Adorned - A Book About titus 2:1-5,10
I've just finished reading a book titled Adorned by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth. I joined with other women who attend my church in reading it. In fact, we’ve formed a Women's Book Club and have been reading both fiction and non-fiction titles. Our only requirement is that they are all considered to be Christian books. If there are any guys reading this, before you check out on me just yet, I'd like to share an insight that I heard a man share recently which reinforces what God's Word already says.
The subject of this book was the second chapter of Titus. Now if you're anything like me, your first thought is how can someone write an entire book on just one chapter of the Bible? In fact, the book is written specifically on verses 1-5 and 10. I confess, I wasn't drawn to this book at first. Additionally, I'm not so sure I would've picked this one up on my own. To be honest, I probably loathe this section of scripture about like I do Proverbs 31. Loathe is probably the wrong word, but these sections of scripture are a couple I feel I’ll never achieve. Thank the Lord, I didn’t let that ‘ole nagging feeling take over and went ahead and read Adorned.
I'm so thankful for other people in our church, who when God puts something in their hearts to share, resulting in the rest of us getting blessed by their obedience.
Okay, so back to what I heard a man say about Titus 2 recently.
"Titus 2 is not just written to women."
Wait, what?! He's right, you know. It's not.
Look at the very beginning...the first two verses of Titus 2:
You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine.2 Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. Titus 2:1-2
then again speaking to men in verses 6 - 8....
6 Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. 7 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8 and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us. Titus 2:6-8
We've been discussing relationships in our church-wide Connection Group studies with Life on Mission. Has it ever occurred to you how important relationships are to God? (you can go ahead an insert a big DUH here) No, seriously? Without relationship what's our purpose? With our relationships with Jesus being the most important, our entire lives are built around them. Our mission is dependent on them. Not only with making disciples, but with others in the family of God (read Titus 2 again). Back to the subject at hand...how then, can we teach, mentor or disciple others without a relationship? You can't just go up to acquaintances or strangers and begin instructing them...that just isn't going to fly with anyone.
Picture these scenarios with Titus 2 in mind
The bible thumping approach
1. You and I approaching any person, tipping their heads back, and we begin just stuffing them with the Bible not caring in the least if they're choking...they begin to fight us off...running as fast as they can to get away from us. Or worse yet, we proclaim to be Christians, but our actions and words don't line up with that. Look at verse 8: and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.
The What Would Jesus Do Approach
2. You and I just being ourselves with strangers. Just being "normal." Yes, with all our quirks and imperfections. Doesn't that take the pressure off? It's God's job to get someone's attention...not ours. He's in control. He just asks us to be present. To extend friendship. To simply love people. Taking our time getting to know them and them us. Living our lives for Jesus, through Jesus...in front of them...regularly. You know what often happens with this approach? They willingly open up and ask us to begin to feed them the Bible.
The Me, Myself and I Approach
3. Sadly, there’s a third scenario here. You and I isolating ourselves. Oh, we might attend church and “do” all the things that go along with that, but we don’t intentionally ask God to show us who He’s put in our lives that He wants to use us to mentor or build a relationship with. In fact, all we probably need to do is wake up and snap out of it because these people are right in front of us every day. God has called us to make disciples. He’s instructed us in Titus 2 to teach one another. We can’t do that without relationships…we can’t do that if we’re keeping to ourselves and just going about the motions of Christianity…which could be argued is not Christianity at all…let’s save that for another time shall we?
Don't get me wrong, there is a time and a place to share the Gospel right from the first meeting with someone. And I believe if we're in sync with the Holy Spirit...we're not going to wonder if any given moment is one of those times. Don't let the enemy beat you up either way.
Titus 2 and Sound Doctrine
Notice also, in the very first line of the second chapter of Titus we see the words sound doctrine. I must tell you when I was reading chapter 2 of Adorned where she writes entirely about sound doctrine I was struck by this in such a profound way...and then wouldn't you know it the next Sunday that was the sermon subject. Our God is so good, isn't He? I say again, if you're practicing sound doctrine...the pressure is off...you simply just live out your life for Jesus in front of everyone.
I love how the author of Adorned, Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, takes Titus 2:1-5,10 and spends time on each part of it. I learned a great deal about Titus 2 which seems so odd to admit. She shares personal stories to help the reader better understand her point, therefore, I connect and resonate and find it easier to apply the wisdom she shares to my own life.
Although, I wouldn't necessarily recommend the book Adorned to men, I would highly recommend a little digging into the second chapter of Titus...I believe even if you've read it a thousand times, God has something new for you.
I also highly recommend this remarkable book as a small group study for women or as a book club discussion, which is what a group of women I get together with once a month for book club did. Present were women from the age of twenty to seventy-somethings. It was a very beautiful setting and I so wish I’d taken the time to snap a picture.
My last 2 cents on Titus 2 & “Adorned”
Nancy did such a terrific job, in my opinion, writing Adorned and including women of every age group. When I had the opportunity to discuss this book with women in our book club (again, ranging in age from 20 to 70 something) I learned even more about the women I share my life with and how much the message in Adorned is so necessary for us. Not just necessary…desperately needed.
I encourage you “older” women (and we’re all older than someone) to know that the younger women in your life need you, desperately. And “younger” women (and we’re all younger than someone) I encourage you to be wise enough to realize you need “older” woman as well as wise enough to recognize you’re needed by someone younger. Women, we need each other. Stop judging. Stop comparing. And start loving.
I’d love to hear if you have or are experiencing Titus 2 in your life and if you’ve read Adorned, what your thoughts are? Share your comments below.
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