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

Mark Driscoll , Driscoll Grace Driscoll
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 3 2012

Most marriage books assume the author did it right. Most marriage books barely mention friendship. Most marriage books use “intimacy” as code for “sex.” This is not one of those books.

In Real Marriage, Pastor Mark Driscoll and his wife, Grace, share how they have struggled and how they have found healing through the power of the only reliable source: the Bible. They believe friendship is fundamental to marriage but not easy to maintain. So they offer practical advice on how to make your spouse your best friend – and keep it that way. And they know from experience that sex-related issues need to be addressed directly.

Five chapters are dedicated to answering questions like:

  • Should I confess my pre-marital sexual sin to my spouse?
  • Is it okay to have a “work spouse”?
  • What does the Bible say about masturbation and oral sex?

Stunningly honest and vulnerable, Real Marriage is like a personal counseling session with a couple you cannot surprise, you cannot shock into silence, who will respond to every question with wisdom, humility, and realism.

If you want to have a long-lasting, fulfilling marriage you should read this book. Wrestle with this book. Pray over this book. Share this book. And discover how God this book. Share this book. And discover how God can use it to change your life.


“If you’re married or plan to be someday, do yourself a favor and read every page of this book.” —DRS. LES & LESLIE PARROTT Founders of and authors of Love Talk

“Whether engaged, newlywed, or veteran, Real Marriage will serve as an invaluable resource. I highly recommend this book.” —ANDY STANLEY author of The Grace of God and Senior Pastor, North Point Community Church

One of my greatest concerns is that culture is going to continually define and redefine what marriage is and is not, and the church is going to simply sit on the sidelines and react rather than seeking to actually become proactive by confidently teaching what the Bible has to say about it.  That is why I am so thankful that Mark and Grace Driscoll wrote this book.  Their approach to marriage, its benefits and challenges are transparent and challenging and I honestly believe that every married couple who will work through what they lead us through in this book will not just merely have a marriage that survives in this world but rather thrives in it. — PERRY NOBLE Senior Pastor, NewSpring Church

Our thanks to Mark and Grace Driscoll who have served this generation well by tastefully but boldly addressing the real issues facing real marriages. Taking the unchanging truth of God’s word and sprinkling in is the story of God’s mercy in their own marriage they have filled every chapter with real helpfulness. This book is powerful, biblical, practical and healing for marriages that hurt. My wife and our adult children read it to great profit. — DR. JAMES MACDONALD Senior Pastor, Harvest Bible Chapel and Bible teacher for Walk in the Word

Frequently Bought Together

Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together + The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God
Price For Both: CDN$ 36.67

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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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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Review of Real Marriage Jan. 4 2012
It seems every time Mark Driscoll gets up to speak, writes a blog post, or publishes a book there are droves of people who are against it even before viewing the content for themselves. While I agree that a lot of criticism towards him is warranted I do think a lot of it unhelpful and presumptuous. The same has been true with Real Marriage: The truth about sex, friendship and life together. On the first couple pages we are presented with numerous glowing reviews from some of the big guy of Christianity (Celebrity Pastors ;-)), Andy Stanley, Darrin Patrick, Daniel Akin, James Macdonald and Wayne Grudem. I found helpful what Wayne and his wife had to say about the book.

While some sections will be controversial, this book as a whole is a wise, insightful, biblical, and startlingly honest guide to happy marriage. Mark and Grace Driscoll rightly warn about the long-lasting consequences of sexual sin, point out the way to a very happy marriage in obedience to God, and bravely address questions that are rarely brought up in a church setting.

Real Marriage is divided into three main sections. Part 1 ' Marriage, Part 2'Sex, and Part 3'the last day. I found the first section very helpful and applicable Chapter 2 brings to light a subject not found in most marriage books. Marriage is about friendship. The Driscolls spend chapter 2 unpacking for us how friendship in an integral part of a truly Christian marriage and a safeguard against emotional adultery. They share that in their marriage we have made the mistake of assuming we were friends and not working on our friendship as we ought. (page 27) I really liked the analogy used to explain how our marriage changes from being a journey between friends to a team of business partners trying to the pay the bills etc.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
"Real Marriage" by Mark and Grace Driscoll
As I enjoy reading, and also enjoy free books, I am part of this thing called booksneeze. It is from Thomas Nelson and I can order one book at a time (from a list of books), read the book, and post a review on the book. Recently i read the book "Real Marriage" by Mark and Grace Driscoll and here is my review.

