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Her Hand in Marriage

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  782 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
The modern dating system is bankrupt. It does not train young people to form a relationship but rather to form a series of relationships, hardening themselves to all but the current one. Recreational dating encourages emotional attachments without covenantal fences and makes a joke of a father's authority. The disrespect children have for their fathers in this area is an e ...more
Paperback, 95 pages
Published November 30th 1999 by Canon Press (first published 1997)
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(showing 1-30)
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Judah Ivy
Jul 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
Read this the month before I began courting my now-wife-of-six-years. I was working at the Billy Graham association as an order processor and had made friends with the (then) manager of the BGEA bookstore. His name is Michael Lyman, but I called him Mike the Bookstore Calvinist, because he would stock the shelves with mostly reformed fare and always make an effort to steer me in that direction when I wandered in. I had met a young devoted christian woman (who also happened to be gorgeous) while ...more
Aug 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those who hope for matrimony.

I was first exposed to Doug Wilson when he gave a lecture at Bethlehem College and Seminary during his time in Minneapolis, MN for Desiring God's 2009 National Conference. My first impressions of Wilson were that he was a boisterously funny man with much wise counsel who had an out-dated theological approach that didn't adequately address the issues that are important to people today. I do not think I could have been more incorrect.

In Her Hand in Marriage: Biblical Courtship in the Modern World,

Daniel Eggert
Jun 08, 2011 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Reformed Christian Parents of Young (High-School) Daughters
Recommended to Daniel by: My First Girlfriend's Dad
Shelves: theology, young-adult
I was given this book as a prerequisite to dating my first girlfriend by father of said, along with another Doug Wilson book and a third by Elizabeth Elliot.

Per my old blog, at the time of reading, "I found the book to be little more than a pitched retort to Joshua Harris' very popular I Kissed Dating Goodbye emphasizing a Covenant Theological approach to semi-arranged marriage, but naively labelled "Biblical Courtship" in an attempt to make it palatable to the boy & girl."

Before you dismiss
Jonathan Seger
Jan 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Doug Wilson taught me two things thru this book. One which I assumed I would learn, and another which I hadn't the slightest I would get from a book on courting. First, Mr. Wilson introduced me to the concept of courting, which is a brand new concept to me having grown up in the modern form of dating. He gave me a lot to chew on, and I can honestly say that it only took 100 pages to convince me of the advantages of courting as well as the clear commands in Scripture on the formation of families. ...more
Andrew Nicholson
Feb 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: marriage
Once I picked this book up I couldn't put it down. I have friends who went down the courtship road and made it look dorky, and friends who set their relationships ablaze. It may seem like this is an old-fashioned approach to things, but there's a large part of me that really resonates with the wisdom in this book. If as a man I truly desire the best for the a woman I desire to marry, then why wouldn't I want to pursue her in a selfless way, in a way that maintains her protection?

If you're a sing
Oct 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Once again Doug Wilson hits a home run with this book. Here is a work that addresses Biblical courtship in the Modern world. The book is filled with Wilson's insight from Scripture, practical wisdom and instructional humor, and applicable for all who read this whether you are the guy, the girl or the parents involved with Christian courtship. I appreciated Wilson pointing out that courtship takes place with the authority of the daughter's parents which is the subject of the first chapter. As I h ...more
Mar 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
It's short and simple. The contents remind me of a bit lax version of Paul Washer's take on such things crossed with a bit of Chestertonian (i.e., humorous at times) writing.

I was impressed with this book. Doug Wilson does a good job of presenting solid principles with which to use in the dating/courting realm. And even if you disagree with his framework of courtship, there is plenty of healthy meat left in this book. He advises with balance and wisdom.

I appreciated how he talks about (after mod
Chris Comis
Feb 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: paterfamilias
Another great one by Wilson. Could use some revising though to cover those cases where a daughter has not been raised by a godly father; how should older single women who are no longer living at home approach courtship; etc. I think he actually touches on these issues, but not in depth. All around great groundwork being laid here for a bliblcal courtship model.
Reagan Ramm
Dec 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: marriage
This was a fantastic book! Therefore, prepare ye self for a long review/summary!

I've heard a lot of people talk about "Biblical courtship" but they have often failed to really give any Biblical support other than the basic Biblical principles of love and serving others, which obviously go contrary to the modern dating model with is typically about self-gratification.

The book is great from the start, opening with a fantastic introduction which I can easily relate to. Wilson lays down some ground
Lianna Scott
Feb 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My parents and I used this approach which enabled me to enter into my marriage with a a clean conscience, whole and untouched. I even had my heart all in one piece to give to my husband.
I will always treasure these gifts, because by saying "No" to temptation before marriage - it has given my marriage a better foundation to rest upon than I could have hoped for.

No person or marriage is perfect, but being pure as you approach marriage will enhance your marriage beyond what you can imagine. It will
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Mar 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Good appendix to Reforming Marriage. Reforming Marriage is the must-read book that will make you want to read all the others.

The appendix, "The Garden" is worth it's weight in gold. The pure woman says to the stranger, "My stream is made to quench the thirst, not of travelers, but of the lord of the garden...When my mother's lord gives a blessing, the one I appoint will be lord of my garden."
Carleton Raisbeck
Mar 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christianity
As a Christian who didn't grow up with 18 years or so of experiencing a good way to treat women at home, as one might have experienced growing up in a God fearing household, I found this book informative and challenging.

