4 Lies Kids Believe (and you just might, too!)

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4 Lies Kids Believe

Like it or not, we’re living in the “Information Age.” We’re bombarded with tidbits everywhere we go, aren’t we? An update here. A newsflash there. A weather alert now. Wait, here’s a status change! Google and Pinterest, smart phones and Amazon. It’s nearly impossible to escape the deluge!

And all this information can be a good thing…as long as it’s based in truth.

Unfortunately, all too often, that isn’t the case. Our culture is saturated with lies. And guess what? Unless we know the truth, we won’t recognize the lies.

And the same goes for our impressionable children. Perhaps even more so. That’s why it’s critical that we teach God’s Word to them diligently. Because the Bible, after all, is the ultimate source of truth. It should be the plumb line against which we compare all of the information coming our way.

Here are a few popular lies I’ve been considering lately:

LIE #1 — Follow your heart. From Disney princesses to teen sitcoms to popular music, this lie is heralded as the key to good decision-making in life.

TRUTH: Jeremiah 17:9 – “The heart is deceitful above all things, and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” The heart is perhaps the very worst place to turn when we’re uncertain. Feelings are fleeting. “But the Word of the Lord endures forever” (1 Peter 1:25).

LIE #2 — Independence is the ultimate prize. This one is so subtle. We refer to kids’ post-high school years as the time they’ll be “on their own.” We tell them they’ll have to “make their own decisions.” We say things like, “As long as you’re under my roof, you’ll obey my rules.” And though I understand where these well-intentioned phrases come from, I fear they’re sending a subtle message to our kids that the life principles taught in a Christian home somehow have an expiration date.

TRUTH: Psalm 139:7-10 – “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”

This passage reminds us that even when children leave the protective umbrella of their parents’ authority, they are never away from God’s authority. If we want our children to view God as their Rock, their Fortress, their Deliverer, their Refuge, and their Shepherd, perhaps we should carefully guard against phrases that imply they’ll one day be “on their own.” God forbid my children are ever on their own! I long for them to be always with Him.

LIE #3 — Beauty is a priority. This lie is so pervasive and so obvious, I don’t even think any commentary is needed. But our application of the truth might just be lacking…

TRUTH: Proverbs 31:30 – “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Many of us know this truth. We also know Peter’s admonition in 1 Peter 3 that we should focus our time and attention on our inner beauty rather than our external beauty. BUT what does reality reveal about our true beliefs? Do we spend more time perfecting and preening the external than we do pondering and purifying the internal? The way we spend our time reveals much about our true priorities. And it sends strong messages to our children, who are well aware of how Mom spends her time…and how she doesn’t.

LIE #4 — We’ll be happy when we learn to love ourselves. Some have even used Jesus’ command to “love your neighbor as yourself” as a statement supporting this idea. But Jesus wasn’t commanding us to love ourselves. He was commanding us to love our neighbors in the same way we already love ourselves! Self-love is our natural inclination. The fact that we feed, clothe, care for, and indulge ourselves is proof of this self-love.

TRUTH:  Psalm 139:14 – “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” YES, we are fearfully and wonderfully made. We are God’s cherished creation, and He loves each of us so much that He sent His Son to redeem us back to Himself. Every individual is dearly loved by Him, and we find happiness in accepting His love for us, and in returning it back to Him in a life of service and love for others.

What other lies have you detected in our culture? How do you counteract commonly believed lies in the lives of your children?

This post was a contributor post written by Jennifer Clarke of A Divine Encounter.

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This Post Has 38 Comments

  1. This is truly wonderful!! Thank you for such inspiring great truths and a reminder to myself.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to leave this kind word, Stephanie! God is so good to tell us the truth! May we be faithful to learn it so we can detect the enemy’s lies!

  2. I love, love, love this!?


  4. Excellent post! And I’m so glad you included # 4. I’ve heard the teaching you’re talking about and I’ve always been shocked and disappointed by that. I just want to say “duh, Jesus is saying he knows we already love ourselves, now go love others that much.” I do believe in taking care of yourself but there is no need to twist scripture to make that point. Scripture never needs to be twisted in order to verify a truth!

    1. You’re so right, Beth: “Scripture never needs to be twisted in order to verify a truth.” We must always adjust our perspective to match God’s Word, never the other way around!

  5. So true…I could tell lots of stories relating to these four particular lies, along with a few more. It is definitely a battle, but one worth fighting.

    1. It certainly is a battle, isn’t it? It requires a lot of mental effort to stay alert to the messages of our culture — it’s far easier to let down our guard and relax our filter. Those of us who have received and believed God’s truth must stay vigilant, and keep ourselves fortified with the truth of God’s Word so that we are equipped for battle. It’s certainly a worthy cause!

  6. Preach it, Sistah!
    So glad I found this site. 🙂

  7. Wonderful job–we have been tempted to have a graphic of Cinderella being lost in the arctic because she “followed her heart”!

