Thursday, February 3, 2011

Book Club Thursday | Mama Made the Difference

Mamas Teach Us to Love Ourselves

Loving ourselves can be a daunting lesson to learn, a lifelong of growing into accepting and embracing all of who we are and meant to be.  Joyce Meyer has said many times that no matter where you go there you are.  It is so true!  Some people have problems just being with themselves because they do not love themselves.  And I am not talking about a narcissistic love, but a healthy love for the person that God made them to be.  Learning to love ourselves as we are, as God created us, and the calling He has put on our life is a challenge that all women face.  Yet, it is something that we can learn to do with the help of the Lord.

Sometimes, however, learning to love ourselves seems impossible.  Stop for a moment and ask yourself: When was the last time you felt unloved or worthless for no apparent reason?  Sometimes it can a comment or a memory of a comment from someone that can take us to that place where we felt unloved or worthless.  Sometimes a comment can be made innocently, or it can be aimed with precision at a tender area of our heart, soul, or mind.  We need to remember that no matter who or where the comment comes from, we must remember the sacrifice of love made for us by Christ.  And I know it is easier to dwell on the hurt and the words than on the love that Jesus has for us (oh, believe me, I know), but in the grand scheme of things, His love matters more and carries more weight than the words of mere humans.

Numerous obstacles to our growth throw themselves in front of us like storm-tossed tree trunks blocking a roadway.  Feelings of rejection and hurtful words are usually some of the biggest obstacles we face as we try to grow into what we believe God wants us to become.  The old children's adage "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me" is the furthest thing from the truth. 

Sometimes, I think that sticks and stones don't hurt nearly as much.  At least sticks and stones are concrete things that you can see and when the bruise shows us, it is there for all to see and there is no denying the source of the wound. 

Words are a different story.  They are invisible to the human eye, yet they are capable of creating some of the deepest wounds known to mankind.  And because the wounds are internal, no one ever sees the cuts, jabs, or the scars that they create on our hearts.  The wounds are not visible to the human eye and are easily covered up by the wounded one.  A bright smile and perky personality can hide the wounds of words on the heart.

As important as it is for us to learn to rise above our roadblocks, we must also remember that others are trying to rise above their roadblocks too.  We need to be sure that we do not become a roadblock to someone else, and we must watch the words we use with others.  We do not ever want to inflict the same hurt on others that may have been inflicted on us.

I also urge you to combat rejection in your children.  Make sure you tell them often how much you love them and how much God  loves them.  Let them know that you may not approve of everything they do (and that you will have to enforce discipline at those times), but that you absolutely adore who they are.  Our children have such young hearts which are so moldable right now.  We can either  mold those hearts to believe that they are loved, valued, and have a great purpose to fill for the Lord or we can cut them down and make them feel that they are an interruption to our lives. 

I look at Addie and I cannot imagine putting words into her life that would hold her back in anyway.  I want her to know how much she is loved and valued. It even bothers me when others take on the "normal, negative outlook" on children and speak about them/her in a way that does fit into what we are trying to put into her life. 

Although, we do have to discipline Addie at times (after all, she is almost three and has not quite reached the age of perfection yet.... who has?), she knows that she is loved and even tells us that she loves us during her discipline learning time.  I am totally and completely against telling her that she is a bad girl when she misbehaves.  If you tell a child long enough that they are bad, they believe it and become what you have told them they are.  She is a sinner and so am I.  When she does wrong, I tell her that what she did was wrong, we correct the behavior, and we ask Jesus to forgive her.  Her spirit is being built during this teaching time and she is still maintaining her value and self- worth.

Homework for the Heart: What did your mother teach you about loving yourself?  In which ways did she disappoint you and create obstacles to loving yourself?  What's the greatest obstacle to loving yourself right now as you read this (page)? How can you accept the truth about who you are and how much God loves you and move forward?


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