...Arm Yourself with the Sword of the Spirit... Eph 6:17


Real Marriage by Mark & Grace Driscoll – Week One Notes

26 May on Bible Studies, Marriage & Family   Tags: , , , , , , ,


My wife and I just started the Real Marriage series by Mark & Grace Driscoll. We’re in our off season for weekly life groups, so we decided to do our own weekly Bible study. We had several Bible studies to choose from including FoundationsChrist FollowerIt Starts with OneUltimate ApologeticsRemembering God, & Real Marriage. I let her decide which one we should do. It’s no surprised that she decided to go with Real Marriage. As much as we both claim to have the best spouse in the world, there’s always room for improvement.

My wife and I have been married for almost 3 years now. Our son just turned one and everything seems fine and dandy. But if there’s anything new we can learn about marriage and how we can use our marriage to glorify God, then we’re all for it.

So on Wednesday night we started the series with reading chapter one of the book, having dinner, watching the 1st part of the DVD, and going through the discussion in the participants guide. By time we finished the discussion and prayer with each other, we were feeling very good about the series.


But then we had to do our homework. We both had to answer a series of similar questions. Here are my questions and answers.

1.Write down the assumptions you made going into your marriage.

I assumed it would be the same as it were before we were married, except for it would be harder to divorce than break up. I assumed I would have the same sex for the rest of my life. I assumed we would get to a point where we understand each other so well that we would be able to finish each other sentences. I assumed she would all of a sudden be a good cook. I assumed nothing spectacular would happen. I assume passion and arguments would eventually cease.

2. How has the reality of your marriage challenged these assumptions?

So far,  most of my assumptions are true. But I’m seeing that a lot of them have to do with my efforts. I believe my assumptions could change are that good things can come out of us if I/we put in the effort to make it happen.

3. How might God be using these challenges to make you a better husband?

Being reminded that my wife is a daughter of God & that our marriage is something ordained by God gives me a lot of responsibility  Just like w/money, God is calling me to be a good steward with my wife & marriage. If I really want to be like Christ & am really a Christ follower, I must sacrifice my life & love her like He loves the church.

4. Write down the expectations that you had going into your marriage.

I expected my wife to become a good cook. I expected my wife to be happily married no matter my actions. I expected my wife to keep me sexually satisfied without input or help. I expected once we’re married that there’s noting left to do but have kids & stay happy without effort.

5. How many of the expectations that you had were of yourself, and how many were of your wife? What does that reveal?

Wife – 3, Me – 0, Both 1 -This reveals to me that I expected so much of my wife and never considered looking at myself as a problem, issue or the person that should be meeting or setting expectations.

6. What are you praying God will do throughout the next eleven weeks?

To renew our marriage. To become that couple that can’t keep their hands off of each other. To lean exactly what God wants for us and to come out of our marriage, and to fulfill it.

7. Think and pray through your own life story, especially you life before marriage and your life before Jesus…


We both did our homework by Friday night and the next step was to discuss our answers. After we discussed our answers to our homework questions, we had to discuss a series of  questions as a couple. The questions were;

1. What is the Holy Spirit revealing to you about your your assumptions and expectations for your marriage?

2. Discuss what effective those expectations and assumptions have had on your marriage. How can you align them with the expectations that we see in Ephesians 4?

3. Share with each other your hopes for the next eleven weeks and write them down.

4. Take turns sharing your stories with each other. Listen specifically for the elements of the gospel in your spouse’s story, either the truth of the gospel or the distortion of it. Help each other see what God has redeemed and what He wants to redeem in each of your stories.

5. Work together to come up with a vision statement for your marriage and family that is inspired by the Gospel, glorifies Jesus, and get you excited for the next twenty years of your life together.

Our Vision Statement

For us to be one physically & sexually.
For us to be one mentally; to understand, respect & trust one another
For us to be one spiritually before God & to love each other like Christ loves the church
All to deepen our relationships with each other & God & so that we can shepherd & raise our children to be loving & to love God.

Response to Week One

By time we were done with the discussion, we were both all tense and taken out of our comfort zones. My wife even said, “I don’t know about this series.” I replied jokingly, “yeah it seems like we’re worst off now than before”. She said “I don’t know if I can do this”  but at the same time was looking forward to getting to the next chapter. I replied “of course we can, and of course it’s going to be hard, and of course we’re going to have to be taken out of our comfort zones for us to grow.”

She later said “I can’t imagine doing this in a group setting because it’s a little too personal and convicting.”

The fact of the matter is, this series forced us to open up to each other (quite frankly) in ways we never have. We had to talk about our pasts. We had to talk about expectations. We had to bring up old things. We had to talk about things that have pretty much been a taboo in our relationship. But these were all things that were needed to do in order for us to benefit from the riches and blessings God has in store for our marriage. We definitely learned that this is not going to be easy and there are going to be times when we’ll learn more about each other than desired. We’ll also learn how some of our ways are worldly instead of spiritual or Biblical.  The verse that comes to mind when thinking about this series is Job 23:10;

But He knows the way I take; When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.

Some will say that the series is just applying what worked for Mark & Grace to everyone, and some will say that you should study through it as an autobiography instead of a marriage counseling program. We’ll keep that in mind. But so far the questions in the participant’s guide can apply to any marriage going through anything.

A So far this series is convicting and seems to be something that’s going to be good for us. But we’re just getting started. Although we are open to this series, we are also keeping our eyes wide open for anything unbiblical or not applicable to us (only relevant to Mark & Grace).  Even though I know this series could fail miserably, I give week 1 an ‘A’.