Ridicule, abuse, fault finding, and so on are destructive forces. From one perspective they all stem from a critical, harmful, negative spirit. As such, they are all tied together, but personally I have come to the conclusion that the number one cause of a poor self-image in adults and children is the absence of unconditional parental love. This unconditional love from the parent almost always precedes self-acceptance...
What is unconditional love? It's just what the phrase implies-loving a person without any prior conditions, because of who the person is and not because of what the person does.
Unfortunately too many parents love a child if he cleans up his room, makes good grades, is home by eleven, is a "good" boy or girl. In short, the love is conditional. This means that often a child doesn't feel he deserves love, even from his parents. The love is tied to performance, and if the performance isn't good, the indication is that there is no love. If the child feels the parents love only the good actions or good performance and not him, a Pandora's box of potential trouble is opened up.
If the child doesn't feel he deserves love from his own parents, he assumes that he is unworthy of love; therefore, he should not love himself. Logically, then, if he can't love himself and feel good about himself, who will love him? Indeed, it is a very short step to feeling of no value-a nobody. Such a blow to the self-image-namely, feeling "I'm a nobody"-is devastating.
Related Bible Texts: John 15:12; Romans 5:8; Ephesians 5:25-28; 1 John 4:7