How to Use This Guide
The information presented in Lies Young Women Believe is best explored through interaction—interaction with other young women, interaction with your Bible and journal, and most importantly intentional interaction with your Savior. We have developed a number of tools to help facilitate this interaction including journal prompts within the chapters of the book, our Lies Young Women Believe blog (check it out at www.LiesYoungWomenBelieve.com), our Study Guide, and this online discussion guide. The purpose of all of these resources is to get you talking and thinking critically about the influence of lies and the power of truth in your own life.
We’ve listed questions for each chapter of the book. These questions are designed to guide your discussion of the book. They certainly can be used for individual reflection, but they are best suited as a guide for conversation between a group of friends. Why not start a Lies Young Women Believe book club? Gather a group of your Christian friends, prepare some fabulous snacks, and dive into the material from the book using these questions as a guide. We are confident that the results will be freeing and fun. For adult youth leaders, these questions can be used to guide your small group discussion.
And don’t let the conversation stop there! We’d love to hear from you. Girls just like you from around the country (and the world!) are tackling the influence of lies in their lives and talking about the process on our blog. We’d love to hear about your Lies Young Women Believe book club. Who’s involved? What’s been happening? What lies will you tackle this week? And we’d love to encourage you along the way.
So, start talking. There is power in bringing these lies into the light, and there is power in sharing that experience with others. We are praying for God to unleash the power of His truth in your life and in your generation.
Chapter 1: The Deceiver: Where do lies come from?
- What is a lie? How do lies differ from truth? How can you decipher the difference between the two?
- What are some lies you have believed in the past? How did believing those lies manifest physically in your life (ex. fatigue, depression, ulcers, nightmares, panic attacks)? Are there any situations, relationships, or habits in your life currently that produce the same physical result? Is it possible that you are believing lies in these areas?
- In the Garden of Eden, Satan asked Eve, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden?’” This blend of half-truths and falsehoods was a dangerous combination that successfully lured Eve to sin. Has Satan ever whispered a version of this sentence to you? Maybe he’s asked, “God said He wants you to be happy right? Then shouldn’t you do whatever makes you happy?” Or maybe he has said, “God doesn’t really expect you to wait to have sex until you’re married does He? Surely it’s okay since you are in love.” Or maybe you’ve heard, “Does God really expect you to obey your parents? Surely that doesn’t apply to you since your parents aren’t Christians.” Have you been ensnared by this dangerous form of lying? What have been the consequences in your life?
- Your generation has been labeled the “Mosaic Generation” because of your tendency to take small pieces of information from many different sources and come up with your own sense of truth. What sources do you accept truth from? Magazines? Television? Your friends? Your teachers? Your parents? Your pastor? Are there any areas where these sources present differing versions of truth? Who is correct? How can you decipher what truth is?
Chapter 2: The Deceived: Where do lies get the power to destroy our lives?
- James 1:14–15 says, “Each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.” What is it that you most desire? Think critically for a moment. How could Satan twist that desire into the form of a lie?
- Scripture teaches us to flee from sources that lead to temptation. What are the specific sources of information that expose you to lies? Is it a certain television program? A movie genre? A specific relationship? What is preventing you from running away from that voice?
- How much time do you spend reading your Bible each day? What disciplines have you developed to ensure that you are listening to God’s voice through His Word? Do you know enough Scripture that you are able to quote it easily when temptations arise? Are you spending enough time learning the Word of God?
- The pattern of becoming ensnared by lies goes as follows: first we listen to the lie, then we dwell on it. Then we begin to believe it, and before long we’re acting on it. Map out a specific lie that you know you’ve believed. When did you listen to the lie? Whose voice did you originally hear the lie from? What caused you to dwell on the lie? Were you curious? Did it seem to provide hope? At what point did you start to believe the lie was true? How did you act on the lie? Are your actions still governed by this lie? Does examining this pattern give you insight into other areas of your life where you might be believing lies?
Chapter 3: The Truth: How can I pursue Truth?
- How do you define truth? How does Jesus fit this description?
- Find specific verses in Scripture that speak truth into your life. Now find some ways to hide those verses in your heart. Work on memorizing them. Write them out on index cards, and find a prominent place to display them. (How about your bathroom mirror or the steering wheel of your car?)
