord God, forever and ever, with no more pain, tears, or suffering.  And we know that our God is powerful enough to even use suffering to achieve something good in his plan! (Romans 8:28).  So we continue to do what is right, even when it is hard, knowing that God is shaping our character, and accomplishing good things in our lives and in this world in his sovereign plan.

You will also need to struggle to identify and repent of your own sins.  As you hate the sin in your husband, be sure to look at the sins in your own life (Matthew 7:1-6).  He didn’t choose what he would struggle with, and neither did you.  And don’t forget pride is a sin God hates just as much if not more than sexual sin.  God is quick to forgive, but those with proud hearts are far from God.  The Pharisees lived rightly but were far from God in their hearts and were slow to forgive sexual sinners.  Jesus warned them of judgment.

Yet in the end, it is true that what your husbands are doing is sinful and they chose to do it, even if they did not choose to have the original desire to do it.  They have hurt you.  They have betrayed you.  They have broken your trust.  They have disgusted you.  They have caused you great pain.  They have sinned.  Remember that even more than sinning against you, they have sinned against God (Psalm 51:4).  They have rebelled against the design of their Creator which is far more serious than what they did against you.  They are guilty, and you don’t need to beat about the bush when talking to them.  They did wrong.  Although you must avoid a prideful attitude, and must avoid judgment without mercy as I talked about in the above paragraph, you still must be able to state clearly that what your husband did was wrong.

If he argues with you and says that it is not wrong to crossdress or live as a woman, then there is little you can do besides pray and point him to resources and books like my blog.  Have him read my arguments for why crossdressing is sinful and harmful.  And express to him that even if crossdressing is not essentially wrong (which I believe it clearly is), it is still hurting the marriage and therefore still a betrayal of trust and harm to you.

Whether or not your husband repents, your main job is to work on your own heart.  Whether or not your husband repents, God calls us to forgive.  And it is no light matter. I will be blunt.  Jesus says if you don’t forgive others, like your husband, for their sins, God won’t forgive you.  This is something repeated over and over by Jesus in many statements and different parables.  Someone that has truly experienced God’s forgiveness for their own sins will be someone who forgives others for their sins.  The debt we have to God is infinitely bigger than any debt people owe to us.  If we are not willing to forgive, than we are not people who have been transformed by God’s grace in Jesus Christ, we are not people who will be forgiven.  What is forgiveness?  It is not making excuses for your husband, it is not making yourself forget what your husband did, and it is not pretending that your husband didn’t do wrong.  Forgiveness means moving forward, continuing to love your husband, wishing well for him, and leaving the judgment for his sin up to God.  Forgiveness is about your heart giving up your bitterness.  It is still possible to forgive but have consequences remain in a marriage.  It can take a while to rebuild trust even when there is forgiveness.  (Another example of a consequence: A wife who was abused by a husband can truly forgive but still not go back to living with her husband in danger).  Forgiveness is not always instantaneous, sometimes it’s a process, but your first priority with God is to work on forgiving your husband.

I think you will need a support system.  You probably don’t want to go around telling everyone about your husband’s secret struggle, and I’m sure your husband doesn’t want you to either.  But get permission from your husband to tell one friend, and your  pastor (or counselor).  You have to have people you can talk about this openly to, people who can give you advice, walk through this suffering with you, and pray for you.  Many wives that have talked to me told me that their husbands did not want them telling even a pastor or friend, and in some cases threatened them angrily.  Each situation is different, but I really think you need the support.  In cases where the husband is continuing in sin and not repenting, I think the wife should talk to someone even against the husband’s wishes.  Use your wisdom.  You could do this in secret, or you could say to your husband, “you are continuing in sin, and being unfaithful in our marriage, I cannot live like this and I need to get counsel and support and wisdom from other people, so you should know I am going to tell the pastor.”  I say use your wisdom because you don’t want to put yourself in danger, but if possible you should give your husband a chance to hear that you are planning to tell someone and maybe he will change his mind and talk to the pastor together with you.

You will have to have an honest and clear discussion with your husband about the breach of trust and betrayal that you feel.  You will have to discuss how that trust can be rebuilt, and give him hope that it can be rebuilt.  Discuss together how you are going to move forward, both in marriage, and also how your husband will move forward in fighting the addiction, getting help, and healing from this struggle.  You’ll have to set some standards of improvement that you want to see.  Discuss these together.  Don’t give him ultimatums.  That is not a healthy process for recovery.  Together discuss your action plan of how you will move forward in faith and hope.  Together discuss boundaries, ideas, how the sexual relationship might change, accountability issues, how you will spend time in prayer and Scripture reading together to rebuild the marriage, etc.   Have hope.  Have optimism.  Although it’s hard to find such stories on the internet, lots of men have recovered from crossdressing addiction and marriages restored.  In fact, going through such a struggle like this together can actually build up your marriage so that it is stronger than most other marriages around.  I speak from experience that mutual suffering in marriage, being real to each other about our darkest secrets and struggles, and moving forward in faith trusting in God, can do a lot to build a firm foundation in a marriage.

