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What Did You Expect?

Author Paul Tripp
Narrator Lloyd James
Runtime 10.75 Hrs. - Unabridged
Publisher christianaudio
Downloads ZIP M4B MP3
Release Date November 30, 1999
Availability: Unrestricted (available worldwide)

Marriage, according to Scripture, will always involve two flawed people living with each other in a fallen world. Yet, in pastor Paul Tripp's professional experience, the majority of couples enter marriage with unrealistic expectations, leaving them unprepared for the day-to-day realities of married life.

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Marriage, according to Scripture, will always involve two flawed people living with each other in a fallen world. Yet, in pastor Paul Tripp's professional experience, the majority of couples enter marriage with unrealistic expectations, leaving them unprepared for the day-to-day realities of married life.

This unique book introduces a biblical and practical approach to those realities that is rooted in God's faithfulness and Scripture's teaching on sin and grace. "Spouses need to be reconciled to each other and to God on a daily basis," Tripp declares. "Since we're always sinners married to sinners, reconciliation isn't just the right response in moments of failure. It must be the lifestyle of any healthy marriage."

What Did You Expect? presents six practical commitments that give shape and momentum to such a lifestyle. These commitments, which include honestly facing sin, weakness, and failure; willingness to change; and embodying Christ's love, will equip couples to develop a thriving, grace-based marriage in all circumstances and seasons of their relationship.

Customer Reviews

10 Reviews Add Review
The most challenging book I've ever listened to
Take a look in the mirror. Really ask yourself if you ARE the spouse you think you are. Warning: This book may shake you to your core.
Be patient and listen to ALL of it... it took me until the end of chapter 12 to penetrate my thick skull.
Review by / (Posted on 11/14/2011)
One of the things I love...
One of the things I love about reading Paul Tripp is his giftedness for applying Scripture to daily life. In What Did You Expect, Tripp uses this ability to great benefit as he looks at six important commitments that Christian couples need in order to have healthy and God-honoring marriages.


In many marriage books, the authors somehow manage to ignore the darker parts of our nature. Writers often assume that people are always good and that marital problems are caused merely by miscommunication or by a lack of basic knowledge. Tripp is not so gullible. Taking an honest look at the consequences of two sinners coming together, Tripp makes it plain that we can never stop seeking God’s help and working to see that our marriages survive. We are rebels at heart, and Tripp handles that concept well.

Tripp also never lets go of the spiritual dimension of our marriages. This book is not a mere how-to, self-help, or communication manual. Tripp takes very seriously that our marriages have two dimensions, a vertical and a horizontal. While we might strive to have our horizontal relationship right, if we fail to make our marriages primarily about God, the vertical dimension, we will never see truly glorious married life.

Tripp also avoids two major pitfalls that I see in many marriage books. He does not spend page after page giving husbands date night ideas or telling them that, were they merely as romantic as the men in romantic comedies, their marriages would be picture perfect. Nor does Tripp assume that a how-to manual regarding physical gratification is what Christian married couples need. In both areas, I applaud Tripp for seeing into the real issues.


I love how Tripp’s years of biblical counseling experience provide him a wealth of illustrations to draw from as he walks us through our need to continually strive for excellence in our marriages. However, I will say that , at times, the rapid-fire stacking of illustration after illustration can make some of the chapters feel a bit long. I realize this is a personal preference and that others might love this feature, but I would have preferred a little less case study in the work.


What Did You Expect is an excellent book for couples to read together. Tripp is honest and fair in his assessment of the work that is before any married couple. This book does not fall into the traps that make so many marriage books sappy or unrealistic. This book is simply a helpful study of vitally important issues.


I was given a free audio copy of this work to review from As always, the production quality is excellent.
Review by / (Posted on 8/13/2010)
In “What did you expect?” Pastor...
In “What did you expect?” Pastor Paul Tripp clearly shares with us a biblical understanding of marriage. This book makes a very important contribution to the church in a day and an age when Christian marriages are struggling. Pastor Tripp steers us away from a self-centered view of marriage to a biblical view of marriage that edifies the couple and builds God’s kingdom.

The content of “What did you expect?” is so simple but biblical, powerful and profound. Pastor Tripp reminds us that we enter into marriage as sinners living in a fallen world. Therefore, Tripp encourages believers to commit to confession and forgiveness, growth and change, building a bond of trust, building a relationship of love, dealing with differences and working to protect the marriage.

I believe that “What did you expect?” will be helpful for couples regardless of where they are in their relationship. This book would be great for premarital counseling. It will help couples understand what is required to have a life-long, loving marriage. This book will also be helpful for married couples who need to be reminded of the commitment that they made to one another.

“What did you expect?” was well written and it included many true stories to help illustrate the principles. I really appreciated Lloyd James’ narration. James’ reading of this book made listening to this audio book a meaningful experience for me.

I express my appreciation to for allowing me to listen to this book as a part of their audio book reviews program.
Review by / (Posted on 8/6/2010)
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