Lies Women Believe – Wrap Up

Truths to remember (from the book Lies Women Believe):
  • God is good.
  • God loves me and wants me to have His best.
  • I am complete and accepted in Christ.
  • God is enough.
  • God can be trusted.
  • God doesn’t make any mistakes.
  • God’s grace is sufficient for me.
  • The blood of Christ is sufficient to cover all my sin.
  • The Cross of Christ is sufficient to conquer my sinful flesh.
  • My past does not have to plague me.
  • God’s Word is sufficient to lead me, teach me, and heal me.
  • Through the power of His Holy Spirit, God will enable me to do anything He commands me to do.
  • I am responsible before God for my behavior, responses, and choices.
  • I will reap whatever I sow.
  • The pathway to true joy is to relinquish control.
  • The greatest freedom I can experience is found through submission to God ordained authority.
  • Personal holiness is more important than temporal happiness.
  • God is more concerned about changing me and glorifying Himself than about solving my problems.
  • It is impossible to be godly without suffering.
  • My suffering will not last forever.
  • It’s not about me; it’s all about Him.

Lies Women Believe – Dealing with Circumstances

One of the truths that I found encouraging in this chapter was that our current circumstances won’t last forever. “This too shall pass.”
2 Corinthians and Philippians reveal Paul’s joy in spite of the trials he experienced. He was able to learn contentment regardless of his circumstances and found his strength in Christ. We can be miserable in a mansion and ecstatic in a mud hut – circumstances do not have to dictate our happiness and joy.
There are benefits we can gain from our suffering, such as developing a closer relationship with God and being a testimony to others of His grace in our lives. 1 Peter gives us God’s purposes in suffering and helps our perspective to be that of glorifying God in our lives. It also reminds us that we have received an eternal inheritance.
In James 1, we see that trials produce maturity and that perseverance in trials produces joy. Romans 8 and 2 Corinthians 4 remind us that this world is temporary and there is future glory that awaits us.
If we lived in such a way that our focus was on bringing glory and pleasure to God, we would not be so wrapped up in gossip but in encouraging each other. We would not let anger and petty differences keep us from ministering to those in need.

Lies Women Believe – About Emotions

Lie: If I feel something, it must be true.
Truth: My feelings cannot always be trusted. They often have little to do with reality and easily deceive me. I must choose to reject any feelings that are not consistent with the Truth.

Lie: I can’t control my emotions.
Truth: I do not have to be controlled by my emotions. I can choose to fix my mind on the Truth, to take every thought captive to the Truth, and to let God control my emotions.

Lie: I can’t help how I respond when my hormones are out of whack.
Truth: By God’s grace, I can choose to obey Him regardless of how I feel. There is no excuse for ungodly attitudes, responses, or behavior. My physical and emotional cycles and seasons are under the control of my Creator.

Lie: The answer to depression must first be sought in medication and/or psychotherapy.
Truth: Physical and emotional symptoms of depression may be the fruit of issues in the spirit that need to be addressed. If depression did not originate as a physical problem, medication will not permanently relieve it.

2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us take captive every thought. This can make a difference for us by causing us to stop and ask whether our thoughts are truth or not.
God has provided His Holy Spirit to help us in dealing with our emotions during times of hormonal chaos. These times of fluctuating emotions can draw us closer to God by causing us to rely on Him to help control our mood swings.
My opinion on part of why depression has become so widespread is the high expectations that are placed on women nowadays which causes too much stress. Some of the heart issues that may result in depression are unresolved anger and bitterness, lack of forgiveness. Without dealing with these issues, we will rot from the inside out. God has made His Word available for help in dealing with depression as well as the encouragement of fellow believers to come alongside us during our difficult times.
In Lamentations 3, the prophet Jeremiah is in anguish. Ultimately he places his hope in the Lord.

The above was originally from 2006 when I did this study. I do want to clarify that I don’t think it is wrong to take medication for depression. Medicine should not be used to just mask the symptoms of depression, but can help to correct any chemical imbalances. Depression can be a result of many things, some of which are physically based. While I think it is important to determine what may be causing the depression and work on any deeper-rooted issues involved, I also think medication can help to clear the mind and re-align the chemicals properly in order to deal with the underlying issues more clearly. Telling someone who is depressed to just “snap out of it” is very hurtful and not at all helpful. Believe me, if they were able to snap out of it on their own, they would! If suffering from depression, it is important to see a doctor to rule out any physical problems that may be involved (ie thyroid imbalance). Medication can be a temporary stop-gap to help in treating depression and should not automatically be ruled out by Christians as an option. 

