I was challenged yesterday with the "question do you love yourself?" When I found it hard to answer I was asked "Are there any times you can think of when you have loved yourself?". I was completely stumped.
Being the cautious person I am I did not immediately jump in with what immediately came into my head (that is to answer categorically no). However when I started to contemplate the second question all I could think of were things about be that I love - products of me - gifts and abilities that I have. Does that mean that if I did not have these abilities then I would not love anything about me?
I have spent some time 'googling' around this subject and looking through my bible to discover that there is very little about loving yourself. The Bible tells us that as we were made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). We are also told that God is love (1John 4:8), so does that mean we were made to be love as well?
The only Bible verse that seems to say anything about loving ourselves is where a verse from Leviticus (19:14) is reiterated through the New Testament which says we must love our neighbour as ourselves. So is the presumption I take from this, the presumption that we were made/created to love ourselves?
Certainly if I consider back to when my children were born, they had no shame, and even when able to express themselves gave no indication that they did not think that they were special and loved and therefore lovable of themselves. How sad then that when I speak with my 10 year old daughter now, she can real off lots and lots of things that she does like about herself - does this mean that she already does not love herself?
The only other Bible verses that are coming into my head are the ones about how much God loves me, there is Luke 12:7
"Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."
and from Psalm 139:13
"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb."
For now I think I am just going to hold onto these promises to me from God of how much he loves me and hope and pray that I might just grow to discover either that I do love myself or at least know that I can.