For years, I struggled to love myself. I didn’t think highly of myself because the words of others shattered my self esteem. But as I journeyed with Jesus, I learned that in order to love my neighbor well, I needed to love myself.
The best ways to love yourself aren’t always about pampering yourself, but are grounded in knowing who you are in Christ.
Truly loving yourself requires that you put God first in your life. This gives you the abundant life you desire and fulfills all the longings you have.
This is loving yourself.
Thinking about ourselves all the time is not God’s desire. He loves you and has the best life for you. He wants you to trust him and depend on him at all times. He will never let you down when you do this.
When you continually fix your gaze on him, at all times, you will see how much he cares for you and how he is meeting all your needs. He has it all taken care of. When you focus on him, and read the Bible, you will ultimately learn how he sees you; this is the best way to love yourself.
What does the Bible say about loving yourself?
God is Love and demonstrates how we should love him, others and ourselves.
The Bible tells you to first love God.
“‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.” (Matthew 22:36-38, NIV)
Loving Jesus will change you to be more like him. You are made in his image. You will find healing from the hurt and pain you’ve experienced and peace to accept the things that have happened to you. You will also through him find forgiveness for the things you have done wrong, and find relief from guilt and shame in order to love yourself.
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Loving yourself and loving others
As you love God and put him first you will learn to love yourself by giving yourself grace in your shortcomings, forgiving yourself daily, and accepting your flaws. Then, you can better love others, which is a purpose of yours.
“And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 22:39, NIV)
If you don’t love yourself then it will be hard to love others well, as he calls you to do. Effectively loving others means you have already accepted and know the worth you have in Christ and the love he has for you. Loving him above everything and fixating on him and not yourself will allow you to do this.
5 ways to love yourself
As you put Jesus first in your life and know the love that he has for you, you can then start to really love yourself and be happy.
When you accept what he did for you on the cross, you have the assurance that you are a new creation.
Below you will find 5 ways to love yourself by fixating on him.
1. Ways to Love Yourself: Knowing God’s Love For You
Knowing with great unwavering certainty that God loves you is of ultimate importance. He gave it all for you when he sent his son Jesus to die on the cross for you.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, NIV)
You don’t want to ever take this truth for granted. It’s something you need to cherish and focus on daily because you don’t want it to be just “head knowledge.” This truth needs to impact and refresh your heart every day because it’s a love like no other.
When you meditate on this deep, unrelenting, “would do anything for you” love, you can look at yourself with fresh eyes. You can forgive yourself, not be so hard on yourself and have compassion for yourself. You can let go of focusing on your flaws and accept that he is shaping you.
Keep this verse (and others like it) somewhere you look often; then you can remember his love throughout the day.
Remind yourself of the gospel message each and every day to stay focused on him and his love for you. Keep a record in a journal of the ways you see his love throughout the day, too. This will help you to focus on him and love yourself: his creation.
2. Ways to Love Yourself: Knowing You Were Created For Him
God created you for his glory.
“…everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” (Isaiah 43:7, NIV)
He has great purposes for you that will fill the longing of your heart and most importantly connect you more deeply with him.
He made you for this relationship with him. When you know this, it enables you to understand the great love he has for you and think more about growing in relationship with him than about yourself. That brings the fulfillment you crave.
As you tend to that relationship he will reveal more of how he created you and for what purposes. This will allow you to love yourself as he does and be content with the life he has given you. Your perspective changes, making you want to focus on doing things for Jesus and furthering his kingdom.
You have a reason to be here; you were created with intention and not by accident. Remind yourself that you were created by him for his glory. This helps you to wake up every morning, excited, and to love yourself as you see the great work he is doing through you.
3. Ways to Love Yourself: Seeing Yourself as God Sees You
How you view yourself is so essential. When you are putting Jesus first, you will see yourself as he does—someone so important and loved that he died for you.
He died for you when you were still a sinner.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8, NIV)
He wants you to view yourself like this—so loved that he paid the ultimate sacrifice for you. You need to continually view yourself through a Biblical lens—not that of the world. You can do this when you focus on Jesus and the reason he died for you. Practice by looking at yourself in the mirror daily, and repeating over and over this truth of how God sees you.
4. Ways to Love Yourself: Daily Reading the Bible
You need God’s word so much. The Bible will help you to love God and in turn learn who you are, which will help you love yourself.
But the enemy doesn’t want you to love yourself or to be transformed in Christ’s image. The Bible reveals the truth of your identity but the enemy wants you stuck in your pain and only thinking about yourself.
Reading the Bible and knowing it well is a great defense against the enemy’s lies and schemes in making you believe false things about yourself.
Jesus spoke of the need for the word in the wilderness when he was being tempted by Satan. “Jesus answered, ‘It is written:
“Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”’” (Matthew 4:4, NIV)
Cling to his words; stay rooted and strong in them—just as Jesus did when lies came at him from Satan, you can do the same. Stand strong by reading the Bible every day, as often as you can. This keeps you strong in your identity and loving yourself as he does.
Jesus wants you armed by the strength of his word. It’s a mighty weapon he has given you, but you must read it daily and know it for it to be effective.
It helps to pick a translation that you like and be in a quiet place. Journal what you are learning and how God is speaking to your heart. Pray before reading so your heart is ready to receive, and ask the Spirit to reveal what he has for you. God’s word holds the power you need to stand, unwavering in your identity, to love yourself well.
5. Ways to Love Yourself: Knowing the Victory You Have in Christ
Through Christ, you are victorious. There is nothing that the enemy can do to bring you down when you know this victory you have in him.
“But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:57, NIV)
Realizing the triumph you have in Christ allows you to know that your identity is secure in him and what he did for you on the cross was to display the deep love he has for you.
You can love yourself when you know that you are victorious. It allows you to feel secure and safe in him always.
Acknowledging that the enemy has no power over you and that every battle has been won enables you to not focus on your circumstances but on God. Focusing on him is loving yourself.
That is a gift he has given us—to be able to fixate on him at all times—because he will take care of it all. Recall the victory you have in Christ when a battle comes along, and surrender it to him. Look to him and don’t think about yourself because he has got it.
There are many ways to love yourself as a Christian woman. The first and most important way to do that is by putting Jesus first in your life. Knowing his love for you, how he created you for his glory, seeing yourself as he sees you, reading the Bible daily, and acknowledging the victory you have are additional ways of how to love yourself confidently.
He loves you so much. Keep your eyes on him and not yourself.