1. Welcome to Christian Forums, a friendly forum to discuss Christianity in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting after you have posted 20 posts and have received 5 likes.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

  2. Faith Options in Your User Profile
    Please click on the following regarding this important notice in Announcements:

    Faith Options in Your User Profile.

Does God want us to love ourselves?

Discussion in 'Christian Advice' started by mistyrose, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. mistyrose

    mistyrose Junior Member

    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    1
    Faith:
    Protestant
    Would appreciate the feedback. Unfortunately, I had neglectful parents who suffered from true mental health issues, have no extended family, and a pretty emotionally abusive husband. I have come to terms with all of the above, and accepted it as life. I have moved on, and have a wide range of interests, and I enjoy the love of my children as well.

    Unfortunately, one thing that I have is, the deep belief that I am one who in life will not be loved, and I have great difficulty feeling like I am worth anything. In abstract I know God loves me, but in real life it is not something I believe deep down in my soul.

    Is this something that God holds to be less than what he wants for us? The only one I am affecting is me. I have no trouble loving others. Its me I have trouble with, I can only assume that having unloving parents and spouse has fundamentally affected me.

    Does God care if I care about myself, or is it is a non issue?

    I should add that I could be treated for depression, but the true issue I think is living with an abusive spouse, and I can't fix that, short of drastic measures (have three small children and I think of them the most).
     
  2. Forealzchola

    Forealzchola Contributor

    Messages:
    6,694
    Likes Received:
    0
    Marital Status:
    Single
    Politics:
    US-Republican
    Faith:
    Pentecostal
    God loves us and YES He wants us to love ourselves..we must view ourselves as highly as God views us..because we were paid with a cost...we worth Son's life..think about it...you are so precious that you were worth God's life...God wants us to have high self-esteem...He wants us to look good and take care of ourself because we are the living temple of God..and anyone that will tell you that is not so..well they dont have your best interest at heart..

    I was in an abusive relationship emotional as well however that person was just my boyfriend...so we might be able to relate on some levels however I never struggled with low self-esteem it was just that I was so sure of the signs of physical abuse I didnt know what emotional abuse was as ...I thought my ex was just trying to be super macho with his jealousy and commanding ways...but I broke it off and its the best decision I made in my life..he has a problem and hes crazy and idk how i would have ever even married him and had children with ...let alone if I would have even been able to carry a pregnancy to full term because of the stress of the relationship...but I will tell you this...God does not want you to be hurt or abused...we are not victims ....so we dont have to stay...never...and it will effect your children...emotinal abuse eventually leads to physical abuse so its something to weigh out....i ask you to ask yourself this question..this migh help you to answer if its time for you to leave...." can i ask my husband or address how he makes me feel bad...without him hurting me...getting angry or retaliating aganist me...?"
     
  3. LogosRhema

    LogosRhema Awake

    Messages:
    1,641
    Likes Received:
    0
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Buddhist
    God can work through all of that, but explain this Bible verse to me...

    How can you love, if you don't first love yourself?

    Romans 12
    So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.

    This is my advice, through this verse entirely, if you want to begin in the right direction of finding love for yourself again. :)
     
  4. wonderwaleye

    wonderwaleye New Member Supporter

    Messages:
    4,034
    Likes Received:
    44
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Christian


    First thing first!

    " I should add that I could be treated for depression "


    If you noticed I flagged this quote in red. Reason is, that it is the MOST important issue that needs to be addressed and resolved.


    To understand mental illness is to understand there is no understanding. Reason cannot aline itself with unreasoning. At best the doctors that specialize in mental disorders can treat the cause of the illness without ever understanding the reasoning of the patient.


    You really need to see the doctor and get this under control.( I had to do the very same.) Then you will be in a position to clearly deal with others, including husband, as this problem in itself can create or be the cause of your feelings. You are married and have two children by this man, so at one time the feelings must have been different.


    I find I can go no further without this issue being addressed.


    The MOST important thought you need to keep thinking about is the EXTREAM LOVE that our CREATOR has for you. GOD even sent HIS SON to suffer EXTREAM PAIN, HUMILIATION, and DEATH just so you could be SAVED from a life without GOD. You must understand that love as you have 2 children. So concentrate on this while you see the doctor and hopefully after will find a different understanding of your husband's feelings.

    If after treatment you find the same to still be true, we will address that. GOD won't leave you alone without LOVE.



    ALWAYS REMEMBER:

    JESUS IS RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE AT!!! EVEN THOUGH YOU DON'T SEE HIM!!!

