We were on our honeymoon, on our way for a two-week stay in the Colorado Rockies. We’d spent the first night in a resort, the second in a cabin, but after that we hit the road to camp in the mountains. I slept most of the way while my new husband put in a hard day of driving. When it came time to say goodnight, he fell asleep on me while we were praying.
Under the moon-lit sky, surrounded by rugged beauty, I could’ve slipped off to sleep grateful for my man and the blanket of stars above me, but instead I let my passions run wild and I had a big, ugly, pity-party.
I was hurt he didn’t even finish the prayer before he started snoring, hurt he didn’t cuddle and kiss me passionately. This is our honeymoon. Who goes to sleep this early on their honeymoon?! My heart raced from injury to anger and then back again. I vented silently at first, but then the tears started. He didn’t even notice. I got louder.
When my husband finally realized his new bride was having a sobbing fit, he asked me what was wrong. “You fell asleep on me!” Hearing my pathetic accusation, he merely rolled over and went back to snoring.
I look back at that immature bride and just shake my head. I went into marriage with an “all about me” attitude. I wanted my husband’s complete attention, affection, and focus to be centered on me. Oh, I wanted him to love God, too, but my actions demonstrated that I wanted to be top priority in his life. When I burst into tears that night it was a red flag signaling my idolatry.
I’ve never bowed down to an idol made of gold or wood, but I have practiced idolatry. An idol is anything other than God that we look to or seek after for our fulfillment, security, and happiness. Idolatry starts with a desire, even a good desire. Wanting affection from my husband is a good and healthy thing, but demanding that affection indicates my desire has grown into an idol. What happened on our honeymoon was idolatry in action: I must have his affection, and I will do whatever I can to get it!
Isaiah describes the irony of looking to anything or anyone other than the one true God to bring complete fulfillment. He says it’s like feeding on ashes. If LeRoy would’ve given me what I was craving, it still wouldn’t have brought the satisfaction I was seeking.
Now, of course I didn’t have a clear understanding of what was happening at that time, and if LeRoy would’ve calmly stated, “Honey, please stop crying, you’re practicing idolatry right now” believe me—that would not have gone over well. As I’ve grown in my walk with Christ, I’ve learned that when I’m spewing out sinful reactions, it is a red flag that an idol needs smashing.
I smashed that particular idol several years ago, but I still have to be on the lookout for new ones that crop up every now and then. How about you? What idols have you smashed lately?