Freebie Friday! Adorned!

Hey gals! We’re giving away a copy of Adorned: Living Out the Beauty of the Gospel Together by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth every Friday in March here on the blog. To give you a sneak peek at this book, here’s an excerpt from Chapter 1 that explains what it means to “adorn” the gospel and why we’re not called to do it alone. Take a look!

Women love beauty. We enjoy the process of adorning ourselves and our environment.

Shopping for the clothes, makeup, or jewelry that will help us look our best.

Picking paint and accessories to make our homes more welcoming or comfortable or fashionable.

Carefully garnishing the food we put on the table.

Dressing our little ones in cute outfits.

Adding those special touches that make our surroundings, our relationships, and our activities a little more beautiful and personal and fun.

There’s just something about assembling and creating beauty that’s deeply satisfying.

And feeling beautiful—that’s a longing deep in many women’s hearts that has spawned and fueled countless industries.

I’ve never considered myself to be particularly beautiful in a physical sense. It’s not that I think I’m unattractive or that I think there’s something wrong with physical beauty. It’s just not something I’ve focused on a whole lot. Mindful of the fleeting, deceptive nature of external beauty, I’ve tried to focus on cultivating the kind of beauty that can’t be photographed (or photoshopped)—beauty of character and the heart.

Yet I can still remember how my heart skipped a beat the first time Robert told me I was beautiful.

I grew up in a loving home with a dad who adored me. I’ve been blessed to have many good, kind men in my life. It’s possible my memory has failed me. But prior to that point, I cannot recall ever hearing a man say to me, “You’re beautiful.”

Robert kept telling me I was beautiful. He really seemed to mean it. And gradually I began to believe that he truly saw me that way—even when I had just finished working out at the gym, even on days when I hadn’t taken time to apply makeup or fix my hair. As our courtship progressed, I told a friend, “I don’t think there is anything I could do that would make him love me less or think I’m less beautiful.”

But I also noticed that something even more significant was happening. As the persistent, gentle love of this man took root in my heart, it had a tenderizing, beautifying effect. In fact, to my amazement, people began to comment on my new “glow.” Over and over again on my wedding day, friends said to me, “You’re so beautiful!”

I say this not to shine a spotlight on myself, but to make the observation that to be adorned with another’s love is to develop a greater capacity to reflect love and beauty to others.

You see, God has placed us here on earth as ambassadors of the gospel of Christ. And our calling as His followers is to make His love and His truth visible and believable—and beautiful—to skeptical observers.

Because they see it in us. Because they see it changing us.

His love making us beautiful. Adorning us.

And, through us, adorning His gospel.

Why We Need Each Other

It’s a wonderful picture, isn’t it? But sadly—as you and I well know—it doesn’t always work that way.

We may claim to love Jesus, but for some reason people don’t always see His beauty reflected in our attitudes and actions. They don’t always see in us the transforming power of His love.

Instead, too often, they see women who are just as overwhelmed, preoccupied, petty, or unloving as everyone else around us. If we’re honest, that’s the way we sometimes see ourselves.

But we long to do better. We really do want our lives to show the gospel in its very best light. . . . But how do we do better? That’s the question, isn’t it? How in the world do we manage to adorn the gospel and let it adorn us in the midst of our mundane or agonizing realities?

With help.

Lots of help!

The good news is that this task of being adorned by the gospel and enhancing the way it’s perceived by others isn’t something we’re called to do alone. To help us accomplish what He has given us to do, God has graciously given us His Spirit and His church. And for us women, God has given us a community of other believing women for inspiration and support.

On my wedding weekend, a cadre of women friends, younger and older, banded together to provide personal and practical support in every way imaginable. The dear friend who took me to get my nails done (and secretly paid the bill). The young woman who accompanied me to the church for my makeup routine. Loving friends who baked and decorated cupcakes and others who managed guest lists and cared for administrative details for four different events. The sweet women who slipped away early from the reception to adorn Robert’s and my hotel suite with an abundance of flowers, candles, and tasty snacks.

