Marriage books. I’ve read a few in my time. As a Chaplain and a pastor I’m always on the lookout for good marriage books that I can recommend to people desiring to strengthen their relationships or needing counsel. The problem with a lot of Christian marriage books is that, not only do they seem to just rehash the same topics with a different author, but many are heavy on advice and personal anecdotes and light on Scripture.
Real Marriage by Mark and Grace Driscoll does cover a lot of the same ground as many Christian marriage books. There’s talk of respect, fighting, sexual issues, etc. Where this book rises above many marriage books is that it is packed with Scripture. Both Mark and Grace pepper their portions of the book with references to verses and passages to ground their advice in the Bible. This is very helpful because it lets a reader go back to the source material and lends more weight to the points made in the book.
Other than the strong grounding in Scripture, there are two big portions of this book that are extremely helpful and by themselves make the book worth buying. The Driscoll’s devote a good deal of time to explaining the importance of a married couple being friends. When was the last time you read a marriage book that stressed the importance of your spouse being your best friend? I may have seen it mentioned in passing in other books but the Driscoll’s make it a foundational element of this book and it is a very helpful reminder and encouragement to always work to maintain your friendship with your spouse.
The other section that I found to be very insightful and often missing from other books was the section on sexual abuse. The Driscoll’s get very personal about their stories and offer wise and compassionate counsel to those who have dealt with abuse and they are living proof that a couple can have a successful marriage even with abuse in the past (it will just take a lot of prayer, time, patience, and understanding).
This is a marriage book worth picking up. Even if you’ve already read an abundance of books on the topic the firm grounding in Scripture and helpful sections on friendship and abuse alone make this book worth the price of admission.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.