Hello Rooted Ladies,
This week we are diving into another week of studying “Love Idol” by Jennifer Dukes Lee. This book is revealing a lot of Love Idols in my life and in my heart. Idols that are preventing me from feeling and seeing God’s love for me. And more importantly, the idols are hindering my relationship with Christ and what he wants for my life. I am so thankful to Jennifer for writing this book.
Let’s jump in.
CHAPTER 2: CLOUT
I loved Chapter 2. It really made me reflect upon my life and where I would let the “Love Idol sneak into my life and trick [me] into looking away from God” as Jennifer writes on page 20. Wow! I was surprised at the number of places where I sought (and seek) approval. I consider myself a pretty independent gal. Yet, I found the Love Idol lurking in some of the most obvious places. I seek approval from my supervisors at work, which is probably the most common place. I also realized that I sought it from my parents, especially my dad. Seeking his approval has led me to make choices that I don’t think were necessarily from my heart or, more importantly, from God’s will. Thank God Jesus uses it all for good.
The other realization I had while reading Chapter 2 is how do I “lower or turn off” the voice of the American Dream that I hear in my head all the time? Jennifer writes on page 24-25 that James Truslow Adams defined [the American Dream] as “a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.”
1. The American Dream is not God’s dream for my life or your life. It feels hard to live God’s will while being immersed in American culture and values. I suppose it’s the skill of living in the world but not being of the world. How do you live God’s will but turn off the American Dream theme playing in the background? I know I’ve been praying for God to do His Will in my life.
2. Flip through the photo album of your own life. Where do you see the Love Idol lurking in your grade school years? Your high school years? Your early adulthood? This past week?
3. Often the Love Idol makes us live in fear that we’ll mess up while people are watching. We wear a false confidence, fearing that our peers or coworkers will discover the flawed versions of ourselves. Have you ever feared that the facade might drop and you might be “found out”? What did you do to hide the real version of yourself?
CHAPTER 3: CONVICTION
I really enjoyed this chapter and seeing the evolution of Jennifer’s faith. I think we have all experienced doubt. I didn’t really grow up Christian. I grew up with two divorced and doubting parents. Each parent had their own struggle with Christianity. So, although I went to church with friends during high school and learned about Jesus, I didn’t choose to truly follow Jesus until about 2012. I struggled with doubts about Christianity for most of my life. Like Jennifer, I started getting into the Word. I listened to sermons online and read the Bible for myself. I think The Word comes alive for those who seek God and it really changed my faith life. Even today, when I feel doubtful about anything, I break open my bible and get into The Word.
1. Read Exodus 32: 1-4.
,32 When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him, “Up, make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” 2 So Aaron said to them, “Take off the rings of gold that are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” 3 So all the people took off the rings of gold that were in their ears and brought them to Aaron. 4 And he received the gold from their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool and made a golden calf. And they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” (ESV)
How can you apply the story about the golden calf to a time in your life when you fashioned an idol out of love — a love that you could see and feel and touch? Whose love or approval were you seeking?
2. Why are we tempted to manufacture a Love Idol when God’s presence isn’t immediately obvious to us?
3. Compliments and praise are great, in healthy doses. But how often have you craved affirmation? When was the last time you were deflated by a lack of praise?
4. Can you describe a situation in which the Love Idol delivered short-term satisfaction? In what ways did it fail to satisfy your long-term needs?
CHAPTER 4: MUD PIES
As a new mom, this chapter really resonated with me. Like Jennifer, I have a new-ish faith in Jesus and a brand new baby. I also feel this deep pull to live God’s will for my life. I love how Jennifer writes on page 54 that we can miss out on our God-designed purpose for living because we are afraid or too busy seeking approval. Missing out on our mission seems like reason enough to fight the enemy’s Love Idol.
1. Have you ever felt like a change of address — a move out of a relationship, out of a church, or out of a neighborhood — would solve your innermost problems? Share an example. Sometimes such moves are necessary for our spiritual and emotional
well-being. But why isn’t a physical move a cure-all?
2. In 2 Timothy 2:15, Paul writes: “Work hard so you can present yourself to God and receive his approval” — not so we can present ourselves to our peers or spouses or pastor or neighbors. We are called to present ourselves to God and receive His approval. In your own life, to whom have you tried to “present yourself”?
3. Consider the mud pie analogy on pages 56– 57. In an effort to feel fulfilled, what “mud pies” have you consumed, only to be left hungry again?
I’m looking forward to hearing your responses. And I will post last week’s questions too!
Wishing you hope, peace, and freedom from human approval,