// by Lauren Roman //

How can we experience transformational change in our lives? Not “New Year’s Resolution” change that’s strong out of the gate and quickly falls to the wayside. Not a temporary change of behavior.

We want lasting, soul-changing growth – for ourselves and our kids!

The hitch is, as Joyce Meyer astutely states: “We all want change, but we don’t want to change.” In Dr. Kathy’s teachings, she explains that change actually means ex-change. We are trading one thing for another, putting off and putting on.

Much like the Gospel itself, it’s simple yet difficult. Learning to drop the negative and choose the positive, stop tearing down and start building up, let go of what hurts us and take hold of what heals – it’s an arduous, non-linear process! There are no shortcuts.

Thanks to my journey as a “recovering perfectionist” who’s been delivered from an eating disorder, depression, and anxiety, I’m quite familiar with the process. Almost every time I speak, Romans 7:15 pops up at some point: “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” (NIV)

Romans 7:15 captures our fundamental human struggle. The ongoing battle of spirit vs. flesh is the deep root of all things destructive – from self-defeating habits to full-blown addictions, from arguments to violence.

Framing it that way may sound odd when referring to your adorable toddler. But it’s easy to observe kids experiencing this struggle at a young age. (Some more so than others!)

What can we do about it? How can we nurture positive growth in ourselves, our children, and our families? Not all change is growth, but all growthrequires change. I think of it in 3 stages:

1. Awareness: I realize the behavior is happening.

2. Guilt/Regret: I recognize the behavior is not good.

3. Repentance: I want to change the bad behavior – I turn away from it, toward God, and move toward a better choice.

In my experience with a narcissistic family member, I once put it this way: “Unless and until you recognize that your actions are destructive, I have no reason to expect you to do anything differently.”

I’m not sure this person had awareness, let alone regret! Regardless, those two stages aren’t enough. We may regret something we’ve done – we might even apologize for it. Unless and until we genuinely want to change the behavior, relying on God’s help to turn toward Him and leave it behind, growth will not happen.

Although we’d like repentance to be a one-and-done proposition, it’s more of a wash-rinse-repeat situation. At age 5 or 105, the Bible lays out the same basic process for all of us. Some people say: “Nothing changes if nothing changes.” Fortunately, it’s never too late – we are always capable of change. We are loved by the One who changes everything!

Author Lauren Roman is a creative communicator, truth teller, and enthusiastic encourager who captivates audiences of all kinds. Her eclectic career began in her teens with a starring role on the ABC soap All My Children and continued with more TV and film, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Nashville, and Grace Unplugged. Lauren’s work now encompasses speaking, singing, and writing for various faith-based non-profits, including Focus on the Family, Heartbeat International, and Celebrate Kids. For the past decade, she has delivered impactful keynotes for women, youth, and pro-life ministry events. Lauren inspires others toward true identity and freedom in Christ, sharing from her own journey as a “recovering perfectionist” with bold transparency, emotion, humor, and practical biblical insights. As she addresses tough topics like recovery, food/body image issues, sexual integrity, identity/self-acceptance, and mental health, she brings together ladies of all ages and stages, sparking vital multi-generational conversations. A lifelong poet, Lauren is thrilled to launch her debut children’s book Think Good, Be Good! in 2022. For more information, please visit laurenroman.com or find Lauren on social media @thelaurenroman