"Most of all, let love guide your life, for then the whole church will stay together in perfect harmony" (Colossians 3:14).
Martha had a very poor self-image. The distress she felt because of her physical appearance was compounded by the guilt of being grossly overweight. She hated herself and was despondent to the point of seriously considering suicide.
I counsel many students and older adults who are not able to accept themselves. Some are weighted down with guilt because of unconfessed sins. Others are not reconciled to their physical handicaps or deformities. Still others feel inferior mentally or socially.
My counsel to such people is this: God loves you and accepts you as you are. The love of God which is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit enables us to love ourselves as God made us. We can be thankful for ourselves, loving ourselves unconditionally as God does, and we can love others unconditionally, too.
It is Satan who is the great accuser, causing us to hate ourselves and others. God, having commanded us to love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength, and our neighbor as ourselves, and our enemies, will enable us to do what He commands us to do as we claim His promise.
The great tragedy of many families is that resentment, bitterness and hate overtake their members like an all-consuming cancer, ultimately destroying the unity among husband, wife and children. Love of the husband and wife for each other, and of parents and children for one another, is so basic that it should not need to be mentioned. Yet, sadly and alarmingly, children are alienated from their parents, and even many Christian marriages are ending in divorce - in fact, in greater numbers today than at any other time in history.
God's kind of love is a unifying force. Paul admonishes us to "put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity."