Hands reaching into soil.

The lies we believe about God and ourselves can creep into our hearts, like weeds choking out a garden. If we allow these lies to take root, they can damage not only our relationships with God and ourselves, but even the foundation of our marriages. Alissa Coburn gives us personal examples of two different types of lies we must be vigilant about weeding out and explains how we can do so.

When we moved into our home, it was already surrounded by flower beds. I love the beauty they add to our yard and our home, but I’m not always a fan of the work they require. 

Every year, I vow it will be the year I start to really take care of them, which means pulling weeds endlessly. It’s a daunting task, but if I don’t get it done, our house starts looking like the 1995 movie version of “Jumanji.”

This year was no different. As the temperatures grew warmer, I donned my gardening gloves, grabbed my tool bag, and headed into battle with the ever-growing population of horticultural invaders threatening to take over each small stretch of earth.

Each year, as I drag out endless underground root networks that are either deceptively wide or deep, my mind typically turns to sin and what it takes to eradicate it from our lives. 

This year, though, my mind turned to a different topic: Lies. 

More specifically, it turned to the lies we believe about God or ourselves that cause damage to our identities and, therefore, our marriages. There are probably many different weed types this would apply to, but here I want to discuss just two: whoppers and creepers.

 

WHOPPERS

Whoppers might look like weeds, but they’re actually small trees. If these aren’t handled quickly and are allowed to grow for even a season, they are super hard to pull. If left too long, they can weaken and severely damage a home’s foundation.

Whoppers are the lies we believe about God. A solid Biblical identity is, first and foremost, grounded in an accurate understanding about who God is—His very nature. When we allow ourselves to believe things about Him that are either partially or completely inaccurate, it’s incredibly damaging to us and our relationships.

I have loved Jesus as long as I can remember. With all my heart I believed, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16, KJV), but I didn’t think I was very special to Him. In my view, I was saved because He loved the world, but He still thought I was an irritating disappointment.

I constantly worked to earn His approval but with every failure or slip, I felt Him looking down on me with disapproval. My value was dependent upon my performance, and the more I tried, the harder I fell. My spiritual stock just kept plummeting.

Because of this lie, my marriage suffered. 

I believed I was only worthy of love if I was performing well, but because I’m human, and I make mistakes (a lot), it was difficult for me to receive love from my husband Josiah. In fact, early in our relationship, I consistently pushed him away because I just ‘knew’ he wouldn’t love me once He found out how imperfect I really was.

Since then, I have come to intimately know God’s love, grace, and mercy. I’ve learned that Jesus died because He loved ME, that I am God’s precious child, adopted into His own family by choice, and it gave Him great pleasure (Ephesians 1:5). I’ve learned that “he rescued me, because he delighted in me” (Psalm 18:19b).

Just like the lies before them, these truths now spill over into my marriage and parenting. I truly believe Josiah is capable of loving me, even with all my imperfections—and, sometimes, perhaps because of them. 

God’s grace flows through me to my children as well, and I’m able to teach them about His love and mercy when they mess up.

 

CREEPERS

Creepers are super annoying. They’re weeds like crabgrass that look shallow and easy enough to pull, but gradually you realize there’s a vast network under the surface. 

One crabgrass plant can send roots out for several feet in any direction, so even if you pull up some, it’s incredibly likely there’s still some beneath the surface. It will pop up again and again unless you get it all out. 

Weeds like these get tangled up in the roots of the plants you actually want in the garden. They steal valuable water and nutrients from what’s good.

As lies go, these are more shallow but extensive, and can weaken and destroy what is good in your life and marriage. 

Whoppers damage your foundation, creepers steal beauty and joy. Furthermore, because they are widespread, it takes a lot of time and attempts to get rid of them—you may even battle them for life.

One of the main creepers in my life has been my body image. I have struggled with my weight since I was a child. I just wasn’t built the same as other people, and no matter what I did, I was never thin enough. In my mind, thin equalled pretty, and pretty equalled valuable, and I always came up short.

In my marriage, this has meant never believing Josiah actually likes my body. Our sexual intimacy—a beautiful thing before the Lord—has often been robbed of its vitality and meaning by my crippling insecurity. Some days I might be okay, other days I can’t bear the thought of being seen naked or his hands touching my wobbly, stretch mark-covered belly.

In recent years, God has been slowly revealing His truth to me in this area. No ideal body type is found in the Word of God. 

He knit me together in my mother’s womb. 

I am distinctly, remarkably, and wonderfully made by Him. 

If all of my days were written in His book before I was even born, then He’s neither surprised nor disappointed in my appearance—nor should I be.

He’s teaching me that my body is a gift, and when I’m given a gift (especially by the Creator of the universe), I should care for it and love it—not put it down and treat it like trash. As I continue to learn and believe this truth about myself, it is reflected in our marriage relationship, too. 

More and more, I’m able to allow myself to believe that Josiah really does appreciate my body, just as it is. It’s an ongoing lesson, though, and one that requires I stay rooted firmly in the Word. Otherwise, the lies of the world creep back in.

 

WHAT’S IN YOUR GARDEN?

These lies I’ve discussed are just a couple examples of the many I’ve faced and continue to face. There’s always more work to do, but it’s important work. Paul emphasized this in his letter to the Colossians:

“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority” (Colossians 2:8-10).

Instead of being influenced by the enemy and the world, we’re to reach straight for Jesus, the Word, the only Source of truth, who was with God and was God since the beginning (John 1:1-2). He’s the Boss and our hearts should be filled completely by Him.

What lies are growing in the garden of your heart, choking truth and preventing light from penetrating? Are you actively working on eradicating them or are you tending them as though they are the truth, afraid of what your heart will look like without them?

Are there types of heart-weeds (lies) I missed? This list was far from exhaustive, so if you think of some, tell us about them! Let’s learn to tend the gardens of our hearts (and maybe even our homes) together!

15 SIMPLE WAYS TO ADD JOY TO YOUR DAY IN LESS THAN AN HOUR

15 simple ways with cover

Need a little extra joy in your day?

Our team has put together this FREE printable for our readers to help you infuse joy into your life quickly.  Enter your name and email below and we’ll send this fun printable right over!

Share This Post

5 comments
  1. I have been thinking about weeds and spiritual parallels as I’ve been gardening this summer, too. Thank you for sharing this! It encouraged and convicted my heart.

    1. There are just so many parallels, right?! Thank you for taking the time to come by and read!

  2. This is spot on! I also struggle mightily with body image and recently realized that at some point I had decided I was not desirable. So since that was my truth, I could not be desirable to or desired by my husband. It left him flabbergasted and frustrated. Once I removed this “truth” from my life and stopped blocking intimacy, our relationship could move forward. It’s crazy the lies we let ourselves believe. Thanks for being vulnerable and sharing your story.

    1. Oh girl, I could write a whole book on the struggle with body image (and might just do that one day!)! I’m so grateful you have allowed the grace and love of God inform your identity! Glory!

  3. I love flowers and growing them. Which of course means dealing with weeds. So this spoke to me. It seems I have spent much of my adult years untangling lies about God and my identity. So often these lies are formed when young and when we don’t have the ability to reason and analyze them. Especially from an adult brain or before we even realize half lies. Satan is so subtle.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *