Customer Reviews for

Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

This is a must read: for singles, dating or married couples

I just have to say right from the start: if you honestly read this book and were offended by or feel as if the Driscoll's have "no idea" what they are talking about, you didn't really read the book with the mindset of wanting to change your marriage or relationship with...
I just have to say right from the start: if you honestly read this book and were offended by or feel as if the Driscoll's have "no idea" what they are talking about, you didn't really read the book with the mindset of wanting to change your marriage or relationship with your spouse. If you think this book is just full of..., then you are feeling convicted and doing all that you can to disagree with the principles in this book.

This was an incredible book. Let me say that again...an INCREDIBLE book. Not only was I convicted by this book but I learned so much about marriage that I never really knew. I honestly wish I could've had this book before I got married. I feel like my marriage would be a lot different, and my husband would agree with that statement. The Driscoll's discuss topics in the book that I haven't found in many Christian marriage books that I have read. They can be very vague and really beat around the bush when it comes to topics that should and need to be discussed about marriage. I loved how each topic, and really the whole book, was centered around the Bible and brought out specific texts to back up what they were discussing. LOVED this.

My husband and I are both excited to apply the principles in this book to our marriage and to our friendship! I believe in this book so much that I have purchased copies for family members and friends. I will always stand by this book and will continually recommend it for those dating, engaged or married.

And for those of you that purchased this book, without knowing that it was a Christian book on the topic of marriage, I'm glad that you at least read it! Just know that the Driscoll's wrote this book with the intention of helping people. And I know and believe that this book is going to change marriages all over this country, especially in a country where marriages are falling apart like monkey bread. This book is life changing for a marriage.

posted by JessieLeigh on January 10, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

23 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

Does more harm than good...

You'll either love it or hate it. That's how I feel about this book after spending an evening with it. Where do I come out? Well, you'll have to keep reading to find out.
I was warned about this book and it didn't take me long to find out why. By page 29, I was ban...
You'll either love it or hate it. That's how I feel about this book after spending an evening with it. Where do I come out? Well, you'll have to keep reading to find out.
I was warned about this book and it didn't take me long to find out why. By page 29, I was banging my head on a metaphorical wall, trying to figure out how I was going to make it through the rest of the book with an open mind.

Driscoll is fairly opinionated about specific gender roles and makes these opinions very clear. In his chapter written to men, Driscoll tells men not to be "dumb" and to act like men. Ok, fair enough. Men should be men. I agree. But he also says that it is the man's job to provide enough income so that the woman does not have to work, but rather has everything she needs to stay at home with the children. I quote, "A wife who finds a way to make money from home or without neglecting her first God-given responsibilities of Christian, wife, and mother is acceptable. But men, you should make money. You should feed your family." He also tells men that if they want other men, their wives, and their children to respect them, they need to pay the bills. Simple as that. Well, life isn't always as simple as that. This chapter is full of this and other "wake-up calls" to men that yes, are worth considering, but perhaps would do more harm than good to read.

Throughout the book, Driscoll includes Scripture references. Wonderful! I love when authors, pastors, TEACHERS back what they're saying with the Bible. I took the time to look up many of the references on my trusty iPhone Bible app and was blown away by the interpretation of some of the passages. Some of the verses were taken completely out of context and seemed to be stretched and twisted to somehow fit what Driscoll was trying to say. I urge you to do your own research into the passages used and study the context surrounding them to understand what they are really saying. Find a good commentary...

I was cringing when I reached the "Sex" portion of the book, not really knowing what I would find inside. I was pleasantly surprised, for the most part. Driscoll's ideas about sex seemed fair and worth consideration. At times he seemed to go a bit far, such as when he suggests that one should have sex with their spouse, despite not wanting to. At the end of the book, there is a section that goes through various sexual acts and Driscoll lays out his thoughts (and "biblical" groundwork) on each. I won't go into detail, but please, PLEASE read these with a grain of salt and talk to someone you trust such as a pastor or spiritual director if you are unclear or uncertain about anything that you see here.

