I Gave Up My Love Idol for Lent. Now What??

March 6, 2014 | 16 comments

I’m less than 48 hours in, and already,  I want to peek in the mirror.

Especially after attempting to flat-iron my hair last night, before our Ash Wednesday service at church.

And then again, I wanted to peek in the mirror, when Anna and I started laughing so hard that tears rolled our cheeks. I’d apparently overestimated the size of my lips while applying lip liner, and must have looked a little like I’d gotten collagen injections. And the tears, of course, caused my mascara to run. Which left black smudges, which made us laugh more.

Which makes me think I should have given up mirrors AND makeup for Lent.

Yeah. I confess, I want to peek. Right under here.

No one would know. Just me and God.

And maybe that’s the point.

All of this — this thing called Lent — is about me and God. About you and God. About our personal journeys toward a cross, and an empty tomb … and about living like we believe He’s real.

We’ve been busy, you and I. We’ve been uprooting idols and covering mirrors and rethinking our blog stat reports and our “need” to be productive. And 1,000 of you have joined me here, in a movement to give up your own Love Idols. We’re a community of Christ followers who’ve decided that we want to evict our love idols, clearing out space in hearts that belongs to Christ.

But what now? What do we do now?

Calvin says our hearts are idol factories. What do we do when our two-faced hearts double-cross us and start churning out more idols? What about when our hearts make us want to take it all back? What do we do when the object of our greatest temptations — those places where we think we’ll get the love and approval we need — look us straight in the eye and beg us to take them back?

What about when we want to peek in the mirror? To quit? To give in?

When your default response is to return to the sin that made you lovesick, plant Christ in your heart again. Fall in love again.

Eyes. on. Jesus.

Not self, but Savior.

Not mirror, but Messiah.

With eyes on Jesus, we’re “dispossessing the heart of an old affection.” That’s how the old preacher Thomas Chalmers said it. When you EVICT in idol, you’ve got to put something else in that empty space. Or it grows back.

“The only way to dispossess [the heart] of an old affection, is by the expulsive power of a new one.”

Think of your heart as a garden. Think of your love idols as weeds. Pluck the weeds, and plant flowers.

Pluck idols. Plant Christ.

That’s why, instead of looking at blank paper or bedsheets covering my mirror, I look at these words.

These are words with “expulsive power.” These are words that remind me of Christ and His love toward His #preapproved daughters. Toward me.

Toward you.

You’ve uprooted your idol. Now what? Plant Christ.

Here are some great places to start:

1 – Why You May Really [Really] Need Lent this Year [and a Free Family Lent & Easter Devotional] by Ann Voskamp. She’s also cooking something up, under the hashtag #40LessMeMoreHim. So stay tuned for that Voskampian goodness! 

Margaret Feinberg’s challenge to read the entire New Testament during Lent 2014. “Our hope and prayer is that at the end of the next 40 days, you’ll be so spiritually full, you’ll never want to live on empty again,” Margaret says.

This free e-booklet, being offered by Michelle DeRusha. Sign up here.

The e-booklet includes:

  • A short Bible reading and an accompanying devotional for each day of the six weeks of Lent, beginning on Ash Wednesday and concluding on Easter Sunday.
  • A prayer or action item for the day to help you live out God’s word in your everyday.
  • Seven family-centered devotions/activities – one for each week of Lent.
  • Seven weeks of small group discussion questions.
  • Original photography by Nebraska photographer Curt Brinkmann.

Deidra Riggs

is offering a free email series called “Together Through Lent.” Click here, then scroll down, to find details.

Karen Ehman’s “Reverse Lent Challenge.”

Our community here

The Love Idol Movement on Facebook is a place of mutual encouragement and support as we uproot idols, plant Christ. Uproot idols, plant Christ. Repeat cycle. Eyes. on. Jesus.

We’re in this together:




Click here to print the preapproved cutouts. Place these where ever your Love Idols have lurked! 

Preapproved printable: to frame, to put on your refrigerator, to give to a friend. Click here to print. My gift to you, brave soul!

Join us on the Love Idol Movement Facebook Page, and share your stories.

YOUR TURN: Share your ideas for planting and replanting Christ in our hearts this season as we move toward the cross. 

by | March 6, 2014 | 16 comments


  1. Deidra

    I wondered about that this morning. Wondered if you felt like peeking? It’s a slow turning away from and toward, isn’t it? Both at the same time. So glad we have this season to consider all these things. And, hey! Thanks for the shout-out about my newsletter…among so many outstanding resources!

  2. HisFireFly

    “Pluck idols. Plant Christ.”
    Yes, this!!!

  3. Bruce Barone

    Great Post! A book was published last year by a high school girl who went the whole year without looking in a mirror. Peace be with you!

  4. Alia_Joy

    I’m pretty sure I’d lose an eye trying to do makeup with no mirror and the hot iron? Whoa, lady. Watch out. I love how you’ve followed up. It’s got to be more than just removing one thing because others are so quick to grow up into that empty space. Pluck idols, Plant Christ. YES!

  5. Power of Modesty


  6. Jennifer Camp

    Oh, wow, sister, you encourage us on! Yes to plucking idols and planting Christ! Thank you! xo

  7. ro elliott

    …reading along with Margaret and today Jesus talked about sweeping out the house…but if we don’t fill that space with Him…we can lose all that ground and more…yes…plucking idols …planting Christ. Pressing in with you!!!

  8. Janis Van Keuren

    So important to fill those empty spaces before something else moves in! Great post, Jennifer. And good luck with the makeup!!!

  9. KristinHillTaylor

    You’re words in this whole movement are wrecking my heart in the best possible way. I can’t imagine what’s going to happen then I read the rest of your book! 🙂 You’re brave and courageous to say yes to God and let him have your way in you so you can lead others to do the same. XOXO.

  10. JViola79

    Love this! So very true if were to “cheat” on Lent no one would know but ourselves & God. Oh that we would be faithful to HIM! Beautiful post. So grateful to be on this journey with you.

  11. Beth

    “Pluck idols. Plant Christ.” Love that. Love you. You are inspiring me in so many ways…and I know others feel the same. Simply can’t wait to get my hands on your book! 🙂 Much love.

  12. AiBoon Tan

    Thank you for sharing this. The Lord bless you with more inspiration in your writing ministry. This is a gift song from the Lord in response to this post – Falling in love with Jesus again – http://scratch.mit.edu/projects/18904134/

  13. Kelly Greer

    Delete idol, insert Jesus!

  14. Courtney

    Pastor’s wife, mother, Christ follower- after examining my heart and wondering what my love idol really was God let me know- hard core- that what I needed to let go of was myself. When spreading the amazing love of Jesus I also had a hidden agenda to spread the “Christian hotness” for lack of better word of my husband and I. Even among circles of pastors and pastors wives there is a hierarchy of popularity and I was after it. Shame on me. God’s correction was timely. And honestly, the last thing I thought he would be asking me to give up not just for lent but forever. Who am I really selling, myself or Jesus? I will be asking that question frequently as I push to become the new creature he is designing. Blind spots are a dangerous thing. Praise him who heals the blind and causes them to see. Thank you for this challenge. Life changing.



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