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Real Marriage Participants Guide: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together [Paperback]

Mark Driscoll , Driscoll Grace Driscoll
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Jan. 3 2012

You planned for the first day of your marriage… Are you planning for the last?

While a wonderful wedding day is important, it’s the last day of marriage that really counts. Will the last day of your marriage come prematurely through divorce? Will it be filled with regrets as you sit at the funeral of your spouse? Or, by God’s grace, will the last day be a day to rejoice in the life you lived together?

Pastor Mark Driscoll and his wife, Grace, want you to finish well on the last day. Through their book Real Marriage and the eleven-week DVD-based study they share practical help and hope with people just like them—who entered marriage a complete mess—or who are planning to be married someday and want to avoid some sticky pitfalls in the future.                  

A companion to the Real Marriage DVD-Based Study Kit, this guide is uniquely designed for small groups, couples, and those who are considering marriage. Each session in the Participant’s Guide provides engaging group study questions and essential homework for husbands, wives, and singles alike. Together you, your spouse, and your small group will tackle the tough issues such as friendship with your spouse, pornography and sexual assault, submission and respect, and sexual intimacy in marriage.

God desires for your marriage to be full of joy and happiness as it glorifies His Son. Jesus makes such marriage possible through His death and resurrection.

The Real Marriage Participant’s Guide includes:

  • Eleven sessions
  • Homework specially designed for husbands, wives, and singles
  • Guides for conversations with your spouse
  • Ideas for date nights
  • Notes for small group leaders

Intended for use with the Real Marriage DVD-Based Study Kit (ISBN: 978-1-4185-5040-0) and the trade book Real Marriage  


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Product Description

About the Author

Mark Driscoll pastors Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington, one of the fastest-growing churches in the nation. He is the author or coauthor of twelve books, including Real Marriage and Doctrine: What Christians Should Believe. Mark and his wife, Grace, have five children.



Grace Driscoll is a graduate of the Edward R. Murrow School of Communication, Washington State University, where she earned a BA in Public Relations. She delights in being a stay-at-home mom, where she and her husband, Mark, raise their three sons and two daughters.


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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars workbook Jan. 12 2013
By Jaclyn
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I rate this only 2 stars simply because It should be made clearer that it isONLY the workbook, and does not come with the real book. The material, however is excellant.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  45 reviews
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Kindle Review Jan. 3 2012
By Sarge - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Don't download the Kindle version unless you also buy the non-Kindle version. Found out the hard way that this is a DVD study.

Completely useless without the DVD that comes with the non-Kindle version.

Thanks for the heads-up, Amazon!
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great and Needed! Jan. 8 2012
By Christopher Swain - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
One of the things Driscoll (and this time it is Mark and his wife writing) does so well, is to connect the dots between real everyday stuff and the biblical application. But Real Marriage does much more than that. It serves as a practical expose' on what marriage should look like as well as a call to become more than partners, but friends.

Driscoll focuses on the idea of too many marriages being a contractual partnership. With helpful advice and intimate revelation of their own marital problems, Pastor Mark and Grace humbly present a biblical path toward real intimacy in marriage.

The first half of the book covers the marriage as a whole, insight for men and women, and practical ideas on how to grow together. The second half of the book focuses on sex. As usual, Driscoll holds nothing back and, perhaps, for the first time, a Christian author presents truly helpful advice and clarity on sexual issues. Many of which have been avoided or outright ignored within the Christian community for far too long. The book ends with a powerful and true chapter about how the last day of your marriage is the most important - not the first. Thinking like that helps clarify greatly how we ought to think about marriage.

If I had to pick something about the book as a weakness, I would say I would have preferred two books, each more realized on the two major subjects Real Marriage covers. But this is a tacit complaint and one that is easily overlooked.