Martha to the Max by Debi Stack

This book ties in somewhat with the lies that we tell ourselves and the truth that we need to remember. I read this book several years ago. Here are some thoughts from it:

Lie: If we tried harder, we could get everything in our lives under control. Then life would be perfect and we would be happy.
Truth: Perfection is an illusion.

Lie: All those inner imperatives (the ought to, need to, should messages in our minds) are true. If we achieved them, our pressure and stress would go away.
Truth: Truth sets us free; lies keep us in bondage.

Lie: God’s love for us fluctuates based on our performance.
Truth: God’s love for us is based on His character, not our performance.

Lie: We should use every ability we have to the utmost at all times, even if it harms us or someone else. After all, didn’t Christ suffer for us?
Truth: Our abilites are gifts from God to be used within healthful boundaries.

Lie: Everything is equally important and urgent.
Truth: Only one thing is needful.

1. God is perfect truth. We reflect that not by operating from lies, but by thinking on, acting in, and speaking truth.
2. God is perfect love. We reflect that not by withholding affection when we’re displeased, but by loving ourselves and others unconditionally.
3. God is perfect mercy. We reflect that not by being judgmental and bitter, but by extending extravagant compassion.
4. God is perfect grace. We reflect that not by rationing pity, but by showering reckless benevolence.
5. God is perfect peace. We reflect that not by clenching control, but by surrendering to His sovereignty.

Lies Women Believe – About Children

Lie: It’s up to us to determine the size of our family.
Truth: God is the Creator and Giver of life. Anything that hinders or discourages women from fulfilling their God-given calling to be bearers and nurturers of life furthers Satan’s schemes and aids his efforts.

Lie: Children need to get exposed to the “real world” so that they can learn to function in it.
Truth: Our task is not to raise children who can fit into this world or merely survive in it but to bring up children who will be used by God to change the world.

Lie: All children will go through a rebellious stage.
Truth: Parents cannot force their children to walk with God, but they can model godliness and cultivate a climate in the home that creates an appetite for God and is conducive to the spiritual nurture and growth of their children.

Lie: I know my child is a Christian because he prayed to receive Christ at an early age.
Truth: Parents who assume their children know the Lord, regardless of their lifestyle, may be giving their children a false sense of security and may not be praying appropriately for their children.

Lie: We are not responsible for how our children turn out.
Truth: Parents have enormous influence in molding the lives of their children by their example, their teaching, and their leadership.

Psalm 127:3-5 calls children a reward. I’ve seen the gift they are to a couple who couldn’t have children and adopted. The world often portrays the “you can have it all” lie to women, encouraging them to pursue a career and put children lower on their priority list. For a woman who wants to have more children and her husband thinks they have enough already, I would advise to wait on the Lord and let Him bring about what is best. This is an area that a couple should be in agreement upon before God.
Cultural influences that seem to be especially harmful to young children are violent TV shows and video games. One of the ways that Christian parents can do to try to whet their children’s appetite for God’s Word is to have a family devotional time that is fun and enriching, where Bible stories come alive.
Our culture has made it easier for people to profess faith without showing any true signs in their life by talking about grace and emphasizing forgiveness over repentance. It’s not wise to assume that just because someone grew up in a Christian home that they have made the decision to follow Christ for themselves. The evidence will be seen in the fruits that they show and the life that they live.
There is a balance between a parent’s responsibility and God’s provision. We must trust God with our children. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and Proverbs 4:11 talk about being role models for our kids.

Prayer – ask God for wisdom and grace to parent and be an influence and role model, for God to intervene in each child’s life, for protection from harmful influences and a love for righteousness, and for God’s purposes to be fulfilled in the next generation.

