“A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this.”
Explanation and Commentary on Deuteronomy 22:5
We live in troubled times. The god of this world, the prince of the dominion of darkness, has managed to normalize all sorts of abomination through the media, politics, and pop culture. It has happened in the blink of an eye. We should not forget that other cultures in ancient and recent history have been just as deceived in these areas, especially in the area of gender confusion.
God created men and women equals in dignity as bearers of the divine image (Gen 1:26-28), but he also created them to be completely different in role, makeup, and purpose. His order for the creation of male and female is perfect and amazing. Christians should embrace God’s design and push against the cultural pressure to conform to an evil erasing of the distinctions between men and women.
While our culture is way past the wearing of clothing typically worn by the opposite sex, this would be a great place to start understanding that God, from the very beginning, had the distinction in mind.
Breaking Down the Key Parts of Deuteronomy 22:5
#1 “A woman…”
The woman was a magnificent gift for God to give to the man because he made us for community and togetherness. She was a helper “fit for him” (Gen 2:18) and given to Adam to aid him in the work that God had given him to do in the Garden of Eden. She was not a man but came from the man (1 Cor 11:12). She is an image-bearer with equal dignity to the man, but not meant to be the same as the man.
#2 “…must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing,”
God loved it when he created male and female. He called it very good when he created them each in his image, but with a certain design for each. The heart of this verse is that the cultural narrative that you can be whatever gender, or no gender at all, just because you feel like it, is a lie from hell. Clothing styles change, but the spirit of the verse never changes. Whatever it means in culture to dress up as the opposite gender is an affront to God’s “very good” design. Role differences are not to be confused with value differences. Jesus submitted to his Father’s will but was equal with the Father, who had the role of leadership.
#3 “for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this.”
In our modern times, even the nonbelievers say, “God loves everybody.” While true in certain sense (Jn 3:16), the Bible is clear that God hates evil and will direct his hatred of evil to an evil person because of their sin and depravity (Pr 6:16-19). If it were not so, people who rebel against God would not be cast into hell. God sees the cross-dresser as one in rebellion to his design. It will not go unpunished. But he also loves them and has made a way in Christ Jesus for them to return to God and be saved, and healed of this confusion.
Expert 8 Minute Overview of Deuteronomy
Biblical Translations of Deuteronomy 22:5
A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this.
A woman must not put on men’s clothing, and a man must not wear women’s clothing. Anyone who does this is detestable in the sight of the Lord your God.
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.
The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.
“A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the Lord your God.
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.