Pastor Wilson speaks about the different roles of men and woman when courting, marrying, and preparing their subsequent children to do the same. Those of us who do it are called to do it in a Godly way, and this book of Wilson's has helped instil in me a reverence for they way Go
Nov 30, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: relationships
This is one of the stronger arguments for courtship that I've read, but, in the end, still relies on a questionable application of the Old Testament civil law to the modern believer, which, if applied consistently, would really more make the case for betrothal than the case for courtship. In addition, one of Wilson's central arguments, that if God commands something greater, how much more does it apply to something lesser (e.g., if God gives fathers the right to deny marriage to a prospective su ...more
CJ Bowen
Jul 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Clear and provocative intro to biblical relationships. Wilson is not championing one possible method among many, but explaining the biblical principles that undergird the marriage process. These principles need to be applied differently in different situations, but cannot be ignored if God is to be honored in the way a man takes a woman to wife. Wilson articulates a vision in which a covenantal system provides freedom and protection for a young woman under the loving authority of her father, whi ...more
Christopher Goins
Oct 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
I'd recommend this book to all who are interested in Christian courtship. It is a start, even if not a final authority.

Wilson is very insightful. It is a better read a second time around. Whether he is addressing biblical adornment of women, biblical femininity or masculinity, he is clear and expounds in the Old Testament and New Testament convincingly.

I was left believing in God's wisdom for instituting marriage laws and the laws of male and female sexual purity before marriage.

Some things are
Jul 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
If you are married yourself...if you have children, especially girls, this is a must read book. My husband and I chose to read this as our children are 'growing up,' and, we needed to start exploring how this whole birdies-need-to-fly-the-nest thingy should look like for our family. We. Were. Totally. Blown. Away. As practicing Christians who had grown up in church, we felt awesomely cheated by our modern (broken) (recreational) dating system. Reading this book is our first step to recognizing, ...more
Sep 07, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: faith
I wish I had reviewed this book when I first rated it one star. If I could rate it lower I would. The author has been labeled a heretic by his own denomination. Please see

In addition the author co-wrote a book dealing with the civil war that was roundly condemned for horrible and sloppy citations. While it was probably more lazy than malicious this is unacceptable for someone trying to write history. The publishing company ceased publishing it when this b
Rebecca Lewitt
Jan 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
a basic explanation of the biblical principles behind "courtship" in the church. Very straightforward--the presentation of applicable scriptures is informative and useful--but the ideas have been more interestingly and passionately explained in other works I have read, particularly Joshua Harris' two books, I Kissed Dating Goodbye and Boy Meets Girl. However, this book is primarily addressed to parents and the others I mentioned are written mostly to young people, so for a Christian parent, this ...more
Vincent Ng
Nov 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Book about a practice that has been lost amidst the prevailing culture of the world. This book describes the biblical practice of courtship as opposed to recreational dating. Is definitely a book I would recommend to believers who are looking to enter into a marriage relationship or for parents who want to parent biblically. Her Hand in Marriage begins with the authority and role of parents, and then goes in depth regarding preparation for sons and daughters for courtship and many practical appl ...more
Alisha Bonnell
Apr 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
this book is absolutely full of wisdom!

I'm a major advocate for courtship and already know quite a bit about it - but Douglas Wilson had more thoughts about it ... as the saying goes "you learn something new every day".

in the very beginning he seems to repeat himself - however as each chapter progresses, his writing becomes clearer and solid.

I absolutely recommend this book to everyone - there is wisdom on every page.
Apr 11, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2-relational
Douglas Wilson does a fine job here of laying out exactly what Biblical courtship should look like.

He is quite against the modern form of dating and believes it to be harmful to all those involved. I wasn't persuaded until I finished the book. This book however isn't just a thesis against dating. It is a practical how-to for all those involved in the courtship process from the man to the woman to her parents.

Highly recommended for young men, women and the parents of such.
Sep 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
A very illuminating and compelling case for parents to ditch the contemporary dating paradigm and take a more hands-on, proactive role in guiding their children toward a suitable mate-for-life. The only fault I find in the work is that it leaves the reader wanting much more, especially with regard to practical application. But after all, this is one of those things that can't really be comprehended and embraced in isolation, just by reading a book—a reasonably like-minded community is required.
Jan 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was a useful concise book explaining biblical courtship. Although I strongly disagree with the author regarding the Federal vision, and its assault on the doctrine of Justification, this was a useful brief book explaining courtship, but I still prefer Voddie Baucham's book, What He Must Be: If He Wants to Marry My Daughter, as a more thorough book on courtship.
Jacob Aitken
Jul 27, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: family
Some parts are fine, as long as you realize that this should not be taken as a written in stone you must do it like this template or you are capitulating to modern culture" book.

There are problems in the modern dating scene. Unfortunately, we live in an age in which it is hard to Live like Little House on the Prairie. Some good material, but be wise in how to apply it.
Jan 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
A lovely book. Pastor Wilson does a great job of showing how a man and a woman can come together in such a way which protects them both from sin, and, therefore, gives them a more beautiful union.

Also read Winter of 2010 and Fall of 2011
Feb 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
The author does a great job of discussing the differences between the Biblical model of finding a mate versus today's cultural norms. He also clearly outlines the roles of the parents and the church. Excellent for parents of both boys and girls!
Becky Pliego
Clearly stated biblical principles on courtship. Pastor Wilson does not give a set of rules or a "paint-by-number" scheme, which is something I appreciated very much because clearly, every case is different.

Micah Lugg
Sep 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
I appreciated a book that expounded biblical principles rather than just conservative ideology. Although I didn't agree with everything, Wilson helped put some bricks into my view of dating/courtship as a believer committed to the Scriptures.
Rivka D.
Jan 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Most of this was pretty self explanatory. You have to understand that the definitions used in this book for clarification may be different than what you are used to (or expect). I think, at heart, this book is safe and reasonably helpful for those who wish to establish healthy relationships.
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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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