A short, great book for men who have a twisted view of headship, which means most of us. His chapter on tenderness was excellent as was the sexuality catechism as the back. I am not sure why he included the essays on sex in heaven. They were fine essays, but felt a bit out of place. Other than that the book is wonderful.
My favorite so fair in this series. His discussion of Psalm 51 is great. In particular I like that he did not think “take not your Holy Spirit from me” was a reference to David’s kingly anointing. It is short and leaves a lot unanswered, but it heads the right direction.
A short (28 pages) introduction to the key aspects of a reformed church. Smallman lists six distinct themes in reformed churches: Submission to Scripture, God’s sovereignty, the Covenant, the law of God, the Church (government and sacraments), and the Kingdom of God. Not all these were equally well stated. Also I felt his church government section was too narrow. But he is clear overall and thus the book would be helpful for a new convert or someone just coming into a reformed church. In particular the emphasis on God’s Word as the foundation for all was helpful.
Here are ten of my favorite quotes from Douglas Wilson’s book How to Exasperate Your Wife.
A man who ditches the actual wife of his youth is thereby revealing that he abandoned another woman (Wisdom) some time before.
If her [the wife’s] wishes are routinely disregarded, this means that her husband has failed to invest her with his authority, and has failed to act as an example for the rest of the household. A sure indicator of an unhappy household is the ignoring of Mom, and the head of that home is an abdicating father.
No one person is absolute. And this why those husbands who think that headship means their wives should never offer a contrary view are wrong. This is why husbands who think their wives cannot require certain things of them are wrong. This is why husbands who believe that their wives have no court of appeal outside the marriage are wrong.
Few forms of behavior are less respectable than that of demanding respect.
A man who gives love receives respect.
A man who is not strong enough to be tender is not strong at all…We tend to think that a man who yells and blusters and intimidates has an excess of strength. We think he has a surplus. But biblically understood, he is actually a covenant wimp.
A nation defended by her women is a nation no longer worth defending. When women are placed in the front line of defense, every Christian man should walk away from the cause of that nation as being beneath contempt.
The basic question here is whether law operates in the context of grace, or whether grace operates in the surrounding context of law. If the former, then marriage is delight upon delight. If the latter, then it is one conflict after another. In these two different marriages, the objective standards may be exactly the same, but they are played in different keys.
The progression towards adultery moves like this-simmering discontent, open discontent, open desire in other directions, which is lust, and then lust acted out, with infidelity as the result. Now a man might be able to convince himself that he is not being unfaithful in the first two stages-he is not being aroused, and he is not actively seeking that kind of gratification. His problem doesn’t appear to him to be overtly sexual at all. But that’s a set up. Don’t feed the kind of discontent that will, later on, feed something else.
What is biblical masculinity? It is the glad assumption of sacrificial responsibility.
What is the confessional issue of our time? The confessional issue of our time is human sexuality, biblically defined.