I always like to know a little something about an author before I sit down and open up his or her book. Today I’m excited to share about Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth’s new book, Adorned: Living Out the Beauty of the Gospel Together. Throughout the years, I’ve been richly blessed by older women who have lovingly discipled and mentored me. In Adorned, Nancy shares with wisdom and insight the importance of female discipleship in the local church. It’s a beautiful call to Titus 2 living—life on life, woman to woman, one generation to another. We need one another as we grow in our faith and we need the faithful reminders of this book. Nancy’s words will inspire you to pick up the baton of truth and pass it on to others.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Since first coming to know Jesus at the age of 4, I have had a growing passion to know, love, and serve him. I joyfully did that as a single woman until the age of 57 when the Lord brought a widower (and literary agent/author) named Robert Wolgemuth into my life. Robert and I were married in November 2015, and are loving following and serving Jesus together as husband and wife.
I speak and write out of my love for Christ and his Word; a burden to see women experience freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness in Christ; and a profound sense of my own weakness and my need for the Savior and the message I share with others.
The Lord put a burden in my heart for true revival in the church when I was a young teen. My heart for serving women in the body of Christ developed in my 20s, as I began to better understand God’s unique design and calling for women. I have often said that I love being a “wedding coordinator”—helping the Bride get ready for the Wedding!
Is writing ever difficult for you? How so?
Writing is never not difficult for me. And though I have been writing since I was a little girl, being an author is not something I ever aspired to. Every step of the writing process for me is slow, arduous, hard-fought work. I write out of a sense of compulsion and calling. I love soaking in and studying the Word. But the only part that I love about actually writing a book is pushing “send” on the completed manuscript! And . . . the sanctifying work the Spirit does in my own heart and life as I flesh out whatever it is I’m writing about. I’ve often said, “I wouldn’t do this for anyone other than Jesus!” But I gladly do it for him. And I marvel and rejoice in the way he uses these labors to minister grace to the hearts of his people.
What led you to write Adorned?
For many years I have had a growing conviction that spiritual transformation and growth best take place in the context of community and intentional, Christ-centered, invasive relationships. In 2007, I recorded a 38-part teaching series for Revive Our Hearts, walking through Titus 2:1–5 and exploring the paradigm Paul gave to Titus for discipling women in the local church. That vision has only intensified in my heart over the past decade.
Adorned was written with both older and younger women in mind. (I’ll leave it to each woman to decide which category she fits in—or both!) At the end of each chapter are a few Making It Personal questions for older women and for younger women. The book will be supported at adornedbook.com with additional questions and resources for going deeper and for small group interaction. My hope is that multi-generational groups of women will use this resource together, resulting in a greater lifestyle of organic, woman-to-woman friendships and nurturing, discipling relationships in our churches.
What’s the central message you hope readers will take away from your book?
The Titus 2 mandate is not a task to check off a list, but a way-of-life. It is not intended for some Christian women, but is a calling for all of his daughters. It is not an optional, elective program for churches to consider; it is a must, if we want to see the church not only survive but thrive in a world that is bent on snuffing out its light.
We need each other! It’s true, regardless of our age, our marital status, or how long we may have known the Lord. God has designed us in such a way that we need healthy, intentional relationships to help us become all he intends us to be, and to strengthen and equip us for each season of life. These kinds of life-to-life relationships, fueled by his Spirit, grounded in his Word, and enabled by his grace, bless us and bless others around us. They provide mutual encouragement and support in the trenches of daily life. They rescue us from purposelessness, from discouragement, and from deception and sin.
As we get older, there is a subtle temptation to want to take it easy, to retire to the sidelines and let others do the heavy lifting, to become complacent or self-indulgent—after all, we’ve paid the price, we’ve earned this break! But this is not a time to rest on our laurels or to just coast to the finish line. There are women coming behind us who need us to help them in their journey, to remind them of God’s faithfulness, and to encourage them to persevere in faith and obedience.
We may feel disqualified from investing in the lives of younger women, due to our own weaknesses, inadequacies, insecurities, or failures. But our failures can actually be stepping stones to greater fruitfulness and effectiveness. The greatest gift we have to offer other women is not our picture-perfect lives, but our testimony of God’s mercy and grace that we have received in the midst of our helplessness and need.
