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Lies Women Believe: And the Truth that Sets Them Free

Lies Women Believe: And the Truth that Sets Them Free

3.9 48
by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

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Counter the lies that keep you from abundant living.

Satan is the master deceiver and his lies are endless. And the lies Christian women believe are at the root of most of their struggles. 

"Many women live under a cloud of personal guilt and condemnation," says Nancy Leigh DeMoss. "Many are in bondage to their past. Others


Counter the lies that keep you from abundant living.

Satan is the master deceiver and his lies are endless. And the lies Christian women believe are at the root of most of their struggles. 

"Many women live under a cloud of personal guilt and condemnation," says Nancy Leigh DeMoss. "Many are in bondage to their past. Others are gripped by fear of rejection and a longing for approval. Still others are emotional prisoners."

In best selling Lies Women Believe, Nancy exposes those areas of deception most commonly believed by Christian women—lies about God, sin, priorities, marriage and family, emotions, and more. She then sheds light on how we can be delivered from bondage and set free to walk in God's grace, forgiveness, and abundant life. Nancy offers the most effective weapon to ounter and overcome Satan's deceptions: God's truth!

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By Nancy Leigh DeMoss


Copyright © 2001 Nancy Leigh DeMoss
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0802472966

Chapter One

"Become a World-Class Violinist Instantaneously."

"How to Play the Piano ... Instantly!"

"'Instant Health' at the Flip of a Switch!" (Ad for a kitchen appliance)

"Melt 10 lbs. in 10 minutes! ... a workout so easy, you do it in your pajamas!"

"Delivers so much peace of mind it should be covered under your health plan." (Ad for a popular car)

"Look Better and Feel Younger in Just Minutes a Day ... The key to a healthier, happier life." (Ad for an oxygen chamber. Price tag: $3,999.95)

Our culture is riddled with deception. It is everywhere, as illustrated by these kinds of outlandish advertising claims. Sometimes it is easy to see through the falsehood (as in the claim that one can become a world-class violinist instantaneously). Unfortunately, however, most deception is not quite so easy to detect.

Deception in advertising appeals to our natural human longings. We want to believe that somehow, mysteriously, those unwanted pounds really could melt away in just ten minutes-no sweat, no discipline, no cost, no effort, no pain. That's why we buy the pills, the diet drink powders, and the exercise equipment sold on infomercials.

A clever and cunning pitchman whose intention was to change Adam and Eve's thinking about God and His ways designed the first advertising campaign. Satan's objective was to drive a wedge between God and His creatures. He rightly assumed that the man and woman were not likely to support anything that appeared to be an all-out assault on God. He knew that, instead, he would have to subtly trick them, to deceive them, to seduce them by making an offer that appeared to be reasonable, desirable, and not entirely "anti-God."

Satan deceived Eve through a clever combination of outright lies, half-truths, and falsehoods disguised as truth. He began by planting seeds of doubt in her mind about what God had actually said ("Did God really say ...?" [Genesis 3:1]).

Next he led her to be careless with the word of God and to suggest that God had said something that, in fact, He had not said. God had said, "Do not eat the fruit of the tree." However, Eve quoted God as saying, "You must not touch it" (v. 3, italics added).

Satan deceived Eve by causing her to question the goodness, love, and motives of God. "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?" he asked. The implication was: "Has God put restrictions on your freedom? Sounds like He doesn't want you to be happy."

The Truth is that God had said, "'You are free to eat from any tree in the garden' [2:16, italics added]-except one."

The Truth is that God is a generous God.

In that entire, vast Garden, God had posted only one Keep Off sign: "Do not eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil." Furthermore, the one restriction God imposed was in the best interests of the couple and was intended to guarantee their long-term blessing and happiness. God knew that when they ate of that tree, they would die; their relationship with Him would be severed; they would become slaves-to Satan, sin, and self.