Overall, I wouldn't say that this book was a COMPLETE waste of my evening, but I wouldn't say that it was the best use of my time either. I found myself frustrated, annoyed, and disappointed that this book is getting all the press that it is. With all of its contradictions, poor biblical interpretation, and unfair gender stereotypes, I find that even the good and helpful parts of this book get lost in the harmful and distinctly wrong ideas, leaving it doing more harm than good. There are better options out there in terms of books on marriage (ask your pastor for suggesions), but if you want to read this book and see the "car crash" for yourself, by all means...

posted by NMcC on January 18, 2012

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  • Posted January 18, 2012

    Does more harm than good...

    You'll either love it or hate it. That's how I feel about this book after spending an evening with it. Where do I come out? Well, you'll have to keep reading to find out.
    I was warned about this book and it didn't take me long to find out why. By page 29, I was banging my head on a metaphorical wall, trying to figure out how I was going to make it through the rest of the book with an open mind.

    Driscoll is fairly opinionated about specific gender roles and makes these opinions very clear. In his chapter written to men, Driscoll tells men not to be "dumb" and to act like men. Ok, fair enough. Men should be men. I agree. But he also says that it is the man's job to provide enough income so that the woman does not have to work, but rather has everything she needs to stay at home with the children. I quote, "A wife who finds a way to make money from home or without neglecting her first God-given responsibilities of Christian, wife, and mother is acceptable. But men, you should make money. You should feed your family." He also tells men that if they want other men, their wives, and their children to respect them, they need to pay the bills. Simple as that. Well, life isn't always as simple as that. This chapter is full of this and other "wake-up calls" to men that yes, are worth considering, but perhaps would do more harm than good to read.

    Throughout the book, Driscoll includes Scripture references. Wonderful! I love when authors, pastors, TEACHERS back what they're saying with the Bible. I took the time to look up many of the references on my trusty iPhone Bible app and was blown away by the interpretation of some of the passages. Some of the verses were taken completely out of context and seemed to be stretched and twisted to somehow fit what Driscoll was trying to say. I urge you to do your own research into the passages used and study the context surrounding them to understand what they are really saying. Find a good commentary...

    I was cringing when I reached the "Sex" portion of the book, not really knowing what I would find inside. I was pleasantly surprised, for the most part. Driscoll's ideas about sex seemed fair and worth consideration. At times he seemed to go a bit far, such as when he suggests that one should have sex with their spouse, despite not wanting to. At the end of the book, there is a section that goes through various sexual acts and Driscoll lays out his thoughts (and "biblical" groundwork) on each. I won't go into detail, but please, PLEASE read these with a grain of salt and talk to someone you trust such as a pastor or spiritual director if you are unclear or uncertain about anything that you see here.

    Overall, I wouldn't say that this book was a COMPLETE waste of my evening, but I wouldn't say that it was the best use of my time either. I found myself frustrated, annoyed, and disappointed that this book is getting all the press that it is. With all of its contradictions, poor biblical interpretation, and unfair gender stereotypes, I find that even the good and helpful parts of this book get lost in the harmful and distinctly wrong ideas, leaving it doing more harm than good. There are better options out there in terms of books on marriage (ask your pastor for suggesions), but if you want to read this book and see the "car crash" for yourself, by all means...

    23 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 6, 2012

    Good Christian Resource on Marriage

    The full title is Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, & Life Together, written by the famous pastoral couple Mark and Grace Driscoll. They tell the story of their marriage, go into the differences between men and women, talk about sexual intimacy, and apply the Bible throughout.They dive into the hard subjects of past abuse, secrets, and just plain selfishness. They did a good job of delving into the subject in the way they set out to accomplish.


    I enjoyed the book and found some of it quite interesting and fascinating, but I also though the Driscolls wrote from the perspective of their particular brand of Christianity. I found I agreed with most everything in essence, just not always in presentation. I found myself swinging between fascination, agreement, and emotionally responding.


    One fun thing I did was discuss this book with my own future husband-to-be, who himself is a huge Mark Driscoll fan. It was a lot of fun, and enlightening.