You CAN recover from this.  Your heart CAN heal.  Keep going to God.  Rely on him for strength.  Keep reading his Word.  Keep praying.  Keep spending time with Jesus.  Keep loving your husband and encouraging him.  You can heal.  The marriage can heal.  Transformation can come.  At the end, you’ll be thankful you stuck it out and you’ll see the power of God’s amazing grace and love in your marriage and your own life and your husband’s life.

What can you do or not do to help your husband recover from this addiction and confusion?
I will give my ideas, but they are only my opinions.  It’s good for you to talk to your friends, your pastor, and talk to God and read his Word yourself, in order to have good guidance for what is best for you to do.

Here is a post I wrote about an article that talks about a wife’s role in her husband’s recovery from sexual addiction – Article – The Role of a wife in your recovery.  It’s important to figure out how much you need to know the details about his struggle and what details are best left unshared.  See the post for a fuller explanation.

  • Pray together with your husband regularly that God would help him overcome this addiction.  But pray about other regular life stuff too.
  • Read God’s Word together with your husband.  Grow together in faith and knowledge of God.  Be transformed by God’s Word together.
  • Especially in the beginning of your husbands attempt to quit this addiction, help him to reduce the amount of time he spends alone.  This will greatly reduce the amount of temptation he will experience until he gets through his sort of “detox” stage.  Once his body is used to going without crossdressing for a while, it may start to become easier and he might have more self control during alone times.
  • Affirm your husband’s manhood verbally.  Be creative in how you do this.  Make him feel good about being a man.  Help him remember that he is a man.
  • Affirm your attraction to your husband as a man, including your sexual attraction to him.  If necessary, remind him that you are totally turned off and disgusted at the thought of him crossdressed, just like he would be if you crossdressed.
  • Encourage him to be a good father and to set a good example for your children.
  • Encourage him to grow a beard.  It’s very hard to convincingly crossdress with a beard.  And it will help your husband to feel more manly especially if he knows that it is attractive to you.
  • Buy nice clothes for your husband or with your husband to help him enjoy looking good as a man.
  • Be a good listener as your husband reads this blog and comes to understand himself better.
  • Encourage him regularly.
  • Do not constantly ask him if he has been crossdressing.  Limit yourself to once a week at most.  It helps to have one time set aside regularly every week where you both know you will pray for the marriage and talk about any issues in the marriage.  This way you don’t talk about hard things every day which can destroy all the peace and happiness in a marriage.
  • Be conscious of your clothing.  Don’t leave it lying around.  When the clothing is on you, he will not focus so much on the clothing but be attracted to you.  But when he sees your clothing by itself he may turn to crossdressing thoughts.  Don’t leave underwear or skirts lying around.  Have a good plan together about the laundry bin.  Keep your drawers and closet closed.
  • Be mindful about things that specifically trigger your husband to temptation.  It’s different for each man, and some of the things might make no sense to you, but try to be helpful anyway.  For me when my wife wants me to wear an apron when cooking, that is something that can lead me down a path to sin in my mind, and crossdressing in real life the next day.  But to her she cannot understand why this would be an issue.  For some men it might be you being playful with him putting hair ties in his hair, or other feminine things.  To other men, it might be you as a wife wearing high heeled shoes that are a trigger.  Do you care about your husband enough to alter your wardrobe?  You should.
  • Avoid movies and television shows that have even 5 seconds of crossdressing in them.  If you have some movies, like comedies about crossdressing, even if they are your favorites, get rid of them immediately.
  • Assure your husband regularly that he is forgiven in Christ.  Assure him regularly of your forgiveness and continued love as well.
  • Don’t become your husband’s accountability partner.  This is a dirty task.  Your husband needs someone he can give all the detailed shit to, and this should not be you as the knowledge would only harm you and the marriage.  If you told your husband every nasty sinful thought you’ve ever had would it help him?  No.  You each need an accountability and support partner who is not the other person.  An outside person can tell your husband, “you need to love your wife in this way and this way” which is more powerful than you being the only one to tell him.
  • Challenge your husband to grow in holiness.  If we are true Christians, we must be growing in our sanctification.  It is the evidence that we have been truly saved.  If your husband has been stuck in a cycle of crossdressing, repentance, abstinence, crossdressing, repentance, abstinence for a long time, challenge him to take some new steps to get out of the rut and get rid of crossdressing for good.  He can read my blog for new ideas.
  • Encourage your husband to read my blog.  Encourage your husband to join our email prayer group through this blog.
  • You don’t want your husband to foolishly think that he is the only sinful person.  You as a wife are messed up too.  It’s easy for your husband to wallow in shame and guilt thinking he is the worst person in the world.  It helps him to remember that you are sinful and saved by grace too.  Confess your sins to him too even if they are not sexual sins.
  • Continue to have sex with your husband.  It helps to realize that rejection of him can fuel his desire to go to the other woman (himself).  Furthermore, having sex with you is the best way for him to recondition his body to desire a real woman instead of the fake woman of himself.  This suggestion might seem like a lot to ask of you in your painful situation, but if you are going to try to save the marriage, this is one of the most helpful things you can do to help him change.
  • Help him to see that he is not really a woman, no matter how he might look.  Help him to recognize the self-delusion.   Help him to realize that there is more to being a woman than wearing make up and a dress.  How dare he think that is what it means to be a woman.  He doesn’t have the body of a woman.  He did not grow up being treated like a woman.  He doesn’t know the pressures a woman faces.  He doesn’t know the pains and joys of menstruation and pregnancy.
  • Focus not on the crossdressing but on the good things in your lives.  The more you spend all your time focusing on the problems, the more miserable you will be.
  • Find good ways for you both to spend your time, so you are thinking about other good things, and so your husband has good purposeful things to do with his time.  Then he can focus on those things instead of desiring crossdressing.  He can have good meaning in his life and less time to waste on sin.  Get new hobbies, have fun together.  Volunteer together to help the poor.  Minister in church together.  Join Bible studies together.  Join community groups.
  • Have hope.  Encourage.  Be optimistic.  Celebrate changes.  Be thankful for small graces that God gives.  Be thankful for every good change you see.  Rejoice in the hope of the New Creation, of eternal life when God will COMPLETELY HEAL our brokenness and remove every stain of our sin.  Be patient.  Jesus will come again.  Persevere as you wait.