The Serpent further deceived Eve by lying to her about the consequences of choosing to disobey God. God had said, "When you eat of it you will surely die" (2:17). Satan countered: "You will not surely die" (3:4, italics added). He flatly contradicted what God had already said.

The devil seduced Eve by offering her all kinds of benefits if she would just eat the forbidden fruit (3:5). He promised that a whole world of knowledge and experience would open up to her ("Your eyes will be opened"). He assured her that she would be equal with God-that is, that she could be her own god ("You will be like God").

Finally, he promised that she would be able to decide for herself what was right and wrong ("knowing good and evil"). God had already told Adam and Eve what was right and what was wrong. But Satan said, in essence, "That's His opinion; you're entitled to your own opinion-you can make your own decisions about what is right and wrong."

Satan deceived Eve by causing her to make her decision based on what she could see and on what her emotions and her reason told her to be right, even when it was contrary to what God had already told the couple:

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it.

Eve took the bite. But instead of the promised rewards, she found herself with a mouth full of worms-shame, guilt, fear, and alienation. She had been lied to-she had been deceived.

As Puritan pastor Thomas Brooks put it,

Satan promises the best, but pays with the worst; he promises honor, and pays with disgrace; he promises pleasure, and pays with pain; he promises profit, and pays with loss; he promises life, and pays with death.

From that moment to this, Satan has used deception to win our affections, influence our choices, and destroy our lives. In one way or another, every problem we have in this world is the fruit of deception-the result of believing something that simply isn't true.

Satan holds out the glittering promise of "real life"; he knows, however, that those who respond to his offer will certainly die (Proverbs 14:12).

So why do we fall for his deception? Why do we go for the lure? One reason is that Satan doesn't usually appear in the form of a serpent- instead, he comes disguised as a New York Times best-seller, a popular magazine, or a movie, or a TV show, or a Top Ten hit song. He may also pose as a relative or friend giving sincere counsel, a therapist, or even a Christian writer, preacher, or counselor.

Regardless of the immediate source, anytime we receive input that is not consistent with the Word of God we can be sure Satan is trying to deceive and destroy us. What we read or hear may sound right, may feel right, may seem right-but if it is contrary to the Word of God, it isn't right. If we could only see that the forbidden fruit, fruit that looks so ripe and tastes so sweet in the first moment, always leads ultimately to death and destruction.

Deception was-and still is-crucial to Satan's strategy. According to Jesus, it is the devil's very nature to deceive:

[The devil] was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

For reasons we cannot fully understand, Satan chose to target the woman for his strategy of deception. Twice in the New Testament the apostle Paul points out that it was the woman who was deceived: "The serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty" (2 Corinthians 11:3 KJV); "Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived" (1 Timothy 2:14).

Some theologians believe there was something in the way Eve was created that made her more vulnerable to deception-that she was inherently more "temptable," or "seducible." Others suggest that because God had placed her under the headship of her husband, once she stepped out from under that spiritual covering and protection, she was more easily deceived.

Regardless, the point is that as fallen women, we are particularly prone to fall prey to Satan's deception. Remember that he did not first approach the man; he deliberately approached and deceived the woman. It was the woman who led her husband into sin, and together they led the whole human race into sin (though Adam, as head, is held ultimately responsible). I believe there is something significant about that progression and that, to this day, there is a unique sense in which Satan targets women for deception. This is part of his strategy. He knows that if we as women buy into his deception, we will influence the men around us to sin, and our sinful choices will set a pattern for subsequent generations to follow.

Sometimes, as was the case with Eve, Satan deceives us directly. Sometimes, however, he uses other people as instruments of deception.

In the fifth chapter of Ephesians, Paul warns, "Let no one deceive you with empty words" (v. 6). Repeatedly, he challenges God's people to speak Truth to one another. When we are not honest with each other, we actually do Satan's work for him, acting as his agents, deceiving and destroying each other.

