True love is an enduring and powerful affection between lovers or married couples who are both in a satisfying, loving and happy relationship. An example of true love would be the intense emotional connection shared by a husband or wife who has been married for forty years with a woman who is his lifelong love and is also deeply involved in his life. This man has built a strong relationship that will last, even though he has moved on to newer and younger love interests.
Self-love, on the other hand, is basically the opposite of this. It’s the opposite of affection. Rather than building a strong affection within a romantic relationship, self-love is centered on building up and strengthening the ties of faith within oneself. As I mentioned above, a person may have built a loving relationship with his/her spouse or significant other, but if their faith is weak and their relationships are less connected, then their outward connections may be fleeting and less robust than they should be. Self-love is all about building the bridges that connect the people who are close to us on a daily basis.
Self-love doesn’t mean that we have to ignore our partners when we say yes to them. We have to remember to say yes, even when we don’t feel like it. When I was in the early stages of my relationship with my partner, I would often question whether or not I loved him as much as I thought I did. This was unhealthy for me because at that point in my relationship I didn’t realize how much the love was real and he would say things to me that made me feel crazy and inadequate.
In order for true love to truly exist, it is important to be self-aware and understand that others can indeed deceive and lead us away from the path of affection. However, most importantly, we have to believe in love when we experience it. It is not enough to wish something away. If we truly believe it, then it is something that can be changed. There are many people who think they believe love when they really only have the feelings of wanting to please someone else and believe that it is enough.
This is because the Christian faith teaches that there is only One whom we should worship, Jesus Christ. Believing this empowers us to pursue the fruit and purpose of true love through prayer and interaction with others. True self-love can only come from our relationship with Jesus Christ and no one else. To worship someone other than Jesus Christ is considered immorality which puts obstacles in our way to manifest true spiritual love.
The true love that can come from our relationship with Jesus Christ is not dependent on how we treat others. Rather, it comes from how we treat ourselves. People will only love us if we treat ourselves well. That is why I encourage you to study the book of 1 John 2:3 which outlines how we can achieve true spiritual love by following Jesus.