- John 8:32 promises that truth has the power to set us free. Is there an area of your life where you long for freedom?
- Are you willing to stand out from the crowd by taking a stand for truth? This is easier said than done, isn’t it? What are the consequences of failing to follow the crowd (ex. strained relationships, being made fun of, feeling misunderstood)? Is it worth it?
Chapter 4: Lies About God
- What relationships, talents, activities, habits, or material possessions do you feel like you can’t live without?
- Who do you usually run to first when you have a problem? What need does this person meet?
- Does the way that you pray reveal that you think God should fix your problems? How so?
- Give four to five examples of times when God intervened in a situation in your life. Was this a direct answer to prayer? How did His intervention impact your faith in His concern for your circumstances?
- What is your dad like? Attentive or aloof? Loving or harsh? Difficult or easy to connect with? Make a list of at least ten characteristics your dad has. How is your dad similar to God? How are they different?
- Have you been wounded by your dad? Have you forgiven your dad for any mistakes he has made? What is holding you back from forgiving him?
Chapter 5: Lies About Satan
- Describe Satan. Have your experiences taught you anything about his character? Compare the messages about Satan that you’ve received from popular culture and your church with the facts about Satan outlined in Scripture. Look up Satan or Lucifer in your concordance to find verses about Satan.
- What is spiritual warfare? How can you recognize when spiritual warfare is occurring in your life? What can you do to combat spiritual warfare in your life or the lives of others?
- How can you determine when bad circumstances are a result of Satan’s influence, the influence of the world around you, or a result of your own choices?
- Name some cultural examples that glorify satanic activities by presenting witchcraft, fortune telling, death, communing with the dead, or sorcery in a positive light. How often are you exposed to these programs, movies, magazines, or books? Is it possible that exposure to these examples has led you to become desensitized to these practices or led you to develop a perception of Satan that is inaccurate?
- Get away by yourself. Go to a beautiful park or find a comfy chair. Maybe grab your journal and your Bible and do a thorough examination of your heart. Is there any anger, unforgiveness, or rebellion in your heart? These things open the door to the Enemy. What specific Scripture references can you find to douse these feelings with truth?
Chapter 6: Lies About Myself
- Have you adopted any of the following habits?
* Do you check other girls out and enter into tremendous self-loathing?
* Do you check other girls out and say nasty things about them? Sometimes even in front of them?
* Are you willing to do just about anything to be affirmed by a guy?
* Do you cut yourself out of frustration over your inability to measure up to others?
* Do you dress in such a way as to intentionally cause men to look and want?
* Do you dress a certain way just to fit in, even if that means dressing immodestly?
* Do you flirt?
* Do you overspend?
* Do you often cry about the way that you look?
- Did you answer yes to some or most of these questions?
- If so, it is likely an indicator that you are believing beauty lies. Is it possible that your physical appearance is more important to you than your relationship with God?
- Today did you spend more time in front of the mirror making yourself beautiful on the outside or in God’s Word, developing inner beauty of heart and character? Does this reflect a regular pattern in your life?
- When you look in the mirror does your internal dialogue tell you that God made a good thing when He made you? If not, what does your internal dialogue communicate?
- Where does the pressure to perform really come from? Are your parents truly pressuring you to perform or is that your perception based on your desire to please them? Are your friends actually concerned with what you can do for them or are they content to love you just the way you are? Is the pressure you are feeling coming from external or internal forces?
- Are your actions designed to point others toward God or to draw attention to yourself? How can you tell the difference?
- Is there an activity that you can’t imagine giving up (a sport, a musical instrument, a hobby)? Would you struggle to understand your identity without this activity? Is it possible that you are defining your value based on your ability to perform in this area?
Chapter 7: Lies About Guys
- How would you respond to the statement “I would feel better about my life if I had a boyfriend”? If you were honest with yourself, would you be among the 68 percent of young women who would always or sometimes agree with that statement? What is it about having a boyfriend that would make your life better?
- Does affirmation from your male peers mean more to you than affirmation from your friends or parents? Why? What is it about attention from boys that makes us feel so good about ourselves?
- Is it realistic to aspire to date only Christians? Why or why not?
