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What Did You Expect?: Redeeming the Realities of Marriage Paperback – June 18, 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 223 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Noel and I listened to most of this book driving in the car! Wise words. Authentic experience. Provocative application. Turned a long trip into a fruitful two-person marriage seminar.”
John Piper, Founder, desiringGod.org; Chancellor, Bethlehem College & Seminary

“When Paul Tripp teaches, preaches, or writes he does so through the lens of the gospel. In What Did You Expect?, Paul faithfully and brilliantly lets the gospel bear its weight on the messiness and beauty of marriage. I, personally, found the book to be helpful, and we use it extensively at The Village.”
Matt Chandler, Lead Pastor, The Village Church, Dallas, Texas; President, Acts 29 Church Planting Network; author, The Mingling of Souls

“The reason What Did You Expect? is so powerful is not because Paul Tripp is a marriage expert with tips and tricks to fix your problems, it’s because his teaching is drenched in the gospel and the Word of God. This honest book will help you see yourself and your spouse in a new light as it shows you who Jesus is and how to connect his redeeming grace to the daily realities of your marriage. Singles and engaged couples will benefit from it, too.”
Joshua Harris, Former Senior Pastor, Covenant Life Church, Gaithersburg, Maryland; author, Dug Down Deep

“At once deeply theological and practically relevant, this is one of the top books on marriage I have ever read. Paul Tripp allows readers to examine marriage through a biblical lens so that we understand how God can graciously heal our hurting homes. As a pastor, I will implore our people to read this book as soon as it is available.”
Chris Brauns, Pastor, The Red Brick Church, Stillman Valley, Illinois; author, Unpacking Forgiveness, Bound Together, and When the Word Leads Your Pastoral Search

“What I’ve come to expect from Paul Tripp is consistently deep, transparent, biblical, wise, practical, gospel-driven counsel. Rather than muddying the water with self-focused strategies designed to meet our ever-multiplying needs, Paul, as the seasoned soul-physician he is, correctly diagnoses our problems and provides the cure—humble faith in Jesus Christ. I wasn’t disappointed. You won’t be either.”
Elyse M. Fitzpatrick, counselor; speaker; author, Found in Him

“Paul Tripp brings many years of counseling, growth as a husband, and deepening discovery of the liberating power of grace to this realistic and challenging guide to God’s engagement in redeeming marriages that are threatened by complacency, misunderstanding, and selfishness. The Bible’s message of the humbling and healing power of Christ’s mercy and the powerful presence of his Spirit in our homes comes through loud and clear. The daily practicality of gospel doctrine is made crystal clear by Tripp’s transparency about his personal missteps in becoming a Christ-reflecting husband and the many examples of couples who have discovered that they are sinners married to sinners. But that the third, divine Party in marriage gives hope and change when unrealistic expectations are shattered and when we confront our sin. But be warned: Tripp’s diagnostic questions are downright uncomfortable. Even those with strong marriages by God’s grace will find their deep tendencies toward self-coronation challenged!”
Dennis E. Johnson, Professor of Practical Theology, Westminster Seminary California

“Paul Tripp issues a challenge for couples to roll up their sleeves, get to work, and do what it takes to build a God-honoring relationship. He presents six commitments for couples to make, and contained within each is insightful, practical, and effective advice on how to construct a loving, growing, grace-soaked marriage.”
Mary A. Kassian, Professor of Women's Studies, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; author, Girls Gone Wise in a World Gone Wild

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Paul David Tripp (DMin, Westminster Theological Seminary) is a pastor, author, and international conference speaker. He is also the president of Paul Tripp Ministries and the executive director of the Center for Pastoral Life and Care in Fort Worth, Texas. He has written a number of popular books on Christian living, including What Did You Expect?, Dangerous Calling, Parenting, and New Morning Mercies. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife Luella and they have four grown children. For more information and resources, visit paultrippministries.org.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Inter-Varsity Press (June 18, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844744744
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844744749
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (223 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,273,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By James on May 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover
My wife and I were able to sit through a recent marriage conference by Paul Tripp on Redeeming the Realities of Marriage. If you can go to one of his conferences, it is a great opportunity to enjoy a weekend together and talk through some of the areas that present growth opportunities in marriage.

