14 May Real Marriage DVD Curriculum Review
Mark & Grace Driscoll
Mark & Grace Driscoll started a firestorm a few months ago as they wrote a book that unabashedly and openly (for some too openly!) tackles the issue of marriage and sex. Many of the reviews have given inordinate attention to one controversial chapter in the book rather than treating the book as a whole. To be fair to those reviewers, however, I agree that the Driscolls have overly simplified the questions to ask regarding “Can we _____?” chapter to questions of 1)lawful; 2)helpful; 3)enslaving. Due to limited space, I refer you to these helpful thoughts by Jeremy Pierre and Doug Wilson. Some of the reservations and qualms people have with the chapter can be alleviated by using the DVD curriculum. The leader for the small group can bring in tempering questions to this particular chapter as well as lead discussion that is edifying and not merely delving in curiosities.
As to the merits of the DVD curriculum, I found the videos helpful in seeing Mark show his softer side. A man who is dubbed as an ultimate fighter in theological arenas, it is balancing to see him as deferential to Grace and modeling tender love toward her in the videos (at times I felt like I was watching a high school boy around a college girl, which stems from a deep love and respect and affection for his wife. A model I think all men would do well to model).
A particular strength to the DVD curriculum was the practical questions offered in each section. Dialogue is encouraged between spouses. The Leader’s Guide has verses of Scripture that encapsulate the teaching. This is refreshing as so many marriage books are heavy on the practical, to the detriment of Scripture’s over-arching claims to our marriages.
Churches would do well, given their particular cultural contexts, to review and possible work through this curriculum with newly weds. I would recommend the curriculum before the book so that questions and nuance can be introduced to the conversation. This would temper and help the teaching (particularly to the “Can We _____?” chapter.