Young black woman holding the sun in her hand

The importance of loving yourself

I watched a rom-com on Netflix recently. It was about a girl who initially was sceptical about romantic relationships, even though deep down she longed for one herself. The truth was that she didn’t think anyone would ever love her for who she was. In the end however, she realised that what she really needed to make her happy was to love herself.

You’ve probably heard it before that you can’t give what you don’t have. In terms of relationships, this means that you can’t give love to someone else if you don’t love yourself. But so many people go from relationship to relationship looking for someone to love them, as if to validate their existence. For some, it could be because they grew up in a home where they had to perform or act a certain way to earn love or acceptance. For others, it could be because previous relationships have made them feel like they are not good enough, pretty enough or smart enough. So they’re secretly (or not so secretly) longing for someone to show them that they are worthy of love.

But you see, God has already proven to us that we are worthy of love, because He gave His son to die for us. If that doesn’t show your worth I don’t know what will! God, in essence, is saying to us, ‘you don’t need to be a certain way, earn a certain amount, do a certain number of good deeds to earn my love. You are deserving of my love just because you are.’

It is important to remember this when considering a relationship. When you know your worth, you’ll be careful who you consider going into a relationship with. When you realise that the Creator of the universe sees you as so special that you’re worth dying for, you wouldn’t settle for someone that treats you less than you’re worth.

When you understand that Christ has paid a great price for you, you wouldn’t ignore it when someone tries to change you to fit into their own mould. But this also means that you would be more considerate in your dealings with people. You wouldn’t take people feelings for granted or play games with their heart. You will ‘do unto others as you would like them to do unto you’.

Loving yourself doesn’t mean you have to be proud, or haughty. It just means that you refuse to settle for anything less than you deserve. It means that you respect yourself enough to know when to walk away from a relationship that isn’t right, or healthy. It means that you recognise that if someone truly respects you, they would not expect you to, or coerce you to compromise on your values. But it also means that you know when to say yes to something good. It also means that you recognise when you have a good thing going and you allow yourself to say yes to it.

Would you say you love yourself? Or is this something that you find challenging? I would love to hear your thoughts.

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