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

Wilson begins chapter one by making a worldview observation: “God is the Lord. He is central to the coherence of all things, including marriage.”[1] Biblical maturity in marriage comes from acknowledging this central truth of Christianity. It is impossible to be mature in marriage if one is not mature in the Lord. Hence, to understand what marriage is in the eyes of the Lord, it is incumbent that we understand who God is and how He operates throughout the Scriptures. There is a fundamental concept that ties and unites redemptive history, this is the covenant. As Wilson observes, “the nature of the triune God is described to us in the Scriptures under a figure of the father-son bond.”[2] The covenantal picture is that God has established a relationship with His beloved Son. God relates to us via covenantal relationships. If this is true of the Triune relationship, then it must be true of marriage, since God is the source of all relationships.

The Biblical picture of a perfect marriage outside the Triune godhead is the picture of Christ and His bride, the Church. This covenantal bond between a Groom (Christ) and the Bride (Church) is our common bond in marriage (Ephesians 5).

God establishes covenant as a means through which we may model our earthly relationships. If the nature of God is denied-as feminism has denied for so long-naturally there will be a defiance of how God instituted marriage in creation. Indeed following this feminist pattern consistently, man will marry man and woman will marry woman. But the error of feminism is not the first attack, but one of many. However, heresies do serve a purpose. Pastor Wilson notes:

…destructive heresies have been used by a sovereign God to force the church to define that which was unclean.[3]

Reforming Marriage assumes the error of such impotent theological paradigms. The church has prevailed to this point in continuing to define marriage between a man and a woman, but it has failed drastically in fleshing out this relationship and its purpose. Many marriages merely exist; they fail to produce what the Bible requires. According to Reforming Marriage (from now on, RM), there are three earthly reasons for marriage.[4] In this post we shall discuss the first. The first reason is for helpful companionship. According to Genesis 2:19-24, Adam named the animals with the purpose of finding a suitable helper. From the beginning, God knew that it was not good for man to be alone (Gen. 2:18). Hence, though creation had been successful thus far, it was not yet complete. God could not declare creation “very good” until Adam found a suitable helper. Man needs a suitable helper to pursue what God has called him to pursue, which is dominion. Man cannot fulfill this mandate alone; he needs a helper. She must be oriented towards his goals, which is ultimately God’s agenda for creation. Her task is not one of lifting the bricks, but rather her work is ministering to him. He is oriented to the task, and she is oriented to him.[5]

Part 1

[1] Reforming Marriage, pg. 11.

[2] Ibid. 12

[3] Ibid. 13

[4] Marriage also serves as heavenly pattern.

[5] Ibid. 17.

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 2

  1. Kent says:

    Have you seen the new collection of Douglas Wilson’s books from Logos Bible Software? I thought you might be interested:

    Douglas Wilson Collection (17 Vols.)

  2. Scott says:


    How funny to find you again while doing a google search for Douglas Wilson! With the birth of my first child last month, my heart and mind have been consumed with thinking about raising him in the love and fear of God, his education etc, so was interested when I found Douglas Wilson via a Logos blog post. Googled to learn more about him, and voila, your blog!

    I’m glad to see from your blog that you’re doing well with your new church – congratulations! It is disappointing not to see you in Brightlights, though.

    What books are your favorites for real insight into the raising of children? It seems that you have been impressed with Wilson, and perhaps with Leithart as well. Are there others you would recommend? I’m looking for resources on family devotions, on discipline, on education, on training in righteousness, etc. Hoping to find good resources I can assimilate and share with other young families in my congregation…

    If you’re interested, I’ve been posting on my blog about my child and reflections on fatherhood the last month —

    Nice to find you again!


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