As you can probably guess from the title, this book is about marriage. The Driscoll's talk about everything from being a servant lover, to working through the shame of sexual assault, to enjoying our freedom in Christ with regards to our marriages, to answering some of the most common questions people have about sex. They use their own marriage as the backdrop to the book and they share some of the heartaches and struggles that they have been through over the years.
The main message of the book is essentially that we are to learn, from scripture, how to be the wife or husband that God intended us to be. Along the way we are to search our lives and as we are made aware of areas we have veered off course we are to repent (turn from those things) and seek God's direction instead of our own.

My reaction to the book:
I thought this was a fantastic book. It was written almost as a conversation, which makes sense as it was written to compliment the sermon series that Mark Driscoll is preaching. The information was great, the statistics were helpful but not overbearing, and the challenge to be who we were biblically created to be was a great challenge. I have read a few books on marriage but this one was different. It honestly made me think about my own marriage and how I was contributing to it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Law Of Love Jan. 31 2012
I do not believe that the institution of marriage will disappear. Its survival in the post-modern world is dependent upon people rediscovering or uncovering a code to live by. It is the law of love and there is much room for us to become graciously law-abiding.

In reading Mark and Grace Driscoll's treatise on 'sex, friendship and life together' I found a couple who invite the reader into their work in progress.

I appreciated the candor and honesty in their confessions. They speak truthfully about their failures to God and each other. They admit to the genuine risk and pain endured in working through the chaos towards healthy love.

They are Bible-based in their understandings as you might expect from one of America's best known preachers. Mark Driscoll has never been one to mince words. He is very direct and often maligned by his critics for being 'too this or that'. But that's also why he appeals to so many. His wife Grace appears to more gentle in her approach, but not wishy-washy. She too speaks with strong conviction.

I did not agree with everything entirely, but there is great value in this read. In defining Christian marriage, they do a good job at aiming for the middle. This is not male chauvinist propaganda, but a call for men to love their wives with greater intentionality and fidelity.

Their section on sexuality was tastefully practical and answers many questions that do not usually come up in polite conversation with your pastor and his wife.

Some great statistics and sociological insights make this a good read for Christians wanting to improve upon their marriage.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Christian Dr. Phil?
When I found out that Mars church bought their way onto the New York Times best seller list for this book, it somehow all came together for me. Read more
Published 15 days ago by eh.jay
5.0 out of 5 stars Very engaging and helpful
My husband and I found this book very helpful. We weren't having any major marriage issues but it did help us to dig deeper and evaluate possible issues down the road. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Jess
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have for any relationship!
One of the best, and most helpful books I've read on this topic. You don't have to be religious to get a huge amount out of reading this. High recommend!
Published 9 months ago by Michelle Dufrene
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent content
The Driscolls deliver, with a reality and candour that is all-too sparse today. They unleash truths in an open manner, in areas that other "Christians" shrink from in fear. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Tyrel Cooper
1.0 out of 5 stars Lies about Sex, Marriage, etc
This book is full of lies, prejudice and fear mongering.
It has gems such as 'Generally speaking, hormonal birth control methods run the risk of causing an abortion. Read more
Published on Jan. 25 2012 by Danny
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read
Real marriage is vintage Mark Driscoll. The book is full of excellent information, honest interaction with difficult issues, and a willingness to push the lines of prudish... Read more
Published on Jan. 24 2012 by Dr. Rob
5.0 out of 5 stars Real questions, real answers
If you are looking for a book that is going to transform your marriage this is the book for you! Authors Mark and Grace Driscoll talk from the heart providing examples from their... Read more
Published on Jan. 17 2012 by Momof4
2.0 out of 5 stars Will the "Real Marriage" Please Stand Up?
Well, Christmas is over, the thank yous are written, general annual meeting reports are handed in, life has settled down to a dull roar. Read more
Published on Jan. 16 2012 by P. Halliday
5.0 out of 5 stars Serious Stuff.
A marriage of 20 years has guts to spill, stories to tell and lessons to teach. Mark Driscoll and his wife Grace have done just that in their new book Real Marriage; The Truth... Read more
Published on Jan. 15 2012 by M. D. Baker
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best and not the worst
There is some good stuff in here about marriage - it will make you think. At times they were very open and honest. Read more
Published on Jan. 12 2012 by Ron Abarbanel
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