Addressed to men, 'Fidelity' hits hard, using clear language, focusing on specific sins with specific solutions: adultery, divorce, polygamy, celibacy, pornography, and more. But in the end, the antidote to all sexual temptation is simple - the godly honoring of the marriage bed.
The very first Douglas Wilson book I read. Reading it again years later, it is just as helpful. A book on sexual faithfulness is often so bland as to be unhelpful, in particular in our porn saturated age where most of us were exposed to deviant sexual acts at a young age. Wilson with the type of straightforward teaching he is known for dives into various sexual perversions and tells us how to think about them Biblically. Two things about the book are worth mentioning.
First, he covers just about everything. The only subject that I do not remember coming across was bestiality. He covers rape, prostitution, masturbation, divorce, celibacy, as well are your typical subjects of adultery and fornication.
Second, Wilson saw almost twenty years ago where our culture was heading. Of course you see this in his chapter on sodomy. But you also see this in his chapters on polygamy and celibacy both of which have become more mainstream over the last ten years.
This book is not for everyone. But if you want to think more carefully about the sexual perversions in our culture and the sometimes unbiblical response to them Wilson's book is a great place to start.
I liked that the author drew heavily on Scripture for his convictions. He is at times witty, and he is always sure of what he writes.
Poignant Quotes: "To meditate on our position in Christ is one preventative measure, and to consider the fleeting nature of sexual immorality is another."
"Christian men are to be fully satisfied at home."
"Notice here that lusts are not just wrong, they are deceitful liars. The endless pleasure promised is not delivered, and the pain and heartache that follows was never mentioned."
"We must learn the value of discipline and suffering."
"A man cannot buy a whore for himself because he has no ownership claim on anything. If he purchases a woman, he can only do it as a delegate, with someone else's money."
"The stories of the Bible are given to us so that we might take warning."
"Obedience to the law [of God] is never a matter of external conformity; it is a question of heart loyalty."
"We tend to think of adultery as getting away from God, when it is actually being captured by Him so that He might display His abhorrence of the sin by judging the one who fell into it."
"A second godly motive [for avoiding adultery] is the simple desire for salvation."
"Certainly an adulterer is worthy of death; a man who will betray his wife will betray anyone and anything."
"A third motive [for avoiding adultery] is the love of a good wife."
"One of God's provisions against sexual temptation is good sex with a good wife."
"Many snares wait for the unwary. Happily married men do not wake up one morning and decide they are going to commit adultery that day. Particularly with Christians, the consummation of infidelity usually comes as the last in a series of mild compromises and unobtrusive self-deceptions."
"A man has no good reason for cultivating a close personal friendship with a woman who is not his wife or a close relative."
"Polygamy cannot be considered a sin in the same way that adultery is. It does fall short of the creation pattern, but it is a sin which can be culturally tolerated until the leaven of the gospel causes it naturally to disappear."
"Put simply, this means that the church should forbid leadership to polygamists and reluctantly tolerate membership for polygamists."
"Sin is defined by what the law of God says we must do or not do and not by what we say we think we are able to do."
"...his problem is a lack of self-control, and what he really needs to learn is biblical sexual discipline [in reference to a bisexual man vs. an effeminate man]."
"One reason for discouraging it is that a single man who has masturbated habitually for years before getting married is really not preparing himself for a sexual relationship with a woman. Masturbation is lousy preparation for genuine lovemaking."
"Sexual self-control is a work of the grace of God. Secondly, what the Bible teaches about sex and lust should be studied and memorized."
"...a man should not ever look at images which could serve as lustful fuel at any time."
"Lastly, he should know when he is most vulnerable and take steps to limit his time in those situations."
"One man is to be given the pleasures and duties of loving a wife, and another man is set free from the cares and distraction of caring for a wife."
"It is also different from the individual who is celibate from necessity - unmarried, not because of dedication to Christ, but unmarried because a lack of self-control in his life has managed to create a loser that no self-respecting woman would want to marry."
