Revive Our Hearts Podcast

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The Truth About Relationships

Leslie Basham: Today young people feel so much pressure.

Teen: I wish that when I was younger I had known what a vicious cycle people-pleasing really is. It’s not just about you pleasing others. When others don’t accept you, especially when you’re a young girl, a lot of times at least for me, it was because they were all so afraid of what people might think if they did accept me because I was different from them.

It was all about whatever I could do to fit in. I didn’t want to be different. I didn’t want to stand out. I wanted everyone to think I was just like everybody else.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, co-author of Lies Young Women Believe, for Tuesday, February 6, 2018.

About a decade ago, Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth and Dannah Gresh co-wrote Lies Young Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free. Over those years, the Lord has used this book to help countless young women recognize lies that tempt them. Dannah gives us a rundown on some of those lies.

Dannah Gresh: Some of the lies are about God . . .

Teens:

"God is not enough."

"God is not really involved in my life."

"God should just fix all my problems!"

"God is just like my dad."

Dannah: Some of the lies are about myself, lies about beauty and my value . . .

Teens:

"Beautiful girls are worth more."

"I have to perform to be loved and accepted."

Dannah: Some of the lies are about the media and how they approach entertainment . . .

Teens:

"The benefits of constant media use outweigh the harm."

"It’s not a waste of time, and even if it is, it’s okay."

Dannah: Lies about relationships was a big area . . .

Teens:

"It’s okay to be one person at home and a different person with others . . . especially online."

"If I just had friends, I wouldn’t be so lonely."

"I’m my own authority!"

Dannah: We have one whole category for lies about guys since that seems to be a big one for that age group . . .

Teens:

"I need a boyfriend!! I NEEEED a BOYFRIEND!!!"

It’s okay to date whoever I feel like dating."

Leslie: Nancy and Dannah are going to focus today on this area of relationships. They write about it powerfully in the revised and updated version of Lies Young Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free. This revised version is available starting today, and you can get a copy when you donate any amount at ReviveOurHearts.com this week.

Here’s Dannah and Nancy talking about young women and relationships.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: We’re made to be relational. When we feel that things aren’t connecting relationally, there’s an emptiness. There’s a vacuum. There’s a hunger. There’s a longing for connection.

Ultimately what we know is that hunger, that longing is not going to be fulfilled in any human relationship in an ultimate sense, but it’s a hunger for God.

God has created our hearts with this huge, cavernous vacuum that no human being can fill in the deepest sense. There will always be some unfulfilled longings.

That sounds a little bit like the counsel of despair unless we let it point us to that core relationship with the Lord. When I’m cultivating that friendship with Him, then I don’t have to look to those other friendships to be the end all satisfying thing in my life.

Teens: Gimme some truth!

One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple (Ps. 27:4).

Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever (Ps. 73:25–26).

Dannah: I think that’s where the lies that we as women can understand what it’s like to feel a little isolated. That’s where we lose the ability to really understand the heat of the battle for our daughters.

When your daughter comes home at the end of the day and everyone at school knows there was a note in her locker that said how ugly and hypocritical and everything she is and she attends a Christian school, that’s where the rubber meets the road with a lie like this.

Because Satan can go back to that day for decades and bring the words—she’ll see the exact way the words looked on the paper for years. If you don’t have empathy and understanding to address that with truth, you have to say, “Yes, this is a bad day. Let’s cry together.”

Leslie: It can be tricky for a teenage girl to navigate between a legitimate need for human relationships and an unhealthy dependence on relationships. Again, here’s Dannah Gresh.

Dannah: This lie kind of intersects with the top lie in the book. I don’t know that it’s the most powerful, but it’s the first one we decided to address, which is: God is not enough.

Teen: Okay, God, I know you’re enough in the ultimate sense, but I also need some friends with skin on!

Dannah: Because when we listened to girls talk about that, they said, “Yes, if my parents could just be together, I’d be happy. Yes, if I could just get A’s, I would be happy. If I could just make the soccer team I’d be happy. If I could just get to be president of the youth group, I’d be happy.”

But across the board, the number one thing that they said about God not being enough was, “As long as I have my friends, God is enough.” So obviously, it’s hard to talk about this lie about I don’t have any friends without first addressing that. Because if you look to friends as your source of sustenance, they are going to let you down.

