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Love Idol: Letting Go of Your Need for Approval - and Seeing Yourself Through God's Eyes

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  544 ratings  ·  57 reviews
We all want someone to think we're sensational. We desire to be recognized, to be valued, to be respected . . . to be loved. Yet this natural yearning too often turns into an idol of one of God's most precious gifts: love itself. If you, like so many of us, spend your time and energy trying to earn brownie points--at work, home, and church--all the while fearing that, at a ...more
Paperback, 259 pages
Published April 1st 2014 by Tyndale Momentum (first published March 21st 2014)
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Joanne Viola
Mar 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Every once in a while you read a book which not only delights you in unexpected ways but impacts you, touching you deeply in your soul. Such was the case recently when I read, Love Idol by Jennifer Dukes Lee.

I knew I would enjoy the book as I have read her blog posts, being challenged by each one. But this was different.

Love Idol is Jennifer’s personal journey to break free from the addiction of approval of others – at home, at work and at church. She shares deeply personal stories and experienc
Karrilee Aggett
Apr 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book! Jennifer shares from her heart and is honest about her own struggles with looking for love and approval and trying to earn it, rather than accepting His love and approval that was hers all along! The good news is - it's ours too! Are you tired of striving for perfection, only to find it's not good enough? Aren't you tired of the not good enoughs? This book will help you to see that the One who matters most has preapproved you already and it will encourage you to lay down all the ...more
Apr 07, 2014 rated it liked it
While this book did an incredible job identifying exactly what my problem it, that's all it did for 4 weeks, identify. It read more like a memoir than a self-help. Don't get me wrong, it did an incredible job identifying the Love Idol and why/how it can be a problem in your life, but I was hoping for a little more on the strategy for overcoming side. That being said, I have still recommended it to several of my girl friends. ...more
Allison Miller
Nov 18, 2015 rated it liked it
[Jesus] didn't go to all the trouble of validating my worth merely so I could feel better about myself... In the end this has nothing to do with me at all. This really is all about Jesus. And Jesus is calling us to respond, in His name, so that when we show up in heaven, we can stand before Him completely poured out and breathless, with flushed cheeks, all in the name of love.

Love compels us to step outside of our own comfort zones and straight into the heart of Jesus, straight into our neighbor
Cherie Lowe
Jun 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
When I first engaged this work, I thought that I didn't really struggle with needing the approval of others. However, through Jennifer Dukes Lee's wisdom I quickly discovered that my heart was constantly being plagued with the messages of this world that cause me to beg for approval and love in all of the wrong places. Identifying the struggle is only half of the battle. This book will help you be released from prisons you might not even realize you were trapped inside of. While battling the nee ...more
Shauna Letellier
Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Read the back cover, got a lump in my throat and felt like the author was reading my mind. She uses personal stories to teach that seeking for your worth or approval from other people is futile and depressing. In her words, and in God's eyes, we are "pre-approved." I liked this book. ...more
Holly Barrett
Jun 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
On her blog earlier this year, Jennifer Dukes Lee challenged us at the beginning of Lent to yield wholly to Christ. This challenge made me think through the love idols God has been revealing to me. And as I’ve thought and prayed about them through this season, I felt pretty good. Letting go of some things. Making some progress on some others.

Then my pre-ordered book arrived. And God used it to make me dig a little deeper. Jennifer’s story of reaching dreamed-of career highs and having God pursue
May 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Lee used to be a newspaper reporter, so the girl certainly knows how to write and capture the reader's attention. The term 'love idol' is what Lee uses to talk about her need for approval. Her opening lines capture it well:

"Hi, I'm Jennifer. I know, we've just met, but already a familiar anxiety is rising up in my heart: I want you to like me.
For much of my life, I have lived like that. I have wanted people's approval. I have wanted to be a real somebody but have felt like a nobody. I'm not prou
Becky Holland
Mar 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Tyndale House Publishers, April 2014, ISBN 978-1-4143-8073-5.

Jennifer Dukes Lee had done it all as a reporter - she had covered all sorts of beats - including crime, government and spot news, like natural disasters.