The love and combined efforts of these special women (along with many kind, helpful men) resulted in an indescribably lovely weekend. I couldn’t have done it without the encouragement and help they provided. And in much the same way, I can’t make it through life without walking in community with women who band together to support and beautify each other in Christ . . .

Life, the Way It’s Supposed to Be

Older women, younger women, women who are peers—we all need each other if we are to adorn the gospel and show its beauty in our lives. And that reality brings us back to Titus 2 and the heart of this book. Because this important passage offers a primer for how and why this all works. It paints for us a picture of generational wisdom flowing downhill into inexperienced hearts, where it can cycle around and back up again in a continual process of godly care and counsel.

Woman to woman.
Older to younger.
Day to day.
Life to life.

This is God’s good and beautiful plan. The biblical model of older women living out the gospel and training younger women to do the same, of younger women recognizing the value of older women in their lives—of women adorning the gospel together—is vital for all of us to thrive. Living our lives as Titus 2 women enables us to fulfill the purpose for which we were created. It helps our families and churches to flourish and the beauty of the gospel to shine forth in our world.

Like Nancy said, the Titus 2 calling is not a solo act. We need each other. Ask the Lord to direct you to an older friend or mentor who will speak truth and faith into your life. Consider walking with her through Nancy’s new book, Adorned. We’re giving away a copy right here on the blog! Just log on to the giveaway widget below for your chance to win.

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About Author

Leanna Shepard

Leanna began serving on staff with Revive Our Hearts in the summer of 2014. Though originally from Arkansas and now residing in Michigan, her citizenship is in heaven, having been adopted as daughter of the King at age ten. She loves a cup of hot tea with a good book, experimenting in the kitchen with a new recipe, and cheering for the St. Louis Cardinals.

HEY, GIRLS! We love hearing from you, but feel limited in the ways we can help. For one thing, we’re not trained counselors. If you’re seeking counsel, we encourage you to talk to your pastor or a godly woman in your life as they’ll know more details and can provide you with ongoing accountability and help. Also, the following comments do not necessarily reflect the views of Revive Our Hearts. We reserve the right to remove comments which might be unhelpful, unsuitable, or inappropriate. We may edit or remove your comment if it:

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  • Hannah S

    To make God’s love and truth visible and believable, I think it comes down to being more and more loving in the way you talk about others, both to their face and behind their back and the way you serve them, especially in ways that they will not know about. God’s spirit gives us so many gifts of kindness, faithfulness, gentleness etc and these will be shown by constantly loving and serving every single person we come into contact with on a daily basis, and guarding how we speak about them in every circumstance.

  • Emma

    When we grow to be more like Christ, he is seen through us. A person may not see that it is Christ in the way I am acting, but will see I am handling things differently and wonder why. This can open up an opportunity to share the gospel with them. Even if they don’t ask about salvation, I still have duty to represent the church and Christ, because I am the church and a child of God.

  • Gloria Umogbai

    “Let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ.” Phillipian 1:27. To portray God’s love to others, begins with our conduct. How we talk to people, how we relate with people. In our daily lives we must live like Jesus, because Jesus loved. He loved regardless of a person’s physical and mental states, regardless of their beliefs, regardless of their background. We are called to love like He did. Accept everyone, lend a helping hand, forgive people and many more! We are called to reflect the light and life of Jesus! “Let your light so shine before Him, that they may see your good works and glorify your father in Heaven.” Matthew 5:16 To convince those who are skeptical may be challenging but it all comes down to unconditional love, we have to keep loving and loving them. Eventually, they will begin to question who we are, and why we love so much! However, it is also very important to note that, “(Paul) planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase…” ! Corinthian 3:6-8. Thus, we should play our role, pray for them, and leave the rest to God to give the increase. Grace and Peace

  • Tiana

    To make God’s love visible and believable, we need to show unconditional love to others around us. As my pastor always says: “Preach the Gospel, and if necessary, use words”.