Attending the live event is beneficial, but Tripp's book What Did You Expect: Redeeming the Realities of Marriage is based on the material from the conference. Tripp begins by examining the "essential wisdom perspectives that Scripture gives us for a realistic expectation of marriage": 1) you are conducting your marriage in a fallen world; 2) you are a sinner married to a sinner; 3) God is faithful, powerful, and willing. Tripp then examines the centrality of worship in all of life and the importance of it in a proper understanding of marriage. We should especially view our marriage in light of the Kingdom of God because we are tempted to be about the process of building our own kingdoms in our life and our marriage. Our marriages will find healing as we align our lives with God's Kingdom.

After explaining the importance of seeing your marriage in light of the Kingdom of God, Tripp structures the book by explaining six commitments that will encourage a lifestyle for a healthy and strong marriage:

1. We will give ourselves to a regular lifestyle of confession and forgiveness.
2. We will make growth and change our daily agenda.
3. We will work together to build a sturdy bond of trust.
4. We will commit to building a relationship of love.
5. We will deal with our differences with appreciation and grace.
6. We will work to protect our marriage.
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Format: Hardcover
I have the privilege of overseeing most of the content of a Christian bookstore and this is the best book on marriage that I have encountered. It is the best book because it repeatedly reorients the reader to consider how their self-centered sin functions in an anti-social manner and is the cause of the issues in their marriage. Alongside this it repeatedly calls the reader to refocus their attention to the call to be captivated by the God who is worthy or our worship and the work of his Son. This book is thorough in ruthlessly caring to equip the reader to see our sin clearer, but yet to see our Savior even more clearly. It is realistic in both the work that it takes to make a marriage work while also graphically portraying the work that Christ has already done to make us able to make our marriages work.
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Format: Hardcover
Marriage is hard. To be a good husband or wife is even harder. The more we try, the more conscious we are of our failure. I guess that's why there are so many marriage books. And why, after 1537 other Christian marriage books, the new ones continue to sell. And why, after reading several of the older ones, I continue to read new ones.

We hope to discover The Secret, whatever that is. But we don't, because there's not one. Having a strong marriage is just plain, hard work. But if we can be reminded that we aren't perfect, that we haven't arrived, that we, in fact, are far from "arriving," then something is gained. And if we glean a few tidbits that help us to become a better husband or wife, much is gained. So I'm grateful for Paul David Tripp's new book on the old but important subject of marriage.

Tripp's first line is my favorite: "For some reason I seem to be drawn to write about things I'm not very good at." This humility sets the tone, and the theme, for the whole book. Tripp doesn't present himself as husband of the year, sitting on a lofty perch and tossing scraps of wisdom to the dogs. Instead, he passes on what he has learned through real experience, and what he is still learning, because he (like the rest of us) hasn't arrived.

Tripp's book is based upon six commitments, which are the major divisions of the book:

1. We will give ourselves to a regular lifestyle of confession and forgiveness.
2. We will make growth and change our daily agenda.
3. We will work together to build a sturdy bond of trust.
4. We will commit to building a relationship of love.
5. We will deal with our differences with appreciation and grace.
6. We will work to protect our marriage.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Nobody I know goes into marriage expecting the reality that actually happens. And then every last one of us is left to figure out how to manage the rest of our lives in this uncomfortable and sometimes downright painful situation we hadn't anticipated. Some folks divorce; some bicker to the death; some grit their teeth and pretend everything's OK; some settle for silent desperation/separation under the same roof. We Christians tend to grit our teeth and label it "holiness." No wonder our young adult children are not attracted to emulate our marriages.

A knowledgeable counselor friend of mine says he estimates that only 5% of marriages (whether inside or outside the Church) are actually functioning in a state of peace, harmony and fulfillment. Marriage is not what most people expected it to be. But it IS what God designed it to be. The problem is that most of us don't want to know God's plan; we prefer our own plan and along with it, we prefer to live in varying degrees of misery.

So along comes Paul Tripp. Many of the ideas he presents in What Did You Expect? are not new. I heard them in numerous counselors' offices during the decades I was trying to save my own marriage. But Tripp synthesizes them more clearly than I have ever seen or heard them to date. And occasionally, he lays out original, mind-bending ideas I never have heard anywhere else.

With humility and compassion, with laser sharp insight, in understandable language, Mr. Tripp lays explosives under the foundation of everything the reader thinks he or she knows about marriage, and blows it sky high. Fortunately, Tripp also offers the tools for rebuilding the marriage with a much more substantial foundation using biblical principles with ample real-life examples for application.
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