Please help your marriage and get Real Marriage today and for a friend. I'll be handing one of these to my children one day knowing it will be a tremendous help on the front end of a life-long marriage.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Places friendship where it belongs -- at the center of marriage Sept. 5 2012
By E. White - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A great marriage means having a great friendship. A trusting and abiding friendship is the basis of the deepest intimacy. The authors turn this into an acronym. FRIENDS: Fruitful, Reciprocal, Intimate, Enjoyable, Needed, Devoted, and Sanctifying. The first few chapters cover the all-necessary idea of friendship in marriage, then move on to discuss what it really means to be a man and a woman -- not just what our society says it means.

The following chapters deal with sex -- how to overcome issues and trauma, how to enjoy this most intimate of activities, and where it can all go wrong -- and how to avoid those disasters. The emphasis here is definitely on cultivating a deep and exclusive sexual friendship within the broader context of family.

One remarkable aspect about this book is that it very nearly requires you to open up really deeply -- sometimes I even wondered if the authors' weren't in fact rushing things a bit. (Yes, marriage can provide a safe sanctuary for nearly any self-disclosure, but some couples have very real psychological and spiritual limits.) But if you can actually open up that much, that's great.

Readers should be aware, however, that this is a companion workbook for the DVD group study. So if you don't have the DVD, or a group to study with, you might find this book somewhat less useful. But even without the DVD or a group, it is still full of a lot of useful information and ideas.

So, who should read this book? Most likely couples who have been married for at least a few years, who have been "knocked around" a bit by the challenges of marriage, will find this most useful. The emphasis here, though, is squarely non-urgent. The focus is on developing your friendship.

If you need to get some "relationship first-aid" fast, you might want to check out The Relationship Rescue Workbook by Dr. Phil. For more in-depth (and correspondingly longer-term and more challenging) marriage work meant to root out your marriage's most destructive patterns, also check out The Couple's Survival Workbook by Olsen and Stephens.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Made for a group Feb. 9 2012
By Shep Ramsey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book thinking that it would be a great tool for going through this book with my wife, that it would help me lead through Real Marriage. HOwever, it is set up for a group and DVD based study, neither of which I have. While there may be a few things I can glean out of it, like date night ideas, and a couple other questions, I will not be able to make full use of the guide as it isn't written as a study guide.. Guess I shouldve just read more about it before I bought it.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very open and honest Feb. 3 2012
By T. Hinrichs - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a multi-media course designed for small groups within a fellowship of believers. It includes a DVD, a participant's guide and a leader's guide. Mark and Grace Driscoll wrote a book called Real Marriage and used that as a launching point for 11 sessions that are discussed within a mixed group of Christians.

Each session begins with a short introduction to be read on the topic followed by a short 10 minute video discussion between Mark and Grace. Then the group is to answer questions that delve into the video, Scripture, and topics brought up within the book. Finally, homework is given to both the husband and the wife (also singles). The homework is in the form of questions to answer on their own and later meet together to discuss their answers. The last part of the homework is a special experience the couple is to have together (date night, prayer together, etc.).

It seems that this course is very well thought through and I believe that it could work powerfully with couples of all ages. It does seem to me that this course is mainly focused on couples that have been married at least five years and can relate to the issues that are brought up. Although singles are included and questions for singles are part of the homework, I'm not sure that this would work well unless it would be part of a pre-marital counseling of some sort.

The topics are very applicable to every marriage and they dig pretty deep but this course will only work if both husband and wife are willing to open up on a pretty deep level. The openness and honesty of the authors as they grappled with these issues in their own marriage was extremely helpful and I believe it helps other couples to open up as well. I was personally touched by their frankness and struggles revealing that it's "normal" to have these difficulties in marriage.

The only negative I have about reviewing this course is that I was not supplied with the book itself. So whenever they refer to what they wrote or whenever the participant's guide talks about reading the chapter, I was unable to do so and I missed out on a lot of content. For that reason I wasn't able to fully review the contents of this course.

Thank you to Thomas Nelson Publishers for providing this copy for evaluation. This is a part of BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program.
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