Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Countering Lies Young Women Believe

Leslie Basham: Erin Davis says a new generation of girls is looking for mentors.

Erin Davis: These girls say, “I’ve never seen a biblical marriage. I can’t imagine that it would work. I’ve never seen somebody who keeps their body and heart pure. That can’t be the real deal. I would love to have somebody to talk to about this pattern of sin I’m in, but I can’t talk to anyone.”

You can make yourself available to these girls just to be an example to them that these things are possible because there are a groups of girls who are hungry to live their lives by God’s standards, but they don’t know what it looks like.

Leslie Basham: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss for Thursday, March 25.

Thousands of women are converging in the Chattanooga Convention Center today for the True Woman Conference. Would you please pray that the women gathering there would meet with God in a real and special way? Pray for the speakers at True Woman including one of our guests today. She’s helping with the Teen Track at True Woman. Nancy’s going to introduce our guest.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: It’s been nearly ten years since I first wrote the book called Lies Women Believe. I had no idea at the time how in His providence God was going to use that book to be such a help to hundreds of thousands of women in identifying the lies that we are prone to believe and in getting set free by the power of His truth.

One of the things that I have heard over and over from women who’ve read that book over the years is, “I wish I had understood these truths when I was a younger woman.” That kind of response prompted us a number of years ago to write a follow up book called Lies Young Women Believe.

I had the privilege of co-authoring that book with my friend Dannah Gresh who with her husband Bob leads a ministry called Pure Freedom Ministries ministering to teenagers. And now that book, Lies Young Women Believe, has been out there for a number of years. We’ve received some remarkable emails and testimonies from young women sharing where God found them and some of the issues they’ve grappled with and how God has used this book in their lives.

As companion tools to go with Lies Young Women Believe, we produced a couple of other resources. One is a companion study guide co-authored with Dannah Gresh and then my friend Erin Davis, who’s here with us in the studio today. Erin welcome to Revive Our Hearts.

 Erin Davis: Thank you for having me.

Nancy: Thank you for your heart for teens. You’re a wife, a mom of two little ones, and your husband is a youth pastor. Together you all are ministering in such an effective way to teenagers. I’m so grateful for your heart for that age group.

Erin: Thank you. There’s a lot of work to be done with that age group that’s for sure. But it’s our joy.

Nancy: God has done a lot of work in our hearts. I know you’ve shared your testimony on Revive Our Hearts about how God has rescued and redeemed you from some lies that you’d bought into when you were a teenage girl and how He has transformed your life. I’m so thrilled for the way that you’re sharing now in your late twenties out of that life message with teenage kids.

Not only through the companion study guide to Lies Young Women Believe—both of those are available through our resource center—but also through the Lies Young Women Believe blog, LiesYoungWomenBelieve.com. We want to talk about that ministry—the blog, the Lies Young Women Believe blog—some of the issues that are coming up. I want moms particularly who are listening to us today or those who are involved as youth sponsors in their church or those who know young people to just get some education about some of the issues that we’re hearing from teenagers.

As I read some of those blog posts I’m thinking, “I don’t think the average adult really has a clue about what some of these kids, these Christian kids from Christian homes and evangelical churches are dealing with." But we need to know what they’re dealing with and be prepared to be engaged in the battle for these kids' hearts and souls.

So we want to take a couple of days and just dialogue about what we’re hearing from the young women. Joining me along with Erin Davis in the studio is my friend Kim Wagner, who you’ve heard many times on Revive Our Hearts. Kim, thank you for joining with us in this discussion.

 Kim Wagner: Thank you, Nancy.

Nancy: And Kim, you’re the mother of two young adult children, and you’ve had a heart for ministering to teenagers for a number of years. I’ve seen God use you with high school kids and college kids. Those kids are always texting you. You’ve been involved in discipling them. You’ve taken some through the Lies Young Women Believe book, and you’ve also done some blogging on the Lies Young Women Believe blog. So you’re seeing firsthand some of what we’re hearing from these kids.

So let me start with you Erin. As you’re day after day engaging with these kids, these young women on the blog, what are some of the big issues, some of the big topics that you find recurring? Not just an exception, but things you find coming up again and again?

Erin: Let me let you know who our audience is. These are primarily Christian girls. Many times they are leaders in ministry. But they do have some reoccurring struggles and some reoccurring issues. The Internet seems to be a safe place for them to talk openly about those things.

