What does self-love mean for a Christian? Throughout the Bible there are verses about self sacrifice and unselfishness, so how does self esteem, self worth and self love fit into the life of a child of God. Let’s look at 35 Bible Verses about self love to help us get an understanding of what self esteem and love is in God’s Word.
What does the Bible say about self-love?
While you won’t see the phrase “self-love” in the Bible, the concept of self esteem and self love are assumed in the Bible. We see that in a number of verses where God commands us to love as we love ourselves.
When God says the second greatest commandment is to “love your neighbor as you love yourself” this is not a small amount of love, but a huge, radical decision to love further than most will ever go.
In Ephesians we see this again, in chapter 5 where Paul commands men to care for their wives with the same tender, loving care they give themselves.
The Bible assumes that self love is already happening naturally in most people. For those struggling with self love, who often feel worthless, God’s high value and love on your life can serve of reassurance of your highest value in His eyes.
John 3:16 says “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”
God values YOU SO MUCH that He gave his only child, the apple of His eye, the perfect one Christ Jesus–to save you and love you forever!
Why does God want us to love ourselves?
God wants us to rightly esteem and value ourselves. This involves us knowing the truth about ourselves. We are sinful, liars, selfish, prideful, con men and women, who choose to live in rebellion to God.
And as a child of God we are also…
- Made for significance
- A new creation
- Given grace and favor
So even though yes, we all have a multitude of sins, focusing our energy on negative thoughts and beating ourselves up over our wrong choices is not what God wants for us.
35 Best Bible Verses About Self Love
1. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. -1 John 4:18
God’s perfect love lets us live without fear–of what we or anyone else thinks of us.
2. So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. -Genesis 1:27
You are made marvelously in the image of God. The “Imageo Dei” is the doctrine of God’s deity or Godness placed in human beings. An article from Christianity Today puts it this way,
“The moral implications of the doctrine of imago Dei are apparent in the fact that if humans are to love God, then humans must love other humans, as each is an expression of God.”
Since we are included in humankind this means that loving and accepting ourselves is one of the ways we love and reflect God too.
3. See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. -1 John 3:1
You are the child of God and have great worth just because of that fact!
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4. Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ -Matthew 22:37-39
The greatest commandment helps us see self love as a prerequisite and assumption before we can truly love others.
5. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day. -Genesis 1:31
When God finished creating man and woman, he declared them “very good”. After every other piece of his creation God simply called it good. The distinction of very good shows humankind as the pinnacle of God’s creation.
You too are created and called “very good” by God. Yes, even with wrinkles and glasses and acne and love handles and all the things that you don’t call “good”. Even with dyslexia or anxiety or disease or disability.
Your body is good and reflects God’s creativity and beauty.
6. But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, Without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people. -2 Timothy 3:2-5
These verses describe those far from God as “lovers of themselves”. This means too intent on their own selves, selfish and conceited. (Source)
These verses also describes people “without love”. Although we aren’t called to selfish behaviour, we can act with love towards ourselves. We can love what is good, and that includes us!
8. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church. -Ephesians 5:28-29
This verses tell husbands to love their wives as they do their own flesh, assuming self love and calling husbands to this kind of earth shaking love, just like Jesus has for us!
9. But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” -1 Samuel 16:7
While humans get caught up in the outward appearance, God only sees your true self. While it may be hard for you to love certain parts of your looks–God is focused on the person you are on the inside.
10. For we are God’s masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. -Ephesians 2:10
God calls you his special work, that he carefully crafted with all the love and care of a Master Artist.
11. The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” -Zephaniah 3:17
The truth is God delights in you. Even when you feel unlovable, He is singing love songs and lullabies over you.
12. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light. -Ephesians 5:8
Yes, you may have darkness in your life, but God has a calling and future for you that like light can bring illumination, warmth, and beauty to all around you.
13. Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. -John 1:16
God sees you as valuable–He has given you grace upon grace. Don’t detract or devalue what He has elevated!
14. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. -1 Peter 2:9
God has chosen you especially and has you apart as royal and sacred in His kingdom.
15. Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life. -Isaiah 43:4
This is one of my favorite verses! I first found it as a 13 year old struggling with identity and self worth. The promise that God saw me as precious and honored–loved and valuable was life-changing.