Some of my thoughts on this particular section:
Didn’t get much out of it since I don’t have children! Don’t really agree with her stance on “it’s up to us to decide the size of our family” as being a lie. Sure, God ultimately is behind the number of children a couple has, but He also gives us intelligence and wisdom to properly use the resources that He’s given us. To me it would be irresponsible to have several children and not be able to provide for their physical and emotional needs. There’s nothing wrong with having a large family, but it’s not for everyone. I could not physically and emotionally provide for several children. 

Lies Women Believe – About Marriage

Lie: I have to have a husband to be happy.
Truth: Happiness is not found in (or out of) marriage. No one person can meet my needs or make me truly happy. True joy can only be found through Christ.

Lie: It is my responsibility to change my mate.
Truth: A godly life and prayer are a wife’s two greatest means of influencing her husband.

Lie: My husband is supposed to serve me.
Truth: If I expect to be served, I will be disappointed. If I seek to serve without expecting anything in return, I will never be disappointed.

Lie: If I submit to my husband, I’ll be miserable!
Truth: Submission places me under the covering and protection of God.

Lie: If my husband is passive, I’ve got to take the initiative, or nothing will get done.
Truth: In God’s design for marriage, the husband is the initiator. If a woman takes the reins rather than waiting on God to move her husband, her husband is likely to be less motivated to fulfill his God-given responsibility.

Lie: Sometimes divorce is a better option than staying in a bad marriage.
Truth: Marriage is a lifelong covenant. There is no marriage that God cannot heal. There is no person God cannot change. God’s grace is sufficient, even in the most difficult or extreme circumstances.

Having unrealistic expectations for a marriage set women up for disappointment, discouragement, and discontent when their expectations are not met. When a wife continually focuses on her husband’s faults she gets demanding and tries to take over God’s responsibility in changing her husband. James 5:16 and I Peter 3:1 show us that we are to focus on God and our own lives in order to be an example.
A benefit of submission for a wife is the peace that she has knowing that she is fulfilling her God-given role. Some possible consequences of a wife’s resisting God-ordained authority include conflict with her husband, arguments and disagreements. A woman can cause her husband to be bitter if she tries to take the role that he was meant to have.

Pray for your marriage to bring glory to God and bring a picture of His redeeming love.
Pray that each spouse would be committed to the permanence of marriage and live out the role that God has for them in their marriage.
Pray for spiritual protection against deception and Satan’s schemes.
Pray for struggling marriages and ask for God’s grace for working through issues of conflict.

Lies Women Believe – About Priorities

Lie: I don’t have time to do everything I’m supposed to do.
Truth: There is time in every twenty-four-hour day to do everything that is on God’s “to do” list for my life.

Lie: I can make it without consistent time in the Word and prayer.
Truth: It is impossible for me to be the woman God wants me to be apart from spending consistent time cultivating a relationship with Him in the Word and prayer.

Lie: A career outside the home is more valuable and fulfilling than being a wife and mother.
Truth: In the will of God, there is no higher calling for a woman than being a wife and mother, serving her family, and devoting her attention and efforts to ministering to the needs of her husband and children.

The truth that there is time to complete God’s to-do list for me gives me the freedom to say no and not try to live up to false expectations. Many women take on more reponsibilities in an effort to please others and/or to “have-it-all”. It is important to consider that there are different seasons in our lives where we are able to handle more things or less things than other times.
It is often difficult to make Bible reading and prayer a priority because of other “more fun” things calling our attention.
I Timothy 5:9-10 and Titus 2:4-5 talk about God’s intent for women – love their families, be sensible, pure, and minister to others.

Lies Women Believe – About Sin

Lie: I can sin and get away with it.
Truth: Sin has consequences, and I cannot escape those consequences.

Lie: My sin isn’t really that bad.
Truth: Every act of sin is an act of rebellion against God and required the death of His Son. No sin is small.

Lie: God can’t forgive what I have done.
Truth: The blood of Jesus is sufficient to cover any and every sin. No sin is too big for God to forgive. God’s grace is always greater than our sin.

Lie: I am not fully responsible for my actions and reactions.
Truth: I am responsible for my own choices.

Lie: I cannot walk in consistent victory over sin.
Truth: I am not a slave to sin. I have been set free through Christ.