Leslie: Dannah knows many young ladies are just socially awkward.

Dannah: My coworker, Susie, was working with a girl that was a lot like this. She really wasn’t an easily likeable young woman. She was just that kind of girl.

Susie said to her, “Here’s what you need to do. This week at school, I challenge you to look around and find someone who’s lonelier than you are, and ask God what to do with that.” Well, she saw this young woman a few days later at lunch sitting all by herself and thought,

Teen: Hey, she’s always sitting by herself. I’m going to go sit with her.

Dannah: A couple weeks later, she wrote to Susie and said,

Teen: I found my best friend because I stopped saying, “Who’s going to be my friend?” and I started looking around and saying, “Who needs a friend?”

Leslie: Helping a teen turn her focus outward can be difficult. But Dannah says a little compassion can go a long way.

Dannah: Well, I think one of the things as moms we make a mistake of quickly running to the solutions and the truth instead of just stopping and saying, “Wow, this really hurts doesn’t it? You’ve really had a bad day” or “You know what? Your friend said some really untruthful things about you.”

I think sometimes if we will just stop and cry with them a little bit instead of quickly changing how they should be thinking, that’s going to open their hearts up to listen to your advice.

Nancy: Of course, the balance there is to do that in a way that you’re not picking up an offense for your daughter and then projecting bitterness or blame or anger. That’s an easy thing to do. It’s one thing for somebody to hurt a mom, but you hurt her kid . . .

Dannah: Momma bear comes out.

Nancy: Yes, right.

Leslie: In their book Lies Young Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free, Nancy and Dannah address a lie that affects teens’ relationships with their parents and teachers and other authority figures in their lives. Here’s Nancy.

Nancy: Well, it’s a lie that is not just endemic to teenagers, but to all of us, and that is:

Teen: I am my own authority! 

Nancy: From the Garden, from the Fall, it’s a built-in tendency to resist the concept of being under authority.

Of course, we talk about teenage rebellion for every generation. For generations past we’ve talked about that, but I think today is no different. In our culture, I think it’s even more so true that there’s this general rejection of authority. There’s the sense that no matter how old or young you are, you know what you’re talking about, and you don’t have to do what somebody else tells you to do.

We’re all kind of born with that kick in our spirit. In many cases it’s because authorities, people in positions of leadership and authority, have not been respectable, have not been worthy models. That’s where it becomes difficult.

A lot of these kids have seen their parents break up. They’ve seen their parents living in ways that are not consistent with the gospel. So you can feel like you can throw off that authority with some justification, and not just their parents’ authority. Dannah, we talked about the sense of, “I can break the rules. They don’t apply to me.”

Dannah: Yes. There’s a word I’ve seen on the Internet a few times. I’m not sure if it will get picked up or not, but it’s called “authority minimization.” 

But here’s the funny thing: there is not a lot of sociological research on the topic. I can't find it. I think that is because our culture in general is not respecting authority. Our culture, in general, doesn't have an understanding of authority. Everyone is on a level playing field.

On social media that's even a bigger risk because you have anybody who has the ability to publish something has authority. It doesn't matter if you are vetting by the New York Times to write an op ed piece and found to be an expert in your field, or whether you are just Tweeting something out to the universe because you are fifteen years old and you have an opinion.

Somehow, all those opinions have level weight in the social media playing field. I think that's really scary.

God’s kingdom is a kingdom. It's not a democracy. He created a hierarchy of authority, and we need to learn to submit to it. We need to teach our daughters to submit to it. Social media making it harder and harder every day.

Leslie: Dannah says if you want an example of disregard for authority, just look at the guidelines set by the social media platforms themselves. Then notice how many young people disregard those guidelines.

Dannah: There are age restrictions on social media. For many of them it is the age of twelve or thirteen. Some the age is seventeen. I frequently find that parents don't take the time to look at that. Many times there are girls that are nine, ten, eleven years old on mediums that are really recommended to be used after the age of thirteen.

There is a reason those restrictions are there. Talking to our daughters about those restrictions, saying, "You can't have an instragram account yet. You have to be this old." That's a good thing, and that's the first step in teaching our kids submission to authority. We are respecting the authority recommendation of the people that created the social media. Let’s just begin there.

