Real Marriage, by Mark Driscoll Chapter 3: Men and Marriage

Men and Marriage

 This chapter is primarily for men. My tone will be as a man to men. Where I writing to women, my tone would be considerably different. So while women are welcome to read this chapter, they are also forewarned it may get a little rough.

Because how you talk to men is different from how you talk to women, see. Right. Ever the mysoginist, Marky Boy.

To be fair, he does admit that not every man is “the caricature he critiques throughout this chapter.”

I wonder, how many men, exactly, are as Mark describes here? I shall write about the chapter, and you shall tell me. Deal? Deal. Let’s get started.

For most of human history, a male would go through 2 life phases: boy, man. Here was his life’s progression:

1. Leave parents’ home

2. finish education or vocational training

3. start a career track job, not a dead end joe job (yes he really does call it that)

4. meet a woman, love her, honor her, court her, an dmarry her

5. parent chidlren with her (Genesis 2:24)

Now there’s this thing called adolescence. A parade of fools comes up with it. (Yes those are his actual words.) Mark defines adolescence as “boys who can shave.”

Well, yeah, their brains aren’t quite down cooking yet.

Anyway, adolescene starts in the teen years and sometimes continues indefinitely. The poor guys don;t know when they’re ever going to grow up and be men because no pressure is exerted on them to do so.

Is manhood when:

1. we’re old enough to legally drive? Vote? Join the military?

2. we’re old enough to drink alcohol

3. When we get married?

4. When we have kids?

5. When we buy a home?

No one knows. So a lot of men have a Peter Pan complex.

Even if men do make it to adulthood, they often have this thing called a midlife crisis, which brings them straight back into adolescence. Because midlife crisis never existed before our modern day and age.

That last line was my sarcasm, not Mark.

[quote] 1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, but when I became a man, I had to put away childish things. [/quote]

Wow, that sure makes adulthood sound… like a real snooze fest. No wonder none of these men Marky boy knows want to grow up!

Moms and girlfriends who pay his bills, pick up his mess, and keep him supplied with alcohol and snacks are enablers.

Paul said a man is the image and glory of God. He’s supposed to act like Jesus.

[quote] I don’t really care if you buy man toys[/quote]

Me: SNORT! Sometimes the jokes just write themselves

[quote] or if you play video games or rock out on your guitar. The problem is when those are prevalent, predominant, and preeminent in your life. [/quote]

Wooooow Marky Boy wants to show off what big WORDS he can use… I think I’ll give him a medal so I can stab his chest with it as I pin it on. As long as someone is paying their bills, not neglecting their family (if they have one), and otherwise taking care of themselves, why the hell does it matter if video games or guitar comes first in their lives?

Some of us will argue and say that none of this is a sin. Marky comes back with the idea that some things, while not sinful, are just dumb.

Actually I kind of agree with some of the things on his list of dumb things that aren’t sinful:

1. Getting fired because you stayed up all night gaming

2. getting only a part time job so you can have more time for the guitar or frisbee golf

3. Spending all your money on a new car, truck, etc, or gambling.

Does #1 actually happen?

#2 might be ok if you want to try and make a career out of those things. Heck, if you can still pay your bills, why shouldn’t you only get a part time job if you’ve decided you want more of a life? A full time job in today’s society sadly no longer means a 40 hour work week. Where I work, salaried persons are expected to put in a minimum of 60 hours per week, but 70 is preferred. I know more than one person who has stepped down from this position because they want a life.

So it would depend on what extreme Mark is taking these things to as to whether or not I agree.

I want pickles. That was random.

Being a man is about being both tough and tender.

Um, so is a woman? I think that’s called being a well rounded person?

As men, we are to be tough in defending the weak, and tender in comforting the hurting.

Men who are mainly tough without being tender are commonly tough chauvinists who only understand masculinity in part.

Mark then goes on to talk about “no sissy stuff Sam.”

No sissy stuff Sam lacks emotion other than anger, because emotions are a sign of weakness.

“Success and status stewart” believes that being a man is about what you have to do rather than you who are and how you serve.

“Give ’em hell Hank” thinks men are only warriors, brawlers, and rough guys. He’s a bully… his children feel no close connection to him.

