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Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together
Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together
by Mark Driscoll
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $15.91
199 used & new from $0.17

245 of 280 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Life in the Garden of Driscoll, January 24, 2012
This book disturbed me, so much so that my visceral reaction was "I want to protect my daughter from men like Mark Driscoll."

The first half of the book is an intermingling of personal narrative and pastoral counsel. The personal narrative is primarily a specific and detailed litany of Grace's sins against Mark (i.e., cutting her hair, being late, lying during premarital counseling, withholding sex, and not being adventurous enough in the bedroom). There is no corresponding litany of Mark's sins. The only sins Mark admits to are: a) purity code violations prior to marriage; and b) sinful responses to Grace's sins against him.

Mark does tell how he has changed his behavior, replacing sinful responses with godly responses. But, he never takes the next step of rewriting his story in a way that acknowledges his full complicity in the Driscoll family sin drama. Grace remains the lead sinner, while Mark plays only a supporting role. Despite a chapter title to the contrary, there's precious little grace in this story.

This is very important because it is the personal narrative in the first half of the book - not the pastoral counsel in the first half of the book - that becomes the implicit framework for the practical counsel on sex in the second half of the book. Mark did/men do struggle with purity, so there's a great discussion of porn. But apart from that, selfishness in the bedroom is assigned to Grace/the wife. Chapter 9 is ostensibly a general discussion of selfish versus servant love in the bedroom. In principle, that could have been the jumping off point for a balanced discussion of the variety of ways in which husbands and wives struggle to be selfless in the bedroom. In practice, however, the chapter is little more than a list of the ways in which wives withhold sex (just as Grace withheld sex). Similarly, Chapter 10 is about adventure in the bedroom, with the conclusion being that almost everything on the list of possible adventures that husbands desire is consistent with Scripture (in contrast to Grace's earlier attitudes, which led to behavior that was not sufficiently responsive to Mark's Scripture-consistent preferences).

So, there you have it. In the absence of his porn usage, it's all her fault.

I don't disagree with the Driscolls' characterization of the ways in which the typical wife struggles with selfishness. But, I also don't think the typical husband is as blameless as Chapters 9 and 10 imply. If you want counsel on sex, I strongly recommend any book by a Christian sex therapist over this one.
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