As I think about all the hurt and suffering in marriages I hear about from the community at this website, from both men and women, I would like to recommend the book Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas. It will be helpful to read for anyone who is both married and a Christian. But I specifically want to recommend this book to wives of crossdressers who are experiencing hurt, pain, and disillusionment in their marriages. You might be living with someone who is lying to you or living in unrepentant sin. Or some of you are with husbands who have confessed and repented of their sin, and no longer giving in, but for you, just knowing what they are tempted to do has created disappointment, stress, and awkwardness in your marriage.
This book will not magically take away your pain. But this book can help you to see how God wants you to grow in Christ-likeness through challenges in marriage. The main theme of the book is that God’s purpose in marriage is not only to give us happiness and enjoyment, but more importantly God uses marriage to make us more holy. Or to put it another way, God wants us to use our marriages to grow in our holiness and walk with Christ. This book is not a typical marriage book. It doesn’t give much advice for fixing problems in marriages. It is not about how to fall in love. It is not a self-help book. But this book can help you to grow closer to God. The author looks at how God can use marriage to grow us in our ability to serve, love, and forgive. Whether our marriages are healthy or unhealthy, marriage is a context in which to think about our relationship with God and learn more about him.
When I suggest this book to wives who are experiencing great suffering because of their husbands’ sin, please don’t misunderstand me. Let me say clearly a few things. First, this book will not solve the problem you are having with your unrepentant crossdressing husbands. Your husbands need to be convicted of their sin and come to repentance. Second, I’m not at all excusing the behavior of your husbands. If they are crossdressing, they are sinning and being unfaithful to you. Third, if you read the book you might take from it a message that you should stick it out with a sinful spouse at all costs. I am not saying that. I think divorce might actually be the right option for some of you. In my opinion, divorce is permissible in cases where your husbands refuse to stop crossdressing, and especially in cases where they start to try to live as women. And in cases of abuse, I think getting yourself to a position of safety away from the husband is not sinful, but what you are supposed to do.
This book is about how we can look at marriage as a tool that God uses to help us grow in holiness, dependence on God, and to see what marriage can teach us about God’s character. It can help you to look at your marriage in a different way, and help you to grow in your character and relationship with Christ. If we are going to live with hardship, suffering, and challenges in our marriage, we might as well let God use them for our benefit, rather than only experiencing suffering and pain. He talks about how we can use marriage as something like a spiritual discipline for our spiritual growth.
In my own life and marriage, the message of the book has been incredibly helpful. It helped both of us through tough times, and we have seen how God has grown both of us in our relationship with him, and in our character and holiness, through the trials, joys, and challenges of marriage. I’m not necessarily in agreement with every detail in the book, but the main message is one of the most powerful and transformative messages for marriages that I know of.