A big one is boys. No surprise there. There seems to be a generation of women who desire to do God’s will in that area but have no idea what that means. So we have a lot of conversations about:

  • Is dating okay?
  • Is courtship a better option?
  • If you are going to date what does that look like?
  • What boundaries do you establish for who you’re going to date?
  • Who are you going to choose to date?

I never cease to be amazed at the number of Christian girls in Christian homes who don’t think there’s any problem with dating non-Christians. And so we talk about that frequently.

Nancy: I have in my hand a sheaf of responses that we’ve received from some of these young women—either emails or on the blog. Here’s one gal who wrote and said,

I just got done reading the "guys chapter" in Lies Young Women Believe, and I am guy crazy and feel that I have to have a boyfriend. And it kills me because I do like a guy, but my best friend is not guy crazy and she does not like a guy. And she is always telling me, “You do not have to have a boyfriend.” And I believe her, but it is so hard!!! HELP ME!!!!!

Erin: We don’t judge for grammar or punctuation on the blog fortunately. For those of us who have passed that stage in life, that seems trivial. Let me assure you that to these girls, it is not trivial. Especially to those girls who genuinely want to make right choices but a certain fellow comes along and he often he is boy in their youth group who loves the Lord and is called in the mission field and who works in the nursery. They’re crazy about him but the timing is all wrong. They’re trying to figure out what to do with their emotions and what to do with their behaviors and what to do when he comes around and what to do when he’s not around.

And so we get a lot of comments similar to that one where there’s a girl in a tug-of-war with the way that she feels about a certain boy.

Nancy: I know we have some moms listening who are concerned because that describes their daughter that they’re concerned about. So any thoughts Kim about how a mom can encourage her daughter to think biblically about relationships or how girls can develop healthy attitudes and relationships with guys?

Kim: Well, I think the Lies Young Women Believe book, the companion book and the blog is a great place for moms to begin having conversations with their daughters that it will just open up the opportunity for them to talk about these things.

Let me just say to moms listening. If you’ve not been very plugged in to their teenage world today, you will probably find yourself shocked at some of the things that some of your Christian daughters or your Christian daughter’s friends are involved in or questioning, wondering about.

Just for example, when you first published Lies Young Women Believe just in the early months after it was first published, I gathered a small group of high school girls, a couple of college girls also that could serve as role models for these girls. I gathered them together. We would meet at a pizza place weekly. I want to encourage moms listening, this is something you can do. Or youth leaders, you can do the same thing with a group.

We started going though the book and discussing things. And issues would just surface without me having—I didn’t have to write out a detailed list of questions to encourage communication. They were bringing questions to light that I wouldn’t have even thought to ask.

One of my teenage girls who was only 15 at the time brought up the question, “How do I talk to my friend about the fact that she is having sexually explicit conversations with a young man over the phone?” And this isn’t even a boy that she’s involved in a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship with. This is just a typical student activity.

Now I’m sitting at the table at the pizza place with my mouth hanging open because that wasn’t even an issue when I was in high school. But the girls today are dealing with things that we had not even imagined with cell phones and texting and Internet availability. There are so many more open doors and opportunities for sin and for addiction that we did not even face.

So moms, I guess what I’m saying is I’m encouraging you to get in on this website for you to discover some of the struggles that your daughter may be facing right now that you’re unaware of.

Erin: Moms, let me give you permission to snoop. I mean, LiesYoungWomenBelieve.com is a great place for you to go to get your finger on the pulse of what’s happening in your daughter’s life. You may not necessarily be reading what she has specifically said—you may—but it’s a great place to go to get a real picture of what she’s going through.

Don’t be afraid to talk. Just like Kim said, take some girls from your church to the pizza parlor, to the coffee shop and have these conversations. I understand it can be intimidating and scary. But talk about it, because they’re talking about it, and the issues are big, and the stakes are high.

Kim: To begin with you may not want to start off with a group. I would encourage you just to sit down with your daughter. Your daughter may not even know about our website. Sit down with her at the computer; pull it up; read a post. Erin’s written a lot of great articles on there. She writes in a way that the young women connect with. Talk about statements she makes there and ask your daughter, “What do you think about what she said here? How do you feel about this?”

Then read through the comments at the bottom as you hear young women dialoguing about whether they agree with what Erin’s just said or whether they have a real problem with it.

Nancy: Erin, I know another area that you’ve challenged the young women is in relation to media use. Do those blogs get a lot of response?

Erin: They sure do. In fact our most heated series of posts ever on LiesYoungWomenBelieve.com was on the series Twilight which is a series of books and movies. More movies are scheduled to come out, and more books by that author are scheduled to come out. It’s really been a cultural phenomenon for many years and will be for several more.

