You’re Preapproved

Preapproved by Jennifer Dukes Lee

You are preapproved.–Jennifer Dukes Lee, Love Idol {book}

As women we’re so vulnerable to expectations, aren’t we? We carry checklists around in our purses and even more in our hearts. On them we silently write what we believe it will take to be the perfect friend, wife, daughter, Christian, woman. We work so hard to keep up, and yet at the end of the day it’s never done.

What if we decided together to shred those expectations? We can, you know. Because here’s a little secret: expectations are nothing more than the modern-day version of living under the law. And you are no longer under the law. You are under grace.

Grace that replaces those lists with love. Grace that sees past our efforts to our hearts. Grace that invites us not to routines and regulations but to a relationship.

We don’t have to prove ourselves. We have already been declared “approved” by God. Not because of how “good” we are but because of what Jesus did for us on the cross. All the laws, all the expectations, were nailed there with him. And when he rose again three days later, we were declared to be free forever.

You are accepted. I am accepted. And love is no longer a reward for our behavior but instead a gift offered by nail-scarred hands. So let’s drop the lists we’re clutching and cling to what he longs to bring to our lives instead.

Wherever you are right now, take a deep, slow breath. Let it out again, and as you do, think of all those expectations slipping away too.

Every “I should . . .”

Each “I must . . .”

All the “I have to’s . . .”

Replace them instead with this:

“Because Jesus loves me, I will . . .”

“Because he fully accepts me, I can . . .”

“Because he promises me everything I need, I get to . . .”

When we live that way, our expectations are exchanged for exclamations—declarations from deep within our hearts and lives that tell the world we serve a God of grace.


Holley Gerth

Love Idol by Jennifer Dukes Lee

If you’ve ever struggled with the need for approval, then Love Idol by Jennifer Dukes Lee will help set your heart free. You can find out more about the book here!

p.s. Do you live in the Northeast? I’ll be at the Winsome retreat in a couple of weeks and would love to see you there!


  1. says

    I love that grace replaces lists, sees our hearts, invites us into relationships. May we free ourselves from the expectations placed upon us & walk in freedom. I truly loved this book – every single page!

  2. says

    “Expectations are nothing more than the modern-day version of living under the law.”
    So true. I’ve spent many years burdened by trying to meet the expectations of other people. Sometimes, I try to fall back into that trap even though I have purposed to make pleasing God my primary focus. After all, in the eternal scope of things, his approval is the only thing that matters.
    I appreciate your blogs and your books. Thanks for sharing your perspectives.

  3. says

    Oooh, I love how you pointed out that expectations are just a modern-day living under the law. I place an incredible amount of expectations on myself – most of which I would never think of placing on anyone else. I’m so glad you framed it that way! (And this book? Seriously life changing. I love it!)

  4. says

    Jennifer’s book is seriously changing my life. And your words? They’re sweet reminders that we are indeed preapproved, that we don’t have clutch those to-do lists so tight, and that expectations are truly binding. Thanks for this post – and for being YOU. You’re a delight, friend!

    • says

      So grateful that you’ve been on this journey, Kristin. And it’s an answer to prayer to know that my word-offering has touched your beautiful, preapproved heart.

  5. says

    Love this so much. A friend told me to check out Love Idols just before Ann’s post. I printed the printables right away. I’m sharing with my girls. Every woman needs this book so our next generation doesn’t stay tied to the cross or the whipping post, but can live out the purchased freedom we are freely given. I pray the message goes viral like wildfire and reboots our self esteem so we can all love ourselves, without which, we have trouble trumping others.

  6. says

    It means so much to me, that you shared your beautiful space with Love Idol … with the preapproved message of our Savior. I love you, Holley Gerth!

  7. says

    High expectations plus a dose of reality equals disillusionment. When we yield our expectations to Him who has no expectations, only truth, then we will rise up and blow disillusionment away. When we see our reflection in His eyes how can we not trust Him? You got it right, my sweet sister, Holley Gerth. You got it right.

  8. says

    “Because he fully accepts me, I can . . .”
    “Because he promises me everything I need, I get to . . .”

    I just love these. Talk about a paradigm shift in thinking. I need these to tell myself these.

  9. Jo Ann says

    Just the reminders I needed to read. Right here, right now! Thank you…will pass this on. Let the revolution begin! Blessings & Love!

  10. Paula Gamble says

    I love how you explained how to let go of our expectations of ourselves by replacing the “I should …” with the truth, “Because Jesus loves me, I will . . .”
    “Because he fully accepts me, I can . . .”
    “Because he promises me everything I need, I get to . . .” This is freedom! I’m going to remember this.

  11. Deb Markus says

    Seeking first His Kingdom & His Righteousness are power filled words from The Word. What does this actually mean as I walk this journey Jesus has called me to live out. Placing my first affections, desired, focus in surrender to serving & using this life for His Glory! Oh how I fail miserably daily but Grace picks me up, draws me back to the first things! His Kingdom is contrary to this world I see & touch. My prayer is to perceive with Spirit eyes, beat with His heart for those things that make His Kingdom. So easy to say and impossible to live out but for Grace and the same power that raised Christ from the dead that dwells in me.

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