According to the Scripture, we can even be deceived by spiritual leaders-those who have been entrusted with the responsibility of shepherding God's flock and communicating the Truth to His people. Sadly, many leaders abuse their calling and their followers by failing to speak the Truth. Through the prophet Ezekiel, God addresses those leaders who deceive people:

With lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad ...; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way.

I believe this is an accurate description of much of what is taking place in the Christian world today. Walk into almost any Christian bookstore, leaf through many Christian periodicals, tune in to many religious radio and television broadcasts, listen to many popular Christian mental health professionals, and you will find respected "Christian leaders" who are deceiving their followers. In most cases, I do not believe they intend to deceive people-in fact, they may not even realize they are being deceptive. However, that is exactly what is happening.

In many cases, they "strengthen the hands of the wicked" by suggesting they do not need to repent. They promise God's blessing and grace to people who do not qualify because of their willful disobedience and unrepentant hearts. Their teachings help people justify ...

anger ("healthy expression of your true feelings");

selfishness ("You've got to place boundaries between you and demanding people");

irresponsibility ("You are dysfunctional because you have been deeply wounded by others"); and

infidelity ("You are free to divorce your mate and marry someone else; God is the God of the second chance").

At the same time, they make "the righteous" feel "sad" or guilty ...

for taking personal responsibility ("You're codependent");

for demonstrating a servant's heart ("You shouldn't let others take advantage of you"); and

for being faithful to their vows ("God does not expect you to stay in that marriage").

Sadly, most people-even Christians-have unthinkingly exposed themselves to so much deception that they do not even realize they are being deceived. That is the very nature of deception-it blinds us to the fact that we have been deceived.

One of my goals in this book is to urge Christian women to open their eyes and begin to evaluate what is going on around them-to wake up to the deception that is so pervasive in both our secular and our Christian cultures. So much of our lifestyle is rooted in ways of thinking that simply are not true. The result is a house built on sinking sand. One lie leads to another and another and another.

Unfortunately, most people mindlessly accept whatever they hear and see. We listen to music, read books and magazines, watch movies, listen to advice, and respond to advertisements without asking ourselves important questions:

"What is the message here?"

"Is it really true?"

"Am I being deceived by a way of thinking that is contrary to the Truth?"

Satan's promise to Eve was tantalizing: "Your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil" (Genesis 3:5). Who could resist such an extraordinary offer?

The forbidden fruit was "good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom" (v. 6, italics added). If it hadn't seemed so attractive, do you think Eve would have fallen for the offer? If that fruit had been rotten and crawling with worms, would she have considered disobeying God? Of course not. What makes Satan's offers so alluring and so deceptive is that they look so right.

The problem is that Eve didn't stop to evaluate what was really happening. She didn't take time to discern truth from error. She didn't stop to consider the cost and the consequences of what she was about to do. If Eve could have imagined the ugly, painful, deadly consequences of her choice-in her own life, in her relationship with God, in her marriage, in her children, in her children's children, and (through the sin of her husband, who followed her) in every human being that would ever live on the planet-do you think she would have listened to Satan's lie and disobeyed God? I doubt it.

But we have precisely the same problem. I have discovered that very few Christians seriously consider the consequences of their choices. We simply live our lives, responding to the people, circumstances, and influences around us-eating what we crave at the moment, buying the newest gadget advertised on TV, adopting the latest fads, and embracing the lifestyles, values, and priorities of our friends. It all looks so good; it feels so right; it seems so innocent. But we end up in abusive relationships, head over heels in debt, angry, frustrated, trapped, and overwhelmed. We have been deceived. We have fallen for a lie.

In an unforgettable example of this kind of deception, a young mother of seven children told me that she had become involved with a man she had met on the Internet; she was thinking of leaving her husband for this other man. As we met together one night, she acknowledged that what she was doing was wrong. "But," she said, "he is so good to me and to my children."