    One thing I wasn't that huge a fan of was the last chapter on "Reverse Engineering" your marriage. For one, it seemed almost like it was just thrown on to the end of the book. I also just disagreed with it. Minutely planning each detail of your future seems to put the emphasis on a Self directed life, not a God directed one. I believe we should let Christ plan our lives, as His ways are higher than ours. I think preparing for your future is absolutely critical and Biblical, that is, opening your mind and heart to possibilities and readying yourself for quick action should God call you to it. However, action should always be God directed. We have to let go of our own plans and trust God for the future, otherwise we're not living up to the full potential of a God-lead life. This chapter could be used to envision a future; but we should always be prepared to throw that vision away if God seems to call us to something else. Many a 'disaster' has been for His children's own good. This is a very, very strong message I've personally gotten from the Lord in my own life; the Driscolls may have gotten different advice. God leads his children individually and intimately.

    I received this book free in exchange for an unbiased review.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 10, 2012

    This is a must read: for singles, dating or married couples

    I just have to say right from the start: if you honestly read this book and were offended by or feel as if the Driscoll's have "no idea" what they are talking about, you didn't really read the book with the mindset of wanting to change your marriage or relationship with your spouse. If you think this book is just full of..., then you are feeling convicted and doing all that you can to disagree with the principles in this book.

    This was an incredible book. Let me say that again...an INCREDIBLE book. Not only was I convicted by this book but I learned so much about marriage that I never really knew. I honestly wish I could've had this book before I got married. I feel like my marriage would be a lot different, and my husband would agree with that statement. The Driscoll's discuss topics in the book that I haven't found in many Christian marriage books that I have read. They can be very vague and really beat around the bush when it comes to topics that should and need to be discussed about marriage. I loved how each topic, and really the whole book, was centered around the Bible and brought out specific texts to back up what they were discussing. LOVED this.

    My husband and I are both excited to apply the principles in this book to our marriage and to our friendship! I believe in this book so much that I have purchased copies for family members and friends. I will always stand by this book and will continually recommend it for those dating, engaged or married.

    And for those of you that purchased this book, without knowing that it was a Christian book on the topic of marriage, I'm glad that you at least read it! Just know that the Driscoll's wrote this book with the intention of helping people. And I know and believe that this book is going to change marriages all over this country, especially in a country where marriages are falling apart like monkey bread. This book is life changing for a marriage.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2012

    This guy doesn't have a clue

    This should be renamed "marriage for real insecure men." It was ridiculous.

    6 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 17, 2012

    Challenging read - you won't agree with everything but it's worth reading

    “Marriage is for our holiness before our happiness. Your spouse is the most sanctifying, and often most frustrating, relationship you will have. God will use our spouses to expose our selfishness and make us to be increasingly more humble servants like Jesus Christ”. These are the words of Mark and Grace Driscoll that resonated with both my husband and I.
    The book was interesting, some of the content, I agreed with, some of it not. A well written, honest account of their own marriage issues and many issues that other people had brought to them throughout their ministry, Mark and Grace have sought to provide insight to God’s purpose for our marriages and to banish much of the wrong thought surrounding issues, from everyday attitudes and intimacy issues between couples. They don’t mince their words and it is a very real look at marriages today. Issues such as the effect of pornography on the psyche of both men and woman, I found to be of great interest. One of the biggest issues for me, as a woman, has always been that of understanding submission in the biblical sense and the Christian world is abuzz with everybody’s opinion on this very issue – Mark and Grace’s take, I believe is grounded in scripture. The book challenges many of my preconceived ideas about sex but in this, it’s not to say that I have chosen to agree with every thing delivered in the content, it is however most refreshing to read a book on these issues that provides a great deal of food for thought. Challenging!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 7, 2012

    Controversial? Maybe. Heretical? Hardly.

