Federal Husband
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Federal Husband

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  287 ratings  ·  41 reviews
Federal thinking is foreign to the modern mind. "Federal" has come to mean nothing more than centralized or big. Because your federal government has become so uncovenantal, it is not surprising that the original meaning of the word is lost. But federal thinking is the backbone of historic Protestant theology, and the Church needs to recover the covenantal understanding of...more
Paperback, 110 pages
Published October 1st 1999 by Canon Press
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Chris Comis
Apr 12, 2010 Chris Comis rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: All Husbands
I always recommend this book for anyone who wants to know what covenant theology applied looks like. If you don't understand why covenant theology is so important, read this book. If you want to repent of your dispensational-baptist theology, then definitely read this book. It's covenant theology coming out the finger tips.

Just re-read this with some other guys in my church. Wilson never fails to bring the heat with a whole lot of grace. Will be reading this one a few times before I die.
Absolutely love this book. It challenges me probably every day to live in greater fullness of my headship in my marriage. It's a little feisty, but even if you don't agree with everything, read it. It will make you think. Hard. It will make you a better husband and father.

Also, Wilson is a beard advocate, so what can I say against him?
Abe Goolsby
"Federal" is one of those great words which has almost been completely ruined for us. When we think "federal" we think big, bloated, out-of-touch and oppressive. We think pass-the-buck. Sadly, "federal" rightly understood means the opposite of all these things. It means "covenantal"; it means "wonderfully and organically united"; it means no more "I", "me" and "you", but rather "we". To cut right to the chase, husbands and fathers, it means that 100% of any problems that exist within your marria...more
"Husbands, love your wives as Christ loves the Church." Eph 5:25

Douglas Wilson explains what exactly that means, to love as Christ loved the Church. And one of the most important aspects of that is that a husband is the federal head of the home, the covenantal representative.

Christ, though sinless and innocent, takes 'responsibility' for the sin of His bride and lays down His life to present her spotless. Similarly, if there is a problem in a marriage, it is up to the husband to take responsibi...more
Heather Leipart
I liked this book a lot. It spurred a lot of conversation between my husband and I, and we found it to be very positive in the direction it leads families. I read it though, not him,(though he was filled in continually) and about a chapter or two in I was wondering if I wanted him to read it ...it started to come down hard on the wife's responsibilities and such, and listing gripes men have against women. Oh, that part about calling in the elders because she didn't do the dishes(I'm simlipfying...more
Ken Honken
"Federal Husband" is author Douglas Wilson's second tome on the subject of family and marriage. According to the Prologue, the impetus for writing it stemmed from two motivations: the safety in reemphasizing the themes of his first book, "Reforming Marriage" (ala Phil. 3:1), and the xenophobia of the modern mind toward covenantal (i.e. federal) thinking. Hence, in this book, Wilson considers the role of a husband from its proper federal perspective (i.e. from a covenantal point of view).

While not agreeing with everything presented herein, I found the overall trajectory of the book of great benefit. A lot of biblical reasoning about what it means to be a husband. It doesn't rely on psychology, philosophy, or anecdote like so many other marriage books I've read. Also, it calls men to genuine responsibility - not an "I'm a man and I say so" coercive leadership role but rather a servant-leader role, wherein he takes responsibility for the roles that are biblically prescribed to him...more
Very good. A solid outline of what it means to be a godly husband, starting and ending with the relationship of Christ and the Church. I thought one of the best parts was establishing what covenantal means and its implications: recognizing the husband and wife as a united entity, so they are no longer you and me, but we. Wilson also takes a critical approach to how a husband may be a truly federal head. Not by being a second 'mother' or by being a hyper-masculine bully, but by being the person r...more
Mar 28, 2013 John rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2013
This is a great, short read on covenant headship and masculinity. Wilson shows that God deals with man through covenants. Marriage is a covenant between a man and woman before God. The marriage covenant has implications that Wilson works through biblically.

