Ever wonder how to have a “REAL” Godly Marriage?

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I have recently read this book by Mark and Grace Driscoll and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it…

Not because it’s a fun book to read, but because it is filled with truths on how to have a marriage that is REAL and HONOURING GOD.

In the book they make the statement that while a wedding day is important, it’s the last day of your marriage that really counts.

They ask the question whether your marriage will end prematurely because of divorce…

whether the last day will be filled with regrets as you sit next to your spouses grave…

or whether it will be a day that rejoices the life you have lived together?

They want you to have a GREAT marriage, not just a good one and they are giving you the tools to achieve just that…

Here is a bit of  background on the Driscoll’s incase you have never heard of them. Mark is the founding pastor of Mars Hill church in Washington. It is a church that has grown exceptionally over the last fifteen years.

In our life groups we have studied through some of their doctrine series and found it to the point and biblical, so when I heard that he and his wife had written a book on marriage I was looking forward to reading it, because I knew that they would be saying things as they are.

When this book was released in the states there was quite a bit of controversy around it. Some people adored it for the exact reasons that I will mention below and some thought that it was to personal and real…

…which I think is exactly what we need to start making a change in our marriages.

We don’t need someone making it sound idyllic and easy. We need someone to tell us how to deal with things when they aren’t so idyllic and easy.

And that’s what this book is about.

It’s  called REAL marriage for a reason.

This is one of my favourite books on marriage for a couple of reasons. The main one being that Mark and Grace are open and vulnerable about their own marriage. Through this book as you discover the story of their lives, you start to realize that marriage is not always easy, even with God on your side.

Their story is one that has a lot of heartache in it, some of which was caused by disobedience (before and after getting married). It opened my eyes to realize the power that extra baggage from your past can have in your marriage if you don’t open up about it, confess it and ask for forgiveness.

However, along with all the heartache they also tell a story of hope…. immense hope…

With acknowledging God in their relationship and doing what He asked of them, they pulled through all the heartache and got to a place where they are madly in love…

fulfilled in their relationship with each other…

and with God…

as well as having peace and joy in all that happens.

The second reason why I really enjoyed this book is that they are very much to the point. If you have ever heard Marc preach, you will know what I am talking about. There is no beating around the bush or sugar-coating serious issues.

They say things as they are…

You might not necessarily like this, as it means you’d need to change some things in your life, but I think it’s great to have a book that doesn’t shy away from the truth, especially on something as important as marriage.

Some of the truths that are mentioned in this book that really jumped out at me are:

1)   They talk a lot about first and foremost being each others best friends. Your marriage is not a business deal where each one has their responsibilities and if one doesn’t pull their weight you back out… no, you are friends that are finding solutions together.

Also a good thing to keep in mind is that you are on the same team, you  together with God, fighting against the rest of the world type of thing. It’s not you against your partner, he or she is not your enemy but your team-mate that fights with you to the end.

2)    There is a chapter specifically for the men that focuses on your responsibilities as a husband. And I don’t mean taking out the trash…

Mark talks about honoring your wife , emotionally, physically, verbally, financially even technologically (not being on the phone or computer all the time).

He talks about being a man the way that Jesus was.

About the responsibility you  have to ensure your family is part of a good church, to ensure they are spending time with God, worshiping together at home etc.

It’s good to read through this and perhaps get a different perspective of what your role as a husband is supposed to be.

3)    Then Grace writes specifically for us ladies on being a respectful wife.

Immediately some ladies might already want to switch off, thinking respect needs to be earned…

But the truth is that God commands you to be respectful and submissive to your husband. He doesn’t give you the option, he commands you.

She talks about what it means to be respectful…

having heads, hearts and hands of respect…

How to disagree, council, encourage and submit respectfully…

It is definitely a topic that I think you can never fully grasp, so it’s always good to go back to and dedicate yourself to it everyday.

4)    There is also a chapter on taking out the trash. Which basically comes down to confessing all your sins and throwing out the extra baggage together as a couple after you have dealt with it.

Not hiding it away under the rug, but to actually deal with it, even if it was before you got married.

In this chapter they also talk about being allowed to feel righteous anger as a lot of these problems can cause hurt. But to do that you need to know the difference between anger that’s righteous and bitterness that is from the flesh.

5)    The rest of the book focuses on Sex. As it is a big issue in many marriages, whether you know realise it or not.

They deal with people seeing sex as a god…

seeing sex as gross…

seeing sex as a gift, the way God intended it to be.

They deal with the pain and hurt when sexual abuse is part of your past or present.

They deal with the porn issue as well as being a selfish or servant lover.

At the end of this section they also have a chapter that answers questions you might have with regards to  “can we do this or that”

They answer the question not out of their own opinion. They answer them from an objective point of view which basically summarises the following:

is it lawful… which includes biblical and worldly laws

is it helpful to your marriage…

can it be enslaving…

Out of that you can then form your conviction on whether it is for you or not.

6)    And then the last chapter again focuses on working towards the last day of your marriage.

Having a marriage that will glorify God because you put your everything into all the different aspects of.

Not just a good or adequate marriage.

But a GREAT one!

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