So You Messed Up in Your Relationship? Here’s The Keys to Change
God encourages us to remain pure until marriage, but you may come across a young adult who has already been sexually active. Sometimes after hearing this information people start to think, "Oh man, I've already been sexually active, I'm totally messed up now." Here is the good news—God is a redeemer, knew we would mess up, and made our brains moldable. Habits and patterns in the brain deteriorate when not used, and new habits can form.
Here are the keys to change: insight, new information, deliberate effort, and time.
- Insight. You have to realize that the way you've been doing things is not good for you or your relationships. It takes self-reflection, honesty, and a desire to change.
- New information. This is what you are starting to get here. Since the old way wasn't leading to healthy things in your life, you have to learn new techniques, practice new ways to approach relationships, and develop new support systems. We are here to help with that.
- Deliberate effort. This is on you. You have to do the hard work. It won't be easy or feel natural. When couples decide not to be sexually active any more, they typically fight a lot. All the arguments and red flags that got suppressed by sex come to the surface. They find they don't have the best communication or conflict skills because they haven't practiced using them—it was easier to cover over the problem with sex than to address it. When you're single and decide to not be sexually active any more, you must deal with the challenges of what to do with your sex drive, what types of people to date, and where you allow yourself to be. You get to do the work to get into a healthier place. Allow other people to support you in that process.
- Time. This change does not happen overnight, over a week, a month, or even a year. This process can take many years. Sex elicits powerful responses in the brain, and it takes a while to let those deteriorate and to form new habits and pictures.
As you heal you will be opened up into a whole new relationship with God. Sexual sin overwhelms our bodies and minds, preventing us from making a full connection with God. Allow God's healing and love to wash over you. You can find out more in our What About Sex? module.