You Don’t Need to Love Yourself More

Asheritah Ciuciu
Published: Feb 04, 2020
You Don’t Need to Love Yourself More

You’ve seen the headlines and the books, and I’ve seen them too: Girl, stop saying you’re sorry. Stop allowing other people to tell you what you can and cannot do. Girl, you need to love yourself more.

While there’s an ounce of truth in that pep talk, it’s weighed down by lies. Because no matter how much you love yourself, it will never be enough to bring the transformation you’re dreaming of.

Dear Christian women, you don’t need to love yourself more. You need to understand how deeply you are already loved—fully and unconditionally—so you may be free to live into your full potential, loving God and loving 

Photo Credit: Pexels

Don't Rely on Fluffy Teaching for Christian Women

Don't Rely on Fluffy Teaching for Christian Women

We all need to be reminded just how much God loves us, especially those of us who have grown up in dysfunctional homes.

Although I’m a grown woman with children of my own, I’m only now discovering the ways my childhood has misshaped my view of God’s love. When I behaved, I was praised and showered with affection. When I misbehaved, I was shunned and berated. So I excelled at performing well to stay in my earthly father’s good graces.

Many of us have grown up with condemnation and abuse, being told we’re ugly, unwanted, unplanned, unloved, unimportant. So it’s no surprise to see the influx of blog articles, books, and conferences affirming women’s worth and telling us God loves us. We absolutely must uproot the lies we’ve believed about God and ourselves, and replace those lies with Scriptural truths.

But contrary to popular teaching, the Bible does not call us to love ourselves more. Anywhere. Some teachers take Jesus’ command to love others as ourselves to mean that we’re commanded to love ourselves first. But that’s misconstruing the text. Self-love is assumed in Jesus’ words (Matthew 22:36-40). We all love ourselves, even when that self-love is expressed in harmful ways like escapism and addiction.

We don’t need to love ourselves more.

We need the opposite: to uncover the enormity of Jesus’ love for us and to pour out His bountiful love toward others.

Photo Credit: Pexels/Daria Shevtsova

Uncover the Love of Jesus

Uncover the Love of Jesus

If anyone affirmed women’s innate worth, it was Jesus.

Jesus stooped to lift women out of their cultural inferiority and raised them to dignity and honor. Jesus affirmed women’s roles as His disciples (Luke 10:38-42), He welcomed them to travel with Him (Luke 8:1-3), He spoke with them in public (Luke 7:11-17 and Luke 13:12-16), He made time for them (Luke 8:43-48), He praised their faith (Matthew 15:28), and He made them the first witnesses of His resurrection (Matthew 28:1-10).

Clearly, Jesus loves all of us, yet we often struggle to understand and embrace this deep love. In fact, the Bible tells us it takes divine power for us to understand the depths of God’s love for us (Ephesians 3:16-19). We keep forgetting how loved we are, so we go searching for love in all the wrong places. But our heavenly Father wants to lavish His love on us, and on others through us.

This was Jesus’ ultimate intention. On the hardest night of His life—the night He would be betrayed and condemned to death—Jesus washed His disciples’ feet. This wasn’t just a random act of kindness. Jesus’ love flowed out of His Father’s love: “Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end” (John 13:1 NIV).

Jesus was not self-seeking. He was secure in His Father’s love for Him, so He held nothing back as He served His disciples. And He did it to call us to costly love: “I’ve laid down a pattern for you. What I’ve done, you do. […] Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another” (John 13:15, 34 MSG).

Dear ones, we are loved—SO loved—by God in Jesus Christ. You don’t need to fight for scraps of self-love. You don’t need to pursue your own self-interests. You don’t need to cling to shreds of self-worth. Rest in God’s love for you, and then allow His love to flow freely through you to others.

Girl, may you understand how deeply you are loved so that you may live a life of love. 

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Embrace a Life of Overflowing Love

Embrace a Life of Overflowing Love

Jesus loved every single person right where He found them. He elevated them to a place of dignity. He freed them from distorted self-narratives and ensnaring self-love. And He set them on a career trajectory that eschewed self-promotion and embraced self-sacrifice.

An unnamed woman experienced Jesus’ love in His forgiveness of her sins… and she literally poured out her life savings in sacrificial love for Him (Luke 7:36-40). Martha experienced Jesus’ love in her busyness… and she poured out her love through radical hospitality, while her sister Mary anointed Jesus with expensive perfume (John 12:1-3). Lydia experienced Jesus’ love as a successful business woman… and she opened her home to become the first church in Europe (Acts 16:11-15, 40).

You can’t truly experience Jesus’ love and continue living a self-driven life. But our selfish nature will keep trying to hijack our position of being loved by God and twist even the best intentions to make them all about ourselves. I struggle with this, and I imagine you do too. Let us make a habit of surrendering our own agenda for the day and seeking God’s plan to love others through us instead.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

Let Others Know You by Your Love

Let Others Know You by Your Love

An honest reading of Scripture can’t get away from this call to sacrificial love: Christians are people who love God and love others with every fiber of their being, no matter the cost to themselves, women and men alike.

In one of his last letters, Paul wrote that he was ready to be poured out as a drink offering, willing to sacrifice even his life to see others come to know and experience Jesus’ love (2 Timothy 4:6). This is the kind of radical lifestyle that proclaims the goodness of Jesus to an onlooking world—not self-focused, self-interested goal-setting and goal-getting, but self-less, self-giving, Jesus-driven love: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35 NIV).

Beloved woman of God, don’t buy into the fluffy teaching that tries to prop up your ego with weak arguments to love yourself more. You already are loved. So loved. More loved than you could ever imagine. And you and I are entrusted with the privilege of loving others with the love of Jesus.

Try to love yourself more and you’ll end up exhausted and empty. But begin to uncover Jesus’ love and you’ll be drinking from the inexhaustible wellspring of love and life.

Asheritah HeadshotAsheritah Ciuciu is a bestselling author and national speaker, wife to her childhood sweetheart and mama to three spunky kids. She’s passionate about helping women find joy in Jesus through consistent and creative time in His Word. Get her Guide to Cultivating Consistent Quiet Time for free when you click here.

Photo Credit: Unsplash/Priscilla DuPreez


Originally published Tuesday, 04 February 2020.