Book Review: Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together by Mark and Grace Driscoll
January 9, 2012
When I started reading about the upcoming book Real Marriage by Mark and Grace Driscoll I got very excited. I have listened to Mark Driscoll speak and he is always to the point, never out beating around the bush. I have heard his passion for people to live godly lives with Jesus as the center, and I knew this book would be no different.
I was not let down.
Mark and Grace Driscoll take a very down to earth look at marriage. They are honest about their past and present without being vulgar. They are able to share their stories of struggle as well as the ways the Holy Spirit has worked in their lives and helped them to overcome sins. It is very encouraging to read about how the two of them worked together, shoulder-to-shoulder and face-to-face (to steal a line from the book) to having a healthy marriage where love for each other is strong.
The first section of this book deals a lot with how to make a marriage work. They write a chapter called “friends with benefits” where they emphasize the importance of being friends in marriage. Mark rants about how all the of the marriage books they read in preparation for writing this one (which included 182 others) never dealt with being friends in marriage. When having godly friends comes up, we always point to the brotherly bond of David and Jonathan in the Old Testament. Mark and Grace point out that any of the verses about friendship in the Bible can and should be used to describe a marriage relationship. This was really a great chapter! In this section of the book they also deal with the roles of men and women in marriage as well as dealing with sin, both past and present. Sin loses it’s power when it is brought into the light. They say we need to be open and honest about our sins with each other so that we can overcome them. Stop worrying about how much it will hurt your spouse and get it out so that the cycle stops now!
The next section of the book was about sex. They covered how sex should not be a god (as it is with many guys) nor should it be gross (as it often is with those who have been sexually abused or have never been allowed to talk about sex). Instead, sex should be considered a gift from God. It is an amazing thing to share with the person you love in the covenant of marriage. They also wrote about dealing with sexual abuse, porn and how to be an unselfish lover. These sets of chapters are very helpful. Many times in marriage, spouses do not even feel comfortable talking about sex with each other, but they should. The last chapter in this section was called “Can We ____?” Mark and Grace go through different sex questions they have been asked. They discuss (brace yourselves) masturbation, oral sex, anal sex, menstrual sex, role-playing, sex toys, birth control, cosmetic surgery, cybersex, sexual medication, and marital sexual assault. For each of these topics they answer the questions: Is is lawful (Biblically or legally)?, is it helpful?, and is it enslaving? Three great questions to decide whether or not to carry out an action.
Then the last section they discussed reverse-engineering your marriage. They write about having a plan for your marriage. We need to be specific. We need to talk it out with our spouse. We need to ask a lot of questions. This will keep the communications running as well as give us the opportunity to work together in marriage.
This was a wonderful book and I am glad I got it through booksneeze.com. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is married, single and one day plans to be married, or is single and plans to stay that way, basically everyone.