    ( left click and hold over the above to see your personal message )
     
  5. SumMer87

    SumMer87 Newbie

    Messages:
    178
    Likes Received:
    0
    Marital Status:
    Single
    Faith:
    Christian
  6. Katryna

    Katryna Junior Member

    Messages:
    187
    Likes Received:
    0
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Politics:
    US-Republican
    Faith:
    Christian
    Hun, I am not a psychologist, nor do I play one on TV... but I believe the reason you chose an abusive husband is because you came from abusive parents, and it's what you were accustomed to. And unless you CHANGE the programming in your home, the same programming will continue in the homes your children will create. Do you want your sons to abuse their wives? Do you want your daughters picking abusive husbands/boyfriends? All the talk in the world will not change ANYTHING --- you must change the ACTION in your home. NO MORE ABUSE! Children follow what you DO far more than what you SAY.

    Get some help... if you can't find enough love for yourself to do it, do it for the love of your children. In finding that help, you will learn how to love yourself. :)
     
  7. toolite

    toolite New Member

    Messages:
    3,581
    Likes Received:
    0
    Marital Status:
    Single
    Faith:
    Christian

    It's true that we carry things from childhood into adulthood. Everyone does it whether they will admit to it or not. God always knows where you are at mentally, physically, in your heart and mind it's no secret. I believe he works with us to build the part that is weak. What you use to accept you maynot accept now it's a process. Don't beat yourself up or double punish yourself. What your parents did you - made it through and you know it wasn't right.. So you won. I know now looking back that God will move a person when they are not right. Trust in God more I know its hard sometime.. demonstrating faith is hard sometimes but, the reward is great! Do love yourself because you have children that depend on you. If you can't do it for you then do it for your children- they need you. As you get stronger you won't allow certain things. Also too have a plan- give God something to work with. Sometimes God gives us things no action is required. Sometimes we have to get up in order for God to do what he is going to do. Sometimes we have to wait on the Lord. Stay Blessed!

    All The Glory Belongs To God!
     
  8. YoungPilgrim

    YoungPilgrim Newbie

    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    2
    Faith:
    Christian
    Misty, I'm sorry to hear about your troubles, and I hope that God will help you through them.

    I have struggled with this same issue: am I supposed to love myself? I think that the answer is yes. I came across this little bit of writing a while back by R.C. Sproul, and it really helped me to work through these things.

    "The Bible commands us to love ourselves when it says, "Love your neighbors as yourself" (Leviticus 19:18; Matthew 19:19). The command says as much about self-love as it says about loving others. We might assume that all people love themselves, but the Bible implies that we do not love ourselves at all.

    What does it mean to love yourself? Because you are the image of God, to love yourself means to love God. Those who hate God hate themselves for the same reason. Also, because other people are made in God's image, to love yourself is to love them. This is especially true when it comes to those God has put close to us. Paul writes: "He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church" (Ephesians 5:28b-29). Of course, those we call "masochists" do hate their own bodies, and in one way or another, everyone outside of Christ hates himself.

    The Bible appeals to self-love. Jesus asked, "What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?" (Matthew 16:26). Here is an exhortation to repent grounded in enlightened self-interest. If we really loved ourselves, we would repent, put our trust in Christ, and save ourselves; but we don't do that, showing again that we really hate ourselves. Apart from God's intervening grace, people do not act out of enlightened self-interest.

    Humanity's love of death (Proverbs 8:36) and hatred of itself is concealed in what is perversely called "self-love." As Christians we can call this counterfeit self-love "selfish love." Selfish love is self-centered, quick to resent other people, and grounded in rebellion against God. True self-love, by way of contrast, is grounded in love for God and embraces sacrificial love for other people. God is the Maker of the self, and the obligation to nurture and protect ourselves is a Divine mandate. Apart from God, however, people work to destroy themselves, because they hate the image of God and seek to deface it."


    It also helped me greatly when I came to the realization that I am worth nothing to God apart from Christ. Another way to put this is that God does not need me. He does not love me because I am worthy of His love. God loves me because He is love. God's love is only conditional upon His own goodness, and for this reason His love can never fail. Through faith in Christ, I have put on Christ, and God now sees me as His perfect and righteous son.

    I hope that this helps you in some way. I truly hope that God will reveal His boundless love to you, and that you will experience it and cling to it.

    Grace and peace in Christ
     
  9. mistyrose

    mistyrose Junior Member

    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    1
    Faith:
    Protestant
    I think I have been telling myself that I am nothing to anybody so long that I believe it, have come to terms with it, and run my life despite it. It does make me wonder though if this is the right thing to believe. I know that it is not the best way to think, but on the other hand I do live a productive life, and I do live up to my responsabilities. Its just like long ago I came to the conclusion that for some reason this was my life and I just had to learn to adapt around it.
     
  10. Sadiegrl

    Sadiegrl Merging my Theology with Reality!!!

    Messages:
    4,192
    Likes Received:
    0
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Christian
    Hi Misty :)

    God calls us precious to him. If you think about what is precious.....children, certain sentimental things,etc...but we hold them close/tight to our hearts. God loves us so much he holds us close to his heart. That is truly moving to know that we are so special to him. While we must acknowledge that we are sinners (and that can be depressing at times) it helps us to learn to love ourselves THROUGH God and not of our own means.

