Giving Up My Love Idol

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I could give up coffee. Maybe.

I could give up Facebook.

I could give up all number of things, but that’s not where God has led me this Lenten season.

I’m joining the Love Idol Movement and giving up a love idol in my life. And I’m hoping it’s for more than just 40 days.

What is a love idol? My friend Jennifer, author of Love Idol {releasing April 1!} describes it as this…

Paul wrote to the Cornithians: “These three remain: faith, hope and love. And the greatest of these is love.” Yet we take God’s “greatest” and contort it into an idol. We twist our desire for approval into a false god.

So there it is: looking to something or someone other than God for love. For approval. For validation. That something or someone is a love idol.

Mine has been staring me in the face for too long, but I am just SO done with it being what makes or breaks my day. I almost hate to admit it here because my love idol actually has to do with all of you.

Preapproved Blog

I’ve been seeking approval, validation, recognition through the reach of this blog. How many pageviews have there been today? Who is commenting? Why aren’t they commenting? What if I pour my heart out and NOBODY CARES? And what if they do care? Does that matter more than what God has to say about me?!

There it is. Ugly. Vain. A brazen love idol.

Even confessing this now, here, on the first day of Lent, feels freeing, but I know God has led me to lay more down to rid this love idol from my life. And I have a feeling this love idol won’t go away easily, so these will be daily sacrifice:

1. Deleting the blog tracking apps from my phone – there is absolutely NO reason I need to check how many people have visited the blog or commented on the blog when I’m on the go or with my family.

2. Starting my day with God – I have a knee jerk reaction of grabbing my phone the very moment I wake up to see what’s happening in social media. This just sets me up for a day centered around the online world, and I want my whole world to revolve around Jesus. The tweets, posts, emails can wait until I’ve had time to put my heart, mind, soul where they need to be – in His presence.

3. Putting down the phone – This has been a work-in-progress for a while now. It started with boundaries during homeschool. And now I’m feeling the pull for even more. Reading Love Idol as well as Hands-Free Mama – that’s just a recipe for leaving my pursuit of approval in the wrong places behind!

I want to rid my heart of this love idol of numbers and recognition to make room for more of Him – His love, His will, His glory. In her book Holey, Wholly, Holy, Kris Camealy says, “Your life is not just about you – your life is about Christ in you – about the work He can do through you, when you yield to His will.” I’m done being about what I can do and jumping full into what HE can do through me.


Friends, He has pre-approved us. There is nothing we can do to make Him love us more and we don’t need to search for love anywhere else – His love is more enough.

I don’t wanna tell some arrogant story, or let myself believe I’m you. I don’t wanna be a thief who’s stealing your glory. Will you help remind me of what is true? The only hope I’ve got is you. ~Ellie Holcomb, “Only Hope I’ve Got”

I’m taking this Ash Wednesday to repent and reflect on the heart changes I desperately need. Join me? And find the hearts of many other women giving up their love idols poured out over at Jennifer’s blog today. You can add yours if you also feel led!

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  1. I can totally relate to this. Thanks for being honest and sharing. :-l

  2. Oh, I can so relate to this. I am better now. When I had my old blog, I was really wrapped up in all of this, and then after taking a break and trying to get back into it, it was very, very humbling to not have the reach I used to. Actually, it still is very humbling. That’s probably a good thing! I need to read Hands Free Mama – its been waiting for me on my Kindle for some time now. Irony.

  3. Yes yes yes. You aren’t alone. We love the community, but we love being pursued and validated. And he already validated us. He paid that price for us already! You aren’t alone, friend.

  4. Thank you so much for your honesty and transparency! The Lord revealed something to me a month ago…obsessing about myself …being so critical of my appearance compared to other women that I know. And He challenged me to “FAST THE MIRROR”. That is what I heard ringing in my spirit. Making Him my focus and being overwhelmed with His love and acceptance. Fasting the Mirror has been tough…easier said than done but Freedom has been paid for me and I chose to walk in it!

  5. journeying with you
    not about me, all about Him
    praying we all better reflect His pure light
    as Easter dawns this year

  6. All kinds of love over this, Erin. Cheering you on. Thank you, thank you for being on the journey with us. LOVE YOU!!!!

  7. Beautiful, Erin. Praying grace for your journey! I KNOW God will lead you through!!

  8. Rebecca says:

    Hi Erin,
    I had to comment…..first I loved your post. I came across it randomly on Pinterest looking for last minute ideas to celebrate lent with my family. I happened to recognize your picture when I saw the pin only because I had seen it earlier today on a book review I was looking at. I am not a current member of HOAA, but was prior to this year. My husband is finishing his fellowship this year at unmc. I found it so random that I came accross someone so close to home twice today. I was meant to see your post today 😉 I too am taking your lead. Thank you! Happy lent!

  9. as a hopeful writer that relies on readers to wade through the many blog posts on the internet each day, its easy for the ego to crave approval. I love that we are in this together.

  10. Hi Erin!

    Good stuff here! See you in a of couple weeks at RMH.

  11. Erin, I just found your blog through the Love Idol FB group page but I think we’re living parallel lives. Well, maybe not totally, but I’m also mama to three lively little boys and what you wrote here is exactly what God is speaking to me heart, too. Especially this: “I want to rid my heart of this love idol of numbers and recognition to make room for more of Him – His love, His will, His glory.” Exactly, soul sister!! The love for words He’s given me and my good desire to reach and encourage women has been twisted into a love idol of affirmation seeking. I’m starting to throw it down by closing my laptop when I’m not in work or writing mode and placing my Bible and gratitude journal on top of it. Then not opening the thin silver box of approval again until I’ve read who He says I am and given thanks for the gifts God’s given. So thank you for this encouragement!

  12. Erin,
    Really great post. All you need to do is pour your heart out to God and takes care of the rest. Also, starting out your day with the Word is very Biblical. Jesus Christ started his day out early in the morning in prayer. It was his lifestyle. Very inspiring post, thank you for sharing and bearing your heart!

  13. “Pre-approved” I’m going to have to remember that word. It is true that we can look for our worth in all the wrong ways. Mine is to try to find approval from others, but I’m working on that one. It’s a work in progress. 🙂


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