I wrote this post years ago about a time I failed and gave in to temptation. It is always hard to write and share about failures before so many people, but when I worry about shame and guilt, I look to my Jesus who washes those feelings away by his blood, and I remember his deep love for me. In that I rejoice! I wrote this post so that when you deal with temptation or with the feelings I was feeling, you will go to God, you will go to a friend and get help, rather than falling into sin like I did. Trust me, it’s not worth it! Here is the story:
I failed and actually crossdressed. It’s been a long time since that has happened. I am extremely disappointed in myself. I will tell you the story. Beware, lest is happen to you as well.
It was during a time of being home alone. Because I do some of my work from home, it is common for me to be home alone. But this time the temptations were quite potent compared to other times. The days before the failure I already was feeling temptations and stupid thoughts were coming in my mind. I had begun to pray about it, and asked God for help. But foolishly I did not notify my accountability partners.
Lesson #1 – Don’t neglect your accountability and prayer partners at the most crucial time. I should have let this website’s prayer group know I was struggling with temptation, so they could have stepped up their prayers for me and also give me some reality checks. I should have let my real-life accountability partner know, so he could regularly call me and check up on me, as well as pray for me.
Galatians 6:1-5 – Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load.
James 5:16 – Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
On the day of the failure I started thinking thoughts of resentment about a problem in my marriage. I have a very good marriage, but it is human nature to sometimes moan about our problems rather than thanking God for the good things and people he has given us. I started to feel resentful and bitter that day, and that led me to make excuses for myself and gave me a rationalization for allowing myself CD thoughts. Did I take this resentment to God? Did I confess it to Him? No, I did not. That was foolish.
Lesson #2 – Put bitterness and resentment to death! Take them to God. If you don’t, they will eat away at you, and take you down a dark road that you will regret later. Go to God for comfort and strength and love.
Ephesians 4:31 – Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.
Hebrews 12:15 – See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7 – 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
So already I was dealing with the resentment and with very clear temptations, and I had fantasies that I was alternatively dwelling on and then trying to force out of my mind. But let me tell you of one thing I did well. Before I was left home alone, I had known the temptations would be coming. I had even already imagined giving in to sin once alone. It was like I was planning on sinning. I knew this was bad and that there was no way I could resist when alone, unless I made a conscious choice to not give in at all, prior to being left alone. So I spent a day struggling with my thoughts and praying, until God helped me to put him first. In my heart and mind I made a clear decision that I would not fail with crossdressing. I knew I would not give in.
Lesson #3 – If you “know” that you will fail, or plan on failing, you WILL fail. You must make a choice prior to the time of temptation. Don’t wait until the temptation and opportunity comes to make the decision. You have to make the decision even days before that you will NOT give in. Choose to serve the Lord now. In my experience, this makes a crucial difference (even though I still failed in this instance).
Joshua 24:15 – But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”
So I was alone, and dealing with resentment and temptations, yet also knowing that there was no way I would give in to crossdressing, I decided I should play video games to distract me from the temptations. This was a wise move actually. The problem was that it soon became counter-productive. Why? Well, I compromised with sin. I rationalized. I decided it would be okay if I tried to make it look like my character was crossdressing in the game itself. I knew that this was messed up and wrong too. But I figured it was better to do this than to give in to the real temptations that were in my mind. So I compromised and did so. Foolishness. Utter foolishness. The sin escalated, and I kept giving in and giving in, until I turned the game off. Then I rationalized another stupid activity that wasn’t crossdressing technically (not women’s clothing), but still resembled it. But that compromise led to more escalation. Finally, I fell into the sexual frenzy of sin, lost my head, and plunged headlong into debauchery. After so long of resisting, after knowing I would not give in to actual crossdressing, I gave in to actual crossdressing.
Lesson #4 – Do not compromise with sin! Sinful actions easily escalate. Think of sin as a deadly beast. It might start out looking very small and harmless. Maybe you even want to pet it and say “ah, what a cute beast.” But looks can be deceiving. When you feed sin, it will grow bigger exponentially. Soon it will no longer look cute, but it will devour you. You cannot “tame” sin. You cannot tolerate it. If you give in, you will only want more and more. If you give in a little, you will give in a little more, and give in a little more, until you are doing things you never wanted to be doing and never thought you’d be doing. The only options are to feed sin and let it grow beyond your power to contain it, or instead, put it to death.