“I’m the boss bob” loves to be in charge and tell others what to do but hates being under authority himself.

Wow if these aren’t all gross stereotypes…

Anyway, Mark says these are all chauvinists. I’m not sure what that word means and I’m too lazy to pull out a dictionary, but I am guessing it’s not a good thing.

Now we turn to what Mark considers the oppsite: Tender cowards.

“Little boy Larry” has a Peter Pan complex, he never grew up.

Well, good for him, I say, because growing up SUCKS. That having been said, the behaviors in the paragraph describing him aren’t good: he doesn’t let responsibilities get in the way of his hobbies, unable to pay his bills or look after themselves, etc. But aside from those, who CARES If his interests are “those of a boy and not of a man?” Is there a rule somewhere that says grown men can’t play with legos? Because if that’s the case, then I know a lot of responsible, dependable people who are immature and childish according to Mark’s definition.

“Sturdy oak Owen” is physically present but emotionally absent. He goes to work, comes home, mends the fence, cuts the grass, and then turns on the tv.

Sounds like my kind of husband! If I ever got married, honestly, as an aromantic asexual, this is kind of what I’d want; a live in room mate. Where is sturdy oak owen and can I marry him?

Sturdy oak Owen is also a coward afraid of being emotional.

Then we have “Hyper Spiritual Henry,” the guy with the christian t-shirts, bumpers stickers, etc. I know the type and I’m sure you do too. Not much is said about this type, except that he’s embarrssing. For once, Mark Driscoll and I agree on something. I think I need another shot or 2 or vodka to cope with that.

“Good time Gary,” super fun, the life of the party, a really nice guy…. everybody likes him but nobody respects him. He turns everything into a joke and doesn’t realize that his life is the joke. He can’t hold a job, pay his bills, etc.

None of these guys are the kind of men Jesus wants us to be… apparently Jesus is the key to understanding masculinity.

Me: Jesus wore (what we would consider) a dress. Juuuuuust sayin’.

More talk about how Jesus was the perfect man.

If you are tough and tender at the right times and take responsibility for yourself and others, then you are truly a man’s man, a godly man, being made into a man like the perfect god man, Jesus christ.

I think I just threw up a little. *sips more vodka*

The next section is entitled: A wife’s perspective

Lots of men are really just boys who can shave. This often makes marriage terrifying for a woman. 1 Peter 3:1-6 talks about wives’ fears of marriage…

Hang on, really? How come I don’t remember reading this on my zillion read throughs of the NT? Googles.

[quote]Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, 6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.[/quote]

I think Grace is stertching a bit. I can see why this passage would terrify women who believe in a literal interpretation of the bible, but I don’t see it as addressing the fears of the women, and how it’s normal for them to be afraid. I think Drizz-cull is taking things out of context. Again.

And don’t worry, this won’t be the last time we see this verse, by a long shot. We’re just getting started on the crazy, after all.

When a woman gets married, she’s trusting that man for the rest of her life not to:

1. hit her

2. cheat on her

3. rape her

4. kill her

5. that he’ll work hard and pay the bills

6. Love the kids

So, does #3 mean that Mark believes in marital rape? That would be the ONE redeeming quality this guy has.

Mark didn’t undersatnd this fear until he had daughters, because apparently he never sat down and listened to Grace spell it out for him.

Mark is afraid of handing his daughters off to a man and trusting that that man will love and protect them like he should. This gives him “fear and great concern.”

It’s the husband’s responsibility to obey God so these fears don’t happen. That’s why in 1 Peter 3:7 it says “Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife as to the weaker vessel, and as being heris together in the grace of life, that your prayres may not be hindered.”

Husbands must alleviate the wives’ fears in a way that shows the women honor.

Mark then talks about how a husband must honor his wife:


–women are the weaker vessel

–Do you ever hit your wife? If you do, this is not honoring your wife.

–you honor your wife by being physically safe for her to be around

–in a cage fight a man will always win


–some men think they aren’t emotional andodn’t need to connect, but this is a lie. Men and women have the same emotions, they just express them in different ways.

–your wife needs intimacy, she wants to know you. You should open up to her.

