First off I need to admit that I really struggle with how Mark Driscoll communicates in general. I have read four of his books and have listened to a handful of his sermons, and in no way am I judging his heart as I don’t know him personally, but the words he uses to express himself often make him look mean spirited, judgmental, and arrogant. I trust this isn’t his intent, but I admit that this makes listening to him and reading his books a little difficult for me.
The positives about the book:
– There is a lot of practical advice in this book that couples can immediately incorporate into their marriage. Advice on everything from time management, managing stress, spiritual leadership in the home, and much more. The Driscoll’s go beyond theology and theory (although that is there too), and very clearly articulate practical ways in which couples can work on their marriage.
– The second half of the book is on the subject of sex and I commend the authors on their bravery and honesty to talk about a subject that too many Christians shy away from. I have never read a Christian book on marriage that does such a bold and thorough job in tackling this subject. The chapter entitled “Can We _______?” addresses questions about sex that people are asking, but that I have never seen the church address. * CAUTION: this section of the book may be more explicit than some people may be comfortable with.
The negatives about the book:
– Theologically I take a much different position than the Driscoll’s when it comes to gender roles in a marriage. My position isn’t completely different, but they go further than I would go and in my opinion on occasions it is borderline mildly oppressive to women.
– Again his negative remarks and tone are at times offensive to me and unfortunately I think it takes away from people getting to hear the message he is trying to convey. For example he tells a horrific story about how he treated his wife after she cut her hair for convenience sake, and he describes it as a “short, mommish haircut” and a selfish act. At no point did he take ownership of hurting her feelings or show compassion as to why she cut her hair. In the same chapter he also referred to the priest at his former church as seeming to be a “gay alcoholic”. In my opinion, all of this is completely unnecessary.
Overall I would still cautiously recommend the book as I think there is a lot of great advice for couples and their discussion on sex in the context of marriage really tackled numerous questions that aren’t typically given much attention in church. That said, I would still recommend this book second to Tim & Kathy Keller’s book The Meaning of Marriage (see review on that book HERE).