Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Real Marriage by Mark and Grace Driscoll

Not for the faint (or blushing) of heart...

In today's culture, we are accustomed to bluntness.  For some, that would mean a lack of tact, but in the case of this book, the bluntness can be appreciated by a married couple.  The book, Real Marriage, is sectioned into two parts-The Emotional and The Physical, the latter being the one that makes us squirm with uneasiness, simply due to the explicit nature of it all.  The first four chapters deal with the issue of openness and willingness to communicate.  Too many marriages end in divorce (and some continue in unhappiness) because of a failure to communicate respectfully.  The Driscolls are quick to point out that it's easy to communicate through harsh words lacking the care and compassion to hear the other person and truly understand his or her standpoint, but in essence, lack of care and compassion is a lack of communication in itself.  The crux of the issue is dealt with in Chapter 5 which addresses the paths that lead to divorce.  It is easy to find the faults in our spouse and even easier to overlook our own. 

Chapter 6, which opens the second part of the book, is a look at Church leaders and theologians of the distant past (Tertullian, Ambrose, Gregory of Nyssa, Chrysostom, Augustine) and their views of the physical relationship between a husband and wife.  Chapters 7-8 walk the reader through the darker issues of marriage including past sexual abuse and pornography and how these issues can destroy and end a marriage.  Not only can these issues destroy a marriage, but they can destroy a person's right view of the marriage relationship.  Chapter 9 is a very detailed depiction of the Song of Solomon Chapters 6-7 and the relationship of the married couple, while Chapter 10 steps into the uncomfortable questions that many people ask within the married relationship. 

These chapters and this book are not for the timid or shy...but maybe it could and should be.  It is not written from a scholarly standpoint but rather, in plain, layman's terms.  The final chapter culminates with Ecclesiastes 7:8 and encourages married couples to make the end of their marriage stronger than the beginning.  A married couple can choose to grow apart as the years grow, or they can choose to grow together and strengthen their relationship by becoming a picture of oneness not only in the physical aspect, but in the emotional and spiritual as well. 
The opinions expressed in this review are my own.  I received a free copy of this book from BookSneeze.com.

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