–talk about love langauges… you need to speak your wife’s love language.


–how do you speak to your wife? Do you raise your voice, threaten her, call her stupid in front of the kids (ok Mark didn’t say that one, I added it because that’s exactly what dad did, does, to my mom.)

–basically don’t verbally abuse her, like my father did. (my father, not Mark’s.)


–many men hit rough times due to unemployment. They may have a hard time finding a decent job.

I’m glad Mark admits this. My father hit such a patch, once.

–these men need encouragement to keep seeking employment and the humility to take whatever jobs they can to feed their families.

Me: I don’t really remember what dad had to do to feed us, I was 4, what did I know? All I knew was that suddenly daddy lost his job. I told him we’d go to the store and buy him a new one, but for some reason he didn’t take me up on that offer.

–Mark brags about getting through tough economic times without debt. Congratulations Marky boy, again, do you want a medal, or a chest to pin it on? If debt is what it takes to get a family out of poverty, then… then… then fuck you Mark Drizz-cull.

The bible says if any man doesn’t provide for his household, he is worse than an unbeliever and has denied the faith.

in Genesis 3, the womens’ curse was related to marriage and children. This means a woman will be stretched and sanctified as a wife and mother. Her joy and satisfaction will come from her husband and children.

The man’s curse, however, was providing for his family. A man will always find it very difficult not to idolize or demonize his work… huh?

–men have to work harder and smarter than other men if you want to feed your family. If you want any men to respect you, you pay the bills.

–Mark thinks that women who work before getting married, or before the kids are born, or who finds a way to make money from home without neglecting her husband and children, is acceptable. But it is the primary job of men to make the money and feed their family. Not the woman’s.

–studies show that even feminists are happier when men are the ones providing the big bux.

–Mark claims that men today don’t want children because it means they’d have to grow up, provide for said children, and stop acting like children themselves.

Just because you become a grown up and have responsibility doesn’t mean you stop acting like children, right dad? Dad! Get that bow off your head! I know little Suzie thinks it’s funny and it’s making her laugh but…. sigh. Yes, my dad is an overgrown child. But he always still provided for us. What do you make of that Marky boy?

–There’s apparently nothing sadder than a woman who wants to be a mom (and loves Jesus) but the husband says he’s the head of the house and he doesn’t want children. This is sad because the husband is commanding the wife to sin, because this is denying a woman’s maternal instincts.

Now, I do agree that a man and a woman have to be on the same page in regards to bearing children but…. but… the man who wants children is a sinning sinner who sins… just…. darelwhrt;oegiutwef;eowerighuehrfhu


More ranting about women who want to work outside the home, nothing new, just him repeating himself with different phrasing. Oh and stay at home dads are also sinning sinners who sin, because BYE-BULL.

–a man can’t just make money, he must also be a good steward of said money. He needs to have a budget.

–There’s a few sentences of guilt trip about moms who leave their children at day care… because day care can’t come close to what a Godly mother could do, and it would just cost extra money anyway, and outweigh the benefit of the woman working outside the home, because the child care money would eat away all her salary.


Yes, apparently you can honor your wife by… technology?

–are you always checking your phone?

–do you spend hours surfing the net?

–do you bring your phone/laptop/tablet to the table?

–do you spend your date nights watching a movie?

Turn the device off and bond with your spouse already.

Oh god, I’m going to need more vodka to get over the fact that I agree with Mark Drizz-cull. Not about date nights not being movie nights, but just in general the oh my god turn off your phone/tablet/computer and PAY ATTENTION TO ME DAMMIT.

The next section is entitled Covenant Marriage.

Understanding contract vs covenant is essential in marriage.

–contract marriage: two people with 2 lives negotiate the terms of their marriage. This makes marriage more like a business deal, and if at any point one spouse thinks the other isn’t keeping up their end of the deal, divorce could happen!?!?!?!?!

–Covenant marriage, on the other hand, Mark doesn’t define very well. He just goes on and on about covenants being biblical and lasting forever and has Mark never read the parts of the bible where God doesn’t follow through on his end of a covenant because the other party didn’t either? Like, all throughout the old testament? Has Mark ever actually read the bible?