God takes sin seriously because He is holy. He cannot dwell with evil. People cannot sin and get away with it. There are consequences even if these consequences can’t be seen – such as emotional and mental struggles. The Cross shows us the truth – that Christ would have died for just 1 sin. That’s all it takes to separate us from God.
The quote that begins “Sin is the best news there is…” has to do with there is a remedy for sin. God has provided a way out.
God doesn’t make us instantly perfect when we get saved. This helps us to learn to be a testimony to others and it helps to deepen our relationship with God as we continue the struggle against sin. Practical ways to deal with our struggle: prayer, Scripture memorization, accountability to other Christians.

Lies Women Believe – About Ourselves

Lie: I’m not worth anything.
Truth: My value is not determined by what others think of me or what I think of myself. My value is determined by how God views me – and I am precious to Him.

Lie: I need to learn to love myself.
Truth: By faith, I need to receive God’s love for me. I naturally love myself; I need to deny myself and let God love others through me.

Lie: I can’t help the way I am.
Truth: If I am God’s child, I can choose to obey Him. I am responsible for my own choices. God’s Spirit can change me.

Lie: I have my rights.
Truth: Claiming rights will put me in bondage. Yielding rights will set me free.

Lie: Physical beauty matters more than inner beauty.
Truth: Physical beauty is fleeting. The beauty that matters most to God is the beauty of my inner spirit and character.

Lie: I should not have to live with unfulfilled longings.
Truth: I will always have unfulfilled longings this side of heaven. The deepest longings of my heart cannot be fulfilled by any person or thing. My unfulfilled longings can help me look forward to heaven.

The criteria that most people use to evaluate their worth and others’ worth is their performance and what other people think of them. The danger of focusing on positive self-esteem and learning to love ourselves is that the focus becomes all about me. Luke 12:4-7 reassures us that God notices even the sparrows; how much more will He take care of us.
Our source of power for living a new life is in Christ. We have died to our old life through Him. Galatians 5:16-17 and 2 Corinthians 5:17 talk about the new nature we’ve been given and that the Holy Spirit resides in us.
Yielding our rights affects are relationship with God and others. It can produce less conflict when we are not so focused on getting what is “owed” us.
Practical ways that Christian women can cultivate inner beauty are through compassion to others and reaching out with acts of kindness.
A focus on eternity can help us to deal with unfulfilled longings. It reminds us that this world is not our true home. See Hebrews 11:13-16.

Quote from Unstuck regarding true Christianity

“Are we mistaken and even misled in presuming people are saved who have not allowed their relationship with God to take hold and grow? What about someone who’s never experienced meaningful changes in his or her life?
“For example, what if I pray for salvation and say my heart belongs to Christ and yet I maintain a sexual relationship with a woman who’s not my wife? If I’ve demonstrated no change – I don’t pray (disdain relationship with God), ignore my Bible (don’t want to hear God speak), avoid church (reject connection with Christ-followers), and am disinterested in or loathe to grow closer to Christ (perhaps my life is even the same as it was before)…am I truly a Christian?
“Thankfully, God is the only and final judge. He knows whose faith is genuine…Through it all, Paul’s words once again ring loudly in my ears: ‘If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!’
“Four other words scream through my brain, as well: ‘I never knew you.
“These are horrible words to consider – maybe the most terrifying in the Bible. Jesus spoke them while teaching on a mountainside:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'”

Is Jesus saying it’s all about a perfect score? If I don’t always do the do’s and avoid the don’ts…is it possible I could miss eternity too?
“The answer is no….Change does not bring about salvation – rather, genuine salvation produces change in us as God patiently works it all out in us, with us, step by step.
“Here’s something that troubles me: Too often when believers exhibit no change in their lives or revert to former lifestyles, we refer to them as ‘unsanctified believers’ or ‘carnal Christians’ (or the like). Based on my research, not theology, the term carnal Christian appears to be useless with regard to discipleship and genuine faith.
“From a scientific standpoint, if no behavior separates the ‘carnal Christian’ from the non-Christian, there’s no such thing as a carnal Christian. Rather, that person made a profession of faith but remains (persists, still is rooted) in sinfulness. Again, only God can judge the heart. But where there’s no changed behavior, there’s reason to suspect there is no genuineness of salvation.
“Here’s what Jesus said:

“Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit…Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

The test of true life in Christ is spiritual growth, not verbal profession.”

-from the book Unstuck by Arnie Cole & Michael Ross