How to Love Yourself

 

Join me for a cup of bokeh!
I’ve heard a lot of talk lately in the blogosphere about “loving self.” Some say we need to do that because many of us are failing to truly love ourselves. Some say it’s a given that we love ourselves and that loving ourselves should not be our focus.

I think both “camps” have something valid to say, but I’d like to take the good from both and extend it a bit further …

I believe we need to love ourselves, but not through the conduit of self-love.

 

I agree that we take care of ourselves and that’s evidence of a kind of self-love or self-preservation. However, some do not take care of themselves. Some become so troubled and self-rejecting that they injure themselves through various means like; cutting, disordered eating, abusing drugs, suicide, etc. Some simply tear themselves down with negative self-talk and lies they’ve believed over the years.

Are these examples an indication of self-hatred or self-rejection? Perhaps.

Then there’s the idea that we need to look to ourselves to gain love of self. I think that idea is misguided at its best.

I believe we need to love ourselves through loving God.

 

We cannot conjure up enough positive feelings about ourselves to override the sins we’ve committed or the sins that have been committed against us.

To truly love ourselves is an act of God’s grace.

As we look to Christ and learn how He first loved us, even as we were and are still sinners, we find true love and acceptance of ourselves through Him.

 

  • Looking to ourselves for love is like going the wrong way on a highway. We will get creamed!
  • Looking to others to fill that void and affirm our worth is like drinking from a cup with a leak. We’re always left wanting more.
  • Looking to God to meet this important need fills us up to overflowing and the cup never runs dry!
  • Look to Him to love Him and you’ll feel His love filling up the cracks in your view of self.

 

Look to Him to see yourself through His eyes and that’s where you’ll find you are part of a true love story!

What do you think? Is loving ourselves important? Why or why not?

 

What are some ways you’ve gained more “self-love” as you’ve looked to Christ to fill that void?

 

Click here for some verses on God’s love for us. Meditate on these and allow them to transform your thinking about who you are in Christ.

Photo by April
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Joining with NOBH, Works for Me Wednesday, To Love Honor and Vacuum, Whimsical Wednesday, Essential Fridays and T.G.I.F.

 

Now, it’s time for Wedded Wednesday!

WW rules:

Write in any way you feel inspired about marriage, parenthood or anything that reflects Christ’s redemption in your life.

  1. Enter in a permalink directly to your blog post and not the main URL to your blog.
  2. Be sure to include a link to Wedded Wednesday or add the WW button to your current blog post and/or sidebar.
  3. Visit and comment on at least one other person’s blog that’s linked up here.
  4. Please no offensive or inappropriate content or sexually explicit images!

Optional but encouraged:

  1. Consider setting up your Gravatar profile and Disqus Profile with a link to your blog … it makes it so much easier for all of us to find those of you who blog!
  2. If you have the time, visit those who visit your blog and comment at their place as well … sort of a “Say it forward.”

 

Come join our Wednesday Link-up!

 

 

  • I appreciate this post, Beth. I’ve often struggled with the “pride” of loving ourselves, and in teaching my children self-worth. But if we recognize our worth comes from God and aim to see ourselves as he sees us, it’s not pride, it’s truth. Great thoughts, as always, my friend!

    • Yes, that’s a great way to put it, Becky–“it’s not pride but truth.” Love it! Thanks so much for adding to the discussion, sweet friend.

  • Hello, Dear Friend ~
    I am loving your new design – fresh, vibrant, alive, warm, open … just like you!
    And yes, until we love ourselves like He does, we will not be able to love others well.
    ;-}

    • Thanks so much, Linda! I am still trying to work out the bugs and figure out all my plugins, but one of these days it’s going to be “just right.” ha! You and I often struggle with the technology that goes along with this blogging thing we do! So your approval means a lot to me. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and encouraging me, lovely friend. Hugs to you!

  • bluecottonmemory

    Until I started understanding how God created me and saw me – I thought I was a jumbled mess of nothing that worked right – I like who He created me to be now – and I try to grow there daily:) Me without God isn’t very beautiful.

    BTW – delightful new blog design!!!! Wishing you beauty in your week!

    • It’s so amazing to rest in His love for us. I often imagine how He might look at me and it is always with such depth of love and it melts my heart. We need Him so desperately but try to find other “loves” to fill that void. Nothing will do till we rest in His arms. Thanks for your sweet words about the blog design and your vulnerable disclosure too. I love and appreciate it all!

