You can read other parts of my review on Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship and Life Together by Mark and Grace Driscoll here, here and here. There are also lots of other thoughtful reviews bouncing around the interwebs. But we’ll continue in my review style for better or worse.
Some might be wondering why the litany of posts on this book. If it’s so bad, why do I keep harping on it?
Of course there is such a blatant disregard for women with Driscoll. He’s (in)famous. I guess I just thought that his co-authorship with his wife Grace would temper his bombasticity. But she seems to have bought in to it.
The concentration on a man’s sexual needs and total ignorance of any non-male-like needs a women might have prevents this from being a useful book on marriage. Therefore, The Burner Blog cannot recommend that any couple needing information/advice/tools to improve their marriage take this book seriously.
I keep writing because think the book really is a bad book. In my (very male) opinion, it’s not affirming or helpful to women. Women are more than tools to be used for their husbands sexual gratification. There is more to sex than intercourse. Children play a role in marriage. There is little mention of the mystery of marriage á la Ephesians 5. Suggestions for improvements in communication or money are absent.
Considering that the most common causes of divorce are money, kids, sex or communication, it seems that mention should have been made of each of these.
Further, there is little reference to a husband and wife’s spiritual relationship or need to worship together. Maybe not everybody thinks that is important, but it’s conspicuous by its absence.
So, in conclusion, the book is worse than bad if the readers try to mimic the ‘husband-first’ attitude riddled throughout the book. It’s harmful, domineering, and controlling at best. I can’t believe Mars Hill wives would go for it, much less Grace.
Oh, yes; Grace. I wonder about her and how she will react to their relationship being published. With the subtle slights and anecdotes about her failings. I have pretty thick skin and I couldn’t handle my wife writing this book about me.
So, I leave you with little Driscoll pearls that I found funny or surprising or shocking or all three during my time with Real Marriage. Thanks for the comments, and feel free to avoid the book when you see it on the shelves.
Sure, the naked people you are looking at are hot…but so is hell. (151)
The next time you and your spouse are lying in bed angry, bitter and physically distant, with your backs turned towards each other, imagine Satan himself sleeping in the open space between the two of you. (159)
That summer we took a vacation in central Oregon with Grace’s family. During the vacation, I kept a legal-sized yellow pad handy and started a lengthy homework assignment for Grace…I did not want to boss Grace around and tell her how our new life together would be. But I needed to help her by drawing out her thoughts, dreams, fears and needs–or what Peter meant when commanding husbands to be “understanding” with their wives. (206)
I would wager that ‘homework on a legal pad’ is not what Peter meant by “understanding.” Shame on me for have such a little imagination.