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Reforming Marriage

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  1,718 ratings  ·  194 reviews
Reforming Marriage does what few books on marriage do today: it provides biblical advice. Douglas Wilson points to the need for obedient hearts on the part of both husbands and wives. Godly marriages proceed from obedient hearts, and the greatest desire of an obedient heart is the glory of God. "You'll never be able to think of marriage in the same way again." -J.K. Walker ...more
Paperback, 148 pages
Published February 1st 1995 by Canon Press
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Average rating 4.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,718 ratings  ·  194 reviews

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Josiah Richardson
Dec 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: marriage
This book gets a really bad rep. Whenever I talk to people about Wilson, many of them point to his views on marriage as their knife to the jugular of the argument against him. This is supposed to be what makes him vilified.

I didn't see any of that in this book.

At. All.

I'm not a Wilson apologist. He and I have several key disagreements. But when he's right, he's right.

In fact, this is one of the most practical and important books I've read on marriage -- ever. It's really easy to write a book on
Camille K.
Mar 18, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Hollie D
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent. Wish I read this years ago.
Aaron Ventura
Nov 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Of all the books on marriage out there this is the first one I would recommend. Outstanding.
Feb 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
Really good. I listened to the audio version on the Canon App.
David West
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another good book by Doug Wilson. Although not my favorite by him, it is nonetheless a good book. Wilson can bite and be gracious at the same time. His writing cuts away the meat and gets to the bones of an issue with minimal words. In this work, Wilson paints a picture of marriage informed by Scripture and not by the society around us. He is politically incorrect but Scripturally faithful.
David read this to me and it took a long time but we had many good discussions on each chapter.

2019 A book you own but have never read.
John Boyne
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent little book on marriage. I read the whole book on a long plane flight and enjoyed every page. I especially appreciated how closely the author compared the relationship of Christ to the church and the husband and wife relationship. If we all took our marriages that seriously, there would be a lot fewer unhappy marriages and divorces in the world. I definitely recommend this book especially to younger couples.
Jul 22, 2011 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
Korey Daniel
Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow, it's going to take me a while to recover from that read. This book is convicting, stuffed full of wisdom, and has changed so much of my thinking. Praying God grants me the heart change to apply it! ...more
Abi Kunene
Jun 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Sometimes marriage books can seem a bit repetitive. Not the case with this one. Doug Wilson has a way of showing things from a different perspective, and in helpful new ways. When it was good, it was SO good. Also, when we disagreed, we strongly disagreed. (Pg 32-33, oh 55-57 for two examples).

There are two specific weaknesses. First, it is written mostly to husbands, and has little specific instruction to wives. Nevertheless, the broad principles and concepts I found quite helpful. Secondarily,
Oct 10, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: marriage
Important theological take on marriage. Considers all that the Bible says about marriage and men and women, with a straight face. Read it with a group of guys and it generated much discussion and strong feelings.
Kofi Opoku
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Lots of good stuff in here.
Kara Kirby
Mar 11, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Sep 22, 2011 rated it it was ok
"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
Eric Sauder
Jan 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Re-read this with my wife...still great.
Rachel Schultz
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
First read (2014): loved

Second read (2019): unparalleled
Bambi Moore
Nov 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: home-and-family
Read this in 2007 and it was even better this time around.
Josh Simons
May 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
When I first heard Douglas Wilson on marriage, I pushed away from it. There had been plenty of authoritarian “leaders” around who modeled headship in controlling and manipulative of their wives, and so in an overreaction, i lumped Doug Wilson in with them. One whiff of “complementarianism” and I heard that a wife is just to do what her husband tells her to do. I was tired of marriage books, and it was eventually asking myself the question, “How does Christ love his bride?” that began to bring cl ...more
Linda Mock
Aug 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Possibly the single most helpful book, on marriage, ever written.
Tyler Box
Oct 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book
Jonathan Greathouse
A must read married and engaged Christians!

Reforming Marriage is a masterpiece and one of the best books on the biblical roles in the family. Wilson speaks boldly on the roles in the family and gives great scriptural support and explanation. This book is sadly a rare jewel on the subject from many other marriage books in the book store (even among Conservative Christianity). This is a must read for anyone considering marriage and of course married couples.
Micah Kramer
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology, marriage
This is what I was hoping The Federal Husband would have been.
Practical, to the point, and straight out of scripture.
Also quite thorough in topic. By the time I finished it, I couldn't think of any area he left out. Great read.
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Considering the author's LOVELY public persona... this book is solidly more good than bad. Decent starting points and a less common "root cause" of relationship troubles. ...more
Aug 26, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Feb 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
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.
Zak Fixler
Aug 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Very helpful book on marriage from a Biblical perspective. Wilson is wonderful at taking deep theology and demonstrating how it practically works itself out. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone married, or considering marriage. My wife and I have both benefited from reading/rereading particular sections, and I keep this book handy for reference.
Julie Biles
Jul 21, 2016 rated it liked it
This is a well-written Wilson book. He clearly expresses his opinion.
My concern with this view is that he places the husband's role where only Christ should be. Christ is the head of the home, not the husband! A woman's identity is in Christ Alone. She is lost in Christ, not in her husband. She lives in the shadow of the cross.
Kenny Williams
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Taken with a grain of salt, I think Doug does a good job of dealing with how we too often are satisfied with using the cultural idea of marriage. This is an attempt to define marriage as described in Scripture. While I don't think he gets everything right, I think there is a lot of clear wisdom in here for any married or planning on getting married person. ...more
Apr 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
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I write in order to make the little voices in my head go away. Thus far it hasn't worked. ...more

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