Leslie: Of course, Dannah and Nancy recognize that rebellion against authority is nothing new. Nancy challenges parents to make sure they’re modeling right submission themselves.

Nancy: If your children learned about submission from the way that you submit to God-ordained authority, how would they submit?

What are our attitudes as an adult generation toward authority? Are we quick to berate or badmouth anything from the President to the pastor to the husband to the schoolteacher? What is our attitude toward authority?

I have watched parents—and I’m sure they just had no clue what they were modeling to their children—skirting the law, lying about the kid’s age to get into an amusement park. That’s rebellion against authority.

Then you have a mom who rolls her eyes when it comes to her husband’s authority and is a disgruntled wife, then wants her children to obey with a happy heart and good attitude. So much of this is caught.

I've been learning to come under God-ordained authority. I've been helped by watching people who do submit first to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

I think when this younger generation sees us honoring the Word of God and honoring authority, and they see the blessings and the rewards of that in our lives and the peace that that brings, to me that’s going to be more compelling than just saying, “You need to come under authority.”

Dannah: Right.

Teens: Truth!

Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me" (John 14:23–24).

Truth!

If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:7–9).

Leslie: Submitting to authority takes humility. In the process of writing and updating Lies Young Women Believe, Dannah realized she needed to do some submitting of her own.

Dannah: One of the really interesting things about this project for me was coming under Nancy's authority. I've been reminded through the process that submission is never easy.

It's real easy to submit when you agree with everything. It's real easy to submit when all the decisions that an authority is making sounds like fun.

I think moms need to go back and remember how hard it is. How many times when your daughter does submit, do you say, “I’m really impressed with your attitude?” How many times do we hand out the encouragement and the positive reinforcement when they do it?

We’re very quick to say you’re not submitting. You’re not obeying. But when was the last time you said to your daughter, “I really respected your response in that?”

Nancy: I think all of this—whether you’re a young woman or an older woman or male or female—comes back to our relationship with the Lord and saying that we were made for submission to God, that God is sovereign. He is Lord. He is never wrong. So yes, it’s a little easier maybe to submit to His authority.

Life functions when we function in accordance with the will of God, when we glorify Him and please Him and obey Him. He has set up these structures in life that are authority structures. We don’t have to like them. We don’t have to agree with them. We don’t have to understand them.

But if you trust God, then you trust that He knows what He’s doing. He’s the author of life. He made us. He wants to bless us. You know that blessing is going to come as I come under His authority.

Dealing with human authorities is an almost impossible subject for somebody of my makeup because I’m always right. I don’t want anybody telling me what to do. I mean just naturally that’s how I’m wired. But when I see it as an issue of coming under the authority of the God and Creator of the universe and God says . . .

At a certain season of your life you have parents. Another season of your life you have a boss, you have a board, you have people that provide counsel. This is not an issue of whether I agree with them. This is not an issue of whether their attitude was right, which can make us justify our own resistance against authority. This is a matter of do you trust Me enough to let Me work in the lives of your authorities and to place yourself under that?

So ultimately, it becomes an issue of submission to God. When I view it that way, then it doesn’t really matter in a sense whether that authority is right or wrong or agreeable or disagreeable.

I can remember growing up in my home I would often react to the spirit of one of my parents in a particular incident. When you’ve got six teenagers in your home, as we did, I don’t care how sanctified your parents are, there are going to be times when their attitudes are not sanctified, and they’re jumping to conclusions or making a wrong call.

I would react to the overstatement or to the spirit of a directive or a decision that was made. I can remember my dad pulling me aside and saying, “God doesn’t hold you accountable for how your mother said that or whether she’s right or wrong. God holds her accountable for that, and we’ll deal with that. But God holds you accountable for your response and your reaction.

That was a clarifying thing for me. It has proved to be a huge life lesson. I won’t have to answer to God for another person who’s in a position of authority and for how they handled the situation, but I will have to answer for whether I was obedient.

When I choose the pathway of obedience, I’m following in the steps of Christ who was obedient to the will of His Heavenly Father. When I resist the authority, I’m following in the steps of Satan who is the ultimate rebel and says I’ll be my own god.

So it clarifies the issue for me to see it that way. It doesn’t make it easy all the time, but it does help me to see it from God’s point of view.