  • Tellie Paquette

    So true.

  • Rose

    When we walk as Jesus walked, loved as Jesus loved, and did the will of the Father as Jesus does, then I believe that that is how we can make God’s love and truth visible, believable, and beautiful.

  • Abby

    This is so beautiful! I love Nancy’s writing, and she speaks such candid, frank truth. May we grow to be more like our Savior and glorify Him as we love the church family He has given us. And thanks, LYWB, for speaking truth into my life every day. I love seeing the posts pop into my inbox with a fresh dose of Godly wisdom!

  • Sarah

    We can make His love and truth visible and believable by being that love and truth and beauty that they can see. By loving one another; verbally affirming and speaking truth to others; by showing care that reflects the beautiful love of Christ ☺

  • Showing patience and kindness to others is a way in which we may show our love in Christ.

  • NothingWithout You Lord

    As I read the excerpt, my heart was deeply touched because this is a subject very close and dear to me. Something I can relate to and often asked God about in prayer. I loved it!

  • Paula

    Thank you for giving away such great resources. I hope who ever wins this book will be blessed by it.

  • setapartforchrist

    Oh yay!!!! This is going to be such a good book!!!!!

  • Savannah

    Sounds like a great book we just finished going through Lies Young Women Believe and the Truth that Sets them free with my girls Bible study and are looking for another book

  • Cheyenne Brubacher

    This was a really good read! A way to show our love for God would be to love those around us like family and friends and to show it by giving complements or giving cards that tell how much we appreciate them.

  • Pam Espinosa

    Oh this is such a grat book!!!

  • Elizabeth

    This book sounds amazing! I am hoping to get it soon so I can read it and learn lots!
    Thank you for all your great resources and blogs out there!

  • Pam

    This book exposes God’s good and perfect plan for women in a profound and practical way.

  • Hannah grace

    Smile a lot and be polite ,

  • Leah

    A good attitude can go a long way to display God’s love, and potentially open up doors to be able to share the gospel.

  • Emily

    Wow! What an amazing way to put it! The Lord really softened your heart 🙂 thanks for sharing that blessing

  • Melissa

    Great discussion, and would love to read more of the book! A simple smile can make someone’s day.

  • Lily

    This sounds like a book I need to read. The only problem is finding a mentor to do this with.

  • Ruth

    Lily God will send you a mentor, excited for the giveaway😱💗

  • Victoria

    I’m still hoping to get this book to do with my beautiful mentor! One way I spread His love and His truth visible, believable, and beautiful to skeptical observers is by being confident of who God made me to be and who I am in Him, especially when I’m around younger girls. I also try not to say things that don’t reflect God’s love.

  • Charis Chen

    This sounds like a book I would really love to read with my girlfriends!

  • Being willing to be a smiling face among all the ruckus of life. Even acting civilized towards a Wal-Mart worker could make their day.

  • A~

    By serving cheerfully when doing the little unappreciated things!

  • Sophie Olsinski

    That looks like an amazing book!

  • Elisabeth McCurdy

    I just started reading Lies Young Women Believe and I totally wish I had Adorned so I could start reading that book too!

  • Eva Hu

    Thank you for bringing up the importance of women being mentors to one another!

  • Aubri Guinyard

    We can make God’s divine love and beauty visible in our lives by making a choice to be the light wherever we are and walking in the spirit, versus our flesh. As we radiate with God’s love, others can not only see it but also feel it!

  • Sarah

    Wow! Thank you so much for all the work you all put in. It truly pays off even when you don’t see it 🙂

  • K. King

    I stumbled upon this blog and book giveaway when my husband sent me a podcast to listen to. I have since forwarded the podcast to several women in my community 🙂 Thank you for this!