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Monday, January 9, 2012
Real Marriage: The Truth about Sex, friendship, and life together by Mark & Grace Driscoll Book Review
The new book "Real Marriage" by Mark and Grace Driscoll is an in depth book about some of the hard truths in marriage. The idea is that we must submit, end selfishness, and trust another human being with every aspect of our hearts. This of course seems like an impossibility in a fallen world; but when putting Christ in the forefront of your marriage the impossible becomes a reality. The couple targets friendship, abuse, sex, and truth in a real marriage, while seeking to help the warped marriage idea of America today.
For the Book Sneeze "My Reaction" go to the end.
The book divides into three parts:
- THE LAST DAY
For a person who learned through her parents that friendship is key in a marriage, my favorite chapter in the book is chapter two, "Friends with Benefits." I think this simple fact gets thrown out the window in today's society, and working with the youth of today, a main reason they use to not date someone is because they will NEVER date a friend. I suggest this is a bad philosophy to practice, and the Driscolls do a great job reiterating why this is so important to a marriage. The idea behind the chapter is seeing people marry that weren't even in love, but came together after marriage and steward a friendship unbreakable. The friendship opens door for love, companionship, fun, and a truth that other marriages lack.
The Marriage portion of the book encourages friendship, challenges men to stop being boys and be men, and encourages women to not see submissiveness and respect for a husband as weak, but rather attractive and commendable. They work out woman who suffer from sexual abuse, men that battle depression and anger issues, and in the last chapter "Taking Out the Trash" suggest that being real with your spouse creates healing, bonding, and understanding.
The second portion begins a new era for "sex talk" in the Christian church. I remember thinking that "S-e-x" was not something we talked about out loud, or the teacher would go insane over the word. However, we see Mark and Grace attack this word unashamedly knowing that people ARE talking about it. They know the controversy that lies behind many sexual taboos, and they hit many with these three questions in the most controversial book chapter 10:
- Is it Lawful?
- Is it Helful?
- Is it Enslaving?
The third and last portion creates a large application for a marriage. What will your last day of marriage look like? The first is a bang with partying, dresses, cake, and family, but how will it end? There is an in depth questionnaire that follows.
I could say that there was a scripture that I really wished they would have talked of more (Ephesians 5- The body of Christ, Christ (bridegroom) and the church (His bride), but really if you want a great theological review look to Denny Burk. I see his points, I agree with many, but I do think that I would recommend the book to couples as a chapter-by-chapter marriage study. I would also see the maturity level of each individual couple before recommending. There are people with different backgrounds, struggles, and sexual knowledge, however I believe in talking through books like this not avoiding them strictly because of one chapter. The tenth chapter does give headings to each sexual act talked of, and can easily be skipped if the couple chooses to do so. The book was encouraging, given much thought, and is gospel-driven. The Driscolls church at the highest non-churched city in the U.S., they hear unimaginable questions, and they strive to answer and deal with this type of congregation with much love and hard truth. The book should be looked at in this light, too. I think it will help many, but can see were Denny thinks it can hurt others. Again, you and your spouse know your relationship, your Christian walk maturity, so before reading, pray about it. If you don't know Mark, read his biography, listen to some of his sermons, you will quickly learn he is not a sugar coating pastor. You can learn for yourself if you will even be interested in any book he writes. This goes the same for if you aren't a fan of Francis Chan (what?!) or David Platt (huh?!), you know the writer, you know their voice, determine if the read will benefit you or not. I enjoyed it, found parts difficult to read, but overall found that the couple's heart is to encourage, help, and teach scripture truthfully in an area so widely ignored!
You can get the book at The Resurgence - the proceeds through buying here goes to the church ministry not the Driscolls.