The apostle Paul, so it seems to me, believed in the Jesus Creed and in the significance of self-love (40 Days Living the Jesus Creed, 60-64). In fact, Paul thought marriage flourished when self-love was the standard for loving others in the family.
Ephesians 5:28 says it a roundabout way: “He who loves his wife loves himself.” One might say that loving others is a form of self love, but it is far more likely that Paul is saying “The one who loves his wife actually does so because he loves himself.” Either way, and I’m clearly in favor of the second view, Paul sees self-love at work in marriage.
When this isn’t at work, havoc breaks forth — dysfunctions arise — resentment builds — and broken relationships multiply. When a man or a woman, husband — wife or father — mother, love themselves enough to love others, a cycle of self-knowing love breaks forth into self-giving love. It’s that subtle: self-knowing love leads to self-giving love.
Today is a good day to begin thinking about it this way: for your family’s sake love yourself as an Eikon, as one loved by God, as one embraced in Christ, as one who is designed to live out the Jesus Creed daily.