    Others have written extensively and rather detailed concerning the content, I will not do that here. What I will say is that this book is a great discussion starter! As a Pastor who has taken many young couples through pre-marital counseling, this book just doesn't break the ice, it shatters it. I would recommend this book to any adult, especially those who are married. It opens up discussion for husbands and wives who suffered sexual abuse as children (hope for healing), reminders of how we are really to treat one another, etc. For engaged couples I would go through this book with your Pastor or counselor. Someone who has read or is reading the book alongside you and your fiance'. I think for engaged couples this is very important as this book can be very "charged". The couple I am currently counseling picked it up and the young man skipped right to "Can we _______?", while the young woman was methodically reading it through. A pre-marriage counselor can help keep them on track. Sex is only a part of the overall equation of marriage and despite all the "Can we..." stuff, traditional intercourse is still the icing but not the whole cake of marriage, while "can we" is just the little decorations placed on the icing. May look good but is not necessary. I did like the lawful, helpful, enslaving. I did not totally agree with all of the book's conclusions in this area and maybe it is more how and where information and scripture was placed. I appreciated the vulnerability and honesty of Mark and Grace. I really enjoyed the chapters 2 (Friendship), 3 (Men), and 4 (Women)... not any really new revelations to me. I have often preached, counseled, shared, and practiced many of the same root principles that are explained and illustrated there. In the context of the book they are presented in a fresh, bold, in your face fashion that many 20 and 30 somethings really appreciate. As a 40 something who ministers to them I found it very helpful. Overall, I enjoyed the book and look forward to my wife reading it and will hopefully add her comments and more of mine as I continue to mull over it's content. I will leave you with a running joke that I share with the youth of our church on a regular basis, "There is nothing like 24 years married sex! It just get's better every year... I can't wait until I can say there is nothing better than 25 years married sex!" It's goes from a collective groan to screaming TMI! As the happily married adults in our churches we need to model not just happy marriages but physically happy marriages for the next generation. Hopefully I haven't embarrassed my kid's to much with this review!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 18, 2012

    Marriage books are hard for me, because they focus so much on th

    Marriage books are hard for me, because they focus so much on their own marriage and the issues they’ve had to overcome and I sometimes find it difficult to relate.
    This one wasn’t all that different from other ones I’ve read, however, it does have good information tucked in the pages for all couples new and old with biblical foundations attached.
    They talk very honestly about the many obstacles and struggles in their marriage that they overcame with the help of Jesus. I completely agree with their philosophy about being friends first and foremost with your spouse, and how it does take work.
    They also candidly talk about sex, which for some reason in the church is not always openly discussed, but it’s something that couples have questions about.
    It does have some great steps and in-depth questions in the back of the book to go over with your spouse.
    This book wasn’t necessarily a page turner for me, but I do have a ton of respect for the Driscoll’s and the transparent wisdom they share about friendship, sex and marriage.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 14, 2012

    I truly enjoyed reading this book. Whether you've been married

    I truly enjoyed reading this book. Whether you've been married for 17 years or 17 months, there is something to learn here. Most of us had our own ideas about sex before we got married and brought them into our union. This book takes a hard honest look at myths and perceptions of the marriage bed, and how you can turn it all around to bless your marraige. I would definitely recommend this resource to anyone married or even contemplating taking the plundge. A must have for your home library!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2012

    GOOD

    It tells about sex question

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 24, 2012

    Every person who plans to be Married needs to read this book.

    This book was amazing! I loved the honesty of Mark and Grace in their Marriage. It was really helpful in that sense because instead of giving a bunch of principles that are hard to put into practice, they gave conceptual and practical advice on relationship and sex. It was also really helpful, at least personally, hearing their struggles because it helped to see the effects of the mistakes on both sides and how to be loving to one another through it. All in all, it was awesome and and changed the way that I looked at how to go about a healthy relationship in Christ.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 24, 2012

    Great Truth

    In Mark Driscoll's book Real Marriage. I enjoyed the countless Biblical detail in his writing of the book. I have heard of other writings by Mark and have enjoyed them as well. I feel Mark touched on a subject that todays church shys away from. It is great the Mark and his wife have taken the leap of faith to share their insights on these very biblical subjects with sex, friendship and life together. This is a good read for anyone single or married to gain insights on the subjects that aren't preached on to often from the pulpit.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 3, 2012

    Ugh, was drawn to title but didn't realize it was a Christian-suffused work

    Not my thing, but religious Christians may find it helpful.

