Did your parents fail to make you feel loved? Did your partner desert you? Were you physically, sexually, mentally or emotionally abused? These are painful experiences. And recognising their source is crucial, especially when it’s a root of rejection. You can resort to all kinds of tactics from people-pleasing to work-a-holism to make yourself feel better, but without a root system of healthy self-esteem, nothing works.
Flawed roots produce flawed fruit: feelings of inferiority, worthlessness, anger, inability to trust, and fear of intimacy. How do you change those fruit? By addressing the root of the problem. How do you do that? ‘He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in Him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.’ (Ephesians 3:16–17 NLT) The assurance of God’s love can bring healing to your emotions—and He doesn’t just ‘replant’ you, He ‘re-parents’ you. That means you no longer have to draw your security and self-worth from your family of origin, for: ‘Now we are children of God.’ (1 John 3:2 NKJV)
But remember, it’s a process. Strong roots require three things:
(1) Time to grow. Becoming confident in your identity as God’s child is like breaking in new shoes. You must walk in them till they become comfortable.
(2) Protection from things that can kill. Surround yourself with people who build you up instead of tearing you down; people ‘who share the same precious faith’ (see 2 Peter 1:1).
(3) Spiritual nourishment. Learn to pray and feed yourself regularly from God’s Word (see Job 23:12).