Turning From Lies to the Truth
About the Guest
Are you sure that everything you believe is true? Today on the broadcast, popular author Nancy Leigh DeMoss, host of the radio program “Revive Our Hearts”, teams up with Pure Freedom Founder and author Dannah Gresh to expose some of the lies that keep young women living in bondage to the world.
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Are you sure that everything you believe is true?
Bob: When you have the flu, and your body is all achy, you can take pain relievers to help treat those symptoms, but the pain relievers aren't going to deal with the disease. The same is true when other areas of your life are broken. You need to get to the heart of the issue. Here is Nancy Leigh DeMoss.
Nancy: You can't really treat the symptoms if you're just dealing with the symptoms. That's fruit. But to get down to the root and say, "What are the things that these kids or adults are believing that are producing certain kinds of behaviors and responses and ultimately putting them in bondage. So rather than just medicating or putting them in a different environment or treating these as surface wounds, let's get down to what they're thinking what's producing these issues?
Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Wednesday, April 16th. Our host is the president of FamilyLife, Dennis Rainey, and I'm Bob Lepine. If there are ways that your teenage daughter is acting that need to change, it starts when her thinking changes. Stay tuned.
And welcome to FamilyLife Today, thanks for joining us. Do you ever look at teenagers and think, "They're just not thinking straight, they just don't think right?" Have you ever thought that?
Dennis: How many times?
Bob: I mean, there's something about teenagers and their thinking that you just go, "Where are you coming from?"
Dennis: I love teenagers.
Dennis: I loved every one of our six teens, and yet, as Barbara and I approached them, we realize that during the teenage years you just had to endure a good bit of, well, foolishness in the thinking until you got them to adulthood. Now, that doesn't eliminate the foolishness, as we know, we've seen plenty of adults who can help us with that but, no doubt about it, teens do not know how to think right.
Bob: And part of the challenge for teenagers is that the culture is …
Dennis: No doubt about it.
Bob: … it's not pointing them in the right direction. Their own selfish impulses aren't pointing them in the right direction and, ultimately, there is a deceiver who wants to make sure they stay pointed in the wrong direction.
Dennis: And that's why God has given teenagers parents, and, hopefully, parents understand that battle you just described – the world, the flesh, and the devil – and can help teenagers know how to think. And we are going to come alongside parents and train parents in knowing how to help their children believe the truth and reject the lies.
And here to do that are Dannah Gresh and Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Dannah, Nancy Leigh, welcome back to the broadcast.
Nancy: Thank you, Dennis, it's good to be here.
Dannah: Thank you.
Dennis: Dannah Gresh is no stranger to our audience. She's been on FamilyLife Today a number of times. She is an author, a speaker to youth, she is a great wife to Bob, a mother to three, and lives in State College, Pennsylvania, and I have to ask you – what is a Nittany Lion? I've always wanted to ask someone who knew the answer to that question.
Dannah: Oh, well, we have a little tiny mountain, it's really just a hill, that's called Mount Nittany, and there used to be little lions that lived on it, but I don't think they're there anymore.
Bob: I hope not.
Dennis: Well, Nancy is not a Nittany Lion.
Nancy: I am from Pennsylvania.
Dennis: You are, but weren't you a Bruin?
Bob: A Trojan, how dare you say Bruin?
Dennis: I guessed wrong, didn't I?
Bob: Oh, you did.
Dennis: I'm going to leave that in there just for the fun of it. Nancy is a Trojan, and she does love USC, no doubt about it. She is the host and teacher of two nationally syndicated broadcasts, "Revive our Hearts," "Seeking Him." She is a speaker, an author, and a great friend, and I have to mention here at the outset that both Nancy and Dannah are going to be together at the True Woman Conference in Chicago coming this October, and it's an event for women sponsored by Moody, Moms in Touch, "Revive Our Hearts," and FamilyLife Today.
Bob: That's right. This is a conference for women and, Nancy, Dannah is going to be talking to the teenagers who are going to be there, right?
Nancy: She'll have special sessions for the teens, and the whole conference is on a call to biblical womanhood, and we not only want to call the adult generation of women to embrace God's way of thinking but also the younger women, the next generation, we want to pass the baton on to them, and Dannah is going to lead the sessions for the teens.