    2 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2012

    Real Marriage by Mark and Grace Driscoll I had heard a lot abou

    Real Marriage by Mark and Grace Driscoll

    I had heard a lot about this book, mostly the controversy that the author caused in England, so was really intrigued when I saw that this book was up for review. I had high expectations, and as someone preparing for marriage thought that it would be a good read. I have to say I was slightly disappointed, the book read more as the story of their lives together, rather than as a book about marriage. Maybe for a couple who have been married for a while this book would be good, but for an engaged couple, or newly weds, this is probably not the best read. However, there are some good parts to the book, which I found useful when read with other marriage books.



    Thomas Nelson publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of review. I was not required to write a positive review.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 12, 2012

    Real Marriage – Mark & Grace Driscoll ©2012 Tho

    Real Marriage – Mark & Grace Driscoll

    ©2012 Thomas Nelson, Nashville

    In a society that is filled with preachers who are trying to re-invent church in order to appeal to a new generation, Mark Driscoll seems to have found a voice—at least in his home of Seattle where he leads one of the faster growing churches in one of the most un-churched areas of our country. The popular trend today is for some of these pastors to publish books based on their teaching concerning sex and marriage. So Mark and his wife Grace have teamed up to present their take on answering some of the formerly unaskable questions.

    Quite frankly, the book does a good job of sticking with Scriptural basis for finding the answers to these questions. But also quite frankly, the authors sometimes deal a little more frankly than polite society would like for this topic to be dealt with. I think that there is an audience for this book, although it may not be the audience that the authors and the publisher thought of when producing and marketing this book.

    It is not for the general public at large. I know that this is the way that it has been approached, but I believe that this book, along with others like it, will serve best as reference books in the hands of ministry leaders, Christian counselors and the like.

    Even having said this, the advice they give concerning coming to grips with one’s physical past is sound, though sometimes over-generalized. At times the authors assume that every person inside and outside the church has some deep dark hidden sexual secret that must be exposed. The method of exposure advised is a “rip the bandaid off” approach that can lead to more scars than healing. Does such hidden past need to be brought out into the open? In most cases, yes. But this should be done with great care so as not to destroy the relationship that you are trying to heal.

    Would I recommend this book? Cautiously. Do I think it could be helpful in certain situations? Probably. Do we need to use a “group study guide” to include this in our on-going church curriculum? I would advise against it. Therefore, I give this book 3.5 reading glasses out of five.

    —Benjamin Potter, July 12, 2012

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 23, 2012

    Even for single guys.

    Great book, great read. It's super helpful, and it gives us people who are yet to be married a glimpse of the future - even the not-so-fun parts. With other marriage books, they're either not meant for single people to read or they read as if they are giving you all the knowledge you need to eliminate any problems in your future marriage. Real Marriage does nothing of the sort and instead is, as the title suggests, very real. What it does do, however, is tell you how to plan for the future and provide you with information you can use to deal with the problems that will occur when the future inevitably doesn't turn out how you planned.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 23, 2012

    A must read for all married couples...

    I just finished this book and now my wife is reading it. I loved it...it really spoke to me. As newly weds, I really feel like this book is going to help us prevent a lot of mistakes! Can't wait for my wife to finish it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2012

    The real hard truth.

    This book is serious ans shouldn't be taken litely. This book is the straight foward and real truth to what marriage is suppose to be. Those who veiw this to be negative have never truly undetstood God's definition of marriage. This book is a powerful and honest read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 3, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    good

    ....

    1 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2014

    Okay read

    It was just okay to me. There were some things I disagreed with. I am not sure that God would have us to confess everything we've ever done to our spouses. I believe you should be faithful and honest...but to tell them things from your past that happened before you ever met them...probably not wise to bring it up. A lot of the material was very helpful to know what is appropriate in the bedroom. It was easy to read and understand.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2012

    Turn Around

    This book is a must get for any who is gettig married, or married already.
    Information is so timly and to the point. God used this book to turn my marriage around.

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