Three Stages of Spiritual Development for Women
This article is a book review for “Lies Women Believe and the Truth that Sets Them Free,” by Nancy Leigh DeMoss
Based on the content of the book mentioned above, I’m going to outline three stages of spiritual development for women.
Stages of Spiritual Development for Women
Stage One: Understanding Eve and how her decision affects us today
What was Eve thinking after she and Adam were banished from Eden? Did she regret her decision to listen to the serpent? Imagine walking one morning with God, in harmony with everything and by the afternoon you are separated from God and no longer welcome in your home. For the first time, Eve experienced feelings like isolation, defeat, and failure. These are feelings we have all had as women in our lives. These aren’t just feelings non-believers have, but are feelings Christian women who love God feel, too.
Ms. DeMoss uses the word bondage to describe the Christian women of today. “They are not free to enjoy the grace and the love of God.” This is due to regrets from past decisions or experiences. Another bondage described is “fear of man,” which includes rejection, what people will think, and the need for approval. But, as Scripture tells us, we are not meant to be in bondage. We are meant to be free! We are meant to be radiant, joyful, at peace, and so much more!
This is not happening because at the root of our problem is that we have been lied to and deceived. This started with the lies told to Eve, and every generation after her has carried the lies with them. We carry these lies in various forms.
My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover a multitude of sins. – James 5:19-20
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.” Let’s take our lives back together!
Stage Two: Recognizing the Lies
Ms. DeMoss identifies eight lies that we have believed as women. Not all women struggle with the same lies and these lies are not exhaustive, but these eight are common.
Lie #1 – God: What lies do we believe about God? In counseling, I get the question all the time, “If God were good, why did this ______ happen to me or someone I love?” As we see above, Satan used this question to cause doubt with Eve. This diverted her attention (and ours) from the blessings in our lives. It opens the door for us to feel justified in making our own decision about what is right or what is wrong.Psalm 119:68 reminds us “God is good, and everything He does is good.” Besides our views of God, we also believe lies about how God feels about us. When our prayers aren’t answered, we can question whether God really loves us. Even those raised in the church who have heard of God’s love and intellectually know this, still don’t FEEL it. This leads to bondage.
The lies about God include comparisons between God and other men in our lives, thinking that God is not enough, feeling God’s ways are too restrictive, and thinking God should fix our problems. If you can resonate with any of these lies, this is a great book for you to study in-depth. How we view God is the foundation for everything.
Lie #2 – Ourselves: Often when we study our view of God it inevitably leads to questions about how God views us as an individual. Ms. DeMoss writes, “If we do not see Him as He really is – if we believe things about Him that are not true – invariably, we will have a distorted view of ourselves.”
When we think our God is weak or not in control, it leads to various lies we believe. This includes thinking we are not worth anything. The book indicates that 42 percent of the women surveyed for the book reported believing this lie. Often this starts in childhood and continues into adulthood, resulting in bondage – even mental health issues.
Jesus knows this pain. 1 Peter 2:4 reminds us that Jesus was “rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to Him.” This is how He determined His worth. He also determined our worth by dying for us because He loved us that much. Other areas in this section include the lie of needing to learn to love ourselves, that we can’t help the way we are, that we have rights (entitlement), physical beauty matters more than inner beauty, and I should not have to live with unfulfilled longings.
At the end of each of chapter addressing these lies are specific Scripture passages that provides truth to counter the lies. In addition, there are questions you can use to reflect on how these lies are or are not in your own life.
Lie #3 – Sin: Sin is something that we all deal with in our lives as Christians. We were born into it and it’s why we need the Savior Jesus. Even though we know sin is a part of our lives until we enter Heaven, there are still some lies we believe about it.
Satan’s first move when it comes to sin is to tell the lie that we can sin and get away with it. The Serpent asked Eve, “Surely you won’t die?” even though God was explicit, “Eat this fruit and you will die.” The book offers an amazing discussion on this particular lie and expands it to include lies which say: my sin isn’t really that bad, God can’t forgive what I have done, I am not fully responsible for my actions and reactions, and I cannot walk in consistent victory over sin. When we work on these lies, we are asked to: 1. Agree with God; 2. Accept responsibility; 3. Affirm the truth; 4. Act on the Truth; and 5. Ask God to help you walk in the Truth.
The last five lies that Nancy addresses focus on the priorities in our life, marriage, children, our emotions, and the circumstances we are in. As with the format of the previous chapters, each of these chapters ends with a discussion on the specific lies and then the Truth that Scripture shows us.
At the end of each chapter is also a prayer you can use to help guide you in seeking God’s help in revealing the truth. After all, we want to get to the third step, which is being free of these lies!
Stage Three: Walking in the Truth
The two major points of this book are: 1) Believing lies places us in bondage; and 2) The Truth has the power to set us free. When we grow in our faith and the relationship with Jesus continues to develop deeper and deeper, the lies above stop having a hold on us.In this final step, Nancy takes us through specific Scripture verses that break down our bondage. This part of the book review is specifically vague because it is vital to read these steps yourself with the Lord. We are meant to help carry each other’s burdens as Galatians 6:2 requests us to do, so if you are struggling with letting go of a lie and need help breaking free of the bondage it has created in your life, the counselors at Seattle Christian Counseling are here to help.
When I read this book, I couldn’t keep it to myself! I talked about it with family, friends, and other women I came in contact with during my day. It was as if my eyes were opened. I am blessed to be able to share it with you and so thankful you took the time to read this review.
I can do everything through him who gives me strength. – Philippians 4:13
The structure of each chapter gives you the opportunity to know the Truth in specific Scripture verses. Even lies that I hadn’t been aware of were revealed and God gave me the strength to recognize them in my life and start working on them.
Each chapter also gave me Scripture to study so that I could strengthen myself against lies that weren’t an issue for me. I could store them in my heart because that is how God strengthens me! As I continue to walk in the Truth, I find God’s revealed will for me. He wants this for you, too!
ReferenceDeMoss, N.L. (2001). Lies Women Believe and the Truth that Sets Them Free. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishing.
“Chained,” courtesy of PublicDomainPictures, pixabay.com, CC0 Public Domain License; “Calvary,” courtesy of gerald, pixabay.com, CC0 Public Domain License; “Set Free,” courtesy of jill111, pixabay.com, CC0 Public Domain License