There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror!
—1 John 4:18

We cannot love ourselves unless we realize how much God loves us, and if we don’t love ourselves, we cannot love other people. We cannot maintain good, healthy relationships without this foundation of love in our lives.

By the time I met the man I have been married to since 1967, I was desperate for love but did not know how to receive it, even when it was available. My husband, Dave, really did love me, but I found myself constantly deflecting his love due to the way I felt about myself down deep inside. As I entered into a serious and committed relationship with God, through Jesus Christ, I began to learn about God’s love. But it took a long time to fully accept it.

When you feel unlovable, it is hard to get it through your head and down into your heart that God loves you perfectly—even though you are not perfect and never will be as long as you are on the earth.

There is only one thing you can do with a free gift: receive it and be grateful. I urge you to take a step of faith right now and say out loud, “God loves me unconditionally, and I receive His love!” You may have to say it a hundred times a day, like I did for months, before it finally sinks in, but when it does it will be the happiest day of your life.

To know that you are loved by someone you can trust is the best and most comforting feeling in the world. God will not only love you that way, but He will also provide other people who will truly love you. When He does provide, be sure to remain thankful for those people. Having people who genuinely love you is one of the most precious gifts in the world.

Trust in Him: You won’t be able to receive God’s love until you trust Him. Take a step of faith right now and say out loud, “God loves me unconditionally, and I receive His love!” Say it as many times as you need to until you believe it.