For two hours, I begged her to see that this man was not truly interested in her or her children-if he were, he would not be breaking up her marriage; if he really loved her, he would not be leading her to violate God's law. I warned her that the road she was on, though it seemed so appealing, would certainly lead to destruction. I tried to help her see that she had been deceived and that her only hope was to believe and embrace the Truth.


Excerpted from LIES WOMEN BELIEVE and the TRUTH THAT SETS THEM FREE by Nancy Leigh DeMoss Copyright © 2001 by Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Meet the Author

NANCY DEMOSS WOLGEMUTH has touched the lives of millions of women through Revive Our Hearts and the True Woman movement, calling them to heart revival and biblical womanhood. Her love for Christ and His Word is infectious, and permeates her online outreaches, conference messages, books, and two daily syndicated radio programs, Revive Our Hearts and Seeking Him. Her books have sold more than three million copies and are reaching the hearts of women around the world. Nancy and her husband, Robert, live in Michigan.

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Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 48 reviews.
xpaxk More than 1 year ago
I have to say that this book was life altering for me. Why, because I did it the way it was truly intended. I read it from front cover to back cover, used the companion guide, took my time, & did it in a study. THIS IS A BIBLE STUDY NOT A SELF HELP! Sure, there are topics that some people aren't ready to accept & others that are hard to swallow. However, if you read the first page first, as it was meant to be done, you will clearly see it builds on each chapter. The book helps you identify the secular beliefs & ideas that maybe you bought into, there are at least 40 covered in the book, you can add your own because it also teaches you how to identify them. It doesn't just identify them for you. You have to put you into it. You also have to drag out your Bible to get the full measure. I not only HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT, I am doing the study again & sent it to everyone for Christmas this year. The first time I did the study it was a lot to digest. I am eager to do it again and start getting into more of the weeds on the topics.

