I had previously broken up with her the summer after my junior year. I went on a church mission trip to another state. I was quite smitten with a girl there, and we had a one-week summer romance.
On the drive home, I remember being very confused. I concluded that I must not love my girlfriend back home after all. If I did, I wouldn’t have acted the way I did on this trip. My reasoning was that my behavior on the trip did not meet my value that I loved my girlfriend.
I was left with two choices:
(1) Change my behavior to match my values.
(2) Change my values to match my behavior.
I chose option two. The right thing for me to do was to end that relationship so I broke up with her.
After about a month, I realized I was even more unhappy. I did indeed love my girlfriend and I was not with her. I went back to option one and we got back together.
Was this just the ways of an immature teenager? Possibly. However, I see a lot of adults doing the same thing.
There is a fundamental human principle at work: pride. Option one involves admitting wrong, asking for forgiveness, and working to do better. I had too much pride for that option. I had so much pride that option never even occurred to me. I was miserable trying to live according inauthentic values. I finally turned back to option one.
No one is perfect. We will all get out of synch with our values. Admit your mistakes. Don’t let pride force you to discard your values. Otherwise you may start looking to fill that void with pornography or sex before marriage or other behavior that you not only don’t value but actually hate. Trust me. I know.
Proverbs 16:18: Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.
Isaiah 32:8: But the noble make noble plans, and by noble deeds they stand.