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Real Marriage -- Mark & Grace Driscoll
Written by Mike Noel   
Saturday, 21 January 2012

Real Marriage

In Real Marriage Mark and Grace Driscoll attempt to provide solid advice to married couples. The topics cover a wide range of marital issues but the primary focus is on physical intimacy.  It maynot be the authors' intention to put the focus here. In fact, I would guess that the authors meant to show that improved physical intimacy would be an emergent quality once the other areas of the marriage were improved.  

The book is authored by both Mark and Grace Driscoll. Most books with coauthors will have authors alternate on chapters or will have one primary author as the "voice" of the book. Mark and Grace interwove their authorship seamessly on a paragraph-by-paragraph basis -- sometimes even changing author in the middle of a paragraph. The constant switching took a little getting used to but once I became comfortable with it I enjoyed that style.

However, I had tremendous difficulty with the things that Mark wrote. He wrote so many things that I found very misleading. For instance, he said that he and Grace, in preparation for this book, read part of all of 187 books on marriage and not one of them had a major chapter or section devoted to the concept of friendship between spouses (p24). This statement was made to backup the point that no one else is talking about friendship in marriage. But this point is so very wrong. I recently "Sheet Music" by Kevin Lehman and the concept of friendship between husband and wife was throughout the whole book. I've participated in Emmerson's Love and Respect conference four times and in each case the friendship point was made prominent. Technically it is probably true, there isn't a "chapter or major section" devoted just to the topic of frienship, but that doesn't mean that friendship isn't an important part of the discussion both of those other authors provide.

This sort of misdirection happens repeatedly in the book and that makes it very hard for me give the rest of it much credit.

Finally I'd like to comment on the "Can We (blank)?" chapter. I am sure that many readers are going to skip ahead to this chapter right away just to see where the authors are heading. Most readers will be quite disappointed. The Driscolls address 11 topics related to physical intimacy in marriage. This is the one place where they had a chance to add the most value (i.e. say something different than the dozens of other books written on these topics) but they missed it entirely. None of the topics offered a fresh perspective or view for the average mainstream Christian. They played it all very safe by covering topics such as Cosmetic Surgery or Marital Assault where the answers they provide will be in agreement with the vast majority of their readers.

With the large number of other marriage books available, I would not recommend this book to any couple. It was a disappointment.

Disclaimer: This book was received and reviewed as a part of the booksneeze program.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 21 January 2012 )