Bob: Joni Eareckson Tada is going to be speaking, Janet Parshall is going to be there speaking, Pastor John Piper is going to be there, and it all takes place in October. There is a link on our website at FamilyLife.com.
Dennis: Bob, Bob –
Bob: Oh, I did miss one, didn't I?
Dennis: You did.
Bob: Barbara Rainey.
Dennis: Thank you.
Bob: Will be speaking at the conference.
Dennis: Your job is secure, Bob.
Bob: Whew! Link on our website at FamilyLife.com to the True Woman '08 website, and you can go there for more information about how you can register. This is a national conference, so women are going to be coming from all over the country to take part in this conference, and I know Mary Ann is looking forward to it as well as Barbara, so I hope a lot of women will join with you ladies in Chicago. I think it's going to be a great couple of days.
Dennis: Well, you two have also joined together to co-author a book called "Lies Young Women Believe," and at the outset, we just have to, I think, define a lie. What is a lie? I think, in this culture, in fact, I wonder, at times, if we understand what a lie is.
Dannah: Well, in the book we thought, you know, let's ask the teen girls if they know what a lie is, and we asked them, and they said, "A lie is not the truth." We thought, "Hm, kind of circular non-reasoning there."
Bob: Yeah, what's the truth? Anything that's not a lie, right?
Dannah: So we looked it up, and found that one of the definitions was "an impostor, an impostor for truth," and we kind of sprung board off of that to just really look at the fact that Satan comes in with all of these carefully veiled impostors for young women, and they bite into them hook, line, and sinker.
Bob: In fact, the first time Satan shows up in the Scriptures, the first thing he's doing is lying, right?
Nancy: To a woman.
Nancy: And he's seeking, from the very outset there, to destroy the family, to destroy her relationships with others, and it wasn't just Eve. It's every generation from hers to the present day where we are prone to believe things that are close to the truth, maybe half-truths, that look remarkably like the truth sometimes, but they're not the truth, and they deceive and destroy us ultimately.
Dennis: If you see how the enemy attacked Eve in the Garden, he said has God said he caused the woman to question absolute truth, that God's Word was somehow false or you couldn't count on it. And I think if there is a generation that's buying into that today; in fact, this is one of my soapboxes I could get on at this point. We have a generation of young women and young men who do not embrace the absolutes of Scripture, and when you get ready to live your life, you have to have some absolutes.
The Ten Commandments, as someone has said, are not the Ten Suggestions. They are God's absolute truth that if you break them, they will break you.
Bob: Did you find, Dannah, as you talked with teenage girls, that there is less of a sense that the Bible is true and can be trusted? That it's being more scrutinized and evaluated today by teenage girls than maybe a generation ago?
Dannah: Well, as we talked to 1,000 young women across the nation and asked them "What is the truth about these lies you believe?" Because, often, they could identify a lie. They very rarely were able to go to Scripture for answers.
Nancy: And yet many of these young women are growing up in Christian homes, Bible-preaching churches, some of them in Christian schools, some of them homeschooled, and most of them would claim to believe that the Bible is the Word of God.
I think where Satan has done a number – he's not just causing them to reject the Scripture and say, "Oh, that's not God's Word," now, there are some doing that, but many of the ones we talked to, they would say, "Yes, the Bible is God's Word," but he is planting seeds of doubt and confusion in their hearts and their minds as to what God's Word really says, and because they're not in God's Word for themselves, they are not knowing what to believe, not knowing what's true, and tending more to buy what the culture has told them is true, or their friends have told them is true than what God's Word says.
Dannah: Or to create their own sense of truth that blends God's Word and what the Internet says and what their friends say.
Nancy: Which is more subtle and maybe more dangerous.
Dennis: And, Dannah, in your book you all talk about how there was a disconnect between the truth of God's Word and how these young people who said they believed it, how they lived. You saw that in the research as well, didn't you?
