Wanting to save my children from making the same mistakes I did, I began writing curriculum and teaching young people about saving sex for marriage. In the process of teaching others, God began to show me how He designed our brains to create an intense bond with sex. This amazing truth is what God used to show me that although I’d been forgiven, I needed healing for my past.
Science is revealing that during sex both men and women release a hormone, oxytocin, that causes us to bond. Irina Bosse; “Oxytocin: A Hormone for Love,” Future Frame, September 24, 1999, www.morgenwelt.de. Oxytocin is released in high quantities three times in a human: when a woman gives birth, when she breastfeeds her baby, and in both men and women during sexual arousal and release. God uniquely designed us to bond to each other in relationships: mothers to their children, and husbands and wives together.
His plan was that we’d save this “one flesh” bond for our lifetime partner in marriage. Instead, in our promiscuous culture, we’re creating this intense bond with everyone we’re having sex with. And although we move on to a new partner, instead of leaving the last one behind, we bring each one with us into the next relationship. In fact, science shows that we can begin to inhibit our ability to release oxytocin in subsequent relationships, impacting our ability to bond. And unless we allow God to break those bonds and heal us from the negative association with sex they create, they can keep us from having the “one flesh” bond we desire in marriage.
That was me. Even 23 years into marriage, my past sexual bonds were keeping me from bonding completely with my husband. We’d been married long enough for the past to be a distant memory, except it wasn’t. Shame, regret, and memories were frequently triggered, causing me to shut down emotionally and physically. Rather than seeing sex as something beautiful and special in marriage, I found it unpleasant and a struggle.
I wasn’t alone. After leading women and men through healing for the past eight years, I’ve seen how our free-sex culture has destroyed our ability to build and sustain long-lasting marriages. But the good news is that when God heals our pasts and sets us free from the bonds we’ve created outside marriage, it changes everything — us, our relationship with God and others, and our present or future marriages.