How to Exasperate Your Wife, and Other Short Essays for Men, by Douglas (Gashma) Wilson ★
This is the third or fourth book of Douglas (Gashma) Wilson that I’ve read. None of the previous books deserved more than a single star. This book fits into the single-star category. The reason might be explained in his YouTube persona. I have never met Pope Gashma in real life, but on the YouTube scene, he is presented as a wizened professor who is barraged by questions from a fawning and adulating mass of followers, and his words are spoken as Gospel truth, or, at least as legitimate as the Pope’s words when he speaks ex-cathedra. The questioner, who is usually a relative or close disciple of his, sits obediently in the worship of the sayings of Pope Gashma. I don’t disagree with many things that Gashma may say, but his thought processes and often non-sequetor conclusions drive me nuts. Gashma has been wonderful at standing up against the Woke movement in the church. Yet, he has a very restrictive theology of Reconstruction/Dominion which is inconsistent even among those who advocate strongly for that brand of theology.
This text is intended to be a marriage counsel text. The first half of the book relates to personal relational issues. The second half relates to issues of sexual concern. The first half contains inane, vacuous advice for inter-personal relations in marriage. It doesn’t seem to be helpful beyond that of advice any secular counselor might offer for getting along with another person. The second half mostly deals with men dealing with sexual lust, but doesn’t really give helpful advice, and never is it actually helpful sexual advice. Better to have read Ed Wheat or a number of other Christian sexual advisors than to have read Gashma.
This book was written by a “pastor” who has been in the trade for over 30 years. Thus, you’d expect mature reflections on a deeper conjugal relationship, but instead, you get trite advice and poor attempts to occasionally interject humor. There are no acknowledgments that Gashma has occasionally made serious counseling mistakes (Stitler and Wight are the top examples), yet Gashma never has the humility to admit that oftentimes wedded issues can be quite vexing without good answers and that mistakes will be made. I view the book as perhaps an attempt to gloss over his sometimes distorted paternalism while claiming that he is NOT a macho man, and certainly NOT a producer of toxic masculinity. He is.
There are much better books written from a Biblical perspective on marriage and the marriage relationship. Don’t waste your time on this book.