“Love Idol” — a Book Review

 1920240_10201546237158689_345538548_nphoto courtesy of Diane Bailey from the Love Idol Launch Team

It’s been a big day! A good day for my friend Jennifer Dukes Lee. Her first book has been released, set free into the world to be read, savored, underlined, dog-eared, learned from and treasured. 

“Love Idol: Letting go of your need for approval . . . and seeing yourself through God’s eyes” is now available at your favorite bookseller. I encourage you to pick up a copy — or three or four, for friends, family or small group — and read your way through Jen’s journey from perfectionist-people-pleaser, unsure-of-God’s-existence, to sold-out-believer, one-who-knows-she-is-loved.

This is a journey we all need to take, this way of grace, this road that begins with our desperate need to be seen, to be valued, to be loved. This road that can so easily lead to detours and dead ends, each one echoing with the voice of our enemy, the one who taunts and teases and tantalizes. It is so easy — too easy — to succumb to the demands of our shadow selves — the Inner Critic, the Sarcastic Belittler, the Over-Eager-Achiever, the Proud Performer — when all that is needed is the recognition that we are already loved, already accepted, already approved before we do anything.

It’s paradoxical, really. The simplest truth is the hardest one to believe, to live. And Jennifer wrestles well with the slippery edges of it all. Telling stories about herself, her marriage, her children, her past career and her current calling, she weaves in biblical stories and truths like the pro she is. Before she became a farmer’s wife, mom, and blogger, Jen was an award-winning journalist and her story-telling ability shines delightfully on every page.

All along the way, she casually drops in some great one-liners:

We all have two choices in times of angst or worry: raise the fist or bend the will.

Sometimes a face-plant into the dirt is the best way to humble the hurried and harried.

How do I take these brain-deep answers and make them heart-deep?

“Dear God, help me get over myself today.”

I doubt that even Jesus Himself would suggest bullet-pointed answers to life’s most pressing questions. He didn’t outline easy steps for us; He offered an easy yoke.

Personal strength is not necessarily a virtue. Neither is got-it-togetherness.

We tell each other that it’s safe to be authentic, but are we making unthreatening places for people to be less than perfect?

This is a book written for women, and that may be my only critique. Why? Because I think this is a message for everyone, every person who has ever dealt with an overwhelming need to be loved and approved, who has ever felt driven to perform perfectly, who has ever allowed fear and/or pride to be the controlling emotion behind every decision. And I know that men face these demons as well as women.

Whichever gender you are, wherever you are on this journey of faith, Love Idol is a rich resource for you, and I heartily and happily recommend it to you. 

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  1. So well written, Diana, just like that book. I’d agree–Love Idol has a message for EVERYONE.

    • Thank you, Jody! I wanted to go through and remove all the references to women-as-audience because I think this message is so important, it needs to be shared with ALL of us.

  2. Such a beautiful review! You are so right, Diana, this is a problem we ALL wrestle with. I am so glad to have stopped to read your review. Grateful to have shared this journey 🙂