- Paperback: 144 pages
- Publisher: Canon Press; Revised edition (February 1, 1995)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781885767455
- ISBN-13: 978-1885767455
- ASIN: 1885767455
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.4 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 93 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,484 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Reforming Marriage Paperback – May 10, 2012
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About the Author
Douglas Wilson is a Senior Fellow of theology at New Saint Andrews College. Wilson is the author of numerous books on education, theology, and culture, including: The Case for Classical Christian Education, Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning, Mother Kirk, and Angels in the Architecture, as well as biographies on both Anne Bradstreet and John Knox.
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More than other marriage books, Wilson's focus is Christ and His Church - the paradigm of which our marriages are but shadows. Thus, this book presupposes a regenerated reader, since all the practical advice in the world is not going to help someone with a heart of stone who does not understand sin, nor God's gracious provision for sin in Christ and the cross.
Buildling from that foundation, Wilson's book does provide much practical counsel, rooted always in God's Word, with disregard for culture or contemporary attitudes. He deals first with a basic theology of marriage, looks at headship modeled after Christ, and then lays out some of the specific duties of husband's and wives. Some of these were no surprise (husbands have to provide for their wives), while others were new to me (husbands must confirm their wives' commitments, cf Numbers 30). Next he discusses sin, and how to deal with it in marriage, always with the cross in mind. Finally, a few chapters are given to sexual relations, children, and divorce.
If you're looking for lots of practical tips and tricks, this probably isn't the book you're looking for. There are others out there, with good theology underpinning them, that are more of that orientation. But if you want a solid consideration of the theology of marriage, its covenantal nature, and how that ought to work itself out in a Christian marriage, I have never read a better one than this.
On a less substantial note, Wilson also writes well, and has quite the imagination for useful metaphors and illustrations. This books is mechanically easy to read and understand.
While I continue to think that this is best as a supplemental book, it is good material. Wilson ruthlessly insists that the husband is to worship God, not his marriage; and to head his household with respect, humility, and responsibility. I appreciate both of these views, as I believe they are most consistent with Scripture.
The book is fairly short; 144 pages. That makes it a quick read. In particular, the chapters on "Headship and Authority," "Keeping Short Accounts," and the section on Nice-Guy Syndrome in "Miscellaneous Temptations" are excellent.
For the lengths, the quality of content within that short length, and the readability, this is an easy recommendation. I continue to believe that, of what I've read, "Sacred Marriage" is the most thorough primer for marriage. This is a great text to add to that one, though.