All human beings have an intrinsic need for human love. With the exception of Divine intervention, it is essential to receive human love in order for an individual to feel good, worthwhile, and lovable—and have the capacity to love others. In essence, we must first be loved in order to love.
One’s ability to love is set free when that person sees himself or herself as good, worthwhile, and lovable. According to Christian psychiatrists Dr. Conrad W. Baars and Dr. Anna A. Terruwe, this process is called “affirmation,” and it occurs when one person is the source of unconditional love and emotional strengthening for another person. From the perspective of Christian awareness, this capacity to love is essential in order to live out the commandment of Jesus to “love one another” (John 13:34, 15:12).