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?
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.