Book Review: Reforming Marriage by Douglas Wilson

(this is long and several days in the making)

Reforming Marriage
By: Douglas Wilson
(click book cover to read an expert)

First I want to talk about some issues I think are important in a marriage, then I will get on to the book. These things are in the book at some point, but really spoke to me to speak about them.

One important part of a marriage for us is:

I trust my husband out side of the home. I don’t worry he is doing something he shouldn’t, if he is, God will convict him and deal with him. But I just don’t worry about him.

I trust him to make decisions inside the home, even if I think he might be making the wrong one, I trust him in his decisions making skills, even if I don’t agree. I trust him enough to make them and then NOT question him. He is the head of the house and I don’t believe I should be questioning his motives or why he chose “that”. I want to build up his decisions making, not tear it down. God will correct him if needed, not me.

The other thing I think is important in a marriage is:

How I treat  him:

I don’t talk back to him, well maybe sometimes, I am not perfect after all. He likes me to be more vocal so I try to be because I am not the talker or communicator of the family. I may say my opinion, and he always asks me for my opinion, but I don’t tell him what to do. I don’t raise my voice to him. I don’t throw a temper tantrum, I don’t throw things at him, I don’t get physical with him. Its just wrong. It shows a lack of respect to his authority. I really don’t think he needs my opinion. He is  a smart guy and has a strong business sense, he can make up his own mind. He tries to make his decisions to were he doesn’t hurt someone in the process.

Some things I think you shouldn’t do with your husband is: holding grudges and or with holding love.
That does not make your life any easier, it just feeds the fire of temptations, inside or outside of the home. It also builds resentment which can lead to other problems.

So on to the book. 

This book really affirmed how I TRY to respect my husbands authority of head of the household as described in the bible. I am guilty of not always complying with the biblical ways of how a wife should be, but I do try to be the best I can. I want to be a biblical wife, not a worldly wife.

Some of the topics covered are:

  • Duties of husbands and wives, the book is not just for wives it is also for husbands
  • Headship and Authority
  • Servants Heart
  • Beauty, true & physical
  • Love
  • Sin
  • Rules of keeping short accounts, don’t hold on to things, no grudges
  • One of my favorites in the book: The Nice Guy Syndrome and why the wife tends to be unhappy with the “nice guy” husband.
Let me write a quote here out of the book:
  Countless nice Christian men have wives in this state of continual frustration. And the more frustrated with wife gets, the nicer the husband tries to be. Unfortunately, this “niceness” ins not biblical gentleness,. It is not the love discussed above; (Col. 3:19), it is abdication, or ‘wimping out”. From time to time, the situation gets to e too much, even for him, and he loses his temper over her frustration. But he knows that that is wrong, and so he apologizes, and goes back to his old pattern of indulging his wife, instead of loving her through leadership.”
It then goes on to talk about Sarah obeying  Abraham, calling him lord, 1 Peter. 3:6.
 This says to me, don’t give in to everything your wife wants. Don’t let her treat you bad. If you know she is doing something disrespectful to you, use your husbandly authority to put a stop to it. Don’t let it keep going on. I know it only takes my husband one time to tell me he thinks something I am doing is wrong, and then I do my best to change it. It won’t be easy, or it may not stop right away, but keep your ground, don’t give in. 
We have to curb our sinful nature, we need to pray about it, pray for God to change our hearts, not always praying to change someone else’s heart for your own benefit.
Here is another paragraph quote that really stuck out to me. The subject that is being covered is criticism and defusing an argument from happening or escalating. 
  But if the husband has a reasonable defense, the last thing he should do is to present it at this moment. He should show that he understands what her concerns are, repeat each one of them, and then say he would like to talk about the issue later. He needs some time to think it over and pray abut it. That means if he concludes that his wife is wrong, he is to do so thoughtfully and prayerfully, after a period of time. I it is obvious that she is right, it should be admitted immediately. A quarrel is diffused in either way. 

I want to finish this paragraph: unless she is narcissistic and thinks she is still right about everything and can’t see that she has faults too. I know that is a smarty pants sentence, but lots of men deal with women like this every day and no matter what, he can’t win. 

I know with my husband, if I think he is losing his cool during a discussion and it has the possibility of becoming a loud argument. I just walk away. I will not partake in screaming matches, and he knows that. He is one of those people who likes to push buttons and see how people react. I just won’t do it. I wait until a time has passed and ask him if he is ready to talk calmly. When he is, then we sit and talk calmly and finish the discussion. It doesn’t mean that I don’t ever get short with him, because I will snap at him with an attitude, but I don’t raise my voice or scream at him. I don’t need to. We have been married long enough for us to know what we each mean by the face we have or the “attitude” that may come from us. I use to not communicate at all and it was a real problem for my husband. He is a big communicator and if you don’t communicate with him, he thinks he is not loved and that makes him very unhappy. So now I communicate with him, and it was a battle for me because I am not a big talker or emotion sharer. But I worked through that and now I speak my mind, a lot, and calmly, and now he probably thinks I communicate too much :).

As you can tell this book really spoke to me and I really evaluated things. It gave me a lot to think about in my marriage and how I conduct my self and my marriage in comparison to this book.

If you want a biblical marriage, I would check out this book. If you want to live a “modern” marriage, then this books is not for you. It sure won’t tell you how the wife should be the head of the household or how the woman needs to be independent and you should have separate checking accounts or the rubish that the husband needs to be a stay home dad. All that is rubish and I find it a form of freedom that I don’t have to feel like I have to be “modern” to have a fulfilling life. I enjoy being a stay home mom and not having stresses of a career right now, or worrying what my kids are doing at school or at others homes. Its nice to put my mind power to something else.

Disclaimer: I purchased this book, it was not given to me, and I chose to review it on my own. The publisher or author do not know who I am. I wish they did, then maybe I could get more books from them for free! 🙂

The next book I am reading is: The Fruit of Her Hands: Respect and the Christian Women by: Nancy Wilson

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