Loving the Unlovable

BeautyIt has been said that the people we are most turned off by or the most offended by are the ones who need our love the most.  Their behavior may seem rude or crude or loud or ugly.  They may be physically not pleasing to look at.  They offer us nothing.  These are the people who are most hurting and crying out for love and attention and acceptance.

It’s easy to love people who are attractive, fun, and pleasing in their mannerisms.  But that’s not what we are called to do. We are to “Love your neighbor as yourself”…it doesn’t say, “Love your neighbor only if they are pleasing to you”.  This is a challenge, I know.  To look past someone’s physical attributes, to ignore their crass behavior, to really love them is arduous.  We are to look into the heart and soul of people. We are to search for their true beauty. Every one of us is made from pure Love, we all have a beautiful soul…some of us have just forgotten.

Many of us build walls, put up fronts, and use our defense mechanisms as a survival tool.  This creates an ugly and unlovable aura that repels others.  Many of us truly believe that we are unlovable.  This becomes a truth, from years of abuse and people telling us we are no good.  These beliefs keep us in a false bondage, which creates an unappealing facade. If we keep this in mind, we will be more likely to love these “unlovable” people.  We will have more compassion towards these beings, and give them the love they disparately need, crave, and deserve.  We are all born with a lifelong thirst for love.  Our hearts desperately need it like our lungs need oxygen.

I recently started substitute teaching.  I have been very mindful of my interactions with the children.  Yes, I am naturally attracted and drawn to the sweet, physically pleasing, and well behaved kids. I am not going to lie…the kids who are misbehaving, disheveled, and crying out for my attention in not-so-amusing-ways make it hard for me to draw closer to them.  I have to consciously remind myself that these are the ones who need my love the most.  These are the kids who may be neglected, misguided, or even abused at home.  They need and deserve my love and attention equally, if not more, than the other kids who seemingly have a better home life.

When I validate these kids, get on their level and look them in the eye, really listen to them, encourage them, and hug them…they respond!  They interact more positively.  They contribute.  They feel empowered.  They approach me with a hug and clutch onto my hand as we walk down the school walkways.  They yearn to be loved and accepted, just as we all do.  When I give them permission to be loved, they thrive!  When I praise them, their self esteem leaps and flourishes…even just for this day.

All these wounded children eventually grow up to be adults, if they don’t get totally lost along the way.  When we encounter these trying people as adults or as kids or somewhere in between, it’s easy to ignore them, mentally push them off to the side, and pretend they don’t have feelings.  But, if we can picture them as children, these same children crying out for love and attention, we will have more compassion for them.

Never underestimate how your words, actions, and reactions affect someone on this day or even for a lifetime.

I challenge you: Next time you run into a person you would rather avoid…take the time to look into their eyes, into their soul, into their life…look for the beauty and love that is longing to come out to be noticed!




  1. Deanna,
    So very true, those words. My heart hurts imagining these “unlovable” souls wanting to be loved and accepted. I wish more people could see them as you do. Thanks for posting this blog.

  2. I read your blog this morning and I was pleasantly suprised by how it intertwined with my own prayers this morning. I am reading the book “The Power of a Praying Parent” by Stormie Omartian and praying for how to help my three children to feel loved and accepted. To paraphrase, the opposite of being loved and accepted is being rejected – something we have all experienced at one time or another in our lives. Some people can let such incidents roll off their backs, because they know, deep within, that they are accepted. Others, however, may bear deep emotional wounds from incident after incident of rejection, so any perceived lack of acceptance can transform their personalities into something ugly. The love of God, however, can change all this. Knowing that God loves and accepts us changes our lives. He says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3). We must pray that our children understand these truths, and that they are on the solid ground upon which love and acceptance are established in their character.
    Along with prayer, children need to see love manifested toward them with eye contact, loving acts, deeds and words. I found that when I made a deliberate effort to look my children in the eye with my hands gently touching them and with a smile say, “I love you and think you’re great,” I could always see an immediate and noticeable change in their face and demeanor.
    The Bible says, “The love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:5). Now, let’s take this love that is in us and allow it to overflow into the daily lives of our children, husband, friends and strangers.
    Have a super day Deanna!

  3. I love what you wrote, Deanna! Makes me feel good to know there are people like you who notice these things. The smallest exchanges throughout my day with people can keep me feeling good all day. Sometimes even just a smile or a heartfelt hug is SO meaningful! I live my life to give them back!

  4. So amazing, oh how I needed to read these words this morning, as I was mentally getting myself ready to meet with my daughters 4H leader who has given me the attitude that Im “such a bother” and almost goes out of her way to make my daughter and I look badly, or tries to find fault…..I lost sleep knowing I have to face her this morning, simply to hand in paperwork!… This has changed my whole focus and outlook on my morning ahead..I will go in with a totally different attitude……thank you ….

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