James 1:13-15 – 13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
Ephesians 4:17-19 – 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.
So I gave in. Did it satisfy? To be honest, it was fun in the moment and I felt a nice thrill of sexual pleasure. But such pleasure is fleeting and leaves you feeling empty. Rather than filling me with life, I feel like it sucked away everything good inside of me, leaving me feeling tired, wretched, and ugly. After, I was immediately filled with regret and repentance. It’s amazing how such a short event, a blip in the scheme of my life, can be so devastatingly awful. Wow, not worth it. I wish I had a time machine. I wish I had more self-control.
Lesson #5 – Sin promises satisfaction but it can never satisfy. It does not give, it only takes. Its promises are empty. There is no true joy or satisfaction to be found with sin, only empty fleeting pleasure. Sin is a dead end. True satisfaction is only found in God. And in God we not only find satisfaction, but deep rich abundant life and joy.
Romans 6:20-21 – 20 When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. 21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!
Luke 9:25 – “For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?
John 6:35 – Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.
Lamentations 3 –
22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”
25 The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him.
The failure was a wake-up call for me. As much as I write and try to help others give up crossdressing, I’m still a very weak person. I’m human, I struggle with sin. I’m messed up. I don’t have it all together. Oh the evils of the human heart “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:24-25). Jesus is so good to me. And how I long for Jesus to come back and make me new, to bring to an end my struggles with sin. I wait for that day with eagerness. In the meantime, this was another reminder that I need to be on my guard and be more careful so this kind of thing happen again and take me unawares in the future. I don’t say that I need to be on my guard out of fear of God’s judgment. I want to be on my guard because I myself want to obey God and please him, and I myself really don’t like doing this stuff. I want to continue to live a joyful free life without CD.
Lesson #6 – Keep up your guard, be vigilant. You never know when temptations will come. Even if you’ve been abstinent from a certain sin for 5 years, or 10 years, you could suddenly be in danger of falling. Continue in regular spiritual disciplines. Read the Word daily, pray daily. Keep in close communication with an accountability partner. Always be ready. Remember, you are at war.
1 Peter 2:11 – Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.
1 Corinthians 10:12-13 – 12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
The end of the story is that I fell on my knees, literally, and confessed my sins to my God. I repented, lamented, and yelled in frustration about my stupidity. Yet in the end I have peace. I am loved by God because of Christ. I am forgiven. I don’t live in shame and guilt. I am a Man of God. I may be a weak one, but that is what I am. I am God’s child, in his family, and this sin does not take that away from me. When I first sinned, it felt like the weight of the world crushing down on me, I felt so bad, so full of guilt and regret. Now, after going to God, I am back to my regular joyful self. I love my God so much. Only he can take away the weight on my heart, and make me again free to love and serve him each day.
Lesson #7 – Go to Jesus for forgiveness and grace. There is nothing else you can do, and nothing better for you to do. Rejoice in your salvation and your forgiveness, and go back to living for Christ and sharing in the joy of being his disciple.
1 John 1:8-10 – 8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.
I cling to this verse. Firstly, I don’t want to be like those people in verses 8 and 10, who think or pretend they have no sin. Above all else, I want to speak the truth. If I were to hide this sin and pretend I’m all good, it might make people reading my blog more hopeful about their ability to give up crossdressing too. But I would much rather minister out of reality, truth, and my experience of God’s grace, then to be a hypocrite. At this point, I think you all know that you can trust the things that I say on this website.
I also cling to the beautiful promise in verse 11. I confess to my Lord, and even do so publicly, that I have sinned, and I am so thankful for his forgiveness and for him purifying my heart. Because of Jesus taking my place, I stand in God’s sight as a righteous man. I have nothing to fear. I am full of joy. I rejoice in Christ my savior!
So that is my confession. I hope my lessons have helped you. I now go back to living in victory, I go back to living a joyful life with my God, and I continue in this ministry.