In a couple of my recent posts, I spoke of saving our most beautiful and precious gift of sexuality for our spouse in marriage. Some people have given their sexuality away freely. Others have been duped into giving it up when they did not wish to, and still others gave away their most precious gift because they thought they had found love. Then, when it all blew up, they were left feeling wounded, empty, and perhaps even feeling betrayed. (In certain cases, their sexuality was taken from them against their will).
Someone might say; “It’s all fine and dandy to talk about the beauty of saving our sexuality for marriage, but what if it’s too late? What if you’ve already given it away?” As a speaker on love and relationships, these important questions always and inevitably arise. Therefore, I would like to address them and offer some sound, practical advice on how to start over. Whatever your situation is, and no matter where you have been, I would like you to know that it’s never too late to start anew!
Learn from your mistakes. This is key! Think about where you went wrong and how not make those same mistakes in the future.
Make a definitive commitment to start over! Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and make a commitment of purity to God, to yourself, and to your future spouse who you probably don’t know yet. Make a commitment to wait until marriage (and this pledge goes for all sexuality—not just going all the way). Save your whole self, not just part of it.
Your beautiful gift of sexuality can be likened to a bank full of money. You are supposed to save it all for your soulmate and then spend it with them freely forever. However, sometimes we have made a mistake, or many, and give it away before the proper time, only realizing much later that it was a big mistake. Whatever the case, the best thing to do is make a definitive decision to start again. Start saving that money again through the practice of purity and faithfulness to your future spouse. Write a letter of commitment to them if you need to—or many.
Pray and go to Confession! This is the best way to start over with God and with yourself. God will forgive you, but you will also need to forgive yourself. Confession is a fantastic way to help wash away the past, along with feelings of guilt that may be weighing on you. It is common to feel like “used goods,” but God can purify you and make you as white as snow! He can write straight with crooked lines, and He has accomplished this with many people before you.
I have heard stories of people making big mistakes sexually and then decided to start over. When they recommitted their life to God, He healed them, helped them, and made them new. Some are in successful marriages now because they allowed to God to heal them.
Find a good support. Since this may be a difficult process, it’s important to find good friends and good support—even good Catholic counseling if needed. Additionally, it is important to re-educate yourself. Read good books on the subject of love, relationships, and marriage. You may want to check out books by Jason and Crystalina Evert, which are both helpful and healing. Women can consider the book, How to Find Your Soulmate without Losing Your Soul.
They also have a DVD Romance Without Regret, and even though it was made for a teen audience, trust me when I say it’s for everyone. Young adults have received a lot from it, and have had their lives changed too.
Other recommend books:
Love and Responsibility, by Pope John Paul II.
This short article, What is the Process for Staring Over?, may also be helpful.
Starting over is not easy and takes courage. It takes getting over low self-esteem and regret, along with the lies telling us we are not worthy or good enough. So, anyone taking on this journey, I congratulate you and give you credit for doing the right thing. Stay close to Jesus, and let Him heal you, purify you, fill you, and lead you to your future spouse!