- Do you desire to be married? Why? What needs do you anticipate will be fulfilled by a permanent relationship with a man (companionship, love, financial support)? Do the reasons why you want to be married reconcile with God’s purpose for marriage to be used as a vehicle to draw you closer to Him and to enable you to serve Him more effectively?
- How can you know if a potential mate will be able to lead you spiritually? What characteristics should you look for before you begin to date a guy that indicate he is a spiritual leader?
- What specific cultural influences would lead Christian girls to believe that activities such as casual kissing, sending suggestive messages through Facebook and MySpace, or oral sex are okay because they “aren’t really sex”? What television shows are communicating this message? Where can it be found in movies? How is it communicated through magazine articles? What sources can you run to to counteract these messages?
- Is there anything you are doing that hints at sex outside of marriage?
- Does remaining pure until marriage seem impossible? Who do you have in your life that is encouraging you to remain pure? Who is discouraging you from remaining pure?
Chapter 8: Lies About Relationships
- Have someone you trust and who has demonstrated spiritual depth (such as your youth pastor’s wife, an older sibling, or your mom) take a look at your Facebook, MySpace page, or text messaging history. (If you are already cringing at the thought, this exercise is likely a necessary tool for exposing areas of double-mindedness in your life.) Ask them to compare the person you express to be though these outlets with the individual you are in person (especially at church and at home). Have them pay close attention to the photos of yourself that you post though these outlets. Are they suggestive? What about the tone of your writing? Is it provocative, hateful, or crude? If so, it is very likely that you are acting out on the lie “it is okay to be one person at home and a different person with others.” What specific changes do you need to make to live out the truth that this is not okay?
- Why does having many friends make us feel better about ourselves? What does a lack of friends seem to communicate about who we are (ex. if we have many friends we are lovable, if we don’t have many friends we are unlovable)?
- Do you spend as much time developing your friendship with Christ as you do nurturing your human friendships? How can you change your time with God to make the relationship seem more like a friendship?
- What are some steps you can take to become a better friend to others?
- What are your relationships like with your authorities (strained or peaceful, fun or frustrating, confusing or easy to understand)? Do you trust your parents, teachers, and pastor? Do you find it easy or difficult to submit to authority?
Chapter 9: Lies About My Faith
- Have you been wounded by a youth pastor who has left? What was your reaction? In hindsight, do you feel like you reacted appropriately?
- Why is it sometimes easier to allow others to interpret the Bible for us than it is to study it for ourselves?
- Do you feel judged by individuals at your church? How can you determine if their judgment is real or merely your perception? Are you guilty of judging others in your church or youth group?
- Are you comfortable confessing your sin to other individuals? Why or why not? Do you have people in your life who are willing to listen to you talk about your sin and willing to lovingly speak truth into your life when you do?
- Describe your salvation experience. Have you ever come to the point of realizing that by your sin, you’ve actually been rebelling against God? Have you confessed your sin to Him? Have you surrendered control of your life to Him?
Chapter 10: Lies About Sin
- Are you currently locked into a pattern of sin that seems impossible to break free from? Have you tried to break the habit but faced defeat? What emotions does this cycle provoke?
- What are the steps necessary to surrender our sin to Christ?
- Under what circumstances is it okay to break the law or rules?
- What symptoms do you typically experience during PMS? Which specific emotions do you find it difficult to control during this time (anger, frustrations, sadness)? Is it possible that you are using your hormones as an excuse to sin? How can you gain control in this area?
Chapter 11: Lies About Media
- Add up the number of hours you spend each week watching television, talking on the phone, text messaging, and online. About how many hours are you spending weekly using these media sources? Now compare that to the number of hours you spend each week developing your spiritual life (i.e. doing activities such as reading your Bible, praying, attending church or youth group, or fellowshipping with other believers). Do these numbers seem balanced? We are guessing that you are like many of the girls we interviewed who recognize that there is imbalance in this area of their life, but don’t feel led to do anything about it. Why is that?
- Take a look at the lyrics of the songs you listen to most often. (If you download most of your music and don’t have the lyrics, you can look them up on websites like www.songlyrics.com.) Measure these words against the standard of Philippians 4:8 which says, “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Be honest with yourself. Are the lyrics you are listening to true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy of praise? If not, are you willing to abandon that kind of music entirely? Why or why not?
