Loving Yourself Is the Christian Thing to Do
I don't know if I can blame my parents for this one. I can't blame my past experiences or past relationships for this. In fact, I can't blame anyone except for myself for my self-doubt...And you know what? I wouldn't want to. This one is on me.
No one told me not to love myself. Guaranteed, I got bullied sadly like many people, but no one ever said, "Abigail you don't get to love yourself." No one told not to fall in love with who I am. The irony is that most people told me the opposite. My parents seemed to convey to me that I ought to treasure who I am. My best friends encouraged me to embrace all that I was. Even God...God himself, has repeatedly told me to love the creation in which I am.
So the questions I'm asking myself (and maybe you should too since you're reading this): why is it that at 24 years old (whatever age you're at), I'm finally learning the importance of falling and staying in love with myself?
A couple of months ago, I took the initiative to prioritize myself and focus on my self-care intentionally. It hasn't been as easy as I anticipated but it has been quite revealing. I've been reaching out to all my friends in the mental health sanction, reading my Bible like my life depends on it (which it does!), spend time with Jesus since he's boyfriend #1, and reading plenty of motivational quotes.
I was scrolling on my Tumblr feed ( yes I still use my, and yes you should create an account just so you can follow me instead of secretly judging me because we both know you want to see what my Tumblr is all about) when I saw this picture (left).
I couldn't just repost this picture. I have to save the image (copyright police already comin' for me; I hear the sirens), print it out, and post it on my mirror. Every time I read this, I think to myself, "wow, how is it convenient to fall in love with another person (being friends or significant others) than it is to fall in love with myself?!"
I mean, I can meet someone right now, get to know them, spend time with them, and begin to fall in love who they are. I realize that it's not a matter of if I have the capability of loving someone but why I haven't been able to fall in with...me. Adoring everyone else is doable!
For over six years, I’ve been asking myself why I struggle to love myself? But recently when I realized that my self-esteem was derived from not being able to love who I am the way I ought to. I began seeking answers to my questions. It wasn't until I noticed the similarities between how I would fall in love with others and the quote above.
When it came to me, I wasn't getting to know me. All of me, the good and the spectacular. (I'm plenty aware of the 'need to work on parts' of myself.) I wasn't spending time with myself, as in just being by myself. I wasn't embracing every aspect of what makes me Abigail. Surely enough God had some words to share with me on why I was like this and how I could overcome it.
God's word repeatedly speaks on how much God loves us. Heck, the most famous verse is John 3:16 (God bless you Tim Tebow for making it known to all). I was devaluing who God had created, me, because I wasn't taking the time to love myself. I've been doubting God. When Jesus told us to believe in him, he didn't just mean in His experience alone but in His Word. Mary and Elizabeth had to believe in what God had promised them even though we all know the people around them thought that they were crazy. Jesus repeats how much he loves you and I. He values us to the grave and back, literally! We need to believe and understand that if Jesus deems us as worthy of being loved despite all we've done, then we need to appreciate who we are too.
Submission to one's husband or wife is made inwardly. Submission to God is what we do from within. What we choose to decorate our outer beings with means nothing in comparison to what is inside our hearts. Peter says that what is imperishable is what is worthy in the eyes of God. What matters at the end of the day is who we are within. That person that you haven't learned to embrace, that's the person Jesus values the most. It's foolish of us to think that we can worship Christ without loving ourselves. It's not whoa is me, and everyone is worthy, but I'm wonderful, and so are you.
I Dare You:
Reintroduce yourself to yourself! Take the necessary time you deserve to learn about who you are, and I will be doing the same. Learn about all your quirky antics. What makes you happy, what annoys you, and what makes you feel loved. Embrace the person you were meant to be. Imagine a seven-year-old version of yourself hugging the person you are now. That is how God wants you to see yourself.
You may have scars and have made countless mistakes but you are beautiful and a masterpiece in your own making. Learn to appreciate the treasure that you are. You are not loving those you care for as well as you could be because you have not learned to love you as well as you can. Start dating yourself as you continue to date God because eventually, this dating thing will become second nature!
Until next time…