Dannah: Oh, yeah, many times Nancy, in "Lies Women Believe," states very clearly that whether or not we're believing a lie isn't based on what we say we believe but how we live. And when we live out what we believe, that's the truth – that we truly do believe it.
For example, these young women say they believe that they need to marry a Christian man. And then they say, "But I'm not really looking to get married right now. So it doesn't really matter who I date, if he's a Christian or not, right now."
So, really, they don't believe that, or they would take it seriously at this point in their life.
Bob: And I think what you find is you talk to these girls is that many Christian girls – and I hate to say this, but they know the Sunday school answers to the questions. You go to them, and you say, "Okay, what is true about God?" They can tell you. "What's true about Satan?" They can tell you. Then you stop and say, "Now, do you live according to this?" And they may even think they're doing that, but if you stop and pull back and say, "Well, why are you doing this, why are you doing that?" And that's where you say these girls really are believing a lie whether they know it or not.
Nancy: And, you know, Dennis you talk sometimes about what makes you pound the table.
Nancy: What made me pound the table is I was working on this book, what made my heart just beat faster was realizing the extent to which these issues with teens – Dannah is involved with teens all the time. This is the ministry she's involved in. A lot of this was newer to me, and I realized these kids are a reflection of the adult generation.
Dennis: No doubt about it.
Nancy: We say we believe the Bible is God's Word, but we live in ways that betray that what we say is true.
Dennis: In fact, at this point, I just feel the need for a bit of a disclaimer because it feels like we're beating up on young girls today, young teenagers. You know, men believe lies as well.
Dennis: We just happen to be talking to the authors of a book that is targeting the next generation of young women and the parents who are raising them. And so I want to be clear here that men can be just as guilty of not embracing the truth and living it. We're just targeting these young ladies.
Bob: Well and part of the reason that we're talking to these young ladies and their parents today is because if you believe a lie, and if you live in that belief, it affects all kinds of areas of your life, and sometimes you don't even realize that what your experiencing is a result of believing a lie, right?
Nancy: And we see that in spaces. You see kids, young women and young men with issues of eating disorders, depression, anxiety, fear, guilt, dysfunctional relationships, and we try, I think, so often in our education system and our sociology and our parenting and psychology to say, "How do we treat these symptoms?"
Well, you can't really treat the symptoms if you're just dealing with symptoms. That's fruit. We have to get down to the root and say, "What are the things that these kids or adults are believing that are producing certain kinds of behaviors and responses and ultimately putting them in bondage.
So rather than just, you know, medicating, you're putting them in a different environment, or treating these as surface wounds, let's get down to what they're thinking that's producing these issues.
Dennis: You begin your book with a story of a young lady by the name of Erin, and, in fact, I see her raising her hand out there near Keith.
Bob: She's here, Erin came with you today, right?
Dennis: She did. In fact, Erin, come on in here. I want you to come in and tell your story to our listeners, because they need to hear how – come on in, Erin – how these lies were being manifested in a young lady's life, and just why Nancy and Dannah …
Bob: We're going to put you in Nancy's chair and make Nancy stand up, and let you share a little bit about your story. As a teenager, you were believing lies without realizing that, right?
Erin: That's true.
Bob: How was that showing up in your life?
Erin: Well, it was really manifesting in nightmares and panic attacks. Just about every night I would have a bad dream that would cause me to awaken in a state of panic.
Dennis: Did you tell your parents?
Erin: No, I was – no.
Erin: Well, my mom had nightmares, too, so I guess we talked about it some, and I knew my sister had nightmares, and it just sort of seemed like the way things were.
Bob: You just figured that's normal, that you're in a family where people have nightmares, and you're not going to get a good night's sleep; you're going to have these bad dreams.
Erin: Right, it just seemed like my MO, the way that I operated.
Bob: Now, when did you start to think there might be a lie here? I mean, to make the connection from a bad dream to maybe I'm thinking the wrong stuff. How did that happen?
Erin: Well, Dannah did, for me, what she's going to soon do for lots of girls, and she pointed me to that fact, and I knew that it was probably spiritual but didn't make the connection to the fact that it was a result of believing some lies. So Dannah really talked me through that, and we prayed through that, and I was delivered from those dreams.