16. The Lord did not set his affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the Lord loved you… -Deuteronomy 7:7-8
God’s love for you isn’t because you are perfect or have something to offer him. God chooses to love you because he wants to love you.
17. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. -2 Timothy 1:7
You are never called to shrink back or make yourself “less than”. Instead God calls you to a life of power, love and self-discipline.
18. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
This classic passage on love is especially meaningful when you consider this kind of love directed toward yourself.
- How can you be patient and kind with yourself today?
- How can you not dishonor yourself?
- How can you release the record of wrongs you’ve kept against yourself?
19. Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed, says the Lord, who has compassion on you.” -Isaiah 54:10
God’s loving kindness is eternally fixed on you.
20. About Benjamin he said: “Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between his shoulders.” -Deuteronomy 33:12
Our security in our self doesn’t need to come from the things we do–endless striving to measure up. We can be secure and have self love because God loves us and creates security for us.
21. I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine; he browses among the lilies. -Song of Solomon 6:3
Song of Solomon is most often seen as an allegory about the love God has for His people. His love is likened to a young bridegroom and ours for him to a bride.
This book shows how secure the young woman becomes in her lover’s affection. We too can rest secure in God’s love for us and in turn feel secure about our identity and self worth.
22. Now eagerly desire the greater gifts. Love Is Indispensable. And yet I will show you the most excellent way. -1 Corinthians 12:31
Love is indispensable. Receive God’s love and then pass it on–yes, even to yourself.
23. For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. -Philippians 2:13.
Self love (in it’s true Biblical sense without self fixation or self consumption) is a high calling that you don’t have to work on alone. God is working in you–through your actions and will–to fulfill His good purpose for you.
24. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. -Philippians 4:8
When you find yourself stuck in a cycle of negative thoughts about yourself, remember, you choose what you think about. Sometimes you need to speak truth over yourself when the lies about yourself get loud.
25. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. -2 Corinthians 4:2
Paul had a lot in his past he could feel self conscious about, but he focused on the truth. When he did that, he was able to commend himself and even honestly hold himself up as an example to others.
26. Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? -Matthew 6:26
God has such incredible value on your life. Start asking God to help you see yourself how he sees you!
27. Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. -Philippians 1:6
God’s doing good things through and in you and he will see it all to completion. You can have self confidence, (not because you’re unstoppable) but because the unstoppable God is working in you!
28. In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. -Ephesians 3:12
Jesus died to give you confidence and freedom in your relationship with God.
29. For you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. -Psalm 139:13-14
Our self love should never birth self worship, but rather draw us to becoming more worshipful of God!
30. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. -1 John 4:16
Our self worth isn’t about ourselves, but about knowing and resting in God’s love for us. We never have to perform to earn our keep–God’s love is forever fixed on us!
31. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. -Matthew 10:29-31
God knows and loves you so deeply he has counted each of your hairs.
32. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
God’s spirit dwells in the body of all believers. Our bodies deserve honor and care as places where the Holy Spirit dwells.
33. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. Colossians 3:14
Clothe yourself in love towards yourself and others. Love is unifying and self hatred never leads to good outcomes.
34. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
God values YOU SO MUCH that He gave his only child, the apple of His eye, the perfect one Christ Jesus–to save you and love you forever!
35. My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. 1 John 3:18
The love of God that compels our love for others and ourselves isn’t just lip service, we have to practice what we preach. Engage in loving self care habits, set emotionally healthy boundaries, grow our faith through spiritual practices, and have joy in the way God created us.
Other Bible Verses About…
- 15 Promises of God in the Bible to Claim Everyday
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- 15 Bible Verses to Encourage One Another
- 25 Calming Bible Verses About Anxiety and Worry
Remember, self love comes from God’s true love and value for us! We can’t counter low self-esteem by shaming ourselves.
Then by loving others that love spills over from us onto those around us too.
I’m so thankful for the power of God’s love!
If you are still feeling uncertain in your worth before God be sure to check out the Claiming the Promises of God digital Bible study! We spend 30 days diving into the most impactful promises in the Bible.
You’ll leave with more understanding for who God is and more confidence in who he created you to be!