You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.
~ Song of Solomon 4:7 ESV
When you struggle with loving yourself, it can affect the joy, happiness, confidence, and success in life. I am not referring to the worldly version of loving yourself, but a way of loving yourself with a grateful and humble attitude.
You are precious in God’s eyes.
When you love yourself with God’s kind of love, you see yourself as valued. You no longer seek approval from others, and you make decisions that impart love.
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. ~ Psalm 139:13-15 ESV
Here are some ideas on how to love yourself better:
- Practice replacing negative thinking –
Do you find yourself in a pit of self-rejection, and always beating yourself up?
If you find yourself thinking about how useless you are, or how stupid you are, it takes a toll on your self-esteem, confidence, and happiness. This is not what God desires for you.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. ~Philippians 4:8-9 NIV
You are in control of your own thoughts… it just takes practice to replace negative thoughts with life-giving thoughts. You can choose to let your thoughts imprison you or you can make the choice to move past them and live in freedom.
This practice begins by memorizing and meditating on Scripture. This will help to change the way we are thinking and helps us to focus on what God says rather than our negative thoughts or what others say.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. ~Romans 12:2 NIV
- Quit comparing yourself to others –
You never win when you compare yourself to others. It is a sure way to create self-doubt and insecurities. Consider the following story the next time you find that you are comparing yourself to others:
You never know what someone else is experiencing in his/her life. You may drive down the wealthiest street in your city, but you do not realize that that couple you see with the huge house, boat, and camper sitting on their driveway, would give it all away if they could have their son back. You see, he was killed when he got hit by a drunk driver.
God desires for us only to look to Him…
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. ~Galatians 1:10 ESV
- Spend time alone with God every day –
“We can be tired, weary and emotionally distraught, but after spending time alone with God, we find that He injects into our bodies energy, power and strength.” - Charles Stanley
I know taking time every day to read the Bible and spend time in prayer can be challenging and even seem impossible at times, but this is the BEST self-love practice of all.
You might be asking how spending time alone with God translates into loving yourself. Well the answer is simple, when you connect with God daily and seek Him, He will show you His will. And because His plan for you is in your best interest you are essentially putting yourself in the best hands possible and therefore loving yourself in the process.
Don’t try to make it “perfect” – this is a daily “practice” … it is a journey with God to be enjoyed. It is more about being consistent regardless if it is 5 minutes or 5 hours.
Decide what time of day is best for you and start small at first. It is all about creating a habit of being in the presence of God through prayer and spending time in His Word.
But if you will seek God earnestly and plead with the Almighty, if you are pure and upright, even now He will rouse himself on your behalf and restore you to your prosperous state. ~Job 8:5-6 NIV
Ultimately, loving yourself comes when you truly identify who you are through God’s eyes because He created you. And the only way of knowing what God says is true of you is by reading His word.
You are precious and valuable to Him.
So the next time you feel down on yourself, put your hope in the Creator of the Universe for He delights in you!
The Lord delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love. ~Psalm 147:11