"...the Bible teaches that some men may be called to celibacy, eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom, but they should make sure they are fully settled in their own minds. Others, in the providence of God, are temporarily celibate, and even though they do not have the "permanent" gift, grace is available to them to live pure celibate lives until the time God calls them to marriage. For the rest, they should get serious about finding a godly Christian wife to sleep with."
"But beyond the honeymoon period, biblical eroticism requires discipline and hard work. An undisciplined man does not want to be troubled by such labors..."
"It is his responsibility to go one of two directions - either to learn that his desire is wrongheaded and needs to be dropped or to teach his wife how she may meet it."
"Simply put, if a man is not hard working, responsible, diligent, courageous, and protective, then he should not act like he is in the bedroom."
"A man who treats his wife with careful patience will enjoy enormous sexual dividends."
"Put another way, the fact of marriage does not automatically sanctify anything that might go on in a marriage bed. The limits propriety are set by Scripture, and not by the consent of the parties."
"Christian lovemaking is to be distinct from ungodly lovemaking."
"Nature itself teaches us what is a sexual organ and what is not. A woman's mouth is not fundamentally different than another man's, and it is not the organ for receiving seed. Passionate foreplay may be, and frequently should be, very intense. But is should end with the man inside woman, naturally."
"In order to satisfy a man, a woman should be mentally and emotionally prepared for frequent lovemaking."
"It is easy to get men to lust after women they do not respect. And it is easy to get men to respect women they do not desire. The hard part, the part requiring sexual discipline, is learning how to respect a woman as a genuine lady, a class act, and yet, after thirty years, to want to lay her down even more than he did the first time. That is hard to do, and it cannot be accomplished if the woman keeps dressing up like a sexual clown."
"In order to satisfy a man, a woman must study him."
"First, if she doesn't understand, the reason is that she has not been taught by her husband. The responsibility for her "ignorance" is not hers. Secondly, the husband who says this conveniently overlooks the fact that he doesn't understand her temptations whenever he uses pornography in some way. A wife is, and ought to be, threatened by it."
Application: Renewed mindset on sexuality Life Mission: Know God - Love God - Love people - love my wife by remaining virgin and increasing in holy sexuality Be like Christ - Make disciplemakers -
This book is a MUST for every man, married or single. Doug Wilson pulls no punches as he exposes the weight of sexual temptation plaguing men, but provides biblical responses, means and strategies to overcoming them. He emphasizes God's love for biblical sexuality as well as God's hatred of distorting it, all in the context of hope and encouragement. You will learn more about the nature of sexual temptation, the danger of sexual temptation and the keys to overcoming it, falling more in love with your spouse, and seeing her as not just a help-mate, but your glory and covering. Highly recommended for every Pastor to go over with their men.
Must read! Thoroughly enjoyed Doug’s approach to this topic of being a “one-woman man”. Direct and biblically-minded throughout all of the topics. Packs a serious punch! Will definitely be reading this again at some point!
Quite good - will certainly recommend this book to others. I’ve encountered more than a few young men who are confused about sexual issues because of the python-esque platitudes of pearl-clutching evangelicals. Wilson eschews such prudish prevarication and presents plain, practical, and potent wisdom. The alliteration was unintentional. At first.
A clear rebuke and encouragement for sexual fidelity. This book is my first to recommend to any man who can't seem to put a finger on their sin, and especially to those who are wary of the Evangelical "purity culture".
So good. One of the big problems plaguing decent Christian kids is that nobody (parents, pastors, teachers) actually explains these things because they’re so earthy. How do you deal with pornography? What does sexual discipline look like? Is oral sex okay? This book is how to talk about it.
Audio. Though Doug covers many different topics in this book, I appreciate his focus on the the main issue that, no matter what the topic is, there needs to be a heart of faithfulness to God. This is a must-read for any Christian male that wants to know what faithfulness looks like, especially for living in society today.
Updated Review 2019: Canon Press had me read this out loud for a forthcoming audiobook version. It was great to go back and review this material and I was reminded of how full of uncomfortable sexual language is in it. But all extremely practical and helpful. Still a must read for every man.
