A few months ago our church announced that Pastor Mark Driscoll would be coming to share on the matters of marriage. Mark Driscoll leads Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Wa. Passionate about sharing the gospel and encouraging healthy marriages, Mark launched The Real Marriage Conference. When the conference was promoted during our Marriage Ministry – FUSE, my husband and I encouraged all of the couples at our table to attend the event. Although we did not know the extent of the content, we understand the value in committing to bettering marriage through experiences such as this. With the anticipation of the conference getting closer, my husband decided to listen to the audio version of Mark Driscoll’s book Real Marriage, which we are assuming is the basis for the content shared at the conference.
My husband was captivated by the material presented in Driscoll’s book, so much that he encouraged me to listen to a few chapters as we commuted home from work together. It was refreshing to hear Mark and Grace be transparent in their book, courageously tackling issues that affect marriage including friendship, sex, intimacy, abuse, past experiences, and the reality of sin destroying marriages.
One quote from the book in regards to sin says,
“We can kill our sin, or sin will kill our marriages.”
Another quote pulled from the book about friendship between spouses encourages,
“Marital friendship requires both the husband and wife to be willing to invest what it takes to to be a good friend.”
I was so blessed by the short excerpt I listened to in the car that I went and purchased a hard copy of the book. I knew there would be a ton of great insight that I would want to highlight and underline, making it easier to refer back to if I ever needed to. I just finished reading the book and I am eager to experience even more when we attend the Real Marriage Conference tonight and tomorrow in Corona, Ca! This is just the first stop on the Real Marriage Conference tour, I urge you and your spouse to check it out if there is one coming close to your town!
The book was an easy read. It was relevant and very informational. My husband and I respect Mark and Grace for expounding on the topic of marriage, encouraging husbands and wives to evaluate their lives and move towards oneness together. Mark and Grace reveal some of their personal marital struggles, as well as victories they reached together, by the grace of God. Also, one topic that I feel is presented thoroughly was about pornography. Being a wife who has endured the harsh reality that pornography has been a vice in my marriage, I was relieved to know that my husband and I were gaining understanding in the matter. Confronting such issues, and having a piece of the other side revealed through testimony was convicting, yet empowering. My husband and I need to be wise in this area as we combat the issue together.
Mark does give a disclaimer at the beginning of the book saying,
“Although we seek to be faithful to the bible, this book is not the Bible, and, like you, we are imperfect, so there will be mistakes. Take whatever gifts you find in this book, and feel free to leave the rest.”
I am learning that Mark Driscoll is a Pastor sitting beneath a very large microscope. He has many people who do not agree with his teaching, presentation, or perspectives. Like any other person subject to fame, comes scrutiny. Many people question if this book is truly helpful for marriages. I found the content of the book to be helpful, in particular the issues that are mentioned, I was able to talk about with my husband; so the book served as a platform of discussion that did in fact help my marriage in communicating to my husband. Everyone will have their own opinions regarding the content of Real Marriage, but I say read it for yourself! Get this resource for you and your husband to read together and then discuss it thoroughly. See what you agree with or don’t agree with and why.
We believe wholeheartedly that God is moving mightily in marriages. He is calling us to live up to His standards, reflecting the greatest love story ever! It is time to take a stand for marriage, gear up, get equipped, and prepare ourselves for the inevitable battles that will try and shake our foundation. We do this by gaining understanding and seeking wisdom in how to better our marriages, using resources and tools to help us along the way!
Questions, comments, concerns? If you have anything to add to this review of Real Marriage, please feel free to add in the comments below!