  • Nan

    The problem is, even when we try and love ourselves we’re going to fail at it and do it imperfectly, because we are imperfect people. So it will cause more problems for us. This is why we need to get our self-esteem and self-love from Him, because He will do it perfectly and won’t fail! 🙂 Thanks for hosting again today, Beth!

    • Yes, exactly, Nan! I am a mess when I try to find my worth in myself and the things I do or even am. The only “am” that I want to be His child–a daughter of the King of kings. What could be better than that?! Thanks for cheering me on each week, my friend. I appreciate it more than you know!

  • Mia

    Hi Beth
    I grazed at the self-rejection camp for the most part of my life, and when I realized that I was slowly but surely killing my heart, I jumped over to the greener pastures of positive self-talk and thinking. That was now out of the frying pan into the fire! But this is where Pappa picked me up; there where only the ashes of “Mia-self-self-self” remained. He has this thing about creating beauty out of ashes, I guess!
    Love to you XX
    Mia

    • You’re so right about that “frying pan to fire” analogy, Mia. It is often where people get off-track and wonder why they struggle to love and be loved. Thanks so much for your sweet words of encouragement each week. I look forward to seeing you here, my friend!

  • JosephPote

    “Look to Him to see yourself through His eyes and that’s where you’ll find you are part of a true love story!”

    This is so true, Beth! Both in loving ourselves and loving others, true love starts with learning to see both ourselves and others as God sees us.
    Good post!

    • Isn’t it great to be a part of that ultimate love story in Jesus, Joe?! So many are hungering for that kind of love and never realize just how close He is–just a prayer away. Thanks for your kind words and glad to see you back around the “blogging hood.” 🙂

  • Kim Adams Morgan

    Beth, I agree, we need to look to Christ to learn to love both ourselves and others. I think it is a process we grow in each day as we grow in His Word. Each time the Holy Spirit reveals truth to us, it helps us let go of the old self. Thank you for this link up.

    • Yes, letting go of the “old self” is a good way to put it, Kim. I’m still a work in progress, but Jesus loves me just as I am–so grateful for His unfailing love! Thank you for coming by and encouraging me and linking up too! Glad to get to know you better each week!

  • Megan@DoNotDisturb

    Our worth truly does come from knowing God and His great love for us. If we only ever look to ourselves or others for love we will never truly understand it.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Megan

    • Yes, it is a mystery to those who try to gain love any other way. I know that it sure made my marriage messy when I wasn’t looking to Jesus to fill that void. Thanks so much for the work that you and your hubby do, Megan. I’m always glad to see you in the line up!

  • GailBP

    Amen, Beth. I think you’ve given some good illustrations of the emptiness of the wrong kind of self love…that coffee cup with a leak…and you’ve nailed it–we need to love ourselves through loving Him.
    By the way, I like your template with the coffee spots and cup ring : ) Great for “messy marriage”

    • Yes, I’ve tried drinking one too many times from that leaky cup and it’s simply insanity! But thankfully God taught me where to go to the well of living water. I’m just hoping that this can make a difference in the lives of those who feel alone and unloved in a messy marriage. Thanks also for your kind words about the new design. I’m still trying to work out some minor formatting issues, but it’s getting there! And yes, the coffee rings are a staple around this place. 🙂

  • Lisa Raub

    Very well put, Beth! It’ so true that, in order to truly love ourselves, we must first learn to love God. Without loving Him and His kind ways, we can never accept the way we are made or the things that happen in our lives.

    Thanks so much for hosting!

    • His grace and love transforms our perspective, doesn’t it, Lisa? It’s like being born blind and suddenly seeing for the first time! Thanks for joining in the discussion and encouraging me as well, my friend!

  • I appreciate you sharing your heart. I often find the opposite to be true in my own life. As someone in full time ministry, it’s so easy to get caught up in loving on others to the point that you don’t take time for yourself! It’s a balancing act regardless of which side of the spectrum we fall on. And I love how your words apply to both sides of the coin: To truly love ourselves is an act of God’s grace. Well said. (and thanks for stopping by to say hi.)

  • Christa Sterken

    That makes so much sense. The more I loved God is the way I finally learned to start loving myself. Because I felt it was disrespectful to Him to hate myself, his very own creation