Thursday, August 31, 2017

“And So He Left”: One Family’s Struggle With Gender Dysphoria

I believe the Bible when it says that God created us male and female (Genesis 1 v 27), and that that is expressed in the marriage union of one man to one woman. I thought my husband did too. But the agony of knowing the consequences of holding to these convictions for me and for us as a family was immense. Ultimately, it was me who said I couldn’t live with my husband if he insisted on identifying as a woman. 

 

My husband and I had been married for 15 years and had three children, and were actively involved in the ministry of our local church. We were just another one of those “keen Christian couples” that are the heart of church life.

You can imagine my shock when my husband told me that he felt he needed to cross dress. It was a bolt out of the blue. We talked about it over a period of a few weeks and then the discussion was left.

But a year later, having not discussed anything in any more detail, my husband announced that he was seeking counselling for his cross-dressing desires. It soon became evident that the counselling was not about helping him leave his desires behind, but about exploring his gender identity.

I see the command to be “true to” God our creator, and that is to take up our cross each day (Luke 9 v 23).

Unknown to me he had already talked to colleagues at work and had received significant support. We spent the next year talking through the issues, trying to find some common ground and having some relationship counselling together. But as we progressed through that year it became more and more clear that there was no common ground. As a Christian, I couldn’t endorse his choices. I believe the Bible when it says that God created us male and female (Genesis 1 v 27), and that that is expressed in the marriage union of one man to one woman. I thought my husband did too. But the agony of knowing the consequences of holding to these convictions for me and for us as a family was immense. Ultimately, it was me who said I couldn’t live with my husband if he insisted on identifying as a woman. And so he left.

Hard Choices

The impact on our children has been greater than I could ever have imagined. I have questioned myself so often as to whether I made the correct choice—perhaps I will always wonder. It is very easy to find yourself contorting your mind to try and make sense of the situation.

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