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The Red Flags - Self-Esteem pt. 2
The Red Flags of Romance
God says: I created you before the foundation of the earth; I knitted you together in your mother’s womb; you are fearfully and wonderfully made; pre-destined for a fruitful life of purpose. You are chosen; loved; precious; protected; nothing whatsoever will hurt you; I have given you authority over the power of the enemy. Call on Me, I will ride across the skies to help you; My angels will lift you up and place you on the Rock. No weapon will be used against you. I will lead you from the valley of trouble to the gateway of hope. I will rebuild your gates with rubies.
(Quoted from Scripture.)
As we continue with Thando’s Navigating Romance Series, we will raise red flags to alert you to areas within yourself that need attention. The mirror they offer is an opportunity for self-reflection.
First up is Self-Esteem. In Two Parts.
To understand self-esteem we must define identity.
To recap: seeking drastic measures to silence the appetite of our unmet needs is never the solution.
The answer is obedience. The King of Kings expects us to have clean hands and a pure heart; invites us to walk humbly beside Him in the cool of the evening; asks us to worship Him in spirit and in truth; to become history makers who will stand as light and reflect truth.
On the subject of Identity, Craig Hill, author of ‘The Ancient Paths’ says:
“Whether we realize it or not, every day every one of us answers two critical questions. 1) who am I? and 2) where am I going?
We answer these questions based on pre-existing images already established deep inside. How we have answered these questions determines the way we respond to life’s circumstances.
The first question, “Who am I?” pertains to what we will call IDENTITY. Identity very simply stated is my perception of me. The primary issue at stake when dealing with identity is VALUE: “What am I worth?” So when we speak about identity, we are speaking about my perception of myself and the value of my life and being.
The second question, “Where am I going?” pertains to DESTINY. Destiny has to do with my perception of my function and significance on this earth. The primary issue at stake in dealing with destiny is PURPOSE: “Why am I here? What am I supposed to do?
Identity and destiny are key qualities which God intended for us to have correctly imparted and established in all of our lives. The course for our adult lives is set through this impartation of identity and destiny which we receive whilst growing up as children.”
Your own behavior is a giant-size clue to what you believe. Remember, no matter what you feel or face, you have choice as to how you re-act or respond. Always!
In other words, you are never obliged to bow down to someone else’s idea of who you are, no matter how this was drummed into you. The effect of wrong messaging can be deeply painful and even drive us into the arms of disastrous decisions.
But, by the grace of God we can always turn back to what we innately know is good for us. The offer of repentance is constantly extended. Our spirit knows we are Royalty. It knows the way back because it carries the blueprint for the life God intended us to live.
If we would only listen, we would hear God. He is always whispering divine directions.
No matter the mess that lies behind you, you can pick yourself up and bravely challenge flawed beliefs that have you playing on repeat. You can toss out the mental garbage that has you gravitating to emotional gymnastics.
The first step: Stop your solo act and surrender.
When you get honest with yourself and become prepared to pose the key question, “what am I worth?” you need look no further than the choices you make and the company you keep, the state of your own circumstances.
These tell you what you believe. Who you believe you are will affect your entire life.
A person with high self-esteem recognizes they carry intrinsic value. They will not settle for a relationship that makes them miserable. For them, abuse would be completely out of the question.
By contrast, when low self-esteem is at the wheel, you can be sure insecurity will be in the passenger seat, seeking instant gratification by way of substitutes.
These relaters use external pacifiers to quieten their unmet need for the goodness God is always inviting them into. They gear up for heartache; they are catastrophic thinkers who expect their partners to stray. This alone punctuates how belief leads to behavior.
In the matter of all relationships, if you have no experience of your own self-worth, what yard-stick will you use to measure how someone should treat you?
Remember: you can choose to change. Don’t minimize your defects. Face them bravely. Become You.
How to start: Read Psalm 139. Breathe it into your bones. Wrap your mind around it and own it.
Don’t even think about setting up house in someone else’s heart until you stand firm on solid rock, with God’s everlasting arms around you.
Until you have realized deep within that you are Royalty.
By Noluthando Mthoba
Adult Centre Case Manager
Noluthando Mthoba originally came through our Youth Centre. She was then raised up as a Volunteer and now acts as Adminstrator. She is also a Case Manager for our Adult Female Centre. She models a magnificent mix of authenticity, integrity and super cool style, every day.
This article is third in Noluthando’s Navigating Romance Series. Stay posted and we will guide you into solutions around typical Relational Red Flags that arise for all of us.
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