    1. LOL! What a great idea! She’d have lots of company up there. 🙂

  8. This was an excellent article reminding us of the subtle lies that are pervasive in our society. I completely agree with you on the outer beauty lie. It so completely relects our shallow society. I really appreciated the verses. It’s so easy to forget them at times. Again, thanks for a well thought article.

    1. I appreciate your encouragement, Diana. It’s quite amazing how subtle many of these lies are…and how completely we’ve bought into them. But they affect our outlook in critical ways, so it’s certainly a topic worth considering. Thank you for reading, and for sharing!

  9. Thank you for tackling hard and important issues continually with grace and humility. I enjoy and appreciate them all. Keep it up! Shannon

    1. I’m so glad you’ve been blessed, Shannon! Thank you so much!

  10. How true! I agree that there is no good reason for distortion of the meaning of scripture.
    Personally, as a teenager, I do think that there are subtleties to the fourth “lie”: We’ll be happy when we learn to love ourselves. At this point of my life, even as a maturing Christian, the pressure I often feel is inadequacy. I think there is a huge culture of shame which pervades secular society and the Church body. Loving myself is one of the hardest and most consistent struggles I face these days, and I find it much easier to love other people and their flaws than I do to love my own.
    It’s really an issue of identity. The only way I ever get out of that hole is looking at Scripture and what it says about me (TRUTH: Psalm 139:14 – “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”), and that I’m redeemed, I’m lovely, I’m cherished- because of Jesus.
    I guess I don’t have an issue with the statement itself (#4) but an implication that giving ourselves food and shelter is the same as true self-love, or that those things would be an adequate and total expression of love for others. Once we find emotional healing and really claim His LOVE over ourselves, we can truly love ourselves.

    1. Hi, Joy! Thank you so much for reading, and for thoughtfully sharing from your heart. It’s such a joy to hear from a young woman who is sincerely striving to grow in her faith and in her walk with the Lord.

      First, I would like to encourage you to not resist those uncomfortable feelings of inadequacy. Our culture idolizes independence, self-sufficiency, and the power of our “inner selves”; but the Bible says that we have all turned away and become worthless (Romans 3:12), with even our best efforts amounting to filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). Apart from Christ, inadequate doesn’t even scratch the surface of who we are. The apostle Paul is a prime example of a redeemed man whose impact on the world is unfathomable…yet who was himself painfully aware of his own inadequacies and weaknesses, even after coming to Christ and in the midst of being used mightily by God (Romans 7, 2 Corinthians 11-12).

      Here’s an amazing truth I’ve known for years but still haven’t figured out or gotten over: Being redeemed doesn’t eliminate my numerous faults and flaws; it just means God uses me in spite of my faults and flaws, which shows off how big and how good He is. I’m still thoroughly inadequate; but Christ in me is more than adequate for anything He calls me to do.

      Perhaps we’re defining “true self-love” differently. I reject our culture’s idea that I need to love myself because I’m inherently strong and beautiful and good. I’ve never found a Scripture to support this idea, and it’s not my personal experience, either. Are there nice things about me? Probably. But there are at least as many snotty things about me — some that people see, and some that they don’t. Am I strong sometimes? I guess so, but I’m weak in various ways a lot more often than I’m strong. The fact that God loves me has nothing to do with how beautiful and good I am; it only reflects how beautiful and good HE is. I believe we find our proper identity in Christ not in attempting to love ourselves, but in falling more in love with a God who loves us in spite of ourselves. So I completely agree that the key is to claim His love for us, and to never let it go!

      I hope this helps to clarify my point. Keep searching the Scriptures for yourself — there’s no better text than God’s Word, and no better teacher than the Holy Spirit. Blessings to you!

  11. Great stuff here, Jennifer. I think lie #1 and #4 are especially deceptive to Christians because they are often presented in ways that almost sound Scriptural. Thanks for sharing these verses and warnings.
    God bless you,

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Gail! I agree that the most deceptive lies contain bits of the truth that are twisted to suit our own fleshly desires. It’s what Satan has been doing since the Garden of Eden, isn’t it? It’s so critical to stay grounded in God’s Word, which will expose these lies for what they are. Thank you for your ministry encouraging believers to do just that!

  12. I’ve been as Christian all my life, have a personal walk with Christ and always put on my armor in order to stay scripturally sound. However, I can’t agree with you fully on your post. ESPECIALLY #4. I have gone all my life with major struggles of inadequacy and seeing others better than myself. I’ve gotten myself into horrible situations because of it and also an eating disorder. Which, at almost 40yrs old, although it’s getting better, it continues a big role in my life. I can see this playing out for some people, but please stop trying to fit all Christians in the same box.

    1. Hello, Michelle! It sounds as though God’s grace has brought you through many trials…and is still bringing you through them! Praise God! I certainly agree that comparing ourselves with others is a recipe for disaster — it causes personal difficulties for us, and divisions within Christ’s church. We must strive always to look to our relationship with God through Christ, and to God’s Word alone for our identity.

