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. It will help you to understand the differences between men and women according to the Bible, especially our different roles.
I’ve written before on my views about the differences between the sexes/genders – “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 sex/gender is severely limited. Over the past years, as I have recovered from crossdressing addiction, I have also grown 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.
I have grown in my appreciation of the differences between men and women – emotional, physical, and 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.
Many crossdressers want to be submissive and flee from their role as men and husbands. 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 oppressive and violent 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.
In recommending this book to you, I will add that there is 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 with the author that it is a pagan idea contrary to the Bible’s teaching.