Bob: You were in youth group, Dannah was your youth group leader at the time, is that right?
Erin: Well, she mentored me, but it wasn't until my mid-20s that she really addressed the issue in such a way that revealed those lies to me.
Dennis: Erin, I want to talk about what some of those lies were. I'm just going to name them, and I'd just like you to comment what you were believing.
Dennis: First lie– everyone leaves.
Erin: Right, I absolutely believed that everyone would eventually leave me specifically men – that every man I cared about would eventually make a decision to not be in my life anymore.
Dennis: Another lie – I have to take care of myself.
Erin: I thought it was up to me. I believed the mantra, "if it's to be, it's up to me," and I had to take care of everything for myself.
Dennis: This last one – it's not that the other aren't incredibly personal, this last one, though, is really interesting – I can't wear my heart on my sleeve, or it will crushed.
Erin: Absolutely, that had been my experience, that I had to wear a mask, and that it wasn't okay to be vulnerable. I needed to be this very strong, sometimes masculine version of myself to protect myself.
Bob: Now, you believe some of those things because you had experienced loss in your family. Your parents had divorced when you were still young, right?
Erin: That's right.
Bob: And that had sent some of these messages, and you thought I guess this is just how life is, so you adjust and go on. But you keep having these dreams, and abandonment was a part of the dreams regularly?
Erin: That's right. Yeah, usually, they don't sound scary to say them out loud. There weren't monsters or anything like that. Usually, I found myself utterly alone, and nobody was around, and I couldn't find anyone, and I was abandoned, and that would put me in such a state of panic that I would wake up from those dreams.
Bob: Dannah, were you aware of this in Erin's life back when she was a teenager?
Dannah: Yeah, we talked about, we prayed about it, but I guess I wasn't in a place, really, yet that I'd matured in how to mentor a young woman to identify that there were lies attached to it. And when I finally did realize that, hey, we need to really address what are these lies and attach them instead – these emotions instead to God's truth to begin to retrain her mind. That's when we began to have breakthrough.
Bob: So tell me how that happened.
Dannah: We just sat down for a few hours one day, and I said, "Erin, I want you to tell me what emotions are happening when you're having those panic attacks, and what lies are you believing?" And she listed the ones that Dennis just read. And then I said, "Okay, let's pray again, and this time we're going to ask what truth He wants you to start believing to replaces those lies." And as she listened to God's voice, specific Scripture verses came to mind to replace those lies with.
Things like "I will never leave you and forsake you." And we began to just pray those verses over her, and over the course of the next few days, she began to pray them more and more so that her focus was on dwelling on God's truth rather than the lies, and I think the most compelling evidence that there was breakthrough is that a few days later she drove home and stayed in a hotel room alone, and for the first night in years, slept through the night free of any kind of dreams or panic attack.
Bob: What was it like to wake up that morning having not had a bad dream.
Erin: It was wonderful to have uninterrupted sleep for the first time in years was wonderful.
Bob: And what did you think? Did you think this is all because of the lies?
Erin: Yes, I knew that I had been delivered, and I'd known the Lord during this whole time, but I knew that He had really rescued me in a new way.
Dennis: And He not only rescued you, but He set before you a course …
Dennis: … and gave you a mission.
Dennis: And one of the cool things I think about your story is not merely redemption from the believing and embracing lies but moving forward to believe the truth and impacting the next generation. Your life story is now one about redemption.
Dennis: You're ministering to young people today.
Erin: Absolutely. I couldn't have been restored absent of the truth. As much as I admired Dannah and trusted her, absent of God's Word, the things that we explored were meaningless, and I've had the opportunity several times to pray with individuals, and sometimes whole families who are struggling with the area of nightmares and seen deliverance over and over and over, but it always has to come back to what lies are we believing and what truth can we replace it with? And it's been neat.
Dennis: There is a reason why the enemy is called the accuser of the brethren. He does delight in throwing things back up at us repeatedly and, as you've just said, making some specific hurt become general to all of life so that you live a frightened life. Erin, thanks for joining us and coming in here. Nancy, if you would, get back on microphone.
