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Monday, February 26, 2018

"Lies Women Believe" (Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth)

TITLE: Lies Women Believe: And the Truth that Sets Them Free
AUTHOR: Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth
PUBLISHER: Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2018, (288 pages).

It has been said that truth hurts. So do lies. In fact, lies may seem harmless initially, but it sows seeds of discord, distrust, and disappointment. In fact, our culture is full of deceptions. From advertisements to dubious claims that sound too good to be true, the unfortunate thing is, some people still choose to believe them, despite suspicions about lies and deceptions. Going all the way back to the first sin of creation, we learn how Satan deceived Eve first, then Adam, and the whole world went spiraling downhill ever since. Deception is the #1 weapon utilized by the evil one. It worked at the beginning. It is still potent even now. Looking at the first sin at the Garden of Eden, Wolgemuth shows us a pattern of how sin takes a foothold in our hearts. It begins with us innocently listening to a lie. It tempts us like a clever salesman selling us things we do not need in the form of benefits that we want. Once planted in our minds, we dwell on the temptation, initially with a desire to honour God first and all others second, but gradually letting our other priorities take over. This leads to us believing the lie, assuming that there are more good than evil in it. Finally, when we act on the lie, the deception is complete. We are enslaved to the perils of participating in the lie, even propagating it to others. Thankfully, there is hope. We can undo the wrongs simply with acknowledgment and humble repentance. Recognizing our errors is an all important first step. Without this, we remain in denial.

The rest of the book covers lies that women believe about God; about themselves; sin; priorities; sexuality; marriage; children; emotions; circumstances; and several more that could have been classified in other categories. Here is a sample of some of the lies.

  • On God: "God is not really good" & "God doesn't love me."
  • On Themselves: "I'm not worth anything" & "I can't help the way I am"
  • On Sin: "I can sin and get away with it" & "My sin isn't really that bad."
  • On Priorities: " I can thrive without consistent time in the Word and prayer" & "I don’t have time to do everything I’m supposed to do."
  • On Sexuality: "I can’t tell anyone" &  “My sexuality is separate from my spirituality.”  
  • On Marriage: "I have to have a husband to be happy" & "My husband is supposed to serve me"
  • On Children: "I have the right to control my reproductive choices" & "I can’t control/can control the way my children turn out."
  • On Emotions:  “If I feel something, it must be true.”“I can’t control my emotions.” 
  • On Circumstances: “If my circumstances were different, I would be different.” &  “I shouldn’t have to suffer.” 

Each of the 45 lies mentioned are described, gradually disputed, and firmly countered with biblical truths and principles. This last step is the most important step that cannot be missed. We must fight lies with truth. The Word of God is Truth that will chase away all shadows of doubt and darkness. She leads us through various Bible passages that not only assure us of the promises God will keep, but also about the victory that comes with Jesus Christ. She writes: "True freedom is only found in a vital, growing relationship with the Lord Jesus." Through the living Word of God, the more we are into the Word, the more we are able to detect falsehood and lies when they appear in the world. We arm ourselves with the sword of the Spirit to expose lies. As we counter the lies with truth, we will truly be set free. Wolgemuth closes with 21 powerful statements of faith in God.

Three Thoughts
First, there is a lot of things that resonate over and over again. The book draws in many emotions and mental agreement about the lies that women believe. In our age of diverse sexuality, it is entirely possible that the things said about women applies to other genders as well. Some appear too good to be true, especially the lies that paint oneself as the victim. The "I can't control my emotions" is an insidious lie that easily takes root in the minds of many. When merged with pride, it becomes a formidable foe that will make us fall. Believing that it is truth that will set us free, the author urges us not to give in to the lies and the false promises, to give up on our own sense of self-sufficiency and erroneous wishes, and to give God the benefit of any doubt.

Second, just because the book is purported to be written to women does not mean it doesn't apply to men. In fact, I would encourage husbands to read and to understand a little more about the female psyche, and how women thinks. They need not read through every page of the book. All they needed to do was to ask their wives what resonated and they could come alongside and have a conversation about it. For any marriage, understanding of each other is crucial to marital health. Sometimes, couples get too used to the mundane that a simple "How are you" gets no further than a "Fine, thank you." Perhaps, when spouses share about things they have learned from this book, (or elsewhere), they could have a nice conversation that leads to deeper understanding and appreciation of each other.

Third, beware of the insidious nature of lies. They are everywhere and they could be twisted to deceive any gender. It is probably the most powerful weapon adopted by the enemy. That is why the Bible calls the devil the "father of lies" (John 8:44); false prophets (Mark 13:22); that evil men will go from bad to worse, from deceived to deceiving (2 Tim 3:13); and how Satan is disguised as the "angel of light." (2 Cor 11:14). I appreciate Wolgemuth's reminder that only truth can set us free from the tangles of lies.

If there is one lie that we could expose through the influence of this book, it would have been most helpful and profitable for our souls.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth (maiden name, Nancy Leigh DeMoss) first wrote this book in her 40s. First published in 2001, she has updated this book to include updates to reflect the times, as well as an additional chapter on "lies on sexuality" to cover sexual sins and shame.  She is a popular speaker and through here "Revive Our Hearts" ministry has spoken and encouraged millions of women. She married Robert Wolgemuth in November 2015.

Rating: 4.5 stars of 5.


This book has been provided courtesy of Moody Publishers and NetGalley without requiring a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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