Real Marriage – Mark & Grace Driscoll
Well I finally finished Real Marriage by Mark & Grace Driscoll. Overall I am very impressed. Honestly I do not see what all the controversy surrounding the book is about. But I will admit that when it comes to Mark Driscoll I am decidedly in a certain camp. You see I think there are two ways of viewing Pastor Mark. There are those that love him, which is the camp to which I belong, and then there are those that cannot stand him. I am not sure anyone listens to or reads Driscoll without already being biased one way or another. So it is rare that someone actually has an unbiased review of one of his works. As much as I might strive for this to be an unaffected review it will be colored by an already positive view of Mark Driscoll. One of the reasons for this view is because of his Peasant Princess sermon series. I listened to it at the prodding of my then girlfriend and I must say it helped me be a better man for her as we continued to date, as I proposed to her, and as we have enjoyed life being married. So since his teaching had already positively impacted my marriage I was very anxious for this book to come out and here is my humble and honest review of it done on a chapter by chapter basis.
Chapter 1 – New Marriage, Same Spouse
You have to respect leaders who are willing to open up and share some of their own struggles and how they have grown from that. Sharing those experiences is the impetus for the Driscoll’s to write this book and for that I am very thankful
Chapter 2 – Friend with Benefits
Probably the best chapter in the book. The Driscoll’s genuinely enjoy each other and that should be the case for any man and wife. Learning from what they say here can help you along that path.
Chapter 3 – Men and Marriage
Mark Driscoll does not mince words in this chapter and he shouldn’t have. He is direct, honest and Biblical. The standards he sets for men are from scripture and we should make them our own.
Chapter 4 – The Respectful Wife
Grace gives a very good view of being a Godly wife in this chapter. I learned about how to better love my wife as I read through it.
Chapter 5 – Taking Out the Trash
This chapter contains some of the best content of the entire book. The principles the Driscoll’s discuss here are so life giving and helpful to any husband or wife and need to be taken deeply to heart. In this chapter they explore the concepts of repentance, forgiveness, and bitterness. I see myself constantly pointing couples to this chapter for help through tough times, and to pointing myself back to it as well.
Chapter 6 – Sex: God, Gross, or Gift?
This is where the book turns to a subject that will be controversial, but this chapter sets up this section by just pointing to scripture. The Driscoll’s goal is not to make every couple carbon copies of themselves, but to point them to the Bible and to a God honoring view of sex.
Chapter 7 – Disgrace and Grace
This was one of the hardest chapters of the entire book for me to read. Grace really opens up her struggles and some things she has gone through in a remarkable way. She does so to help others that might be going through similar situation and to bring the freedom of the Gospel and grace to them.
Chapter 8 – The Porn Path
I wish this chapter did not need to be included, but with the growing prevalence and mainstreaming of the porn industry it must be. Driscoll teaches and counsel not from a tyrants heart but from a pastors and wants to see people embrace grace and the Gospel instead.
Chapter 9 – Selfish Lovers and Servant Lovers
I think this is a chapter that was very eye opening for me and made me realize some areas where I am not being the husband I should be. But the material did not leave me in that state; instead it showed me a way to better care for and love my wife.
Chapter 10 – Can We ______?
This is definitely the chapter that has spurred the most controversy. Part of me wonders if that is because the readers responding negatively to it are doing so because of very unfulfilling sex life with their spouse. I also have heard people criticizing Driscoll’s exegesis of 1 Corinthians 6:12. I think he exegetes it quite well and I believe the reason some have a problem with it, is because they are taking scripture out of context instead of really looking at what Paul is saying and the content before and after for the contest into which he is saying it. As for how they handle all of the various topics they cover, they are biblical, fair and balanced. They never attempt to sway someone’s opinion except for where doing a certain activity would be a sin. That is how to wisely address these topics, to do so in any other way would be taking Scriptural authority somewhere it never intends to go.
Chapter 11 – Reverse-Engineering Your Life and Marriage
BRILLIANT! Just pure brilliance. My wife is about to read this book and I cannot wait for her to finish so we can go through the exercise put forth in this chapter together. I think any couple willing to do the hard work of this chapter will have a beautiful wonderful marriage for years to come.
I hope you did not just read my review and let that suffice for your desire to read the book. Go buy it today and read it for yourself. Whether you are married or single this book will be an incredible help and blessing to you!