In Love Idol, she tackles a subject that most journalists, even award-winning journalists, shy away from - faith, God and love. In doing this, she reveals much about her own life, her own issues and that is something a journalist isn't trained to do - journalist tell other people's st
Nancy Kennedy
Apr 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Jennifer Dukes Lee writes about the many ways we seek approval, and how destructive that desire can be. And it isn't always about beauty or personality or even the desire to be loved by friends and family.

Jennifer writes of a moment in her professional life when she realized she was trying to be a certain kind of person for the benefit of those in her workplace. She was a reporter for the Des Moines Register who was sent to vie for a viewing slot for the execution of Timothy McVeigh, who killed
Aug 02, 2014 rated it liked it
An average book dealing with an important issue

What does three stars for this book mean? More importantly what doesn't it mean? It doesn't mean it's a bad book, but the that the writing is average. It doesn't mean it contains horrible advice, it's actually good advice, but I didn't find it's delivery compelling. And it doesn't mean you shouldn't read the book, different people will react to the book differently, and I think this book will be life changing for many.

Like Jennifer, I'm a recovering
Kelly Greer
Mar 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It starts before we can even walk on our own two feet. We want to know if others approve of us. Am I pretty? See me? Am I smart? Do you love me? As we grow up, the voices get louder and the stakes get higher. We want to know that we are enough. Well there is good news. We are! We have already been preapproved by the only one who really matters, God.

Jennifer shares her own battle with this inner critic that pushed her into perfectionism, people-pleasing, and approval seeking frenzy. She shares wh
Mar 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Jennifer Duke Lee wrote "Love Idol" not as an expert but as an encourager. Even the subtitle speaks volumes: Letting Go of Your Need for Approval – and Seeing Yourself Through God's Eyes. Jennifer's words, which really are God's message, have seeped into my everyday life. Isn't that where truth changes us anyway? In her book, Jennifer reminded me "any average moment in this life is never really average if we're living each ordinary moment for an extraordinary God."

I'm a people-pleasing, perfecti
Sarah Paschall
Nov 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Love Idol is the sort of book I need to read twice (or more!). Dukes uses personal stories and engaging narrative to help the reader realize she's not alone in this journey of letting go of her need for others' approval. She also reiterates that this journey to solely seek God's approval is just that--a journey. It's a daily surrender, and throughout her piece, she provides Scripture, stories, and quotes to aid the reader into a better understanding of God's love, while equipping the reader with ...more
Angela Suzanne
As one who has been bound to the love idol for so long, I wanted to read this book and requested it from the publisher on Net Galley. I was a little disappointed with the book because I was expecting it to be more practical or even theological but rather it was mostly about Jennifer Dukes Lee's experience with her love idol. However, it was still a good book for me to read because it challenged me to let go of my fears that have bound me to the love idol. I could relate to Jennifer's story about ...more
Celena Janton
Jun 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book had me captured from the first page. I grew up much like the author--in a home full of love and security. Even so, like her, I had made other people's love and affirmation and high opinion of me into an idol until keeping up the perfect facade became a terrible burden for me. Soon after that "love idol" of mine led to what could have been terrible consequences (but wasn't, thanks to God's grace) I found this book. It has helped me (is still helping me!) to find my affirmation in Jesus, ...more
May 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I'm a junior in college, and this book struck many a chord in me. Jennifer Dukes-Lee shares her heart in a way that's inspiring and encouraging to women--and, frankly anyone who's ever felt that need to "measure up."

I got to the last chapter and waited a while because I didn't want to finish and be done!