Review 2016: Every dude should read this book. Super convicting, super encouraging, and thoroughly biblical (as usual). Wilson at his best.
Hard-hitting straight talk. Every young man in high school should read this. Cuts to the chase, and holds a strong understanding of what is actually going on with sexual sin and sexual righteousness.
2022 Reread: Yeah, really sobering and sharpening. Pastor Wilson is just that, a pastor, and the care he takes to work through this pieces shows a lot of experience and wisdom. Puts some great focus into what you should be doing. M
Wilson addresses several uncomfortable and awkward topics in this book. However, if you're a man, then you need to know what the Bible has to say about these topics. In order to think like Christians, we cannot close our eyes and plug our ears every time an uncomfortable section of the Bible, or life, comes up.
Not only do we need to cover these topics for ourselves, but we need to serve our sons by being men and teaching them what the Bible says about these things. We cannot abdicate our responsibility as Christian parents by handing the sex talk off to the public schools. We cannot leave our children stranded to the advice of secular therapists and Google. We need to be seeped in the Word of God in regards to all things and teach our children to adhere to what He says.
I wish I had the wisdom of this book when I was in my teen years, but alas. Now there can be prayer that the Lord would redeem the bumbling years. How many times have we heard our behavior is a sin but we’re not given the tools - and wonder filled worldview - to appropriately deal with it?
What I like about this book is that Doug Wilson is razor sharp towards the men while maintaining a gloriously high view of women. Rather, husbands and wives, but it is worthwhile for those not married. Even if you are not struggling with fidelity, our world is, and our young men will. This book is a great resource for mentors and mentees who both desire to be sharpened against iron. Make sure to read “How to Exasperate Your Wife,” too.
Um livro de leitura absolutamente necessária tanto para homens casados, quanto para os que almejam o matrimônio. Sem delongas, e sem "rodeios" Douglas Wilson trata de assuntos espinhosos, e que por falta de certos cuidados vêem se tornando motivo de grande tropeço para jovens solteiros e homens casados. Apesar de não oferecer uma "receita pronta" de como vencer determinadas práticas, Wilson por meio de um direcionamento bíblico aponta bons caminhos para vencer práticas imorais de cunho sexual, que na sociedade atual, tem levado milhares de homens a decadência espiritual e moral. Leia tudo deste homem!!
The book that landed Wilson in controversial waters a few years back when it was found that the book described intercourse as male conquest of the female. But the book's sins go further than this, advocating for appalling sexual advice, including discredited theories about aids (he cites conspiracist Peter Deusberg), and chapters offering profound and shocking misreadings of texts regarding pornography, premarital and extramarital sex, and LGBTQ issues (to the surprise of no one). About the only shock in the book is his admitence that the Bible doesn't prohibit masturbation (p. 109), though he lays on so many nuances as to make it essentially prohibitive in actual lived experience.
As DW writes- “The point in this book has not been to talk about sex unnecessarily. The Bible addresses this, and so must we. Because we as Christians have not gone to the Bible for our answers, we have found ourselves in the midst of a pagan culture which does not hesitate in its attempts to seduce us, and we for some reason have decided amongst ourselves to never talk about what they are doing to us. This, as the consequences show, is a recipe for disaster.”
Wilson delivers top shelf spirits to embolden the masculinity of our culture that is currently atrophied.
This is a an "Art of War" for the sexual battles of men. The evaluations strike right on target and leave readers with no option but to follow or flee. The author has in mind the glories of sex according to created order rather than according to creaturely desire.
When this wisdom is followed, the only difficulty will be holding oneself back from becoming a bard of the frolics in the marriage bed.
I appreciate the straight forward nature of the book. Too often books on the subject are like clouds and wind without rain. That is to say they promise biblical help on the topic but never deliver and end up only darkening the subject instead of shedding more light.
Not so with this book. Wilson has wit and humor but never without taste and never to skip around something that might be awkward to say.