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A Wife Sees Some of Her Idols – People Pleasing and Beauty

An email from a wife.  Thank you for sharing!!!!!! I LOVE what God is doing in your heart!
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I watched two of your videos on Youtube  (channel “April Cassidy”)

Where do I start?????

I definitely identify with thinking it’s up to me make others happy and I expect others to make me happy. What a trap!! I can see I’ve been stuck in that little cage since I was like 4. YIKES

Those of us that come to Christ later in years are kinda like an art student that’s painted all her life – BUT THE WRONG WAY. You first have to unlearn all the wrong techniques and then re-learn the right way.

God has to remove all our wrong thinking, feeling and acting and then He can replace it with the right way.  (From Peacefulwife – I came to Christ at age 5, but STILL had to go through this exact same process because I had unknowingly swallowed so much poison from the world and our culture!)

Unfortunately it can get kind of confusing because you have the world telling you that your way of painting is good, the flesh is always thinking it’s Leonardo DeVinci and Satan loves when I paint in my own understanding!!!

So, I’ll be 51 in about a week, that’s a LOT of years being a people pleaser. I’ve known for a while that I struggle with this, but that whole being happy in others and vice versa. That’s HARD. It seems so innocent and not bad???

God does not want us to be happy, but be holy. Not that we can’t be happy, but the world’s idea of happy is SOO not God’s idea.

April, I have created sooo many idols JUST out of the people pleaser thing… it spills over into my dress, the whole being modest thing.

When you’re NOT IN CHRIST, it seems GOOD to have men give you attention because you look hot. Now I realize that is degrading, but at one time I felt pretty good, well, I even felt powerful having guys slobber all over themselves because of me. Now, I see that’s just cheap.

My pastor said God made women to want to be pretty: FOR THEIR HUSBANDS. Satan twists and perverts that God given desire into something ugly and destructive.
Age has chipped away at that idol. I memorized: We admire the strength (or beauty) of youth but respect the gray hair of age. This verse has helped me tremendously BUT, I am just now realizing that my youthful beauty was wrapped up in idolatry. Me being the idol….okay, so I just got REALLY really honest there.
I did it because I found out at age 6 that my little friends would be nice to me BASED on my looks. I tried in vain to be nice, sweet, cooperative…but still my friends would be unkind. Then one day some older girls oohed and aahed over how pretty I was. After that my mean little friends were nice to me. I started noticing how all the pretty girls were treated nicely by the teachers, boys and other girls (if they weren’t jealous…then they’d be mean). Anyway, I was NEVER that pretty, just that non-threatening kinda pretty.

I learned to “work it” in high school by doing my hair make up and wearing clothing that showed my youthful body off. Nothing too skanky but the idea was there…

In my 30’s I started teaching fitness classes and my body got nice and toned. I received a lot of respect and a little admiration for how I looked. It was so normal I didn’t think about it much, just was happy how I looked, and yes… spent a lot of time tanning and exercising.

Then in my 40’s my health took a real nose dive and out the door went the tanning and the exercising. Too funny. I’m 50 and sporting a belly. HAHA.

I watch my daughter follow in my footsteps and it makes me sad. She is a gorgeous 30 year old who gets attention for her beauty. She dresses much more modestly than I ever did, but still….I see the strut, I see the look in her eyes when she knows she looks good.  I wish I could go back in time and have found you when she was only a teenager. That she would want to dress modest and attract a guy that would REALLY value her heart for God.

I need to chew on the idea that this is a super idol for me. I kind of knew it was, but the extent seems pretty huge.

How do you think the respect of age ties into the admiration of youth and beauty? Can that become just another idol? Like switching one for another? How do you avoid doing that?

God has given you GREAT wisdom to be mindful of the idol thing. Maybe that is something us women struggle with. Making idols of so many different things. I can relate, that’s for sure. Beauty, being good, food, friends, even church!!

I’m glad God doesn’t let us hang onto our idols. He took mine away with age. But I see the danger of trading it for something else. And I don’t want to make an idol out of being modest….sheesh that would be just like me LOL!
FROM PEACEFULWIFE:
Yes, our human hearts are idol factories!  We all are able to constantly invent things to idolize if we are not carefully watching our motives and immediately repenting to Christ.  And there is definitely a danger in trading one idol for another.  It is absolutely possible to make an idol out of respect and biblical submission – thinking you can control your husband that way and get what you want, apart from trusting Christ.  It is also very possible to make modesty an idol.  Or to make not wearing makeup an idol – or a way of being legalistic and keeping score.
The key always is – what are my motives?
  • Why do I want to make this person happy?  Is is so that I can avoid conflict, or is it so that I can please God?
  • Why do I want to wear this outfit? Is it to draw attention to my body, or is it to draw attention to Christ?
  • Why do I want to dress modestly?  Is it out of reverence for Christ, or is it so that I can feel like I am “earning” favor with God, or so that I can look down on other people who aren’t dressing modestly?
  • Why do I want to not wear make-up?  Is it about true humility, or is it a way for me to feel superior to others?
  • Why do I want to wear make-up?  Is it to attract the attention of men, or to look my best for my husband and honor him?

So don’t make judgments about anyone ahead of time–before the Lord returns. For he will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due. I Corinthians 4:5

If my motive is anything other than pleasing, honoring, trusting and loving Christ – I have a big problem!
If I am putting something in that primary spot in my life – the place where Jesus alone is worthy to sit on the throne in my heart – that is idolatry.  If I think “I HAVE TO HAVE THIS THING/PERSON!!!!  I MUST HAVE IT TO BE HAPPY!!!!”  And it is not Christ – I am dealing with an idol.  If I am making my identity all about something that is not Christ, it is probably an idol.  If I am REALLY afraid of something happening, and I spend tons of time and energy trying to prevent something – the opposite of my fear is probably an idol.
Even sin can become an idol.  Bitterness can be an idol.  I may cherish my bitterness more than my intimacy with Christ and refuse to forgive.  Practically anything can be an idol in our human hearts.
Idols must be torn out by the root and replaced with Jesus alone.  I must die to myself and my desires, my wisdom, my plans, my expectations, my rights… and live for Christ!  Then I desire His wisdom, His plans, His holiness, His will and His greatest glory.  946930_36154604

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