Almost like sitting down for coffee with a good friend or mentor, reading this book allowed me to soak up some wisdom and advice I had long knew I needed, but never fully understood myself, or
May 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
I received this book from the author on a Good Reads Give-Away. All of us, men and women alike, are striving for approval in our lives. At the age of 72 you would think I would have conquered all those idols, but I haven't. This gem of a book is interspersed with the author's personal stories and truth from scriptures. Her point is to show us that God already loves us, and we do not need to prove our worth to Him or find our worth in others. I'd give 4.5 stars for this book. I would most certain ...more
Mar 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I think all women struggle with not feeling good enough and not measuring up to the world's standard for us. Jennifer Dukes Lee does a great job at addressing how so often we feel that we do not measure up and yet we need to realize that God loves us just the way we are and that in His eyes we are enough. I thought the author did an outstanding job about reminding women about what their true purpose is and of the love of God that is all encompassing. ...more
Little Whimsy Books
Apr 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
At first I thought it was going to be one of those
typical self-help books or those super christian books
that thinks they're going to change people's lives,
but no, I was wrong.

It's like Jennifer has read all people's diaries. This book won't change you in whole, but it will make you realize that there's no need for approval
for anything and that the one you were seeking for
was already yours.
Jun 20, 2014 rated it it was ok
A topic I could identify with...a style I couldn't. A speaker I heard recently quoted from the introduction about battling "the inner critic who bruises, the mirror that accuses, and the mental playback that oozes with bad history." Like a film trailer that captures the best parts in the teaser, turns out those were the words that resonated the most for me. No offense meant...hers is an important message. ...more
Kristy Hales
May 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book really resonated with me. Most of my life I've been way more concerned about my standing with people than who I am in Christ. Jennifer spoke truth into that...reminding me that my life is hidden in Him, not in the validation of people. Now on with the hard reality of living like I truly believe that. Great book! ...more
Leah Adams
Apr 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful, challenging, engaging! Jennifer Lee has hit a home run with this book. Very few people do not struggle with finding their worth in the approval of other people. Our worth and value should only be found in Christ. I recommend this book to everyone!
Carol Apgar
Mar 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. Challenged me to examine my own love idols.
Apr 04, 2014 added it
Such a joy to interview Jennifer Dukes Lee today! She lives and walks the talk in her book.

May 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is so good! This is a book I will be reading again to remind myself of the truth that I am preapproved! highly recommend!
Jennifer Peterson
Aug 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Everyone needs to read this book!!
May 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
LOVE LOVE LOVE!!! Wish to get a hard copy vs. Kindle to add notes in and lend to people to read.
Jan 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Disclaimer: I read this as someone who has struggled with her faith all my life and who is just now trying to start going to church again.

I really liked the theme and idea behind this book. It is definitely something I have always struggled with in my life, worrying about being accepted and using others’ opinions of me to determine my worth.

With that said, there were some parts where I had a hard time staying engaged or that seemed repetitive, which almost caused me to stop reading the book sev
Tabitha Pangburn
Nov 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was screaming for a great book to really give me perspective into what I was dealing with emotionally and spiritually. This book was just the start for me as I journey to find inner contentment with where I was in life and where I wanted to be. A deep spiritual and scripture read for encouraging you to be happy with you. To love and be content with who you are and even opening your eyes to what or why you may have the need to please others and how to overcome that with the great One in you.
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Blog Posts: #PreApproved 1 2 Feb 24, 2015 10:26AM  

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I write books. I embarrass my kids. I was once a mime. (True story). I attend a small country church where some Sundays you'll find me spinning tunes as the church deejay.

I'm a big fan of dark chocolate, emojis, eighties music, bright lipstick, and Netflix binges. My husband and I are raising crops, pigs, a herd of cats, and two beautiful humans on the Lee family farm in Iowa.

My newest book, It's

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“Christ continually shouts through the universe, "You have a love that is already yours. You have nothing to prove to anyone. You have nothing to prove to Me. You are significant and preapproved and utterly cherished. Not because you are 'good,' but because you are Mine.” 6 likes
“Before the foundations of the world, He loved you.
Before the fall of Eden, He loved you. Before He sent His Son splitting through the cosmos to this world, He loved you. Before He died upon the cross, He loved you. When He rose again, He loved you. And He's coming back again because He loves you. When you took your first breath, He loved you. When you messed up bad, He loved you. When you made good grades, He loved you. When you won and when you lost, He loved you.”
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