      With that being said, I haven’t found biblical support for point #4 being untrue. If you know of some, please share it with me! It’s possible that we’re defining “loving ourselves” differently, so please allow me to explain. I reject our culture’s idea that I need to love myself because I’m inherently strong and beautiful and good. I’ve never found a Scripture to support this idea, and it’s not my personal experience, either. Are there nice things about me? Probably. But there are at least as many very un-nice things about me — and even the nice things reveal more about God’s work in me than they do about my natural self. Am I strong? Maybe sometimes, but I’m weak in various ways a lot more often than I’m strong.

      The fact that God loves me has nothing to do with how beautiful and good I am; it only reflects how beautiful and good HE is. I believe we find our proper identity in Christ not in attempting to love ourselves, but in falling more in love with a God who loves us in spite of ourselves.

      Thank you for reading, and for sharing some of your experience with us, Michelle. I just took a few moments to pray for you, that you would experience all the fulfillment and freedom God intends for you through Christ.

  13. What a great article! My husband and I sat and read this together…thank you for including a verse of truth with lie. My family reads from the KJV Bible so we went back and read each verse!! What truth! It is amazing the little lies that we believe…thankyou for pointing these out!

    1. Hi, Jill! I’m so glad this post was a blessing to you and your husband. It blessed ME to hear about a husband and wife who are searching out God’s truth together. May He continue to guide you in His truth and teach you. Thank you for reading, and for taking the time to leave this encouraging word!

  14. Glad I stumbled across this and thank you for writing this! Can’t wait to share this with my 12 year old daughter. 🙂

    1. Hi, Heather, and welcome! I’m so glad you stopped by, and that you found some topics to discuss with your daughter. Your devotion to God’s truth will certainly impact her life!

  15. what a great post! And reading through the comments was also enlightening. I especially agree with your first point. I’ve started talking with my children about that issue specifically. Although I know it will take some time and work as they’re only 6 and 9.

    1. Hi, Yusimi! Thanks so much for getting in touch! I’m glad this post was a blessing to you. It can be hard to “deprogram” ourselves from the lies that are so prevalent in our culture, but it’s possible through the renewing of our minds by the Holy Spirit. What a wonderful parent you are to teach your children pure, unadulterated truth from their childhood! They will reap a harvest from your teaching for the rest of their lives. God bless you and your little ones!

  16. This is awesome! Thanks for sharing! I have 4 kids, and one more on the way, and 3 of them are teenagers, so I have have to say that another lie we feed into is that teenagers will rebel in some way or another. This is a lie and we shouldn’t be expecting our teenagers to rebel in the home! I’ve noticed so many times (and use to fall into this trap myself) that when a teenager does something sinful or rebellious (like getting caught smoking or lying about where they are going or even having sex with a boyfriend/girlfriend) many will say, “Well, they are just teenagers.” Yes, they are just teenagers, but we shouldn’t be expecting them to live a lifestyle of sin and rebellion just because they have entered into teenage years. If you have taught them right and wrong and trained them in the Lord, then you do not have to believe and feed into the lie that teenagers will be teenagers and rebel. If kids expect that when they hit 13 they’ll start wanting to go to parties, or go out with boys, or watch inappropriate movies, then they will grow up to fulfill those expectations. On the contrary, if they are raised to believe that those are all optional, and actually unnecessary and somewhat frivolous, they won’t want to disappoint or seem silly, and so are more likely to make positive choices and act like an adult. This doesn’t mean that we miss out on a childhood, or miss out on teenage years–it just means that we use them for training for adulthood, and have fewer regrets when we’re through it all. Anyways, I just wanted to point this out, cause I made the mistake of believing this lie when my daughter (who is now 17) hit the age 15. I assumed that she would have a rebellious time cause that’s what teenagers do, but that’s a lie the enemy feeds us!! 🙂

    1. What a great point, Brandy! Though there’s no magic formula to raising kids to be godly adults, it certainly doesn’t help matters when we set them up for failure by having low expectations of them. Thanks for pointing out this lie we believe! You just might see it in a blog post sometime. 🙂 I’ve thought of a few more I could add to this list myself. Thanks so much for stopping by, and for sharing your wisdom with us!

  17. Wow…Thank you so much for these TRUTHS and for making me aware of the fact that the lies are just that LIES! Lie #2 especially hit me. I just told one of my sons today “As long as you live under my roof…”, won’t be saying that anymore! Thanks again!

  18. Great list! Another HUGE one is the lie that magic is okay. In a world of Harry Potter and Twilight, along with Halloween etc. magic and spiritism are being portrayed as harmless entertainment, and had even been accredited as getting books back in children’s hands. But Deuteronomy 18:10-13 clearly shows God’s views on the matter!

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Hi, there! I’m Heather Bowen, and I am so glad you’re here.

My passion lies in helping homeschool moms balance marriage, motherhood, homemaking, and homeschooling all while remaining sane!

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