Last night, the women of my church met to discuss the first of nine chapters in Carolyn Mahaney's wonderful book, Feminine Appeal: Seven Virtues of a Godly Wife and Mother. It's the second time I've lead the study, but the encouragement is still as applicable for me now as it was the last time.
There is nothing easy about the high calling of biblical womanhood. While happy marriages, obedient children, organized homes, and graciousness in character may be lovely and blessed byproducts of this high calling, it is not to this end that we grow and labor. The seven virtues expressed in Titus 2 are ultimately about the gospel working in us and displayed through us. It is for Christ! I'm so very thankful for Paul's admonition in Titus 2 for older women to train up younger women to:
love [our] husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to [our] own husbands
and that through these, we have the opportunity to adorn the gospel with our lives:
How sobering it is to realize that our behavior has the potential to discredit the gospel. But how exciting it is to think that we can actually commend the gospel!
As verse 10 says, we can “adorn” the gospel with our lives. To “adorn” means to put something beautiful or attractive on display—like placing a flawless gemstone in a setting that uniquely shows off its brilliance. The gospel is like the most valuable of jewels. It is the pearl of great price.
Make no mistake, by adorning the gospel, we are not enhancing or improving it. The gospel cannot be improved! But by cultivating the feminine qualities listed in Titus 2, we can present the gospel as attractive, impressive, and pleasing to a watching world.
Indeed we have family and friends looking on, observing what it is about the gospel that changes lives, that sets us apart as gospel-centered women. However, let us not miss the opportunity to adorn the gospel in our very homes--in the mission field that is our children. To love our husbands, to choose a submissive heart, to work diligently in our homes...these are ways the Lord can make the gospel of Christ attractive to our little ones, encouraging them towards the Cross.
If you'd like to read along with me, a chapter a month for the next 9 months, I'd love for you to join this conversation. I'll be posting each month as we work through these seven virtues found in Titus 2.
Rich blessings to you today in Christ!