 

That is the end of this long post.  Please feel free to comment with suggestions, criticisms, comments, or questions.  May God help you and use you as you minister to his children.

Being rejected by women

How much of our crossdressing desire is related to having been rejected by girls when we were younger?  Or for some of us, how much of our ongoing crossdressing failures are related to smaller rejections by our girlfriends or wives today?

So many of you men that I’ve talked to have similar stories to me in that when we were younger, we were either directly rejected by girls if we had the courage to ask them out, or we were indirectly rejected by girls through our shyness or lack of interaction with them, or in my case, both.  It seems to me that at least one of the many reasons our crossdressing desires developed in the first place, is that our crossdressed self became a replacement for real women.  It was an easy substitute.  There is much less pressure and much less anxiety.  You don’t have to know how to act, you don’t have to fumble with what to say, you just dress up and wow, there is a woman there with you, dressed in whatever sexy clothes you want!

I’m realizing more and more that in the pain of my very imperfect marriage, so much of the time I’ve gone to crossdressing when rejected by my wife, whether she is rejecting sex or rejecting my touch or verbal affection.  But this is just retreating further into pain and rejection.  It’s retreating further away from what God wants for me and my wife.  It’s retreating further away from myself.  It’s adding pain to pain.  It’s adding shame to pain.  And after crossdressing, whether she would see me or not, I would be even much more LESS CONFIDENT with her.  I would feel much less like a man with her.  Which in turn would make me expect rejection even more and thus probably get rejected even more because women don’t like weak emasculated men.

This is a dangerous spiral of destruction that I think has been in my life since I was in middle school.  Now that I recognize this so clearly, I’m not going to let the rejections in my marriage keep creating temptations for me to masturbate or crossdress.  The fact that this happened in my life so many times in the past gives me righteous anger.  But I act differently now.  I’m not going to shame myself with perverted crossdressing just because I get rejected.  I am stronger than that.  I am going to be myself, and just go without love or without sexual pleasure, rather than to shame myself in confused addiction.  When I face rejection, I shouldn’t rail at my wife with anger, I shouldn’t retreat into immorality, I should go to my God who has completely and amazingly and fully loved me, accepted me, and is with me, and will never leave me.  He is the one who gives me strength to resist sin, he is the one who gives me comfort and perseverance to make it through suffering.  He is the one who gives me self-control.  Thank you Lord Jesus that you will never ever ever reject me.  You have accepted me once and forever.