Reforming Marriage
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Reforming Marriage

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  773 ratings  ·  89 reviews
How would you describe the spiritual aroma of your home? The source of this aroma is the relationship between husband and wife. Many can fake an attempt at keeping God's standards in some external
Paperback, 148 pages
Published February 1st 1995 by Canon Press
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Camille K.
Meh. I really don't understand the rave reviews. It's okay. It's not as horrible as the stuff that comes out of CBMW, but he doesn't go far enough with the notion of Covenant marriage, imo.

I'm willing to accept and assert the notion of "male headship," but most of the authors that insist upon the idea are stuck in an earlier decade. Wilson is stuck in an earlier century. He makes the man/husband/father the center of the home, not Christ, and as a result he offers a very egocentric ethic on marri...more
Scott Johnson
Robyn and I first read Reforming Marriage as newlyweds, or maybe while we were engaged. I can't remember now, but I do recall finding this book on marriage a useful guide to the biblical teaching on the subject. And having recently began pre-marital counseling with a certain couple, and having asked them to read the book, I thought it would be wise to go through it again.

I still find this a clearly-written and overall helpful book on marriage. I recommend it with only a few reservations. The boo...more
"Reforming Marriage" as in Reformed Theology, which I don't adhere to. The author has made some excellent points in the first few chapters, but overall I find him very harsh on the male sex. Probably because he feels at liberty to give it straight to other men because he is one himself. That's how his (rather overt) tone comes across to me. I've been reading this with my husband and it only leaves him feeling downtrodden. I am left feeling embarrassed. It's definitely not good for bedtime readin...more
No I'm not married and yes this book was tremendously helpful.

Some chapters were great wisdom on handling any relationship; some chapters were excellent theological clarification; and some chapters were helpful to help pave direction as a single man.

All in all, great book. I'm finding more and more how much I love and appreciate Wilson's style, and I'm even beginning to think that if he wrote a book on shoveling snow, this snowless Texan would probably read it. I look forward to more.
Not a typical marriage book. It is hard-hitting, unapologetic and contains conclusions that will upset many contemporary views on marriage. While I didn't agree with Doug on all of his viewpoints, nevertheless the book was a refreshing overview of a far more Biblical view of marriage.
Brett Mclaughlin
I picked this book up as potential supplemental reading to another marriage book I'm using for some counseling, Sacred Marriage: Celebrating Marriage as a Spiritual Discipline. Douglas Wilson is a well-known reformed author, and I knew I wouldn't get "5 steps to happiness" or "7 tips for great loving."

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 wi...more
In this book Douglas Wilson sets aside prevailing cultural standards and boldly addresses the Biblical standard of Christian marriage and the roles of Christian husbands and wives. He discusses headship and authority, different responsibilities or roles to be fulfilled in marriage, love, forgiveness, differences between men and women, pornography, faithfulness, bearing children, divorce, etc.

A chapter is devoted to the "roles" of a husband and a wife. They each have different roles, but one is n...more
Two things first:
1. If you don't believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God, then this would not be a good book for you to read.

2. This is a book to chew up the meat and spit out the bones.

I think that overall Douglas Wilson has a good, Biblical view on WHY a marriage should look the way he suggests. However, I do think there were a couple (not all) of places where he misused scripture. I also think he falls very short of HOW a marriage should practically work. There were also many places...more
Adam T Calvert
This is a great book by a great author. Wilson, as always, keeps you engaged with what he's saying as well as teaches you important truths from Scripture or Biblical principles.

