￼I am always looking at books on marriage to read and evaluate for use in my ministry. There are so many good books out there on marriage and more are being written seems like every day. The last book that I read was Real Marriage by Mark and Grace Driscoll. What a book! I realize that many people have written comments about the book, some have been very positive while others have not been. I decided to read the book with an open mind so that I could truly hear what I needed to hear while I read the book. Even though I did not agree with everything the Driscolls said in the book, the main points on marriage, friendship, romance and the sexual relationship are points that I can totally agree.
The emphasis of Real Marriage is the relationship and the work that relationship takes for a marriage to be successful. We live in a day and time when marriages fail all the time, therefore it is time that pastors make the effort to teach some very practical applications to scripture in the areas of life that impact a marriage greatly. Mark and Grace do just that. I think that one area of the book that truly will help couples is the chapter on friendship. Too many times the husband or the wife or both do not include the other in their recreational activities. Most couples do not have a great deal of time to spend together and then they add stress to their relationship by not recreating together. Now I do not believe that the couple should spend every spare minute together, but if you do not spend time together recreationally the friendship within the marriage will falter. When that happens, the marriage begins to falter. It is true that the husband needs to have guy friends and the wife needs to have girl friends. But the best friend needs to be each other. ￼I remember several years hearing John Maxwell talk about how he told one of his golfing buddies that he could not play gold on a certain day because he was going to an art museum. The buddy replied “I didn’t know you were into art.” Maxwell then said, “I’m not but my wife is and I’m into my wife.” I can personally vouch for the fact a museum can be fun when you go with you wife. I thought that the chapters of the book on the man’s role in the relationship and the woman’s role were very well written and concise with biblical principles to use in the marriage. I believe that when men and women understand the biblical role set out before them, their marriage relationship will improve immensely. Our society has so devalued the differences in gender and blurred the lines so much that we have lost sight of the fact that God created male and female in His image. Each gender reflects the nature of God and when put together, they reveal the image which God intended from the very beginning.
I thought that I might share some of my thoughts about what I disagreed with but I realized that it might detract from the fact that I truly enjoyed reading the book and agreed with the majority of it. I have read some of the scathing reviews of the book. I guess that I did not read this book with the same attitude of others, because I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a good book to read for some very practical help in their marriage. I will let you determine if the book is worth recommending to others.
Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband. Eph. 5:33