Man is the covenant head within marriage--this does not mean power, but authority and responsibility. Man is accountable to God for the actions of his wife and children, and thus must intercede for them, and recognize his responsibility for s...more
Top drawer. Excellent. Encouraging, yet humbling in that I know I don't always measure up.
Zak Fixler
Helpful look at the implications, particularly for men, of covenant headship in marriage.
Ian Hammond
Doug Wilson can turn a good phrase. This book was enjoyable to read.
There is no doubt, however, due to its controversial positions and the lack of
tact that it would not ever be published apart from his own publishing company.
I would love for Wilson to make a stronger effort to persuade those who have
been hardened by secularism.

Anyway, it was a fun, short book. I probably would recommend a different book
(maybe Piper's or Beeke's) just because I would think there would be a greater
tendency f...more
Alex Suarez
I must say, this book was incredibly helpful to me. It is against destructive individualism as much as it opposes egotistical patriarchal abuses. This book was a refreshingly satisfying read for me as a husband. It is one of those books that makes you want to read more of God's word (and apply it!) - and that, with a lens that you had been missing (federal thinking). If you are looking for a good read on marriage and the family, I wholeheartedly recommend this to any man - married or unmarried.
Dec 31, 2008 Victoria rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Victoria by: Mom
Excellent book on the role of the husband in the family and scripture.
I liked how the author says most people think of responsibility in marriage being either/or when really it is Both/and. I think this is the best example I have yet to read on the subject of headship and submission. Once you really understand what it is, it's really a very attractive idea that everyone should strive for ! It shouldn't be seen as repressive but rather a liberating and empowering idea to act as God intended.
Bruce Flanagan
Incredible, I am transformd
Really good. A straightforward, biblical (and therefore counter-cultural) theology of being a husband. The basic premise is that God is a covenant-making and covenant-keeping God, and that husbands are to be like Christ is in relation to his Bride. Good stuff! A much needed antidote to the feminist/egalitarian heresy so prevalent in the culture and in the church today.

Includes a good chapter on child-rearing.
JR McCravy
In a time where the body of Christ lacks responsibility-accepting male headship more than ever before, this work is a smack to the collective noggin of husbands hiding out in their homes, too afraid or too selfish to accept responsibility for what goes on in their families. As always, DW builds a compelling case straight from Scripture. Easy 5 stars.
CJ Bowen
Great stuff. Particularly good sections on the role of women in Scripture, the role of beards in culture, a hearty condemnation of masculinism, and fatherly responsibility. The only people who should read this book are men who want to be married, men who are married, men who were married, men who go to Church with such men, and women.
A short little book, but one that doesn't waste words in conveying the older (Biblical) idea of the husband as the covenantal head of his household. These are principles for loving, sacrificial headship however, and not a concise blueprint for macho dictatorship in the domestic sphere.

Really good.

Really solid. If husbands took their roles this seriously, our churches would be vastly improved. Also, for someone as "misogynistic" as Pastor W., it sure is interesting to see how he basically puts all the weight of responsibility on the man's shoulders.
Gary Morris
This book delighted me, angered me and delighted me all over again. It was eye opening in many respects. I find myself more reflective and aware of my conventional responsibility as a husband and a father. The beginning of a journey I'd say.
Challenging but great book that I have read several times already. I saw it the other day in my car and I thought I need to read it again. My wife knows already when I am reading it because of the change that exerts upon me!
Joel Griffis
Really, really good -- not surprisingly. I don't know much about being a husband, but I'd highly recommend this one to any Christian married man. Wilson taps into so many things that are largely overlooked today.
Christopher Brehm
I enjoyed reading this book. As always Douglas Wilson is able to get the point across without using a lot of fluff. That's why I love his books they get right to the point and use scripture to back it all up.
Read this book out loud to a friend on a drive to Missouri. Great book on what it means to be a godly husband. Douglas Wilson writes eloquently, as usual, and his words are saturated with wisdom. Recommended.
Victor Chininin
An excellent work for men - those who are husbands and those preparing for the calling. A great study of how the understanding of the covenant transforms our view of marriage.
Christopher  Waugh
Effectively handles egalitarianism, and provides great teaching on the federal role of the husband. Really good.
Richard Van den broek
Really good book on the responsibilities and job of a husband according to the Bible. Well worth a read.
Dean Akin
Essential principles for the Christian husband. Very profitable. Wilson nails it yet again.
Jerid Krulish
The first half of the book is wonderful; the second half or so seems to loose some momentum.
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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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