I have struggled with self-image for most of my marriage. It is something that has been a constant struggle for me throughout my life and marriage was no different.
I grew up with the idea that my worth was wrapped up in how well I did and how much success I could attain. But throughout the course of my marriage, several things came up that drew out this unhealthy view and caused me to really take a look at how I view myself.
Satan wants us to view ourselves in any way but the way that God views us. Because when we do, this threatens the intimacy and strength of our marriage. When we have an unhealthy self-image, we will not be as effective for the kingdom of God, both in marriage and outside of marriage.
So today, I want to share how to find a healthy self-image and stand against Satan’s attacks on your marriage in this way.
I found my worth in so many things apart from who I am in Christ. For most of my life, I chased some version of myself that I thought would be “good enough” for those around me.
And when I got married, it only amplified this!
Suddenly there was another person who saw me, all of me. And so when I felt less-than, it was all out there for my husband to see.
It’s only in retrospect that I see how Satan wanted me stuck in this unhealthy self-image so that I wouldn’t grow closer with God and stronger in my marriage.
I came face-to-face with this reality a couple of different times in those beginning years of marriage.
The first was when my chronic health condition grew worse and I was struggling to the point of no longer being able to fake it. I struggled with working full-time. I could force myself to do it, but every evening and all weekend I was practically recovering from those long hours.
I struggled to be “fine” with friends and family and eventually came to the point that I needed to step back. This was so hard for me!
As someone who really found a lot of my worth in how well I did and finding success, it was hard to admit that I couldn’t do this. I remember one evening breaking down because I felt I just wasn’t enough for my husband. I wasn’t all that he had expected of me.
What a lie Satan had convinced me of. My husband was bewildered by this idea that had taken such a strong hold of my mind and my heart.
He was here to love me through thick and thin. He didn’t see my worth as what I did. He knew my worth was in Christ and in who I was because of Him.
It took me years to unravel this unhealthy self-image and all the lies that I had grown accustomed to.
If you’re reading this post today, I’m assuming that you can relate to me on some level. Maybe it’s not your career or your success that you find worth in. Maybe it’s not your health and well-being. But I’m betting that if you struggle with your worth, you, like me, are finding your worth in something apart from Christ.
Where Do You Find Worth?
When we find our worth in anything apart from Christ, we are going to struggle. Maybe not right away, because Satan wants us functioning like this for as long as possible. But it will surface and especially in marriage.
I realized that I was finding my worth in my health and success. I was striving hard to meet the expectations of those around me. So hard that I forgot to consider what God wanted of me.
I am so grateful for a husband who worked through this with me and helped me to understand how he views me and how God views me in those early days of marriage.
If you are struggling, the first thing I would encourage you to consider is where do you find your worth?
Take a look at what things make you feel less-than or not enough. What things make you feel like a failure?
These things can give us clues as to where we are finding our worth.
If you’re anything like me, you’re going to need to make some changes here.
How God Views You
I cannot tell you how much prayer, counseling and constant encouragement it took for me to finally begin to view myself the way that God does. I had such a poor view of myself because of the lies I had believed my entire life.
And as I said earlier, marriage only brought this to the surface. I would constantly be getting into fights with my husband that stemmed solely from me trying to prove my worth to him (of course, neither of us knew this at the time).
It was one thing to read and to “know” how God viewed me. It was another thing to let those truths fully seep into my heart and soul, changing how I viewed myself.
In order to truly understand how God viewed me and to grow confident in those truths, I had to study, meditate and redirect my thoughts to Scripture and truth - every time they settled onto the lies.
Confidence in How God Views You
Growing confident in how God viewed me took a long time. Months and months of intentional effort.
1. Healing from Unhealthy Thoughts
For me, this started with really digging into where these unhealthy thoughts stemmed from. I had some great friends and mentors in my life that helped me with this. I also went through counseling and therapy to dig into some of the deeper issues that I had yet to find healing in.
2. Find Truth
In an effort to redirect my thoughts and truly understand how God viewed me, I went to Scripture. I found several verses on my worth in Christ and began to write them down. I tried to find ones that directly related to my areas of biggest struggle.
For example, Ephesians 2:10 says, For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
This verse was a powerful truth to fight the lie that I am not enough. Everytime my health and lack of meeting expectations made me feel less-than, this verse could remind me that God has created works for me to do long ago. I am His masterpiece and as long as I am walking in His will, I am doing the works he has planned for me - even if it doesn’t look like I expected.
It’s important to find truths that battle the lies that fight for your mind and soul.
3. Meditate and Redirect
Take time to meditate on these verses that you find. Memorize them. Write them down. Post them places. Study them. As you do, these truths will begin to saturate your mind.
And then when the lies or unhealthy thoughts come up, you will have something to battle the lies with.
4. Pray for the Lies to Be Exposed
This is something I would encourage you to do from here on out. As you try to find healing in your self-image and worth, ask God to show you where you are believing lies. Ask Him to reveal the spiritual warfare in your heart and in your marriage.
Self-Image in Marriage
Your personal self-image is so important in a healthy marriage. Satan wants to use anything he can to keep your marriage from being the powerful and intimate relationship that God created it to be.
So if you are struggling with self-image or worth, join with me in praying against Satan’s attacks. Pray for healing and if possible, ask your spouse to join with you in this.
What Scripture truth did you find to battle the lies? Share it with me in the comments below!