Real Marriage – Book Review

So, I finally finished “Real Marriage” by Mark and Grace Driscoll.  Apparently this Pastor Mark guy is kind of a well-known pastor — I’d never heard of him.  My husband and my brother-in-law started to fill me in a little bit, and I guess Pastor Mark is the founding pastor of Mars Hill Church.  I guess some people also find him a bit controversial, but what “celebrity pastor” isn’t?  Anyway, for the sake of an unbiased review I did not research Pastor Mark any further and continued on reading “Real Marriage”.  And guess what, I quite liked it.

The book begins with testimonies from both Mark and his wife Grace, who co-authors the book with him.  I really appreciated their honesty and transparency and felt connected to them right away.  Mark and Grace shared openly about their lives, their sin, and their marriage which offers the reader a soft place to land.  Mark and Grace then move forward with the first part of the book, called “Marriage”, in which they discuss a number of different issues within marriage, the roles of men and women, respect, forgiveness and friendship.

The second part of the book is called “Sex” and discusses God’s design for sex, how men and women may view sex based on their life experiences (both good and bad), and pornography.  I found the chapters on abuse and pornography to be particularly difficult to read, but I 100% appreciate Mark and Grace’s honesty about both subjects and definitely feel like they are topics that need to be discussed and that we all need to be aware of.  At times, the chapters were disturbing to read, but very beneficial and I’m glad that I made my way through them.  There is also a chapter all about what is appropriate for a married couple to participate in within the marriage bed, which I think would be very good for any married couple to read or anyone who hopes to marry in the future.

The third part of the book is called, “The Last Day” and is a set of questions for couples to spend time pondering, journaling, then discussing together.  The questions are all about your life and your dreams and where you might see yourself in the near future so that you and your husband may work together as friends and allies and not fight one another as enemies.

I found that I agreed with a lot of the Driscoll’s views on marriage, and would recommend this book.

“Advanced Reader’s Copy of the book has been provided courtesy of Thomas Nelson and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.  Available at your favourite bookseller from Thomas Nelson”. 



Filed under books, Posts by Chelsey

7 responses to “Real Marriage – Book Review

  1. Michelle

    Another good marriage book is Love and Respect, which addresses that men need to know their wives respect them, and women need to feel loved. When one’s need is not met, they respond to their spouse with the opposite of what they need (so a woman disrespects her husband when she feels unloved and he is unloving when he feels disrespected), and it is called the crazy cycle. I forget the author.

  2. tim

    I’m excited to see your brother-in-law’s review of your review…

    • Ha, me too. I made my review solely based on what I read in the book and I stand by my opinion. I am no scholar and have been told that Driscoll twists scripture, so maybe he is leading me astray. Who knows? This book seemed to line up quite a bit for me with “Sacred Marriage” by Gary Thomas, a book I really loved and which opened my eyes a lot to God’s design for marriage.

  3. Chelsey- I really appreciate this review. I have heard of the controversy surrounding Mark Driscoll and, for this reason, have been hesitant to read the book. However, I think that especially pornography is a subject we need to be confronting more in our churches. I also want to see more churches talking openly about God’s design for sex- the beauty of it and the FUN of it when reserved for marriage!!! If we don’t talk about how awesome it is, when within the confines of our marriages, what will our kids have to look forward to?? There has to be some good reasons to wait and avoid things like pornography.

    I want to read this book now- simply because you liked it.

  4. xbtotherockx

    i’m not as immature as tim thinks i am. i’m sure he has some good things to say mixed in with the bad, just like i have some good mixed in with all my bad. i just have trouble giving credibility and support to his good work when i’ve seen the damage his questionable work can do. i know life isn’t black and white, and driscoll isn’t pure evil, the way i am sometimes tempted to portray him. just an honest struggle i have. glad it was good. i’ll pick your brain more this weekend if there’s time.

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