Monday, December 12, 2011

Book Review: Real Marriage, By Mark and Grace Driscoll

Marriage. It looks so EASY. I remember growing up watching my favorite TV show "Family Ties" and loved the hippy message, "all you need is love!" But being a 17+ Yr marriage survivor, I can say with certainty that you need a whole lot more than love (though you certainly need that too!) And in different stages of Andrew's and my life together, we were largely flying blind. We could have benefited greatly from having read this book earlier, and I'm very much looking forward to reading it again, along with Andrew.

I was blessed to receive a an electronic advanced reading copy of "Real Marriage" by Mark and Grace Driscoll to review by I very much enjoy reviewing books in general. Writing is a hobby of mine, and since I've been so occupied with the children I've not had an opportunity to freelance in ages. Additionally, Mark Driscoll is the preaching pastor of the church I attend, And knowing his sharp-witted, articulate and generally enjoyable style, I was excited to get to read this book!

I will say that i was NOT disappointed. In fact, i'd take it a step further to say that Real Marriage is an excellent handbook that covers SO much information, that having read it once, I know i'll be referring back to it often. Included in Real Marriage, you will find

*The importance of being your spouse's best friend.

*Men- how to be a great leader in your family and husband, complete with practical ideas, not just lofty ideals.

*Ladies- How to be an excellent wife, also complete with practical ideas.

*How prior hurts, particularly sexual assault impacts your married life and WHY it needs to be dealt with.

*Specific info on what is and is not acceptable sexual conduct for Christian couples

*How to focus your marriage on the LAST day you will be married.

I love the format of Grace and Mark interspersing their teaching. They clearly delineate who is speaking, and the husband/wife team approach is particularily effective in a marriage book. I know that Grace understands my perspective as a woman, where as, I'd not necessarily believe that Mark would. That lends much more credibility to the ideas contained within.

One thing to keep in mind is that they are very frank about specific sexual issues, and while they approached the issue appropriately, not in a salacious or erotic manner, the topic IS sex and marriage so you kind of have to expect frank discussion. For that reason I'd not recommend this book to unmarried folks. For example, I'd not have my children read this book prior to marriage. However, once married, I think Real Marriage is a MUST HAVE resource for the Christian couple. I love how the Driscolls treat sex as God intended, a beautiful, passionate, lively, and important element of married life! In a society that treats sex as something that teenagers do, the Driscolls have a counter cultural approach to great married sex!

It is mentioned in the beginning of the book, a good rule of thumb: Take what you can use and leave the rest. This was true of me reading this book. There were some ideas that I disagreed with, but none was so critical that it would cause me to not recommend the Real Marriage or give it less than a 5 star review.

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