    But what is life if you dont have love?? You say you have a productive life (and thats great! congrats!) but if you dont know how to love yourself then you havent fully experienced the awesome things God has in store for you....then you will really know a fulfilled life! There are desires in you heart (whether you have discovered them or not) that God put there and wants to fulfill once you are able to live a life of love. Starting within yourself through God. I suggest that you pick up your bible and read one of the Gospels. I was able to read through Mark in about 45 min, so if you have about that much free time (kids naptime! :)) then try reading it and see what God has to say to you, personally!

    You are loved dearly, and i cant wait for you to come upon that revelation! God bless and take care sister!

    :hug:
     
  11. wonderwaleye

    wonderwaleye New Member Supporter

    Messages:
    4,034
    Likes Received:
    44
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Christian

    " but on the other hand I do live a productive life, "

    What exactly do you mean by this statement?


    " and I do live up to my responsabilities. "

    Just what responsibilities do you consider that you live up to.


    The answers could be very important to establish where your thinking is right now and if you have a healthy state of mind. I have run into folks that will give you what they call an overall statement that failed to really expose what the real problem was.


    I do think you need speak with someone that specializes in the mental frame of mind. DON'T just cover this up and say " oh well ". For if you do, you are NOT living up to your " responsabilities. "



    ALWAYS REMEMBER:

    JESUS IS RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE AT!!! EVEN THOUGH YOU DON'T SEE HIM!!!

    ( left click and hold over the above to see your personal message )
     
  12. mistyrose

    mistyrose Junior Member

    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    1
    Faith:
    Protestant
    By productive I mean that as far as I know I have no gross sins, am growing in faith, am responsible for my obligations, am a good mother and try be a good wife in the face of marital difficulties. I have a good education/make a good living and we are financially solvent.

    It just the echo inside me that says that I am nothing to anybody, but it has been striking me lately that maybe that is not what God wants us to think.
     
  13. Johnnz

    Johnnz Senior Veteran

    Messages:
    13,514
    Likes Received:
    177
    Marital Status:
    Widow/Widower
    Faith:
    Christian
    God does not love nothings and nobodies but real, precious people. Sometimes our past can imprint negative inner messages, which we need to get changed, but we are to love what God Himself loves, and we must know how secure we are in His love for us.

    John
    NZ
     
  14. wonderwaleye

    wonderwaleye New Member Supporter

    Messages:
    4,034
    Likes Received:
    44
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Christian


    Could you please explain what you mean by " am growing in faith "? I hope you will take some time in your answer here as it is very important.


    GOD has a MISSION for each one of us. If we are to feel good about our self, find the peace, and fulfilment we have to know what the MISSION is and be working on this MISSION.



    ALWAYS REMEMBER:

    JESUS IS RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE AT!!! EVEN THOUGH YOU DON'T SEE HIM!!!

    ( left click and hold over the above to see your personal message )
     
  15. mistyrose

    mistyrose Junior Member

    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    1
    Faith:
    Protestant
    Growing in faith?

    I could say it like this. As far as I can tell, the besetting sins that used to trip me up are much more manageable, I attend and enjoy a good church weekly, I have a fulfilling prayer and study life, and I very much enjoy digging deep into Christian theology. I don't "feel" that I am estranged from God, I feel a close and deepening relationship with Him.

    The above I think is leading me to the question of my opening post. Because of all of the above, me thinking ill of myself is a disconnect from all of the positive spiritual things that are going on within me. I am growing, but dragged down by one thing.

    But still I wonder is it simply a neutral point to not care about oneself, or does God expect us to like ourselves too (I have no trouble liking and loving others).
     
  16. wonderwaleye

    wonderwaleye New Member Supporter

    Messages:
    4,034
    Likes Received:
    44
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Faith:
    Christian

    Folks that are honest with themselves are not happy with themselves as they know all there real faults. We fall way short of the glory of GOD.


    I am happy to hear your answer! For I know if you are reading the NEW TEATIMENT and dedicating your WHOLE life to GOD you will be all right.


    I am a bipolar. I go to the doctor and take my meds. I have had no problem in years and hope it keeps that way. There is no reason to feel any different about mental illness than any other disease. But it can be the most dangerous as it's the organ you think and guide yourself with. With this in mind I really do think you need to get checked out by a doctor if for no other reason the peace it will bring in your life.



    ALWAYS REMEMBER:

    JESUS IS RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE AT!!! EVEN THOUGH YOU DON'T SEE HIM!!!