This book will not sit easy with anyone who has grown attached to what American culture says marriage (and manhood and womanhood) is. Even for "conservatives" this book might have some pretty piercing insights which on the surface will seem hard to swallow. Yet with Bible in hand it will be pretty difficult to argue with...more
Kara Kirby
I do not care for Wilson's style. He does not reach out to the struggling in a way that gives hope, nor does he leave room for intelligent disagreement on secondary issues. He excels in firing up the Reformed base, has a good hold on part of the truth (mutually sacrificial love under Christ), but lacks in presenting the beauty, poetry, mystery, absurdity, and joy of marriage. Or in the words of my husband, "He's got logic, but he ain't got no telos." There is a focus on specific roles, but witho...more
Jul 22, 2011 Jimmy added it
This book is a breath of fresh air. One of Doug Wilson's gift is the ability that God has given him to craft his writing in a witty and interesting way. Combine that with the biblical principles Wilson presents, the book proves to be an edifying read, one that is hard to put down. Though it is short in length, it is pack not only with biblical insight but also God-given wisdom of a married couple who has been there, and APPLIED that. A highlight in the book is the theme of the biblical role of h...more
I wanted to love this book because it had come so highly recommended from multiple people. But both my fiance and I found it frustrating and unhelpful in many ways. Wilson makes statements without backing them up and uses "proof texts" that are just blatantly misused. I wanted to be able to agree with him and understand where he was coming from, but he just didn't give true explanation or evidence. I wanted practical pointers and tips, but he just flew from assertion to assertion. It's such a sh...more
Nathan Shaver
Solid. This book confronts our egalitarian culture's view of marriage and family with Biblical truth. After crushing our presuppositions, Wilson winsomely rebuilds on a solid foundation and restores gospel sanity. Men should read and pray through this book with their Bibles open.
Jul 08, 2008 Rob marked it as shelved
Shelves: marriage
So far a good read. It has worked best that I read this with my wife so that we can discuss the key points or particular items that make an impression on each of us individually.
Why don't more pre-marital counselling sessions include book reading? I guess that's contingent upon the "right" books being reccommended. Also, I think I have heard to read the book separately and then talk about what we read. I think it is much easier to just read the book together and talk about it as we go along. As...more
Jason Schaitel
This book has had more impact on my day to day life than any book, other than the Bible of course. This book, at its core, is showing how the essense of Christianity is love God with all thy heart, soul and strength, and thy neighbor as thyself. And in order to love thy neighbor (your spouse being your closest neighbor) rightly you must do the former, which is love, and obey God. A quote from the book is something to this effect "a mature christian will always be a mature husband/wife". It is im...more
Jonathan Ballou
I give this five stars especially because it is what it claims to be. It is exposition of the scriptures for the purpose of bending our marriages back to what the Bible teaches they should be. It is not an enjoyable read, in the sense of reading for pleasure, or comic relief for your marriage to limp through another day. Rather, it tests the the strength of every aspect of marriage, then applies the truth needed to brace the weaknesses. It is written for profound change of perspective. In contra...more
Great book! Definitely a different perspective on marriage than the world's view, but it's the Biblical view. I highly recommend reading before marriage.
Abe Goolsby
My wife and I have read a few books on marriage together and attended various marriage enrichment seminars over the years, but this one book has been more valuable to our marriage than all of them put together. This book is a pointed and straightforward examination of the fundamental aspects of a healthy, biblical marriage, and included in the examination are at least a couple of topics which modern expositors and counselors would very much prefer to soft-pedal or dodge altogether. As such, it i...more
Good practical advice and solid doctrine about marriage. Helpful.
I don't remember when I first read this, but I noted in 2006 that I was on my third or fourth time either listening to or reading it, and that I would do well to read this book annually. This is one of those books that is dense with pithy statements and spiritual truth about marriage. One of Wilson's observations is the "nice guy syndrome" where men think that successful marriage only requires us to be nice guys. Sadly, this may get you married, but that's about it. Time to read it again!
Moses Operandi
This book is hard medicine to take. By which I mean that a Christian marriage as Doug Wilson presents it is one of the hardest things a man and a woman can do, and almost every marriage I can think of (I'm single), needs this book's grounded Biblical doctrine.

BUT: I find Wilson's writing style rather unsympathetic, and I agree with some of the other reviews: certainly most of this is hard Biblical doctrine, but some of it is merely clinging to the social customs of an earlier time.
This was very helpful. A quick and enjoyable read as well.
Ryan Adair
I absolutely loved this book. Whether or not you agree with everything Wilson says, one thing is true, he has thought about what he writes and it will cause you to think as well. This is such an important book for men to read so they can lead their families the way God has called them to lead. This is definitely one I'm going to pick up again in a few months to mine some more gold from.
Tim Woody
This was one of my favorite books on marriage. Not only does Douglas Wilson provide exegetical support for his view of marriage but offers very practical advice for marriage. His view of the roles of man and women in marriage sets a high bar and is something Ill have to visit again to challenge myself. Wilson always provides an entertaining writing style and is very enjoyable.
Although this book is written from a much more conservative stance than I typically believe in, I really enjoyed and agreed with the majority of the book. However, when I got to the very end, many statements were made without much rationale and it somewhat soured me t on the book. Regardless of the end though, I enjoyed it and would recommend it.
There were a couple ideas which I disagreed with or thought impractical, but overall this was an excellent book. He focused mainly throughout the book on the husband's part in the marriage, and I wish he had gone more into the wife's part.
Primarily directed at husbands, fleshes out the implications of Ephesians 5 in marriage. One of the most personally challenging books I've ever read. It's Wilson, so it's well written, funny, and has some weird stuff at the end. I would recommend it to any man wondering what it means to be the head.
Chad Gray
A really helpful book on a topic with tons of garbage "Christian" books to wade through. Wilson provides a sound theology of marriage with solid applications. He also gives a lot of practical, counter cultural advice on having a biblical, Christ-centered, covenantal, joyful home. Recommended!
Brian Johnson
Good book! I thoroughly enjoyed reading Wilson's book. It was engaging as well as challenging. Most books on marriage leave me with an unidentifiable taste in my mouth, a feeling that there is something missing. But that was not true of Reforming Marriage. I will need to read this book again.
Rebecca Lewitt
interesting and a good, rigorous exposition of the scriptures on marriage. Not terribly entertaining or really even too much new information, but it is well written, not boring, and quite informative. It is nice to have the information all in one place and fully exposited.
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I write in order to make the little voices in my head go away. Thus far it hasn't worked.
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