We used that as a springboard to talk about discernment and making wise choices when choosing what you read, what you watch, what you listen to. I’ve got to tell you, not everybody agreed with me on our blog. However, there were a lot of girls who initially said, “This is ridiculous,” or maybe they didn’t say it that kindly. But they hopped back on a few months later, a few weeks later and said, “I’ve been praying about this,” or “This has really been bothering me. I’ve been thinking about it. I can’t stop thinking about it. I took my whole Twilight series to the used bookstore," or "I refuse to go to the movie with a bunch of my friends.”

So media is sort of an ongoing conversation. We talk about texting. We talk about music. We talk about it a lot.

Nancy: Let me just insert here speaking of Twilight. I know that we have moms listening today who when the first Twilight movie came out took their young teenage daughters to see it. I know some solid Christian moms that I think of as discerning women who made that choice and apparently didn’t have enough knowledge or understanding to know why this would not be a wise choice.

That’s the kind of issue that if a mom is wondering about, she can go to LiesYoungWomenBelieve.com and interact with you, Erin, and with some other bloggers—Kim and others—and get some biblical perspective from some women who are actively engaged with the young people and with the culture from a biblical point of view.

Erin: That’s probably my favorite thing about LiesYoungWomenBelieve.com. It’s a conversation. It’s an ongoing conversation. It’s very, very fluid. It’s not just me and the other women who blog passing down a bunch of rules or things you should do and should not do.

First of all, we trace it all back to the Word of God. We use the book as often as possible. But we’re talking about these things among each other, among the girls, back and forth. And they’ve changed my mind on a few issues recently, our readers have.

So moms, that’s absolutely true. If you have a question, hop on there. We’ll research it and respond to you. If you’re having a red flag go up in your mind, “I think my daughter may be struggling with this issue,” hop on there and tell us you’d like us to post about it. We’ll do our research; we’ll pray about it; we’ll get in the Word, and we’ll do our best to equip you in a positive way.

Nancy: I know another issue that has generated a lot of response has to do with the whole area of biblical womanhood. We’re trying to plant seeds in the hearts of these teenagers that are counter-cultural—what God’s Word teaches about marriage and family. And I know Kim, I don’t get to read all those posts, but you have said to me sometimes you can’t believe how little understanding this younger generation has of the Word of God when it comes to these issues.

Kim: Yes. I see two extremes when we bring up say the word submission. I know that even in adult women you’ll see two extremes. But the girls have a really inaccurate view of what that means. As we try and relate to them what the Word of God says about it, many times it doesn’t even matter what the Word of God says. "This just does not look to me like something that I want to do." They’ve given a lot of negative reaction.

Now what I love about this blog, like Erin said, it’s a dialogue. So I have really been encouraged by a few girls who will step up to the plate and have written some great comments back saying, “This is what the Bible says, and I believe your view of submission being a man dominating a woman and a woman being treated like a doormat is incorrect. That’s not the biblical view.”

So some of the younger women are even coming online and dialoguing and setting themselves up, I believe, as role models for the other girls as they’re talking back and forth.

Erin: We’ve been talking a lot about, “What does God’s version for femininity look like?” First of all, to these girls that’s a blank canvas. They have no idea what God’s vision for femininity looks like.

Nancy: Because they’ve grown up in a culture that has really done away with those distinctions.

Erin: That’s right. At the first mention that God might have a plan for them that is counter-cultural, their first instinct has been to really bristle. There’s been a lot of frustration and anger.

Nancy: Let me just say, by the way, we’ve all been there. We’ve had some of those same reactions as women in our own hearts.

Erin: That’s right. But these are thinking girls, and they are willing to think it through, pray it through often. I’ve seen a lot for progress on that issue. But they keep asking questions like, “Well, can I work? Well, can I go to college? I’ve always dreamt of being a nurse. Now I feel like I have to throw that out the window.”

So it’s very difficult to get them to a point where they understand how that looks in their lives practically because it is so foreign to them. But what is encouraging is they’re willing to hear you talk about it. They’re willing to listen, and they’re willing to talk back and forth about it. That is big progress.

I have big hope that there will be a generation of biblical women who are going to embrace it if we keep having these conversations.

Kim: I think a lot of them just need to be mothered. They need to be given the truth in a winsome way. They need women in their lives that are communicating, “I care about you. I’m not trying to hand you a handbook of rules and regulations. I care about you. God cares about you. He has a beautiful plan for your life that is ordered and designed in a way to bring Him glory and also will bless you.”