- Are you comfortable spending regular time in silence or do you feel more comfortable with constant noise?
- Do you currently have established boundaries related to your media usage? If not, recruit a trusted friend or authority to help you establish boundaries and then hold you accountable to stick with them.
Chapter 12: Lies About the Future
- A young women named Talitha recently wrote the following on the LYWB blog: “That is true. I want to be [a mother]. And I want to marry and be a good wife. But I have to admit that it also so hard for me to confess this. It seems stupid and not interesting on the one side or not spiritual enough on the other side. Although in my heart I start to get a vision for motherhood and femininity, I still feel guilty about it. Like it is not much of worth. I do not dare to talk about it when I am with others, even Christians. Or I say I want to be that but also... And then telling other dreams I have so I still sound like an interesting person.” Can you relate to Talitha’s comment? Do you feel comfortable desiring to be a wife and a mother? Do you feel comfortable expressing those desires to others?
- Does the idea that God created women to be a helper to men and to bear children offend your senses? What is it about that concept that seems foreign?
- Are you afraid of marriage? Can you think of examples of couples that you know whose marriage you would like to model?
- What you do with your time, your eating habits, your exercise habits, the way you talk, the way you talk to your parents, the way you treat your friends, the way you spend your money, the way you work, and your sleep patterns are the habits you are developing. Are there any habits in one of these areas that you need to break in order to live a more Christlike balanced life?
- Would you be willing to commit to spending at least some time with the Lord in His Word every day for the next thirty days? What is competing for your time that would make this challenge difficult to complete?
Chapter 13: How to Stop Fueling the Lies: Stop listening to and dwelling on them
Note: These questions are taken directly from Chapter 13 in the book.
- What area(s) of bondage or sinful behavior can you identify with in your life? Example: flirtatious behavior.
- Every area of bondage or sinful behavior in our lives is rooted in a lie—something we’ve believed that is not true, according to God’s Word. Look at the list of lies addressed in Lies Young Women Believe. Identify one or more of those lies (or another one the Lord has shown you) that you realize you have been believing. Example: I need a boyfriend.
- List any ways in which you have fueled the lie by listening to or dwelling on it. Example: Spending too much time with my non-Christian, boy-crazy friends and reading all those teen magazines.
- What do you need to do to avoid listening and dwelling on the lie from now on? Example: I need to start spending more time with my Christian friends, especially ____________ because she’s really got it together in waiting for God’s timing for the right guy. Today I’m burning my stack of CosmoGirl! Maybe I’ll invite ________ over to the bonfire!
Chapter 14: How to Find Freedom from the Lies: Replace lies with the Truth
- Are you regularly receiving doses of the Truth through church attendance, group and personal Bible study? What are some steps that you can take this week to increase your exposure to the truth presented in God’s Word?
- Tackle a specific lie that you recognize that you’ve been believing. Search the Scriptures for as many verses as you can find to counteract this lie. A great concordance can really help. Also, you might recruit your youth pastor or pastor to help you find verses that relate to that specific lie. They will likely have some great insight into Scripture and be a helpful source of encouragement.
- We have the choice either to continue to believe lies or to embrace the Truth. Why is embracing the Truth sometimes the more difficult choice?
Chapter 15: The Truth That Sets Us Free: Powerful Truths to counter everyday lies
- Take a quick glance at the twenty-two truths presented in this chapter. Which truths immediately jump out as relevant to your life? Circle those truths. Is there a common theme? Do these truths center around a certain subject such as your beauty, your relationships or the way you relate to God?
- Go back through the list a second time. Are there any truths on the list that you find difficult to accept? Is there something on the list that you know intellectually but find difficult to apply to your own life? Why is that?Over the course of this study, have you realized that you have been believing any specific lies? What are they? What truth does God's Word offer to counteract this lie?
- Are there areas of your life where you need to make changes as a result of embracing truth? What specific changes do you need to make to walk in freedom from the lies you've been believing?
©2008 Revive Our Hearts. Permission is granted to reproduce this article as needed for personal or group use. Do not sell this material or use it in any commercial format. The Lies Young Women Believe book is available at our store.