Signs of Low Self-esteem in Christian Single Ladies, Effects on Their Relationships, & How to Experience Victory
I suffered from low self-esteem for a long time as a Christian and it affected my relationships. Only when I finally faced the condition squarely, was I able to rise up from the gutters of inferiority and feelings of worthlessness to begin my journey to being the bold and daring daughter of the King.
The signs of low self-esteem can be very subtle such that it is easy to mistake them for humility, spiritual maturity, or unconditional love and compassion towards other people. This makes low self-esteem hurt us in more ways than we are aware of.
I define self-esteem as ‘how much you believe you’re worth.’ This valuation tells you the degree to which you like or dislike you. Low self-esteem means you feel terrible about you, even when you can carefully hide that from other people.
Positive self-esteem means you’re healthily confident in your identity. It is not arrogance or faked confidence. It’s a healthy acceptance of yourself, strengths and flaws as well. For the Christian, this identity hinges fully on what God says about you.
Causes of low self-esteem among Christian single women
Unpleasant past: sin, abuse, traumatic childhood, etc.
Breakup: After a breakup, even when you’ve healed, it’s hard to get into another relationship believing you deserve true love and respect.
Societal expectations: A greater part of society expects women to be married by a certain age, meaning if you’re not getting married soon, singleness now defines you and you begin to lose respect in people’s eyes. This makes many singles feel terrible about themselves and they hate this season of life.
Pressure to get married. Under pressure, many single girls devalue their worth. The pressure sends off an unspoken message that your worth is tied to being married.
Body image. We live in a society where the media defines which body shape and breast size is beautiful and which is disgusting. Failure to achieve that ideal image results in a poor image in many single women.
Single motherhood. Single mothers, especially those who’ve never been married, are among the most self-hating singles I know. Their children are a constant reminder of their sin, and there’s this persistent fear that they might not find a man who would accept them with their child, past, and all.
Age. The older a single woman gets, the lower their self-worth goes down.
Low educational or financial level
Less educated and financially unstable single women battle with low self-esteem. They can be the most vulnerable group of singles with low self-esteem.
Signs of low self-esteem among Christian single women and how it hurts their relationships
Constant self-bashing, telling yourself and even other people that you are not good enough. This can be easily seen as humility, but it is not. Humility is a healthy acceptance of who you are, your strengths and your flaws.
Unless a guy is mature enough to recognize the signs for what they are, if you give him the impression that you’re not good enough, he would treat you as if you’re not good enough. It happened to me.
No, I’m not talking of nose or face masks. You fear no man will accept you for who you are, so you fake it or try to get things you don’t need just so you can measure up to an intangible standard. You’re not confident in who God says you are. You need things and achievements to feel confident and wanted by the opposite sex.
Tolerating abusive relationships
Because you believe you don’t deserve better, you tolerate abusive relationships. When a man’s actions towards you now is a reflection of who he will be as a husband if you get married, you still tolerate the abuse because, after all, you don’t deserve better.
Fear of expressing your mind
You love to impress people, so you refrain from expressing your mind. Your relationship doesn’t have frank communication because you’re afraid that if you say it the way you see it, the man will walk away. So you bury your frustration and roll with the punches.
Desperate desire for marriage
You see marriage as an achievement without which you’re nothing. You need marriage to feel validated, loved, and wanted. So you’re ready to do anything possible to get married. Even when the guy doesn’t want to stay, you employ every means to make him love you. You chase after love instead of waiting for love to chase after you.
No boundaries, no values
You know a godly man is the ideal man, but as soon as any man shows interest in you, you begin to question the very values you hold dear. You’ll easily accept an ungodly man if a godly guy is not showing up soon.
Your need for validation and acceptance is so strong you would sleep with a guy to impress, please, or keep him. Actually, a guy’s desire for your body is seen as some trophy to be won. Only that it leaves you in a deeper hole after the act, and the cycle continues.
Succumb to peer pressure
You can’t stand to be different. You need to conform, and conforming means doing things for people, even if you neither love the things nor the people.
Second doubt your decisions
You say yes to a guy today, tomorrow you withdraw your word, and the next day you say yes again because you now believe yesterday’s no was a mistake. It is hard for a man to be with you if he doubts your commitment to the relationship.
Too sensitive to criticism and usually blame others for your mistakes
Even though you may self-bash, to accept your mistakes means more self-hate. So it’s easy and better to blame your boyfriend or ex for your own failures.
This robs you of the opportunity and drive to become a better person because it is in owning your flaws that you work at overcoming them. Without healing, you can easily transfer the failures of the previous relationship to the next one.
How to Overcome Low Self-Esteem
Knowing your identity in Christ is one of the most important things you can ever do as a Christian single woman. Who God says you are must be so real to you it becomes second nature.
When you embrace God’s word that you’re forgiven and justified in Christ, it would kick out regrets and baggage from your past. When you know beyond doubt that God loves and accepts you, a man’s rejection no longer seems such a big deal. It is hard to sleep with a man who is not your husband to feel validated when you know God has a wonderful plan for your life.
If you want to be confident on a long term, begin to believe God’s report about you. That report doesn’t change because it is your identity in Christ. It is a gift of God’s grace. It is independent of your body shape, independent of your financial and educational level, independent of what others say or think about you, independent of your past!
Begin to tell yourself the things God says about you.
I am loved!
I am forgiven!
I am justified!
I am accepted!
I am adopted a child of God, an heir of God and co-heir with Christ!
I am seated with Christ in the heavenly places, far above all principalities and powers!
God has a plan for my life!
Do you see how that begins to change the way you see yourself? Even your feelings about you change!
Click this link to get a free download of Positive Affirmations for Christian single women
If you believe you need more help with overcoming traumatic experiences, please seek out a professional Christian counselor.
Prayers to overcome low self-esteem
Father, I have let what other people think and say determine my worth and identity. Forgive me for believing the report of my carnal mind. Forgive me for believing the report of the world and the devil. I am sorry that I let what happened to me in the past affect how I act today and my vision for the future. Lord, help me to believe what you say about me. Help me to see myself the way you see me. Lord, every trauma from the past, I lay it down at your feet. Take it away and grant me victory to love those who hurt me and to love myself.
Use your personal experiences to customize the prayers. Pour out your heart to the Lord in absolute sincerity and trust.
I also encourage you to personalize these scriptures often: Ephesians 1:17-20, 3:16-19, and Colossians 1:9-14
**Low Self-Esteem and the Christian Single Woman is just one of 14 chapters in Janet’s non-fiction book. Whether you are in your 20s or 30s, this book will tremendously bless and encourage you.
Get it on Amazon