One thing that I think older women can do to engage with these young girls . . . I know a lot of older women that say, “I don’t even know how to relate to this generation. I don’t know how to serve as a Titus 2 woman in the lives of these young women. That’s why I want to encourage you. Revive Our Hearts has this great resource for you to use by going to the blog.

You can print out a series of postings, articles that have been written on there that have to do with media or biblical womanhood or lies about boyfriends, eating disorders. You can download from the Internet some of those articles, some of those comments; make copies of it and just start passing it out in your church. Or use it as a weekend retreat. Try to teach through these things based on what you’re reading in the articles. It’s not like you have to go to seminary and get a degree yourself in order to pass on this biblical truth to young women. We’ve got some great articles for you to glean from.

Erin: I think the action step for women who do choose to look on this website is realize the need. These girls say,

  • I’ve never seen a biblical marriage. I can’t imagine that it would work.
  • I’ve never seen somebody who keeps their body and heart pure. That can’t be the real deal.
  • I would love to have somebody to talk to about this pattern of sin I’m in, but I can’t talk to anyone.

Listeners, that can be you. You can make yourself available to these girls just to be an example to them that these things are possible because there are a groups of girls who are hungry to live their lives by God’s standards, but they don’t know what it looks like. You can live it out for them.

Nancy: I’m looking at an email that came to us from a young woman who read the book. She said,

I want to tell you that this book has been amazing. I kind of feel like it was written just for me, and I want to thank you guys for letting God write this book through you. I’m having a really hard time right now with all the lies of Satan like "I have to be skinny," or "It’s ok to be like everyone else and hang out with non-Christians who drink and stuff as long as I’m not doing it." It’s been really hitting me hard lately, and I just want you all to know that this book is helping me so much.

Do you think that reflects where a lot of young women are when they read the book or they get onto the blog?

Erin: Absolutely. I think many of them aren’t even aware of the pattern that you and Dannah write about so beautifully in the book of realizing what the lie is, exposing it to God’s truth, and replacing that lie with truth. Once they sort of catch that drift, that pattern, they can begin uprooting the lies in their own life. And that leads to freedom when they’re in bondage.

What really impresses me about the girls on the website is that they’re seekers, but they’re not just seeking for any version of truth. They know God’s it. They know He’s where they want to align their lives. But they’re not quite sure how to live that out practically, and they want to talk to other people about it. And the blog is a great place for them to do that.

Kim: One thing I love about the blog, one huge positive I think is that young women can meet other young women that are trying to follow truth and that are making practical changes in their lives based on the truth they’re learning as they read the book or as they read the postings on the blog. And they realize, “I’m not the only one out here.” There are other young women that are willing to make tough choices to honor God in their lives.

Erin: That’s something we hear frequently: “Oh, I thought I was the only one who was searching for a modest swimsuit this summer,” or “I thought I was the only one who’d made a commitment not to date until I was ready to get married.” They’ve developed this sweet, little community amongst each other where they pray for each other and they ask about each other. They ask about my kiddos, and they’re just sweet to each other.

It’s a community.

Kim: I thought it was so funny. There was such a disruption and big exchange on my post, “Fearless Femininity” over their view of womanhood. Right in the middle of it as we’re talking about, “What does submission mean? What does it look like?” all of a sudden there’s a girl that says, “How can I get straight hair?”

Erin: It’s very girly.

Nancy: I want to encourage our listeners to check out LiesYoungWomenBelieve.com. I think a lot of moms with teenage girls aren’t even aware it exists. I'd like you to encourage the young women in your life to get engaged in interacting with godly women mentors like Kim Wagner and Erin Davis—Dannah Gresh posts on there as well and other women, Paula Hendricks—and to make young women aware of this resource.

Then if you don’t have a copy of Lies Young Women Believe, the book and the study guide which Erin helped write along with Dannah Gresh and myself, this is a set of resources that you need to have available and be investing in the lives of young women in your sphere of influence.

We’ll be glad to send you both the book Lies Young Women Believe and the companion study guide when you send a donation to Revive Our Hearts. Give us a call at 1-800-569-5959, or go to our website ReviveOurHearts.com and let them know that you’d like this set of Lies Young Women Believe resources.

We’re going to continue this conversation tomorrow with Erin Davis and Kim Wagner and let you know more about what we’re hearing and learning from young women growing up in homes like yours on the Lies Young Women Believe blog.

Revive Our Hearts is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

 

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