Several years ago, my mom, sister and I went through the book Lies Women Believe by Nancy Leigh DeMoss and the corresponding workbook Walking in the Truth. Later I summarized the book and my thoughts in a series of blog posts that can be seen here. I was interested in reading the updated version and was glad to obtain a copy on Kindle for review through Netgalley. The updated edition will be coming out in January 2018 and includes a new chapter on lies women believe about sexuality.
The book starts off with a reminder of how we get caught up in lies and that we must recognize these lies and replace them with the truth from God’s Word. Each chapter deals with specific lies that we often believe (even if we wouldn’t actually say it) and how God’s Word contradicts those lies. At the end of the chapter the lies are summarized along with the truth and Scripture references to combat the lies. What we believe affects how we live, and if we are believing lies about ourselves, God, marriage, etc. we will not be living in freedom.
While not every woman struggles with every lie in this book, we all struggle with some of them. This is a great resource to point us back to God’s Word to be the source of what we believe. This would be a helpful book to go through with other women, to gently correct and encourage each other to be grounded in the truth of God’s Word and not give in to the lies that subtly sneak their way into our lives in this world of sin that we live in.
*I received a copy of this book free on Kindle through Netgalley from the publisher Moody in exchange for my review.
Peacemaking Women: Biblical Hope for Resolving Conflict by Tara Klena Barthel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Not a “fluff” book – good stuff for helping to work through conflicts in relationships.
“We are prone to worry. Worry is that constant obsessing about the worst possible outcome to a situation. Worry is misplaced faith. When we worry, we call God a liar and deny him as our heavenly Father. Worry is the soul’s usurpation of God’s sovereignty and is the distinguishing mark of the pagan world. When we worry, we usually engage in thoughts, words, and actions that are rooted in unbelief.”
“I realized that all that we strive for, all that we build and imagine, everything we do, will come to ruin. No book we write, no speech we give, and no vision we pursue will make it into eternity. Only people make it into eternity. Our relationships with one another will endure throughout all time, even as all that we have accomplished will fade away. Every human being will live in eternity – some in blissful joy because they have placed their trust in Jesus Christ and some in unending agony because they have rejected his saving grace. The glory of man dissolves away. The glory of God endures forever and is most profoundly revealed in us and in our relationships.”
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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.
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.
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.
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.