    ( left click and hold over the above to see your personal message )
     
  17. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

    Messages:
    4,177
    Likes Received:
    33
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Politics:
    CA-Conservatives
    Faith:
    Baptist
    The Bible says, "...as he (a man) thinks in his heart so is he." (Prov. 23:7) The secular world understands this principle very well. Every advertisement you see plays upon the fact that what our mind dwells on eventually influences our behaviour. So it is that, when you receive into your mind the kinds of things you've shared in this thread and do nothing to challenge them, you simply become conformed to them. Its the way God has made us. The good news, though, is that the same process that has made you into a person who feels unworthy of love, can also make you into a person who understands and delights in God's love. The whole process revolves around telling yourself the truth about yourself, which is that God loves you, unworthy as you are of that love, and has adopted you as one of His own children. Think on these things, rather than on how you have come to feel unloveable. I promise you that as you do you will, by the working of the Holy Spirit, become conformed to God's truth both in thought and deed.

    Peace.
     
  18. brinny

    brinny everlovin' shiner of light in dark places Supporter

    Messages:
    185,178
    Likes Received:
    3,695
    Marital Status:
    Private
    Politics:
    US-Constitution
    Faith:
    Non-Denominational
    Dear heart, He does. Praying, precious sister in Christ and beloved daughter of the Most High God (for your protection and your children's). (((hug)))
     
  19. aiki

    aiki Regular Member

    Messages:
    4,177
    Likes Received:
    33
    Marital Status:
    Married
    Politics:
    CA-Conservatives
    Faith:
    Baptist
    You have intrinsic value as a creature made by God - and not only made by Him, but made in His image. Your intrinsic value as a God-made creature doesn't change no matter how your life pans out because your value does not derive from you or your circumstances, but from God. We tend to think our value is determined by what we contribute to society, or by how beautiful, smart, or athletic we may be. But this is quite wrong. When this is the criteria by which a culture judges its members valuable or not, terrible atrocities are in the offing.

    Ought you to love yourself? Is this a biblical idea? Well, I can't think of a single verse in Scripture which says you should "love yourself." We ought to accept the way God has made us and treat ourselves and others with a fundamental respect that honors the fact that God has made us in His image. But love ourselves? I'm not so sure...I suppose it depends upon what you mean by "love yourself." When I hear Christians promoting "Self-love" or "Self-esteem" I get very wary. Christ calls his followers to die to Self, not to love Self. If loving yourself means that you are thinking more highly of yourself than you ought to think, or encouraging selfishness, then I don't think such "love of Self" ought to be encouraged among followers of Christ.

    You ought not to hate yourself, to despise the person God has created you to be. You are valuable as a person made in God's image regardless of what your parents or husband think. But keeping a humble view of yourself is by no means a bad thing. If people despise you because you are a mean-spirited wretch, then you deserve their ill will. If you have dealt with those who hate you with love, and gentleness, and generosity, why in the world would you think it was appropriate to adopt their hateful attitude toward you? That makes no sense whatsoever! If someone came up to you and told you that you were an ostrich, would you believe them? Even if they kept saying with great conviction and volume that you were an ostrich would you allow yourself to be persuaded that you were? Of course not! The more the person insisted on such a thing, the greater grounds you would have to think there was something terribly wrong with that person. So, why do you this with people who run you down and make you feel unlovely and unloveable? Are you really unlovely and unloveable? If you are, then maybe you need to make some changes. If you aren't, then why don't you treat these negative folk like the guy who thinks you are an ostrich? Ignore them and understand that you aren't the one with the problem, they are.

    Yes, of course you ought to care about yourself. Just be careful not to let people encourage you to become self-centered. Your body is the temple of God's Spirit and as the steward of His temple you are obliged to keep it in as a good a shape as you can. You are also a child of the Almighty Ruler of the Universe. Despising yourself is not in accord with being "a joint-heir with Christ."

    God can change anyone - even your husband. Are you praying earnestly and persistently and waiting patiently on God to do so? Are you doing all you can to live in a way the helps God change your husband, or are you a hindrance to the changes God wishes to make in your spouse?

    The more you fix your eyes upon Christ, the more your concerns about yourself will diminish. You cannot be Christ-centered and self-centered at the same time.

    Selah.
     
  20. Spunkn

    Spunkn Newbie

    Messages:
    2,984
    Likes Received:
    0
    Marital Status:
    Single
    Faith:
    Christian
    Romans 12:3 For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.

    God wants us to think accurately about ourselves. With sound judgement. Not too highly of ourselves, and not too low.

    But who we are in Christ. We are children of God. We have received righteousness from Christ if we are saved. We were created in God's image. Each one of us has unique gifts, talents, personalities, etc. We all fit into the body of Christ in different ways. We are not "better" than anyone else, but that doesn't mean you can't accept yourself for who you are. You can feel good about the talents, blessings, and abilities that you were given and you can also appreciate them in others. One body of Christ, with many different people each performing different funtions.

    Romans 12:4-6 For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 6 Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith;
     
Loading...