Bob: Yeah, because I think it's important, and I think Erin demonstrated this – when the enemy lies to any of us, to teenage girls, to moms, to dads, he doesn't come and say, "Oh, black is white." He comes and says "That's not exactly black, is it?" He's not as overt as to say that true is false. He just sneaks in a little subtle lie.
Nancy: You know, if Eve, when she looked at that fruit, and the serpent called it to her attention, if she had been able to look at that fruit and see that it was spoiled rotten, and it was crawling with worms, there's not a chance that she would have gone for it. It's the fact that it was beautiful, it was a tree to be desirable to make one wise. It was appealing to the senses, it was seductive, and that's what Satan's lies are – they're seductive, they appear to be beautiful. "There is a way that seems right unto a man," Proverbs 14:12 says, "but the ends thereof are the ways of destruction."
Dennis: I'm reminded of Jesus's words in John 14:6 – "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him."
What He was doing, Jesus came to earth to introduce us to the Father and both the Son and the Father are the truth. God is absolute truth. That's not all He is – He is love, He is omnipotent, He is all-knowing, but He is the truth, and if, indeed, there is a spiritual battle, and we know there is because Scripture says so, there is a battle between the truth and lies and, as parents, we need to know the difference, and we need to train our children to know how to best confront those lies with a good answer.
Bob: And, you know, we've had tens of thousands, literally, of our listeners who have purchased Nancy's book, "Lies Women Believe," and have read through it and have benefited from it, and many of those women, Nancy, have said, "I wish I had something like this for my daughter."
Nancy: They wish that they had known the truth when they were teenage girls themselves, and now they're saying, "We wish there was a resource that our daughters could have to help them know the truth, and that's really what was the genesis of this book, "Lies Young Women Believe."
Bob: So here it is, a book that a mom and a teenage daughter could go through together, and a mom can help the daughter see the difference between saying you believe something and really believing it.
We've got copies of the book, "Lies Young Women Believe," in our FamilyLife Resource Center, and let me encourage you to go to our website, FamilyLife.com. When you get to the home page on the right side of the screen, you'll see a box that says "Today's Broadcast," and if you can click where it says "Learn More," it will take you to the area of the site where you can find out more about the book, "Lies Young Women Believe," there actually a transcript of today's broadcast that's available there. You can leave comments about what you've heard on our program. You can also order copies of the book from us online, if you'd like.
Again, our website is FamilyLife.com, or call us, if it's easier – 1-800-FLTODAY is the number – 1-800-F-as-in-family, L-as-in-life, and then the word TODAY, and we can make arrangements to send the resources you need out to you. On our website, we've listed some additional resources that we think would be helpful, particularly for parents of teenage girls and, again, the website is FamilyLife.com, and the toll-free number is 1-800-FLTODAY.
And we have a special invitation for you this week. A number of months ago, we sat down with Dr. Emerson Eggerich, who has written a book, "Love and Respect," and we talked with him about the principles in that book that come out of Ephesians, chapter 5, related to how we can demonstrate love and respect for one another in a marriage relationship. It was a very helpful conversation. We talked for almost two and a half hours about the themes from that book, and we have it now on two CDs that we'd love to send to you as a gift. We are particularly interested in making this available to those of you who are new to FamilyLife and would like to find out more about us and about what we have available.
You can call 1-800-FLTODAY and simply request a copy of the two-CD set, "Love and Respect," the interviews we did with Dr. Emerson Eggerich, and we'll send them out to you. We trust they'll be helpful in your own marriage and hope you'll pass them onto others who will benefit from listening to these two CDs.
Again, contact us and simply request the two-CD set with Dr. Emerson Eggerich. Our toll-free number is 1-800-358-6329, that's 1-800-F-as-in-family, L-as-in-life, and then the word TODAY, and we're happy to get this out to you.
Well, tomorrow we are going to continue to talk about some of the things that teenage daughters are thinking that may be out of alignment with what the Scriptures teach – issues like beauty and body image tomorrow. I hope you can tune in for that. Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Dannah Gresh will be back with us, I hope you will be as well.
I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, and our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I'm Bob Lepine. We'll see you next time for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
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