Marriage,  Worship

What Can Happen When You Fall Too Hard for the Stars


I’d always wondered what had happened.

After all, he seemed such a good man and so it was a mystery to me. But whatever it was, he didn’t say much now. He merely deferred to her. He explained that his wife was the “spiritual” one in the relationship.

Baffled me, really. Her husband seemed solid, wise, with a lot to offer. He sure kept it to himself though.

One night we were gathered together with this same couple when our conversation came to center around a book his wife had recently read. An interesting and challenging book by a popular Christian author. As the pastor of one of those amazing mega-churches, he had many brilliant things to say.

I was curious what her husband thought and asked for his opinion too. But he only smiled. And without missing a beat, she eagerly carried on without him. She raved and extolled. Clearly, she looooved this author.

And that’s when it felt funny to me.

I wondered if it was right to elevate another person quite so highly. I also wondered what her husband thought as his wife sang the praises of another man. And I wondered if he had long ago stopped sharing his own insights because he couldn’t compare. Not with that skillful author. That extraordinary pastor. That gifted speaker. Or that famous television star.

Yes, I couldn’t help but question if he had long ago pulled out of the conversation because he knew he never stood a chance.

He’s just an ordinary guy.

Now in case you’re curious, this story isn’t about one particular couple. We often encounter this sort of situation as star-gazing has become increasingly prevalent in our Christian culture.

We’ve somehow adopted this Hollywood attitude and many believers admire the big stars: Christian authors who have written best-sellers, popular pastors of humongous churches, and gifted speakers who can knock your socks off. Spiffy television celebrities.

How can your spouse – a mere mortal – compare to them?

But let’s not be so taken up with the Christian stars that we lose sight of the one we’ve  been called to love. The down-to-earth person we married. The ordinary one.

A Careful Look at Christian Celebrities:

Celebrities are actually real people. Flesh and blood. No superpowers. They have their own troubles, trials, and take-out pizza just like you and me. So why put them up on a pedestal when we’re only seeing flashes of their best moments?

If these celebrities are godly people, they wouldn’t want to be adored. They’d want the glory to go to God and not themselves. They’d cry out – and many do –  “Don’t look to me or my ministry. Look to the Savior we’re serving.”

Sometimes celebrities fall. We have to take into account this sad fact. It happens all the time and even occurred quite recently. A leader whom so many held in such high esteem let them down. Damaging and destructive. Don’t put your trust in people, but in God (Ps. 146:3).

Scripture cautions us about attaching ourselves to a specific person. If you’re going to follow someone, follow Christ. Not that we don’t learn from and appreciate the teachings of our brothers and sisters, but keep in mind they’re only servants of the true Master.

For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human? What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. (I Cor. 3:4-5)

Misplaced adoration can unintentionally harm our marriage. Let’s face it, it’s easier to admire that man – or woman – out there than it is to focus on the plain, good qualities of the person who lives with us. And whether we intend to or not, we can discourage our spouse with impossible expectations.

While there can be a variety of reasons why your spouse isn’t the “spiritual” one in the relationship, let it not be because they believe they could never measure up (More Here: How to Truly Encourage the Spiritual Life of Your Spouse).

Let’s not look to the stars. Let’s look to the One who made the stars.

Lift up your eyes on high and see: Who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of His might, and because He is strong in power not one is missing (Isa. 40:26).

In His grace,

Lisa Jacobson



  • BJ

    Such wisdom and truth in this post. I often find myself intentionally avoiding new books that everyone is raving about because of this very thing. I tend to give it a year or two, and let the Lord lead me to read or not read, especially after the initial fervor has died down. We’re just making idols. “Thou shalt have no other gods…”

  • Brenda

    If your talking about Joel Olsteen that man is nothing but a fake and fraud. I have seen his sermons he won’t even preach on sin at all. He has nothing but feel good sermons. He even set on The View and when they asked him is homosexuality a sin, his response was “it’s not Gods best for you”. I was speechless he wouldn’t even call it what it is sin. I don’t even like the fact that Christian stores sell his books.

  • Vicki

    Thank you sooooo much for writing this!! I saw this happen in my own family between my parents with devastating effects for us children. You wrote it in such a way as I never could. I watched it happened and could not give a name or label to it but it worked toward the breakdown of our family….with far reaching negative effects.

    Thank you again for pointing out that the “comparison” game has no winners. None of us want to be put up on a pedestal…because we are afraid to make mistakes…or afraid our mistakes won’t be forgiven. Neither do we want to be ridiculed or held in derision for our shortcomings on a minute-by-minute, daily basis…being made to feel we are worthless and un-loveable…and never do anything right or that we will “never amount to anything!”

    Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. ~ Eph. 4:29

    Blessings to you, Vicki

  • E.Blake

    Rom 1:25 They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator Himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.

  • Bonnie

    Too few people read the Bible these days. Forget about the books written by man and first learn what the Bible says as it says it. So sad.

  • Pamela Amos

    Unfortunately, I was guilty of something very similar decades ago (I am 57). We homeschooled our 8 children and I went to all the homeschool conferences that I could afford. I began developing resentment toward my husband because he was not doing all the things that the male leaders of homeschooling (e.g. Gregg Harris) said husbands and dads should be doing to lead their families. I eventually realized that I just could not listen to anything Christian leaders were directing at men. I began focusing on what the Lord wanted me, as a wife, to do rather than what my husband should be doing. The healing began. The resentment left…and my husband took the lead as I backed off.

  • Cactus

    Very good post. We see secular “stars” idolized all the time, but never think that we may be doing it with Christians also. We tend to think that just because someone is a Christian, it’s ok to put them up on a pedestal. It’s just as dangerous, if not more so, as putting a secular star up on a pedestal.

  • Elissa P

    Hi Lisa

    Oh my goodness, this post so spot on. You are so right. It’s so easy to praise and almost worship someone else, man or woman, without thinking of the feelings of the person you are talking with. Oh my!

    Growing up I hated it when my mother would compare me to my cousins, Oh she is so smart, she is so good looking and on and on, and she still does it today. I work hard at not doing this to my children or my husband. If I am upset about something my children does, I compare their actions to those in the Bible and as them what did God say to do or not to do. That’s it. I praise my husband and no other man.

    Peace to you.

  • Sharon

    Thank you. I needed to read this for myself. And, it reminded me of the parents of a friend of mine in high school. My friend and her Mom both idolized several famous movie stars. They were literally obsessed with these men. Anyways, I felt so bad for my friends Dad to have to listen to them go on and on. I can’t imagine his having to hear his wife obsess over some famous young guy, half his age.

  • Katie Hamilton

    : point #2 is what my daddy always seems to fall back on concerning a sad chunk of professing Christian artist out there nowadays. He always cautioned my siblings and I to be diligent because some are only out there for the fame or the money. It’s been a topic lately tossed around amongst my sisters and I, as well. My theory is ‘how does _________ (their actions/ words/ attitude/ dress/ style of music/ whatever) glorify, or ENHANCE THE REPUTATION OF, God?’ Great post! Good reminder for me!

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