"It's about lust," Mark Driscoll said. "The Bible talks a lot about list, and lust is a hard issue, and the Bible says not to covet anyone else, sexually speaking, in the Ten Commandments, and so, yeah, the whole point of pornography is to get you to lust after somebody else. If a husband and wife have a deep interest in each other, that's a good thing. If somebody else is involved, then it's a bad thing."
Driscoll has been considered one of the most controversial pastors in the country, with a history of being criticized as a chauvinist and a sexist, but "Real Marriage" is being called the most provocative sex book ever written by an Evangelical. He even includes a passage in the book where he complains that he was not having as much sex as he wanted to have.
"As a Christian and a pastor, it was like, I'm not going to go look at pornography, I'm not going to commit adultery, I'm not going to have secret things on the side that I'm doing that she's doesn't know about or anything like that," Driscoll said. "So it was, you know, one option: be with your spouse. So when she was closed down, I didn't know how to interpret that. Did she not like me? Is she rejecting me?"
"Yeah, I think you took it as rejection a lot," Grace Driscoll added.
"Real Marriage" begins the first chapter with the couple sharing a searing account of their bitterly unhappy and largely sexless early marriage. The problems started when Mark Driscoll said he had a vivid dream of his wife committing sexual sins, which she later confessed to. Grace also writes that she was sexually assaulted.
Critics of the book have claimed that Grace has been cast as the damaged and sinful wife who withholds sex from her deserving husband, but she said that's not how she felt about the situation.
"I had brought baggage from my sexual assault into the marriage and so I perceived things a certain way, and Mark has talked about how, in different ways, how he was harsh and how he would speak to me, but he has repented that," Grace said. "That trust was rebuilt, and I've never felt like he was lording over me."
The book also includes a chapter written by Grace Driscoll called "The Respectful Wife," which refers to Ephesians 5:22-23 in the Bible, a passage that tells wives to respect their husbands: "Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior."
Driscoll said her argument was to try to explain to reader her interpretation of what respecting your husband looks like.
"I'm arguing that a wife and a husband need to talk through what they do sexually," she said. "There needs to be a mutual respect for each other, not a lording over or an enabling – either way those are wrong."
Pastor Ed Young and his wife Lisa also insist the husband-wife relationship is not about women being forced to be sexually available to their husbands. They said it's about Christian couples, who too long have been squeamish about sex, strengthening their relationships and their families by figuring out how to be together intimately on a more regular basis.
"We're trying to begin a sexual revolution," Ed Young said. "Now the sexual revolution, of course, started in the '60s. I would argue that most of it is an illusion that led to pollution."