How has writing this book affected your own life?
I have quipped that this book about younger and older women growing together has taken so long to write that in the process I have transitioned from the young woman category to the older woman one—not to mention transitioning from being a single woman to being a married one. But in the process, I have become increasingly passionate about the relevance and the need for this message in the church today and the difference it could make in our world.
For sure, getting married mid-stream through writing Adorned provided the opportunity to experience aspects of Titus 2 more personally and deepened my understanding of what it means to live out this message as a married woman.
As I wrote this book, I was reminded of the older women God has placed in my life over the years and how much I owe to them for their investment and influence. I was also inspired to become that kind of woman in the lives of the younger women he causes to intersect my life.
Each book I write ends up confronting my own heart before it ever goes to press. Adorned was no exception. I grappled afresh with what it means to glorify God, to embrace the qualities he has set before us, and to pursue Christlikeness in each of the areas addressed in this text. Repeatedly, I found the Scripture searching my own heart, showing me my need, bringing me to repentance, and leading me to say “Yes, Lord” to the message I was laying out for other women.
Here are some quotes from Adorned:
The truth is, you’re always teaching, simply by the way you live. Your conversation in unguarded moments teaches. Your response to gossip teaches. Your reaction to an unexpected problem teaches.
Teach out of your failures. Use them to point others to the amazing grace of God and to a Savior who came to redeem sinners.
We all need people in our lives who love us enough to probe our hearts. And we need to be willing to be that kind of friend to others.
Our job is to embody the wisdom of God’s Word in such a way that we can effectively teach it to others—not just out of our notebooks, but out of our lives.
Here’s what others are saying about Adorned:
Nancy’s instruction, wisdom, and grace will challenge you to not only pray for a woman who you might call a spiritual mother, but you’ll also desire to be the type of woman others might call on—for the good of the church and to the glory of God. –Trillia Newbell, Author of Enjoy, Fear and Faith, and United
Nancy’s new book is a call for all Christian women—young and old—to live out the Titus 2 command of life-on-life discipleship. More than ever, we need women to show us how to live out the gospel in our daily life. Older women, we need you! –Christina Fox, Licensed counselor, speaker, author of A Heart Set Free
Nancy is one of the women God has used to shape me into a better reflection of Him. Her book Adorned crams a thousand coffee shop conversations about life, love, and godliness into a single, riveting book. Women in every season of life need to read it, reread it, and pass it along to the other women in their circle. –Erin Davis, Women’s ministry leader, wife, and momma
Nancy’s practical insight, ageless wisdom, and warm fervor rang like bells through my spirit as I read this book. Both like an alarm waking me and a recurring melody inspiring me to understand again how my womanhood is beautified and can blossom in a multigenerational community of women following the Lord day by day together. –Kristyn Getty, Hymn writer/singer and mother of three daughters
If you had an afternoon to do whatever you’d like, where would we find you?
This question is, of course, purely hypothetical, right?! But . . . were I to have such an afternoon, you might find me sitting in front of the fireplace cuddling and talking with my husband (we have a lot of catching up to do, having married later in life!) . . . or making a dent in a pile of books I keep nearby that I’d love to have time to read . . . or walking along Lake Michigan, hunting for beach glass (though not in February!) . . . or enjoying lunch and meaningful conversation with a woman friend . . . or cheering for some of my young women friends playing a volleyball match . . . or hosting friends for dinner on the amazing deck that my precious husband built in our first year of marriage.
Adorned comes out today—I encourage you to find a younger or older woman and read it together. You can hear more from Nancy here:
Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth loves beauty: beautiful skies, beautiful table settings, beautiful flowers, beautiful art, beautiful music, and beautiful writing. Through her books and the various outreaches of Revive Our Hearts, she seeks to shine a spotlight on the beauty of Christ and his gospel. Nancy and her husband Robert live in southwestern Michigan where they enjoy wildlife, changing seasons, and Lake Michigan sunsets—all of which move them to marvel at the goodness and grace of God.