A christian woman once told me Mark Driscoll is a much better speaker, by leaps and bounds, than he is a writer. Yeah, because he sucks at writing.

–The husband is the head of this particular marriage covenent, because

1. God called the race “man” (Gen 1:26)

2. By naming Eve, Adam was exercising authoirty over her as god commanded (Gen 2:23)

3. even though the woman sinned first. God came calling for Adam and held him responsible (gen 3:8-9) because he failed to protect Eve.

4. It’s Adam’s sin that is given to the entire human race, because he is our head.

5. The bible repeatedly declares that husbands are to lovingly and sacrificially lead their homes and wives are to submit. He lists too many bible verses for me to copy and I’m too lazy.

However, the husband is not the ultimate authority. God is.

–a husband and wife are equal with complementary roles, like a left hand and a right hand.

I’m ambidextrous, Marky boy, what do you think about THAT?!

–wives are to submit to husbands as Jesus does to God the Father…

–despite sin, the husband is still the boss of the family.

–a good head will not abuse his responsibility.

–being the head of the family doesn’t mean he does everything. If the wife is a better accountant than you are, SHE should be in charge of the check book, not you. Men might end up doing most of the cooking if they are the better cook.

–there is a myth that the rate of divorce and adultery are the same between christian couples and secular couples. This is nonsense, because those Christians weren’t REAL Christians, and the study didn’t make sure of that.

Things that help a marriage go well:

1. get involved in a good churche

2. agree on what the bible says

3. worship together at home.

Getting invovled in a good churches

[quote] there are many benefits of a husband being involved in a bible believing, Jesus loving, conservative Christian church.[/quote]

So, no benefits for men who are involved in a…. LIBERAL church? So noted.

–men who go to church are more positive toward their wives

–evangelical married men have the lowest rates of domestic violence (wilcox, soft patriarchs, 182)

–Godly men make the best fathers

Everyone on Planet Adventist thinks my father is sooooo godly because he projects a good outward appearance. They didn’t live with the verbal/emotional abuse that I put up with for YEARS. Mark driscoll can suck my…. popsickle.

–couples who regularly attend church are happier and have better marriages. Mark does give a citation but I HATE it when authors throw all their citations at the end of the book instead of at the end of each chapter like sane authors do. It makes it harder to look shit up. Even without seeing the source I call bullshit.

–couples who attend church together are less likely to separate

Fear mongering much Marky boy?

–too often the wife is the one who is choosing the church, because it meets her and the children’s programming needs. This leads to the husband not wanting to go because he sees it as more of a church for women and children…

I’ve been to a lot of churches in my life, and honestly I don’t know of one that could be construed as “primarily for wives and children.”

I do agree, however, that a woman and a man must choose a church TOGETHER. That’s what my parents always did. One time, they even consulted my opinion. Actually I don’t remember if they did or not, but I gave it to them anyway.

Back to Marky boy:

–the husband needs to be the one to pick the church. A man chooses a church based on the pastor, because men want to follow good godly leaders.

–once you’re in a local church, don’t just go anonymously, get involved and connected to the members.

I dislike this idea. I’m more of an introvert; I always loved going to big churches where no one talked to me. My parents, unfortuantely, are the exact opposite. This did not lead to good experiences growing up.

Agree on what the bible says

–you and your wife must agree on your theology of marriage.

I agree, actually. It’s always good for a husband and wife to be on the same page with these things.

–couples who don’t do the hard work of studying what the bible says about marriage may believe in God, but they’ll fail to enjoy the oneness that God wants.

–couples who are part of the same denomination are 42% more likely to be happy than couples who are not.

Only 42%? Jeez, that’s not even half! That being said, I sort of agree, particularly in a religion like seventh day adventism, where it is so different from say, being a baptist, that, even if one is a seventh day baptist, it would be VERY hard to mesh the two. But I don’t get the impression that most Christian denominations are that different from each other, depending?

–theological conservativism is associated with happier marriages.

–theological agreement is more important than an equal sharing of chores in the home. Tell THAT to the person who has to do the dishes AND the laundry AND still goes to work every day.

–Mark talks about egalitarian marriage. And here is wear I’m going to start banging my head against the keyboard.

