Love Idol 1

For the next few Wednesdays in Lent, I’ll be talking about Jennifer Dukes Lee’s book “Love Idol,” which releases on April 1, 2014.

If you already know Jennifer Dukes Lee, you’ll know that she’s inviting you to participate in a slightly different Lenten observance this season. Instead of asking you to give up something like dark chocolate, she’s requesting that her readers give up a “HEART indulgence,” a place where we look for approval anywhere other than God.

I read Jennifer’s post announcing this whole Love Idol Movement thing right before I went to yoga. For the next hour, I focused on my practice, but as the time wound down, I found myself thinking about the argument I’d had in the car with my daughter that morning.

“My love idol is parenting,” I thought. Followed shortly by the thought, “Couldn’t it be something else?”

Jennifer wants us to identify any areas where we’re finding our identity other than God alone. I especially don’t like admitting that I want to find my identity in parenting because I’ve never considered myself a great parent. I can’t tell you how many of my monthly columns are based around the premise of look-how-I-failed-as-a-mom-this-time.

Only, I can’t talk about the big failures. Not anymore. Not now that my kids are teenagers.

Hello, all you mommy bloggers out there. The day will come when you can no longer write about your kids. You won’t even be able to write about the good stuff, like when they win second place at a robotics tournament, and you sure won’t be able to write about the bad stuff, like when they screw up.

When our teenagers screw up in 2014, it’s all over social media.

I was talking with a friend about my age (I’m 43), and she said that when she was in high school, she partied a lot.

“My parents still don’t know,” she said.

“They would now,” I told her. “The pictures would be all over Instagram.”

My friend’s kids are little. I’m not sure she’d thought about how things have changed since she was a rowdy teen.

While I was winding down that yoga class, thinking through that morning’s argument with my daughter, I realized that she’ll be leaving home very soon. As in August. That same month, my son will be moving from a dorm at one school to a dorm at another. My role as a parent is shifting. Those days of arguing in the car on the way to school are numbered.

I think Jennifer’s challenge came at just the right time. And I get to keep my dark chocolate.

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Comments

  1. That you’re with me on this journey? Means so much. You’ve been with me since the beginning.

    And with regard to your Love Idol, I am nodding my head. So much yes and amen here. And you know how I feel about all this, about you, about everything. And you know how much I love you.

  2. And you get to keep your tea!

  3. Hi Megan! I’m your neighbor at Tell His Story! I was on the phone last night with a friend and we talked about our parenting choices, if we had any regrets, what would we do differently, how we can claim a portion of our lives as we transition to parents of teens. So this was a perfect read for me this morning. Thanks for reminding me that parenting can be a love idol. #ouch

  4. I’ve had some of these very same thoughts, lately, Megan. I keep thinking of that old Hayley Mills movie (or, if you prefer, Lindsey Lohan) The Parent Trap. I’ve been caught in “The Parenting Trap”. And I thought it would get easier. Somewhere, someone is laughing maniacally :). Love to you as you enter in to Lent.

  5. aahh parenting, i use to be the proud momma of a compliant teen daughter, she made me look good, like I had my act of Christian parenting together. And then she turned 19, it shook me off my axis and i had to realize that her choices are not a reflection of my parenting, or how much I love her, or how i disciplined her. This is my daughter’s story, her love idol, her journey to the cross and I can’t jump in between and rescue her from it.

    And then I had three more daughter’s which ive learned there are no rules, you just hold on, give grace and pray as if your life depends on it. It all works out for His glory and not our own.

    so glad to be with you learning to break through our idols knowing that in Christ we are already preapproved.

  6. So much truth here, Megan. I am so hard on myself as a parent. As a person, really. I never considered that parenting could be a love idol, but yes, I see it’s true. For me, too.

    Love to you, girl.

  7. Hi Megan,
    Thinking about what you said, and asking myself if parenting is one of my idols…thanks for making me think about this…and enjoy your dark chocolate :)

  8. Wow, Megan. I get this one. I really do. ANYTHING can become a trap, an idol, a major distraction from our focus on letting God live through and change us. Praying for you as you move into and through this transition time.

  9. Megan, you nailed it here. Wow. This journey is well timed for many of us, thanks for sharing yours.

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