I don’t usually make political comments, but something occurred to me watching the news tonight. Many have talked about the high divorce rates that continue to climb higher. People who are divorced remarry 65% of the time and they have an even higher divorce rate than the rest of us.
Could it be that even with criticism (and perhaps because of it), Newt has achieved the status of the common man? “He’s been there! He understands!”
What a time we live in.
Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together by Mark Driscoll
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
There are literally hundreds of books out there on marriage. I think it is likely because no one really has the silver bullet to kill marital strife or even the day-to-day doldrums that every married person experiences. Then comes along Pastor Mark Driscoll and his wife Grace with their crack at it, appropriately titled Real Marriage. I was eager to get my hands on this one in particular of Driscoll’s other books because this is a topic that he is both most noted and most criticized for.
The Driscolls tackle everything from the importance of being friends with your spouse to what kind of sex acts are permissible according to the Bible. Most of the book is rather basic, although Mark has gotten much press for being willing to talk about things like oral and anal sex as well as birth control methods from the pulpit. In an age where many from recent generations have not had an opportunity to talk about sex and marriage with Christian parents, it is good that someone is picking up the slack from a biblical perspective.
Deep down inside we all think that there is something magical about marriage. Too often we watch those movies where the scintillating set of sweethearts saunter off into the sunset and, even though we can consciously identify that as fantasy, we let it creep into our expectations for what this venture is all about.
In the following audio track, pastor Matt Chandler of The Village Church in Texas speaks out about marriage and sets down a charge from Scripture on what it really should be all about. Chandler expels the “you complete me” mentality bequeathed by Jerry Maquire and replaces it with what we can really expect from a marriage. Not only are we given firm expectations, but Chandler challenges us to see how marriage is a picture of what God would have for us and how marriage can draw us into a deeper relationship with him. Here are some highlights:
As a licensed counselor, I have read more than my share of books on managing emotions and relationships. Unfortunately they are all the same. Sure they each have a slightly different take. Some even include their own unique Venn diagrams of emotional issues and how they relate to physical boundaries. Even the Christian books simply take what everyone else has already done and add a dash of Scripture, especially the latter part of Ephesians for flavor.
So when a friend told me that she had read a fantastic book on marriage, I have to admit I had a generous level of skepticism. I trust her judgment so thought to myself, “What’s the harm?” Perceiving my reservation, she sat me down and read a few pages from the first chapter. My curiosity sparked, I graciously borrowed her copy.
Away We Go is a charming movie* about a couple in a long-term relationship (John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph) who suddenly discover that they are going to be parents. Very quickly the reality sets in and they look at their lives in a different way, questioning the path they have chosen together to this point. They decide that the solution is to find another place to live and begin a new life that they can be proud of and which can be conducive to child rearing.
Throughout their journey they reconnect with people they formerly respected only to find that they have problems with their own sanity (Allison Janney and Maggie Gyllenhaal) or life crisis (Chris Messina and Melanie Lynskey). Ultimately it is a journey of self-discovery, self-acceptance, and an embarrassing of what life is really about.