This is a post I have been thinking about for many months, since my youth group did a lesson on idols. We talked about things like our cell phone, our friends, getting perfect grades, etc. All things that teens often, or have a tendency to, place higher than God in their lives. At first, it took some discussion to help them understand why being glued to your phone and feeling like you can’t live without it is actually making an idol of it.
By the end of the lesson we all were able to honestly say we had some idols in our lives. But we didn’t all realize we were making those things an idol until we really thought about it.
As I was going through the lesson prep I had to take a look at my own life and think about what idols I had. Because let’s be honest: we all have something. Maybe for you it is the idol of success. Perhaps financial wellness. The perfect family. Being the model Christian to the point where you are only walking the walk, not talking the talk. Living a natural lifestyle. Homeschooling your children.
All of those are wonderful aspirations, but when it becomes an obsession, it becomes an idol.
Want to know what mine was?
Yep, homemaking. I was (and if I’m honest…still am at times) obsessed with having the perfect home that was always tidy and well organized. While there is nothing wrong with wanting a clean and tidy home, my obsession went further. I always felt like I had something to prove, since homemaking is not a well like choice for a woman in today’s culture. I debunked some myths about homemaking in this post, so I encourage you to take a peek at it. People think that I get to relax and watch Netflix all day, but that is not even close! But still, I feel like I need to give a quick summary of what I actually do all day so that people know I am not lazy.
When I put homemaking above God I felt like there was a high standard I needed to reach. I had to prove that intentional homemaking is a worthwhile career, regardless of what others think. I made it my mission to present the image of the perfect, God-fearing, husband-loving, skirt wearing, preserve-making, house wife with a knack for cooking, cleaning, and the like. Anything less than perfect was a failure in my eyes. Instead of wanting to serve God through my homemaking, I wanted to be recognized and praised by others for my efforts.
Thankfully, I saw the truth in my homemaking obsession and realized I was making it an unholy idol. I can honestly say that, while it is still a priority, keeping my home is something I enjoy doing to bring glory to God and to serve my husband.
So what is your idol? If you think that you don’t have any, I encourage you to really examine yourself. Having idols is about what you love more than God, what you trust instead of God, and what you fear instead of believing that God will protect you.
Let’s say your idol is money. Maybe you or your husband don’t spend more than an average number of hours at work, maybe you don’t constantly look for ways to get a raise, maybe you aren’t even stingy with the money you do have. But perhaps…you are always worried about not having enough money. That security that come with having money can easily become an obsession. Even if you don’t have money, you can still obsess about it, right? Maybe instead of trusting that God will provide for you, your thoughts are filled with fear and worry and stress. I get that, sister. I really do. My husband has been in university full time (not working) for two years, and at times, it has been a struggle financially. But instead of fearing what may happen, I have learned it is far easier to trust that God will take care of us if we are smart with what we have.
I use money as an example of an idol, because it is likely something we can all relate to or at least understand.My idol was homemaking, but by God’s grace, I saw the err of my ways and repented.
If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:8-9
God already knows what your idols are. We all have them, no matter how perfect we think we are. If you are ready to let go of that idol, I suggest you start by praying and asking God to reveal whatever idols may be in your life. Once you are aware of them, ask His forgiveness for putting ___________ above Him in your life. I also suggest talking to someone about it so that you have accountability, which can help prevent you from making it an idol again.
I hope and pray that we would all be aware of the idols in our lives, and that we would experience freedom from them!