Leslie: That’s the host of Revive Our Hearts, Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, in conversation with Dannah Gresh. We’ll hear Nancy addressing a group of young ladies in just a moment.

They’ve been talking about young women and relationships—such an important topic. You can read deeper on this topic when you get a copy of their newly revised and updated version of the classic book, Lies Young Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free. The new version just came out yesterday! We’d like to send you a copy to say thanks when you support Revive Our Hearts and help keep this program coming your way.

When you donate any amount by phone, ask for Lies Young Women Believe. The number is 1–800–569–5959, or visit ReviveOurHearts.com.  

How can God’s Word help a young woman counter lies like, “The things I read and watch don’t really affect me”? We’ll hear about that tomorrow. Please be back.

To close our program, we’ll hear Nancy speaking to a group of young women attending one of the True Woman Conferences.  She talked about the way they can incorporate God’s Word into every moment of their lives.

Nancy: It’s a choice, day after day to keep your, to guard your heart with all diligence. The way your heart goes is the way your life is going to go.

You can't tell what's going on in someone's heart by looking on the outside. You all look great, but God knows that in some of your hearts there is resistance against the Lord. You don't know about all this stuff and you just want your own way.

Now I'm looking back on my life, and I'm so, so thankful that God has put people and circumstances and books and people like Dannah in my life to help me to choose Him over all these year. And now that I'm this old lady, gray hair and all, I'm finding such incredible joy in following Christ.

There have been times when it is really hard. There are still times when it's really hard. There are times when God wants me to do things that my flesh really doesn't want to do, or I really want to do something that I know that God doesn't want me to do.

You have to make choices. But everytime I say "yes" to the Lord, He blesses. And then you get to later in your life and you find that God has blessed you as a result of a whole sequence of choices that you've made to say "yes" to the Lord.

I know it's hard at times, and it requires going against the flow. There's peer pressure. I cannot imagine being a teenage girl today. God has called you for such a time as this to be exceptional young women.

It's got to be harder in this generation with all the messages coming at you through the media, through music, through your friends, through peers. Some of you have parents who have made wrong choices. Some of you are from divorced homes. You've seen a lot of hypocrisy; you've experienced a lot of hurt and pain. Some of you have not been treated in ways that young women should be treated.

But I'm telling you: God is still good, and He loves you, and He has a plan for your life. He has put you in His kingdom for such a time as this.

I want to just cheer for you and bless you and pray that the Lord will keep you; that He will make you a whole core of truth speakers in your generation.

If just this number of young women were to go back to your homes and let God use you . . . Some of you are thinking, She's not talking about me. I'm talking about you. Let God use you. Let Him use your strengths, weaknesses, gifts, challenges, age, whatever. Let God use you . . . and I'm not talking about when you're old. I'm talking about right now. Let Him use you to accomplish His purposes in your generation. 

You don't know how long God will give you to serve Him, to please Him.

I'm the oldest of seven children. My brother, David, is number six of seven. David went through some rough teenage years, but then God won his heart. He went to college. He had a real heart for the Lord at his age. At the end of the school year he came home from college and was out with a friend and was in a car accident and was on life support for a week and then went home to be with the Lord at twenty-two years of age.

He was going to be a pastor or a missionary. He wanted to serve the Lord. But God didn't give him twenty-three years or twenty-four years or fifty-four years. God gave him twenty-two years.

You don't know how many years God will give you. Seek Him while you're young. Give Him your youth. You have more energy now than you will, for sure, when you are my age. Use that energy to serve the Lord. Seek Him while you're young. Be an example to the rest of the church of Jesus Christ. Don't let anyone put you down because you are young, but be an example of love and faith and humility and purity.

Listen, the adult generation, even in the church, don't get purity. The women of my age are lousy examples of modesty by and large. But you could be an example of what it means to have Christ radiate through you, drawing attention to Him and not your body. That will truly make you beautiful—loving Christ and pleasing Him.

I love you girls. I'm so grateful for you. I just really believe you are the next generation of women who are true women of God. My prayer is that twenty, thirty years from now when we have a conference like this, you are going to be the moms. You are going to be the older true women of God, passing on the baton we've given to you today to to the next generation.

Are you going to do it? (applause)

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth wants to help women of all ages walk in the truth. It’s an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

All Scripture is taken from the ESV.

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About the Speaker

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

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 …

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