What a creative Halloween costume! Our friend began with a can of gold, high-gloss spray paint covering a tennis outfit, tennis shoes, visor, and tennis racquet. Gold skin makeup and gold hairspray completed the winning costume. Her daughter struck a “tennis pose.” Everyone applauded. Like magic, my neighbor had created her own perfect “trophy child.” Impressive? Absolutely!  Was it a bit extreme? Without a doubt! While I greatly appreciated the creativity, in my mind I piously quipped, “I’d never put our daughters through THAT!”

In Exodus 32:7-8 says

 “…The Lord said to Moses, ‘Go down, for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. They have turned aside quickly out of the way that I commanded them. They have made for themselves a golden CALF and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it.’“ (emphasis mine)

As I read this familiar passage, God hammered home the fact that the idol created by His people was not an adult cow but a young CALF…a kid. A trusted friend put words to my conviction when she made the comment on our weekly walk “Trophy kids are sure hard to MAKE. They are even harder to BE!” God’s chisel struck the metal in my soul. My thoughts pounded reflecting on how often I worshipped, sacrificed, and traded in my gold to form trophies out of the “calves” God has placed in our stall.

Granted, I have yet to spray my daughters and their clothes with gold spray paint, but I am tempted daily to cover them with golden opportunities and expectations that will give them a place on a “pedestal’ academically, athletically, socially, physically, or even spiritually. I spend hours polishing my daughters so they will “shine” and reflect glory to yours truly. So yep. This cow-girl is not only totally guilty of attempting to MAKE my own precious daughters into “trophies;” this cow-girl is guilty of wanting to BE the golden trophy! I want to be a trophy mom. A trophy wife. To live a trophy life.

Let’s be godly moms instead. When it comes to idolatry, one lasso fits all necks, doesn’t it? So, what kind of calves are you riding herd on these days? What shape do your “trophies” take? A parent at our annual Fellowship of Christian Athletes Cross Country meet laughingly confessed to me at the finish-line last Tuesday, “Kim, you know it’s all about the medals!” Maybe it is not “trophy kids” for you but, like me, at other times it’s been all about the grades or the team, the awards or the scholarships, the acceptance letter or the promotion, the car or the house, the size or the image, the position or the recognition, the marriage or even the ministry. Whatever their form, one thing is certain—all trophies tarnish—but ONE! As the Israelites were making their “trophy calf”, God was giving Moses the very command to “re-form” them,

“You shall have no other gods before ME. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or serve 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 (emphasis mine)

So, there it stands. The only truth we can confidently take our stand upon is that our big “G” GOD is THE ONLY TROPHY worth His weight in gold!

And God’s vision for us as His daughters?

“That God might display (showcase) the immeasurable riches of His grace…in us.” —Ephesians 2:7

Yes, in the stable of His grace, the tarnished faux gold of pride must be removed daily so that He can apply His shine to our imperfect form. So sisters, will you join this cow-hand momma by laying aside our lassos this Fall to take God up on His golden invitation—to be HIS trophy?

Thankfully, the inscription etched on our trophy’s plate does not read “trophy wife” or “trophy mom.“ But because of Jesus, it proclaims that YOU are “A TROPHY OF GOD’S GRACE!” And as His trophy, we can live His “trophy life” knowing we are the ones who have truly won The Prize!