Cross-dressing is when a person wears clothes typically associated with the opposite sex. This can be done for various reasons, including as part of a sexual fetish or to achieve an emotional high.

The Bible does not explicitly mention cross-dressing, but there are a few verses that could be interpreted as condemning it. Deuteronomy 22:5 says, “A woman shall not wear a man’s garment, nor shall a man put on a woman’s cloak, for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God.”

This verse is often analyzed as condemning cross-dressing, but it could also mean stating that men and women should dress according to their gender. It is also worth noting that this verse is part of a larger section that deals with laws about sexual modesty and adultery, which could be why it is often interpreted as condemning cross-dressing.

But does God tolerate cross-dressing? Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created man in his image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” This verse tells us that God expects us to live according to the gender He created us to be. The New Testament provides Christians with guidance on how to live according to God’s will. In 1 Timothy 2:9-10, believers are called to modesty in their clothing choices. This passage focused on understanding and living according to the gender in which God created each person.

Christians should not be confused about whether a person is a man or a woman. This principle can be extrapolated to imply that cross-dressing is wrong. Seeking to present oneself as a different gender goes against the biblical principles of modesty and understanding one’s own created gender. By following these biblical guidelines, Christians can ensure they are living according to God’s will.

What Are the Bible’s Other Views About Cross-dressing?

Many other verses in the Bible talk about cross-dressing or the concept of cross-dressing concerning homosexuality. For instance, though the specific law in Deuteronomy 22:5 is part of the Mosaic Law fulfilled in Christ, its principles still apply. The clear focus is God’s emphasis that men and women do not seek to appear as the opposite gender; doing so is considered shameful.

In Western culture, pants are regularly worn by both genders. However, some conservative Christians have taken this passage to mean that a woman cannot wear pants or slacks. This would be a misapplication of the clothing style and other passages in the New Testament regarding modesty. This is because the latter doesn’t focus on clothing but men’s and women’s intentions. 

On the other hand, dressing like the opposite gender would be considered shameful and an act of rebellion against God’s design. Clothing choices, then, should be made with humility, respect, and a desire to glorify God.

Christians are called to dress appropriately. This doesn’t mean we have to be frumpy or out-of-date, but our clothing should be modest and not draw undue attention (1 Timothy 2:9). Also, our clothes should be respectful of cultural norms. We should avoid revealing or see-through garments that would be disrespectful to God. Doing so allows us to focus on Him and receive the Gospel peacefully, not to draw attention or approbation from others.  

What Does the Bible Say About Homosexuality?

Homosexuality is a sin (Leviticus 18:22, 20:13). While cross-dressing is not specifically mentioned in these verses, the principles still apply. The clear focus is God’s emphasis that men and women do not seek to appear as the opposite gender and that to do so is considered shameful.

For this reason, God gave them up to dishonorable passions. If women exchanged natural relations for those that were contrary to nature, and men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, they would commit shameless acts with men and receive in themselves the due penalty for their error. Romans 1:26-27 describes what the Bible says about homosexuality. These include the following:

1. God did not intend for homosexual desires.

All of our desires have been distorted by sin. The Apostle Paul believed homosexual desire was not part of God’s plan for humanity. He described both lesbian and male homosexual behavior as “unnatural.” Some have argued that this refers to what is ‘natural’ to the people themselves—heterosexual people engaging in homosexual activity and thereby going against their “natural” orientation. According to this view, Paul is not condemning all homosexual behavior but only those actions against the person’s sexual inclinations.  

As human beings, we are constantly searching for meaning and purpose in our lives. One of the ways we try to find fulfillment is through our sexual relationships. Unfortunately, as we reject God and His design for our lives, we find ourselves craving what we are not naturally designed to do. Even those who desire heterosexual sex often find themselves doing so in a way that does not fully accord with the Creator’s design for sex.

This passage has no grounds for singling out homosexual people for special condemnation. The same course indicts all of us. We are guilty of rejecting the one who created us and designed us to be fulfilled in Him. As a result, we struggle to live up to our standards. Only when we come to Him and ask for His forgiveness can we hope to find true fulfillment in our lives, sexually and spiritually.

2. Our distorted desires show that we are turning away from God.

As human beings, we are innately wired for relationships. We were created to have a connection with our Creator. However, sin has marred that relationship. When we choose to go our way and disobey God, we are essentially living in rebellion against Him. And while rebellion might seem like it offers freedom, the truth is that it only leads to bondage.

As the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 1:18-32, when we reject God and refuse to acknowledge Him as Lord, He gives us over to our sinful desires, allowing us to experience the natural consequences of our choices. This is not a punishment meted out by God’s wrath but rather an expression of His love.

By giving us what we want, He hopes we will come to our senses and turn back to Him. Unfortunately, many people harden their hearts even in response to His kindness, and, as a result, they experience more tremendous suffering. But for those willing to repent and turn from their wicked ways, forgiveness and new life are available through Jesus Christ. No matter how far we have strayed from God, He is always ready and willing to take us back.

Furthermore, as Christians, we are called to live holy lives, apart from the world and its sinful ways. However, this can often be harder than it seems. We are constantly bombarded with messages promoting lust, greed, and self-indulgence, and it can be too easy to give in to temptation. The Bible tells us that when we sin, we give in to our impure desires and dishonor our bodies. 

We see this played out in society today as violence, theft, drunkenness, orgies, and other antisocial behaviors. These things result from humanity turning away from God and His righteousness. They are a foretaste of God’s wrath that will be poured out on judgment day.

Bottom Line

All Christians are called to show love and respect to people regardless of how they present themselves. This includes those who cross-dress or are transvestites. While it is a big deal to dress according to your preferences, it is also essential to extend respect to the teachings of the Lord to dress modestly, especially when attending church; men and women should dress accordingly, (Deuteronomy 22:5). As 1 Peter 3:15 says, we are called to “Honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.”


Sarah Goodwin

A passionate Christian and Bible enthusiast, I find joy in delving deep into Scripture and sharing its timeless wisdom with my readers. Through words, I aspire to illuminate the profound lessons the Bible offers, hoping to inspire faith and purpose in every heart. Join me on a journey of biblical exploration and spiritual growth.Enter your text here...

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