Citation for the following paragraph: Gary thomas, sacred marriage: what if god designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?

This book, sadly, was published in my home state. I’m embarrassed for us.

–the evidence concludes that whether or not a wife works outside the home, she still does most of the chores.

–Then this quote from the above source:

the researchers studying egalitarian marriages find no support for the theory [of egalitarianism]…..promotes wife’s marital quality. It is more important for wife’s marital happiness [yes, they really do phrase it like that: they do not say “*A* wife’s personal happiness] that husband and wife have shared ideas about marriage, that they both commit to the institution of marriage, that they are integrated into an institution (like the church) that also has these same ideas about marriage, and that the marriage and the husbands are emotionally invested in marriage.

While it is very important that husband and wife agree, I see no reason an egalitarian marriage can’t work if the husband and wife both agree to make an egalitarian marriage work.

–couples who agree on their biblical roles will embrace them and find meaning.

–as long as the husband expresses gratitude for her work in the home, the wife does not usually feel slighted.

– the husband embraces the breadwinner position as a god given duty.

Worship Together At Home

–the bible expects husbands to function as pastors.

–the bible commands women to take theological questions to their husbands, trusting that their husbands will know their bibles.

–if couples frequently engage in worship in the home, their marriage is more likely to succeed.

A few tips for the guys:

1. as a family leader, model humility, honesty, study, and worship.

2. make sure everyone in your family has a good, age appropriate bible that they regularly read.

At least Mark isn’t KJV only then.

3. Make sure you have some basic bible study tooks available for your family and that everyone learns to use them.

4. Buy good Christian books for everyone in your famiy to read. Include christian biographies.

I read these as a child. Some were ok, most were pretty stupid.

5. Choose good books that you and your wife can be reading together. Including books of the bible. Discuss what you are learning.

Actually, if I ever had to get married for whatever reason that does sound like a cool idea, but this is because I’m a bibliophile, not a Christian. Reading and discussing books with someone together sounds positively thrilling to me. Of course, I’m more likely to pick a star trek novel to read with any room mate I did this with, but one room mate wasn’t having any of that, so we picked a nice, thick book on nutrition.

6. If there are bible based classes offered in your church, attend with your family.

Only ones I can think of are baptismal classes, only offered to baptimsal candidates.

7. Redeem your commute

Seriously? Who talks like this?!

(continuing) by listening to good sermons and classes, many of which you can download for free.

Mark has a citation of where you can get some but I think most people know how to work google so I’ll skip that.

8. Have dinner together with your family most nights, and use that time to pray, read a portion of the bible and talk about it together.

Oh my. If I had to interrupt my eating to read the bible… I’d be piiiiiiissssed.

9. pray for each family member every day and let them know you are praying for them.

Can you imagine how this would go with the duggars?

Michelle: And dear Lord I pray for, um, oh darn, what was that boy’s name? You know that little boy with the blond hair and blue shirt Lord, I just pray for him that, um….


10. place a hand the head of each of your children every day and pray over them. Then kiss them on the head and make sure they often get a loving hug.

Me: You know, some children just aren’t huggers. That’s ok, as long as you still go out of your way to make sure they know that they are loved.

11. while either snuggling or holding hadns, pray with and for your wife every day and remember to include the reasons you are thankful to God for her that day.

If these things are lacking in your home, it’s likely your family really really wants them and will thank you for including them.

Your wife gets to be umpire on the content of this chapter. If it helps, buy her a referee shirt to wear to bed.

That honestly sounds really uncomfortable, I’d rather wear pajamas, thanks.

Mark says that a husband may think he’s loving and leading well, but it is the wife who gets to make that final call.

Ephesians 5, wives submit, but husbands love your wives…. verse 21 tells them to submit to one another. This means she gets to decide if you are loving and leading well and you get to decide if she is being submissive enough.

I think I need a shower after typing that out…. shudder.

Men bear a great burden before God to be responsible to their families. Mark hopes you found this chapter challenging instead of condemning.

I hope you found my recaps at least somewhat interesting.

Tune in next time to hear all about the respectful wife! I’ve read this chapter before and folks, this is going to be a DOOZY.

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