Bob Lepine, co-host of FamilyLife Today, Vice President of Content and Chief Creative Officer at Family Life, lead a breakout session that addressed three areas of a woman’s life that can take on an unhealthy, idolatrous proportion: Food, Beauty, and Control. Taking us all the way back to Genesis 3:6, he pointed out that “the woman saw that the tree was good for food” (food), and “delightful to look at” (beauty), and that it was “desirable for obtaining wisdom” (control).
At the beginning of Genesis 3, when Satan is questioning Eve on whether or not God really did say that she couldn’t partake of the tree, what he was doing was planting a seed in Eve that says, “God wants to deprive you of good things. He’s withholding things from you.” Suddenly, what Eve couldn’t have were the things that occupied her attention. She listened to the lust of the flesh. What Eve really wants is for nothing to be off limits in life. No boundaries. No restrictions. Nobody telling her what she can and cannot do. This was the first time Eve was dissatisfied with what God had given her. She believed she would be more content in life if she partook of the fruit.
We are all in danger, Lepine warned, when you become discontented with what God has given you in life. When you pursue what God has said you can’t have, you are saying God doesn’t know best, He doesn’t care, and He’s not a loving God.
With humor and effective illustrations, Lepine provided the capacity crowd great insight on the struggles of food, beauty, and control. Food, he says, can take on proportions it was never supposed to take on in our lives. At some level, wise, healthy eating is a good thing. But for a lot of women, what you eat or don’t eat can become a problem. Your appearance (beauty) will say something about your life. How much do others opinions of your dress control you? Is your dress shaped more by the culture or the Bible?
Lepine urged the women to grasp the truth that one’s value before God has nothing to do with one’s physical appearance. The one area where physical beauty is commended and encouraged by God is in the Song of Solomon, affirming that physical beauty is something for your husband.
Control was the third and most challenging point. Lepine brought clarity to this issue by pointing out that women want to feel safe and secure. The danger is that she most often thinks that she must be the one in control to feel safe and secure. God never intended for us to be in control of our lives. Really soak that in. Isn’t it freeing and refreshing? Yet, most women think we can do a better job on our own. That, Lepine notes, is a dangerous place to be. Through our weaknesses as women, we should allow God to demonstrate His grace and through His power make us perfect, weaknesses and all, through Jesus Christ.
We make something an idol when we inflate it and ask it to become god in our lives. These three issues, food, beauty and control are all issues of idolatry. What you worship is what you will ultimately serve. What if there is an idol in your life? You identify the idol, repent, confess and then replace the idol with the living God. If you do not replace the idol, it will just resurface. Thank you Bob Lepine for addressing these sensitive issues that plague, pollute, and paralyze so many women. May there be many idols detected and replaced because of this clear and challenging breakout session.