Reforming Marriage by Douglas Wilson; Review and Analysis, part 1

reforming-cvr-lgReforming Marriage by Douglas Wilson marks the end of the unbiblical agenda of most books on marraige.  Wilson wants to bring back the biblical aroma to the household of faith. Only a “Christ-like home atmosphere produces this sort of aroma before God and consequently before man.”[1] Pastor Steve Wilkins is fond of stating that “marriage is for the sake of the world.”[2] It cannot be hidden from the eyes of the world, because it is intended to be a public display of God’s love for His bride.

According to Ephesians 5, husbands are to cherish (lit. keep warm) our wives with our love. Wilson writes:

A wife is not kept warm in the securing love of a husband if he is erratic in how he loves her. If he is harsh with her or ignores here but occasionally shows her kindness, he is not walking in love. The kind of love Paul requires here is constant. So godly husbandry is constant husbandry.[3]

For the godly husband, he does not need to re-invent the wheel, but he has before him an example of one who has come before Him and loved His wife perfectly, even to the point of death (Phil. 2). The example of our Lord is not a formulaic one. The externalist who is simply looking for the “ten laws” to a happy marriage will not produce the aroma of godliness. Wilson rightly notes that, “many people who are miserable in their marriages are also those who have read all the books.”[4] A biblical aroma in the home does not stem from mere obedience to external rules, but a true aroma stems from a heart committed to the glory of God. To re-rephrase the first answer to the catechism: “A marriage’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.”

Marriages can also be at the center of idolatry. This is why it is significant to establish the biblical priority that our marriage to our spouses must be secondary to our spiritual marriage to our Lord. Wilson concludes: “Those who place their wives before God will lose their wives.”[5]


[1] Wilson, Douglas, Reforming Marriage. Pg. 7.

[2] Sermons preached at the Auburn Avenue Presbyterian Church.

[3] Ibid. pg.8

[4] Ibid. pg.9.

[5] Ibid. pg. 10.

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About Uri Brito

I am the Pastor of Providence Church (CREC) in Pensacola, Fl.
This entry was posted in Douglas Wilson, Marriage. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Reforming Marriage by Douglas Wilson; Review and Analysis, part 1

  1. Pingback: Reforming Marriage by Douglas Wilson; Review and Analysis, part 2 « Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

  2. Pingback: Reforming Marriage by Douglas Wilson; Review and Analysis, part 3 « Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

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