Ten Quotes: How to Exasperate Your Wife by Doug Wilson

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.

And one:

What is the confessional issue of our time? The confessional issue of our time is human sexuality, biblically defined.  

Quotes from Rules for Reformers

Pastor Doug Wilson’s latest book is called Rules for Reformers. It is not for everyone, but anyone in Christian leadership should read the book. It has a hard, but cheerful edge to it.  Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book.

A reformer has to be the kind of man who can stand up to the clamor of the mob. 

The wise are those who take the initiative whenever they have the opportunity.

Survival should never be the goal, stalemate is not the goal, absence of collision is not the goal.

We are not to fight to the point of predominance, we are to fight to the point of complete victory.

Cultivate a robust sense of humor. [Wilson repeats this idea throughout the book.] 

Keep the pressure on, wherever you are on the line…Wake up in the morning thinking about what the fires you can set.

The work of cultural reformation is a contact sport.

A godly satirist [a man who uses sarcasm and ridicule] should know the difference between weakness and arrogance, and, as far as possible, reserve his arrows for the latter.

We need to distinguish between those who demand apologies as a weapon, and those who want to see genuine reconciliation.

Winning an argument, with documents and everything, is not what brings repentance. [Pastor Wilson is not saying that arguments have no value. He is just saying that winning them does not produce repentance.] 

The issue is never the issue. Keep your eye on the ball.

The rule is never to apologize for the truth. Never.[Emphasis his.]

Do you want to bring up endangered kids or dangerous kids…Would you like them to be smooth stones in the sling of the Son of David? Or are you just hoping they make enough money to get by, are generally nice people, and always come home for the holidays…Do you want to provide them with Jesus-centered education that will train them for the battle, the way boot camp is supposed to? 

If you do not love the present, which you have seen, how can you love the future, which you have not seen?

When forgetfulness begins, love is then in decline.

The key battle in our culture wars is the reestablishment of worship that is pleasing to God.

The reason for singling out sodomy for particular political attention right now is the homo-activists have made it their central political weapon.

All the Christians in the world, thinking sweet thoughts all at the same time, could not make a minimum wage law that didn’t hurt the poor.  

All hope is lost? Good. That means the conditions for a black swan revival are improving by the day. The stone cold deader we get, the more God is hastening the day. Nothing is dying but what has needed to die for a long time. 

There is no solution to our cultural or political troubles apart from the blood that Jesus shed.