Item description for Fidelity: What It Means to be a One-Woman Man by Douglas Wilson...
Overview Addressed to men, Fidelity hits hard, using clear language, focusing on specific sins with specific solutions: adultery, divorce, polygamy, celibacy, pornography, and more. But in the end, the antidote to all sexual temptation is simple - the godly honoring of the marriage bed. We live in a time when marital fidelity is under assault. Driven by the forces of relativism, our society assaults sexual fidelity on numerous fronts. The push for homosexual marriages, for example, comes at the end of the fall into perversion, not the beginning. Faithless husbands began the fall long ago, and our culture, with all its washed-out self-help books, fails to address the real problem - sin.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Fidelity: What It Means to be a One-Woman Man?
Should be required for Christian Men prior to marriage. Oct 11, 2007
I recently read this book prior to being married. It was invaluable. Very eye opening and stimulating. Mr. Wilson uses plain, no-nonsense language to speak to men in the way they need to hear, to tell them the things they need to know of the Bibles stance on a variety of sexual issues. My now wife read a chapter that I showed her prior to our wedding and said that it helped her immensly and even releived some of the wedding night anxiety she was feeling.
legalism and nothing more May 24, 2006
This essay is thorough in its presentation of the Scriptural passages relevant to the different issues of sexual morality: adultery, homosexuality, abstinence before marriage, etc. But that's it. The relevant passages from Scripture are presented, Mr. Wilson assures us that he agrees with them, and that's that. In other words, anyone seeking to understand WHY the Scriptures testify to a certain code of sexual morality will find nothing here.
Most people are familiar with the principles of strict Christian sexual virtue, even if they cannot recite the verses of the Bible that teach it. So teaching abstinence and chastity is not primarily a matter of explaining to people what they must and must not do: they already know all that. What most people are confused about is WHY they must be chaste. So many Christians today say, my faith and trust for eternal salvation are in Christ, I am saved... so why shouldn't I have sex with my girlfriend? Or my gay lover? They just don't see any connection between the Western Christian message of salvation and a strict code of sexual morality, and Wilson's book here will offer them no further insight.
Why does God care how we conduct ourselves sexually? Didn't Christ say, "Let no one call anything the Father has created unclean?" And didn't the Father create sex? So why would sex upset Him? How is chastity relevant to the spiritual life? How and why will unchaste thoughts and behavior corrupt our hearts? When people encounter sexual temptations they are very powerful and without a thorough grasp of the implications of our moral choices and lifestyles to the spiritual life and salvation, very few find themselves strong enough to resist it.
Again, this book only outlines the principles of chastity in a legalistic manner that is based in Protestant Pietism. If the moral reprimand of Scripture strikes fear into your heart, this might be enough to keep you straight. But few people today, Christian or not, are afraid of the Bible.
Sexual virtue as rightly understood in the context of the historical, apostolic Christian faith is a matter of asceticism: to understand why one must struggle to remain sexually chaste, one must first understand why he must fast, why he must deny his impulses and desires generally. So a substantial explanation of the necessity of asceticism is prerequisite to any discussion of sexual chastity; but Wilson does not seem to understand this, and offers no insight in this regard. If you seek a deeper understanding of Christian sexual morality, then, I recommend The Freedom of Morality by Christos Yannaras and Ascending the Heights: A Layman's Guide to the Ladder, by Fr. John Mack.
Remove the "No Girls Allowed" Sign Apr 22, 2006
As I was working my way through the Canon Press family series I went ahead and read Fidelity. Although it's written for men, I think many (though not all) Christian women will find, as I did, that it is a useful corrective to the misinformation they've been assaulted with all their lives. It's not that I learned anything new or surprising about sex in this book; it was more that, especially in the last chapter, Mr. Wilson creates a picture of godly sexuality that puts all the old information into the right context and in the right proportions -- like reassembling a Picasso into a Rembrandt.
I wasn't sure if I should read this book -- it might as well have a "No Girls Allowed" sign on it -- but I am glad I did. Someone needs to write a version that women aren't afraid to buy or read. (Yes, I've read Elisabeth Elliot's books, but they aren't quite on the same level.) Ironically, it may be the very desire to protect the purity of Christian women that tends to keep such a purifying book out of the hands of those whom it might benefit. Granted, women who were lovingly shielded from exposure to what the world has to say (and show and tell) about sex probably don't need it, so Fidelity might do them more harm than good. But for women to whom the harm has already been done -- by their own sin or others', by misinformation or abuse, by media or "education" -- it should be considered as a possible curative. For me, reading Fidelity was like giving my soul a long-needed bath.
(Adapted from a post on my blog.)
The BEST book on the subject. Jul 1, 2004
I have read other books like this before, but none hold a candle to Wilson in this regard. Fidelity is a must read for every Christian man, married or not. Wilson is blunt, biblical and pastoral in how he treats topics such as fornication, masturbation, rape, adultery etc. He provides a balanced perspective that doesn't pull punches - he truly calls a spade a spade. His use of contemporary jargon and slang to heighten the sense of obscenity in ungodly actions is excellent - and makes for a memorable and entertaining read. Wilson uses solid exegesis that doesn't bend or twist the text. He hits the nail on the head every time. Please buy this book and when you're done reading it, pass it around.
a better approach to the problem Jun 9, 2004
I enjoyed this book because he gets to the heart of the issue surrounding our struggle with lust. I am so used to church talks and lust conquering books that offer a somewhat self-reliant approach. "Struggling with pornography? Get rid of your computer." Well, you may not have a computer, but lust is still festering inside you and as all of us know, you are still going to struggle. Douglas goes beyond the typical approach and convicts the sin. He plainly shows you how ugly lust is and what it does. Then the Holy Spirit steps in and does the necessary work to change the ROOT of the problem.
Instead of offering a bunch of cute ideas on how to boundary your life, he just attacks the sin. From there, if we are honest with our selves, we know what needs to be done. It seems that nothing is better for dealing with sin than good'old conviction.