Seeds of Faith: Lies Women Believe About Themselves
I think chapter 3, “Lies Women Believe About Themselves” is one of the most important chapters in Lies Women Believe: And the Truth that Sets them Free by Nancy Leigh DeMoss (previously titled Walking in the Truth).
I was married once before. It often seems like another lifetime. As soon as I was removed from that life, I had a hard time remembering what life was like in that marriage.
I met my first husband when I was 17. He was 20 and we started dating on his 21st birthday – right after I turned 18. He was a fun guy – lots of laughter during those dating years. But, he wasn’t much into verbal affirmation, and it wasn’t something that I sought or needed. I was tall – 5’11”, with really long arms and really long legs, and I probably weighed 115 pounds soaking wet. In simpler terms, I was tall, skinny, and kind of gawky.
He’d call me “hot” in his most romantic moments. He never called me beautiful, and it never occurred to me that I might be. It was just something I never thought of. His long term affair stripped me of my confidence in myself.
I was 29 when I met my husband, Gregg. He constantly called me stunning, striking, gorgeous, the most beautiful woman he’d ever met. It would make me laugh uncomfortably because I didn’t believe him. My reaction would almost anger him, because he was giving me sincere words of affirmation and I would laugh it off as if it were a joke.
It took me a long time to believe that, regardless of what I had never heard from the man to whom I had been married for over nine years, to Gregg I was (and still am) beautiful. He wasn’t just saying words to win my heart. He sees me differently than anyone else because he loves me. Even as I approach 40-years of age, even with c-section scars and the padding of extra body fat, when Gregg tells me I’m beautiful, I feel beautiful.
The deeper into God’s word that I delved, the more I learned that it isn’t necessarily an outward appearance that makes me beautiful to my husband. It can simply be just who I am: his wife, the woman with which he prays together every single morning, the mother of his children, his sister in Christ, his helper designed by God to be his mate.
1 Peter 3:3-5 says: Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful.
And, strangely, the more I believed that Gregg sees me as beautiful, the more my confidence in myself improved.
I have the companion guide for this book, and out of the dozens of study questions for chapter 3, I have chosen just one discussion question for each of the lies laid out out in the book. This guide is designed for you to work a chapter a week, and work through several self-searching questions every day. You may find it beneficial in our study of this book to have your own guide and be able to go through every question. But, for our purposes here, following are just a few questions:
1. Describe a time in your life when you felt on top of the world. Next, describe a time when you felt completely worthless. What common factors do you find in both experiences? (For example, where your feelings dependent on others’ responses to you, on how you looked, on how you performed?)
2. Obviously, our upbringing and environment have an effect on who we are. However, these factors cannot determine who we are. Negative circumstances don’t always mean that a child will turn out badly, nor do positive experiences always mean that a child will turn out good. What do you think makes the difference.
3. Look at the list of things on page 75 that many women claim as their “rights”. While you might wish all of these things to be true in your life, what makes it inaccurate to claim them as your rights? When people claim their rights, how do they respond when those supposed rights are violated? Why does claiming rights so often result in anger, bitterness, depression, and broken relationships?
4. Some of the most physically beautiful women are also extremely miserable. Why doesn’t physical beauty necessarily make a woman happy?
5. What are some of your heart’s desires that have not yet been fulfilled (e.g. to get married, to improve your marriage, to have children, to regain health, etc.)? Deuteronomy 8:3 says, “He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.” Why did God allow His people to go hungry (i.e. to have unfulfilled longings) in the desert? What are some other reasons God might not allow all of His children’s longings to be fulfilled here and now?
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