Learning to love (myself)

Learning to love (myself)

Having sex when you feel fat and ugly can be comedic; from fumbling around in the darkness because you daren’t put the light on in case he sees your flab, to the issues in trying to take off the suck-it-all-in undies which you wore to cover up that extra cake you’d just comfort eaten. If you’ve been mocked, bullied or rejected in the past, even despite being in a loving relationship, you will struggle to love another when you don’t love yourself. People with a great body image and high self esteem don’t understand the daily battles of the mind you face in trying to be the wife ready to satisfy his needs while dreading the rejection if you try. 

Yet, all research points to the importance of intimacy in a happy marriage. Sexual intimacy leads to more happiness, a healthier immune system, and it even lowers your heart attack risk! Sex in a marriage also brings you closer together as you become one, and this leads to you wanting more. Plus, it counts as exercise! “I’ve got a headache” isn’t going to wash anymore as sex can lessen pain! Oh, and stop punishing him because he left the toilet lid up again! Couples who don’t have much sex (10 times a year is counted as a sexless marriage, by the way) tend to have issues of trust, hurts and bitterness. 

(Don’t assume that sex is the same as intimacy, however. There are many Christians who regard the act of intercourse as the most important thing. But sex without love and affection is just routine and mechanical. It’s vital that the marriage is based on care, affection, loving, cherishing and touch: these things make sexual intimacy easier.)

So, what can we do about the way we feel about ourselves when it comes to relationships?

Firstly, it’s time to care more about yourself. Loving your neighbour as much as you love yourself isn’t going to pan out for your neighbour if you hate yourself! Sometimes as Christians, we can assume that self-care means we are being selfish. Treat yourself the way you would a child or your best friend! Forgive those who’ve hurt you in the past and forgive yourself.

Secondly, don’t accept the lies that you are not good enough or that bad treatment is somehow deserved. Relationships are a two-way street and you should be receiving the same love, respect and acceptance that you give out. God says you are His daughter – He wants you to believe that you deserve to be cherished.

Lastly, Dave Carr reminded us in September that we are new creations, no longer under condemnation. When you don’t love yourself, people won’t be attracted to the Jesus in you. God is love – stop hating yourself and accept your body and looks as a gift. Don’t let the devil have a field day because you don’t love yourself.

Sisters in Christ, if you have a man who loves you, let him! Don’t laugh it off, put off intimacy or make up (more) excuses about why you can’t have sex on this occasion. It’s time to learn to love yourself. 

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