Customer Reviews for

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

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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 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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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2014

    Very helpful

    This book was a great read. It really inspires you to do better in your marriage!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2012

    This is an easy book to read if you intend to change nothing abo

    This is an easy book to read if you intend to change nothing about your
    marriage. However, if you intend to work on it, give it a (second?
    n-th?) shot, fall in love with your spouse again, rekindle the flame,
    cope with the "empty nest" or get ready to be a spouse
    one-day, "Real Marriage" will bend you, stretch you, challenge
    you and leave you with multi-colored pens in hand to underline passages
    to work on later on with your spouse. And this is exactly what I did
    :). Pastor Mark and his wife Grace give a thorough practical overview,
    with no holds barred, believe me, of what the intended roles of husbands
    and wives are in light of the Bible. To this end they have poured in
    countless hours of their own struggles becoming a better partner, their
    journey (individual and as a couple) through what the Scrpitures say as
    well as countless hours of biblical councelling spent with people
    seeking help. The book is very real, much alike an extended interview on
    matters we all feel we have a good grasp on. I liked most of the book,
    if I were to say where I would not necessarily go into as much detail
    were I the authors, I would probably cut down on the technicalities of
    the sexual sphere (though I understand it might just be a thing some
    people need most answers in). On the whole, it is more than solid. And
    most of all, it makes you WANT to not only aspire to but also bring
    about the change in the spouse YOU ARE. I highly recommend reading and
    discussing large parts of "Real Marriage" with your
    husband/wife. And acting on it! Marcin Hartman

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2012

    Great read!

    Well Mark and Grace Driscoll definently have God working through them. They always have a good teaching and they back it up with God word, the bible. So if you want to learn and strive for wisdom. Read the book. Revolution for men is also really good. You don't have to have a bad marriage to read these books.

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  • Posted January 25, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Recommended, but it's not for everyone

    This book has been helpful to my marriage - if for no other reason than the fact that it does highlight some issues and encouraged openness for myself and my wife. Driscoll certainly does have viewpoints that some (many?) will disagree with, but that doesn't negate the rest of the book. I've personally struggled with some of his viewpoints and haven't decided where I stand on some of the items, but other material is still very helpful. One of the early chapters focuses on spouses as friends - close friends. While I certainly already knew this, the way he talks about it, shares his story, and shares Martin Luther's story really impacted me and make me more aware of how I act/react to my wife (and child) so that I am conscious of how I spend my time/resources and whether they're spent on my family. As I mentioned, it's not for everyone. I read this book keeping in mind that much of what is said, particularly the issues related to sex, are a result of questions he has answered and counseling sessions he's been involved in. So these questions aren't just out of the blue, but have some history of being asked. So for many this book will help with questions they've secretly wondered.

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