(Part 2 of 3)
It looks like this title caught your attention, and you're here to read more about it. Please allow me to walk you through why self-love is one of the most important things you can ever do for yourself and how it is the foundation to every other relationship in your life.
God is the Source of All Love
Firstly, where does this self-love come from? God, Himself, is the epitome of love. So where else would we find love other than the source Himself? God proved His ultimate love for us by sending His Son to die on our behalf so that we may reunite with Him. His love for us is everlasting and unconditional. When Christ died for humanity on the cross, He did not only die for everyone but especially just for you. His love for each of us is personal and specific.
Don't let the enemy whisper lies in your ear and make you doubt God's love for you. He likes to do this by reminding us of our past mistakes, and he deceivingly convinces us that our imperfections and flaws make us unworthy of God's love.
Forgiving Yourself is Essential for Loving Yourself
If the remembrance of your sins hinders you from self-love, know that this is from Satan and not God. Because once you've repented and confessed, your sins are forgiven, and you're as good as new. We read in 2 Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."
If, at times, you feel worthless and unlovable, it's time to start forgiving yourself. Why are you still punishing yourself if the Almighty Judge has already forgiven you? Lift your head high and walk confidently, knowing that forgiveness renews all, and from that, you can start or continue on the path of self-love.
Let's take the Samaritan woman as an example. When God's love touched her, she could not contain her joy. She ran to the people of the town and told them about Christ. "And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, 'He told me all that I ever did'" (John 4:39). Here is a woman who went to draw water from the well at the most undesirable time so she would not run into anyone. She was embarrassed about her lifestyle, and when the Lord asked her about her husband, she didn't give him the whole story. But through His gentle and loving way, she found forgiveness and was made new. There is no doubt that her self-love and love for God grew tremendously through that experience.
Love Yourself so You Can Love Others
There is a great Ted Talk I listened to about self-love. In it, the speaker says, "Once you decide to love who you are, you can then take that love that you have for yourself and spread it to other people. Because without that self-love, you limit your ability to pour into the lives of other people and add value to them." I'm going to take that idea a step further and say that on top of self-love, you need to be also filled with God's love.
God is the source of all good things. From Him, we learn what true love looks like. And as human beings, we long to receive love and give love. But to give love, you must draw that love from Him. We cannot give what we do not have.
How many relationships in your life are dependent on love? Maybe it's love for your parents, siblings, friends, or significant other. All those people need love from you, but you can run dry if you aren't filled with the right love.
So here is a simple breakdown:
Before I got into a relationship with my husband, I was at a place where I was very comfortable with who I was as a person. I wasn't looking for someone to complete me; God was already doing that for me. It was a struggle to get to that place, but thank God I made it there somehow. And because of that, I could healthily give and receive love. Self-love is instrumental in any significant relationship.
An issue that can occur when we lack self-love is seeking validation in an unhealthy way. Sometimes we lack that self-love and place a heavy burden on the people close to us to fill that gap for us. Or, in our search for love, we can compromise ourselves and our values to get the connection we so desperately want. If you are struggling with this, I pray that you can see your true worth and that you fall so deeply in love with God and yourself that you don't fall for false love from others.
Self-Love is Key
Loving yourself is something no one can take away from you. You recognize that God's love is the first and foremost love you need and that you already have it! Work on loving Him and getting to know Him. Once you're filled with self-love fueled by His love, you'll be able to love others. That self-love is such an essential foundation for everything else in your life. Remember, no matter your journey with loving yourself, you are adored, you are worthy, and you are loved beyond measure!