If you are not ready to be the woman that God designed you for, you are not ready for this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was written for Christians, but I can¿t imagine that any woman could read it and remain unchanged. Author DeMoss takes on the lies that ruin our lives and destroy our peace ¿ lies about ourselves, our relationships, our emotions, our circumstances, our sin, and most important of all, God Himself. And then she tells us the truth. Forget ¿women¿s liberation¿ this is the real deal.
jomom5 More than 1 year ago
If you are struggling with how to approach hot button issues in today's society from a Christian perspective, this is the book for you. It will stretch your mind and challenge some long-held beliefs, but it will definitely help you grow.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good reminders of how women are deceived in a special way, and how to be mindful of appropriate responses.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I recommend this book to every woman who seeks the will of God. It has been a blessing to my life. I've read it independently, then again with a women's bible study at my church. Nancy 'tells it to you straight' and challenges women to recognize the many lies we've fallen victim to - lies that are deeply engrained in our minds, and in most cases are very difficult to admit. I am giving this book as Christmas gifts this year and will re-read mine in the years to come.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a pastor's wife who seeks to glorify God in all things and to live a life of devotion and holiness to the Lord, I have found this book to be invaluable to me in my own walk. I have been challenged to look honestly at myself in light of the Scriptures. Sin entered the human race through Adam's sin (he stood silent as Eve was tempted and sinned against a holy God). But men and women can now be redeemed by the blood of one Man, Christ Jesus. This book calls sin what it is: sin. And holds us up to the mirror of God's holiness and love and calls us to repentence and faith. My only criticism would be her chapters on marriage and family, not that I disagree with her ideas necessarily, but since she is single I find her treatment of these subjects lacking any real, practical application for wives and mothers. I have read this book and completed the companion study guide on my own (Walking in the Truth), and I will be starting to facilitate a group study in our church. I would absolutely, without any hesitation, recommend this book to any woman who wants a more intimate walk with the God of the universe.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is absolutely amazing. This writer is definately annointed! We read this book as a part of a book club that I belong to. This book tore down strongholds on women who read this book. It is confrontational, but if you are looking to really find out why you don't have victory in certain areas, this book will help you to see it. She provides scripture to back up what she is saying. Buy it and be set free!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful book. Easy to read and easy to understand. She also back up her ideas with Scripture and other sources. Although I do not wholeheartedly agree with all of her ideas, like when she talks about depression. I actually still use this book as a resource.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author Nancy Leigh DeMoss tells it like it is in her book Lies Women Believe. Her profound insights leave anything but a bad taste in your mouth, but rather an Ah-Ha kind of moment. Her direct style is complimented by Bible verses corresponding to her in depth explanations of the subconscious thinking that takes place in women's minds. This book is not a single plot based on characters and events, it is an understanding look into the way women perceive themselves and how that ultimately affects different aspects of life. The explanations are made real and relatable through testimonies of ordinary women and their short, simple accounts. To spruce things up a bit a view point, told by Eve is used to introduce each chapter. I personally love this because it helped me relate the situations I was going through and the concepts in the book directly to the Bible. The way Eve is portrayed is so raw that it was almost impossible not to see where she was coming from. I quite frankly have never read a self-help book and for all I know this could be one, based on the simple fact it did help me. Let's be honest though, no one wants to admit they need help, so this could be considered research. Research into the lives of everyday women and the choices they make each day. How there are events that have occurred many years ago and yet those very same events place boundaries on today's thoughts and reactions. This is an extreme look into why women are the way they are, each person is unique, but more than one concept is relatable. To make this short and to the point: good book, just enough detail to get the point but not so much so it's lengthy, and if your looking to have a deeper relationship with God, this is a great start!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Thank you to the reviewers who said this book was awful. I only read the chapter on divorce since I am a recently divorced Christian woman. I endured for 17 years with emotional and verbal abuse and prayed daily that my borderline personality disorder husband would change. I was so close to ending my own life to get out of the marriage but knew that my 3 daughters needed me. I feel blessed that I never read this book until now--I might have believed the lies printed here and tried to pray a change into my former so called Christian husband and stayed married. Divorce is never the first answer but when one is being abused-NO ONE has the right to tell me I should have had more faith. This book is a waste of time for anyone dealing with serious problems within a marriage.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The thing I¿ve noticed about DeMoss is that she starts outside the Scripture from a premise. I¿ve been teaching how to study the Bible for years emphasizing contextual reading and gleaning FROM the Scriptures, thus when someone does what she does it is glaringly obvious to me. One should not START from any approach, but should seek to extract the points from the Scriptures without adding into Scripture.

For instance take the words ¿Adam was not deceived, Eve was deceived and thus fell (versus knowingly walked) into transgression. Because DeMoss is coming from a preconceived set of patriarchal beliefs (as many have done throughout history actually) she changes this to meaning that women are easily deceived and more prone to deception. In order to do that she has to change words and add words: Eve becomes ¿women¿, and easily and more prone are added in. The actual verse does not address women in general being deceived, yet this is what she uses and patriarchal teaching uses to tell women they need male guidance and are unfit to control their own lives, determine truth... Etc. etc. get the picture. And this view of woman is the primary foundation for all her views of woman.

And curiously she does not conclude her own approach by applying the same method to the first part and say that men are more prone to deliberately choose wickedness. This then reveals her (and the patriarchal) agenda is not seeking the truth but proving a biased premise by reading it into Scripture rather than gleaning truth from Scripture.

The redeeming portions of DeMoss¿s book if you can ignore her incorrect eisigesis of Scripture is the outline of how one falls into deception and how to avoid deception. She also does an excellent work dealing with priorities and how to trust God to heal from childhood lies.
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I would say that there ARE some great principles in this book, just make sure to back up what you read with the Word of God. It is true that Satan will lie in every way that he can, and he has special lies for women.
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Liz Ryan More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful book. Nancy holds nothing back in this book and helped me gain a new prespective on myself sand others. Trusting in the Lord and his word. It set me free.
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