Bad or the Bomb?




Maybe it had changed way before that. I just remember in middle school, a poster of Scott Baio in my friend’s bedroom with the words, “Teen Idol” proudly at the top. My mom wouldn’t let me have pictures of boys on my walls. She thought that wasn’t good for my heart. What a wise women!

Maybe the word “idol” had changed from a terrible Biblical thing to a cool “I worship the ground he walks on” thing way before my middle school years but that is when I felt the conflict I felt in my heart. The Bible said idols were bad; culture said idols were the bomb.

Today’s culture only magnified the concept of idols when American Idol came along over a decade ago. Unlike the confused me of middle school, today’s teens don’t have any idea idols are bad.

As wise women raising wiser women, we want our daughters and those coming after us to experience the best God has to offer; having His blessings in their lives. This generation, then, needs to know: not only are idols contrary to God, but they cause us to bypass God’s favor.

Psalm 24 is a passage I wrote in my journal this summer and have been praying every day for my three kids. I want God’s favor in their lives and here is how they get it:

“Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord?
Who may stand in his holy place?
The one who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not trust in an idol
or swear by a false god.

They will receive blessing from the Lord
and vindication from God their Savior.
Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek your face, God of Jacob.”

If our kids are going to receive blessings from God, we need to teach them that nothing else can compete with Him for first place. Not great grades, superior sports and not a Scott Baio type boyfriend. As we model Jesus being the center of our lives, we can encourage them to do the same.

Today, in your quiet moments with Jesus, ask Him if there is any idols in your life; anything that has more of your heart, mind and time than He does. He pointed out to me often this summer I allowed my kids to slide into His #1 spot.

Second: find a couple of minutes to ask the young person in your life what the word idol means. Google defines it as: an image or other material object representing a deity to which religious worship is addressed. Share Psalm 24 with them; teaching them God’s blessings come when God has all of our heart, not just a portion. Together, choose to seek His face every day.



  1. Debbie Hollingsworth says:

    Thank you for your post. It brought a fresh perspective to me this morning.
    Father, guard my heart I pray. You alone are worthy of my worship. Search my heart Lord, if there by any idol please remove it now, keeping my heart healthy and ready for your service. Teach me Lord, not to look for my satisfaction or justification through people or things but to look to you, oh Lord, for my wholeness. Help me, I pray, to set that same example for the people I have contact with and for my children. I want to live a life defined by you and you alone.
    As I honor you, oh Lord, let my life be filled.

    1. Thank you so much, Debbie!

      Yes, Lord, You alone are worthy of our worship!

  2. Thank you for this Lynn! I did not grow up in a Christ centered home and had posters everywhere! Now I’m raising two girls of my own. Blessed to read this!

    Taking her Posters down,

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Hey Cassie, I’m not saying all posters are bad. My girl has a couple of groups she likes in her room. It’s the worship of those groups that are not good for them. I hope this will spur some great conversation between the two of you!

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