Is Your Boyfriend a Buddha?


When we allow guys to monopolize our hearts, then we’re worshiping them, not God.

By the time I graduated from college, my passport had been stamped in Fiji, Egypt, Ukraine, Australia, Czech Republic, Costa Rica, and seven other countries. I guess you could say I had the travel bug (grin). Studying and traveling outside the United States opened my eyes to cultures, customs, people, and places I had only read about in books.

It’s one thing to hear your parents tell you to eat your food because there are children starving in Africa; it’s a totally different ball game to see a starved, dirty-faced child, dressed in rags, hands held palms up, begging you for something... for anything.

And it’s one thing to read the second commandment, “You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind” (Ex. 20:4), but it's quite another to smell the thick smoke of incense at a stone shrine in Guatemala or to see the brightly painted plastic and wooden family idols lined on shelves in a corner of a room in Cuba. When you see solemn faces bowed in prayer to these gods that couldn’t help a spider catch a fly—well, I guess God says it best:

“How foolish are those who manufacture idols. These prized objects are really worthless. . . . Who but a fool would make his own god—an idol that cannot help him one bit?” (Isa. 44:9–10 paraphrased).

God goes on to say in verses 11–20 exactly what all of us are thinking: Who in their right mind would think that some object a person made could possess the powers of the true God?

Can I be honest with you? I admit that for a good part of my life when I read passages like Isaiah 40, I felt a swelling sense of pride. Sheesh, those people are idiots! Who would be so blockheaded that they’d think those idols are real? I’m glad I’m not that stupid, God. But really, who would do that? Just being honest.

And I’m really glad God is so patient with our own sin because, come to find out, I was one of those idiots who trusted in something that couldn’t save me. I was guilty of worshiping something made by someone else, expecting it to do something it could never do. Although the objects of my affections were tons better-looking than those household idols in Cuba, they (sadly) had a lot in common.

A Girl’s #1 Idol

According to the principles in Isaiah 40, an idol is anything (1) made that (2) takes God’s rightful place as the number one priority in my life. By that definition, aren’t we guilty of letting all sorts of idols take over our hearts? Everything (music, social media, clothes, sports) can take on idol status if we’re not careful. God knows how quickly we replace Him with just about anything and everything. That’s why He dedicated not just one but two of the Ten Commandments to warn us against idolatry.

“You must not have any other God but me. . . . You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods” (Exodus 20:3,5).

The word affection is what gives away most girls’ number one idol. C’mon now, you don’t have to ace calculus to see the connection. We, my friend, idolize guys. They fit both criteria. They’re made (by God—and we’re very thankful, Lord!). And they easily—so easily—take the number one spot in our affections, time, energy, hopes, dreams, focus, conversations (need I go on?).

In a nutshell, when we allow guys to monopolize our hearts, we’re already worshiping them, not God. It doesn’t matter if a guy is a crush, your husband, or anything in between. No guy—not even “Mr. Right”—should take God’s rightful place in your life.

Trust me—I know (oh, do I know!) how hard it is to shower God with our deepest affections when we have the option of pointing them toward flesh-and-blood instead. But those guys that are so attractive—so intriguing, heart-melting, and all-around ahhhh—are just a reflection of the God who made them. So let’s guard against making our boyfriend (or crush, fiancé, or husband) into a personal Buddha, and instead worship the Maker of the made.

Written by Jessie Minassian

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