In my struggle with crossdressing, many Bible verses have been helpful to me. I’ve studied them, memorized some of them, and often read them after failures. I’ll periodically mention and comment on some of them and how they relate to our fight with sexual sin. 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.
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
This passage is beautiful. It gives us the good news of the Gospel. We have been saved by grace and grace alone. It is all God. Left to ourselves, we have all freely rejected God. But God has rescued us by choosing us to become alive in him, by choosing us to experience his grace. Verse 8 shows us that even our very faith in Jesus as our Savior, is a gift of God. Without the Holy Spirit working on our hearts, we would not have come to faith on our own. Because salvation is fully God’s grace, we have no room to boast. We can’t even say, “I was smarter than you because I accepted God’s forgiveness through Jesus and you didn’t.” No. We would not have accepted Jesus had not God worked in us first with his grace.
Crossdressing of course is just one of countless ways that we sin and struggle in the Christian life. It has been a plague on our lives, but its not the main sin of our hearts. Our main sins are lack of love for God and idolatry. Crossdressing is just a symptom of that root problem. At one time we were dead in our sins, in our pride, in our self-sufficiency, in our feeling of not needing God. And because of those root sins, we also gave into crossdressing. We gratified the cravings of our flesh as verse 2 says, following our flesh’s desires and thoughts. And because of our sin we were deserving of God’s wrath. But God is not only just, he is also perfectly loving. God is love. And God in his wisdom had a way to uphold his justice and yet have mercy on us. He did so by punishing himself with the punishment we deserve, instead of punishing us. In Jesus and his work on the cross, God’s justice has been upheld, AND God has shown his mercy to us. So now even though we were dead in our sins and in our crossdressing, we have been made alive in Christ. We have been saved by grace.
And verse 10 shows how we are to live now. Why did God create us as his unique beloved handiwork? Why did God save us in Christ? He did so so that we would do good works. And God knew them and prepared them in advance for us to do. So the proper response to God’s grace in our lives is a life of obedience, love, and good works. We have been saved completely and totally by grace. We did nothing to earn it. But now that we have experienced God’s forgiveness, we should be overwhelmed with thanksgiving and joy and chuck crossdressing out our lives in response to God’s grace. So please hear me. We don’t get rid of crossdressing out of a fear of Hell. We don’t get rid of it to earn God’s good pleasure. No. If we know Christ, we already have God’s love and forgiveness and grace, and that grace transforms us in such a way that we can’t help but get rid of crossdressing in our lives.
1 Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord;
2 O Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive
to my cry for mercy.
3 If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins,
O Lord, who could stand?
4 But with you there is forgiveness;
therefore you are feared.
5 I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
6 My soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.
7 O Israel, put your hope in the Lord,
for with the Lord is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption.
8 He himself will redeem Israel
from all their sins.
This is another great Psalm of confession that you can use as a prayer after any failures of falling back into crossdressing. It begins with begging God for mercy. But in verses 3 and 4 it quickly moves on to acknowledging that there is forgiveness and mercy with God. The Lord does forgive. The Lord does not keep a record of sin when we are in Christ. If he did, we would all be screwed, because we are all sinful. I really like verse 4. Because of God’s forgiveness, God is feared. God is not worshiped and respected just because he is powerful. It is because of his great mercy and forgiveness that people fear him and respect him and live for him. And the Psalm ends in hope, putting our hope in God for our salvation, and for our victory over sin.
17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.
20 You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. 21 Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
This passage really resonates with me as I think about all the many crossdressing bloggers I have dialogued with over the years. We don’t think about life in the same way. We have totally different worldviews, and so our conclusions about crossdressing don’t jive. We butt heads continually or finally agree to disagree and go separate ways. This passage tells us the honest truth that those who don’t know God, those that don’t know the truth of his Word, they are darkened in their understanding. Their thinking is futile. They are separated from God in their ignorance. Their hearts are hardened. And they have lost sensitivity to the truth and to right living. Verse 19 says that they have given themselves over to their impurities, continually lusting for more.
Crossdressing so easily fits into this. Crossdressers twist God’s Word, or ignore God’s Word, and often ignore God’s people, and persist, and persist, and persist in their delusions and addictions. They destroy their own lives and those around them. And eventually they lose their feelings of guilt about their behavior. They rationalize their conscience away and give themselves over completely to their immorality. And yet it doesn’t satisfy them, they continually lust for more. I’ve experienced that myself. Soon crossdressing itself doesn’t cut it. You want others to see you. Or you want to combine it with homosexual fantasies, or actual behavior. Or you connect it to porn. Or you might get so comfortable crossdressing that years later, when the sexual feelings start to fade, you convince yourself you are actually transgender and you try to live as a woman.
But Paul says we did not come to Christ this way. We know the truth, we have been taught the truth that is in Jesus. We were taught to put off our old self, which includes crossdressing. Instead of being corrupted by the deceitful desires of our old self, the deception of pride, materialism, idolatry, life without God, and the twisted deceptions of crossdressing, we instead put on our new self in Jesus, and seek to live in righteousness and holiness.
This passage would fit just as well with so many other types of sins, but I cannot read it today without thinking about crossdressing with every verse. It’s almost as if Paul wrote this with crossdressing in mind. I know that he didn’t. But it fits in directly with my experience of crossdressing and what I have seen in the lives of crossdressers online. I’m so thankful for God rescuing from the delusion, deception, and destruction of crossdressing.