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Fireproof Movie: A Review

My husband, kids & I watched Fireproof last night. It was really very good.

I didn't think the actress that played his wife was awesome, but on the whole it was a great marriage movie, and I think it's going to help a lot of people.

For those of you haven't seen it, the gist of it is that Kirk Cameron (from Growing Pains all those years ago) plays a firefighter who is a hero to everyone but his wife. At home he's selfish, mean, and addicted to pornogaphy. She, on her side, is overworked and bitter, and makes things worse with her attitude, too (as bad as he was, I actually had more sympathy for him than her).

They decide to split up, but then Caleb's (Kirk Cameron's) asks him to wait 40 days, and do the "Love Dare" which he sends him in the mail. Every day has a different thing he has to do to love his wife. He absolutely hates it at first, but over the course of the program it changes his heart and his attitude, and he recognizes his need for God.

There's humor in it, too, which is a nice relief, and they dealt with the marriage issues head on. They didn't pull punches.

I'm not sure it was the best one to watch with the kids, though. We watched Facing the Giants together, the first movie the Kendricks did, and the kids just loved it, so I guess I thought it would be more like that. They mention pornography, but rarely by name, more by insinuation, and it could go over a kid's head if they're not really tuned in to the idea of it yet.

I wished I had had this movie to show my brother and sister-in-law before they split up. It would be a great one to watch with a friend who is questioning their marriage, because there's no way they have it worse than these guys do, unless a full-blown affair is already happening. And there's a Bible study and a Love Dare that you can do yourself that goes along with the movie at their website.

I can't tell you how much marriage means to me. I don't just mean my marriage, as grateful as I am for it. I mean the institution of marriage. The concept of committing to one person and walking through life with them, no matter what, is powerful. It teaches us about grace, forgiveness, empathy, and loyalty. When marriage falls apart, so do these things. And so does community, since families are the focus of community.

This month I have seen so much devastation around me because of divorce. My own nieces and nephews just hate shuffling back and forth between their "two" homes. And a 15-year-old boy froze to death just a few hundred feet from my house, in the woods, two weeks ago, when he didn't want to go home because his mother would make him go to school, where he was bullied. He had issues at home, too.

I have another friend who is reeling over custody orders from the court. And this weekend my half-brother visited, reminding me of my own parents' divorce.

Marriage is hard. You have to slog through sometimes, even for years. But divorce is no picnic, either. In fact, it's worse. You're more likely to be happy if you stay in a marriage, even if it's not great.

I guess that's why so much of what I do is focused on marriage. I don't think people truly understand the ramifications of divorce. You still have to deal with your ex, about money, and the kids, and family. It's not like they disappear. Only now you have very little common ground to work through issues.

So my husband and I speak at marriage conferences, where many people go as a last resort before they get divorced. And I write about marriage all the time. A good marriage is the best witness we can have to this generation.

Don't let yours go. Work at it, as hard as you work at anything else in your life, and definitely harder than you work at parenting. It deserves your best, because everything else hinges on it.

I haven't always had a good marriage. I've been married for 17 years, and happily married for 11. It took work. But it was worth it.

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At 8:46 AM , Blogger ginabad said…

Hey Sheila I appreciate your post. I have to say that divorce is NOT in my vocabulary. I do know people who I wish would either fix or end their marriages (of course, fix is preferable), who live in this loveless limbo that's apparent to everyone (even their young children), but who stay together "for the kids". Blech. No WAY.

I've also found that the more I relent, the more I hold my tongue and show my appreciation, with time, it comes back to me. Maybe we lose the romance of early marriage & courtship because we're not willing to see what we can do, rather than what our spouse can do for us. Don't know, just know this approach works (but you have to be patient).
signed, gina
who's still crazy in love even when I wanna kick his butt...


At 12:01 PM , Blogger Mrs. Querido said…

My husband and I have a marriage slogan:

We are committed to being committed even if it gets us committed! (Which means we are committed to our marriage even when we drive each other crazy!)

Fireproof was an awesome movie! I was amazed that all of the people in the movie were just church members, with the exception of Kirk Cameron. It was hard hitting and really made me think about my attitude toward my husband and how I could improve that and bring in more unconditional love.

It also made me wish that my Dad had seen the movie before he got addicted to pornography and extramarital affairs...maybe my parents' marriage could have been saved. Oh well. My mom is happily remarried to a wonderful guy who loves her deeply. Still, divorce rips apart families and no matter the age of the children ( I was 25 when my parents divorced) , rips their hearts apart too.


At 4:27 PM , Anonymous carol ~ i throw like a girl said…

Great review of the movie. My hubs and I saw it, too, and you did a great job summing it up. I wish more people would see Fireproof and be willing to put in the work a good marriage takes. Someone just the other day told me she thought a divorce would be easier than fixing her marriage. Sad, but that so easily could have been me, but for the grace of God.


At 8:05 PM , Blogger Jessica said…

I think divorce is terrible, too. It is a very hard thing to go through. Fortunately I am very happily married to a wonderful Christian man. However, I know people in situations where leaving their marriage was really the only thing to do. Some men are so horrible, cruel and perverted that staying with them is much worse for the children than divorce would be. Sometimes the safety of your life and your childrens' is at risk.

Just some food for thought, as sometimes abused Christian women read an article such as this post, and think they should stay with an extemely dangerous, abusive man no matter what.

In the majority of cases, I do believe divorce is wrong. I'm just saying there are definately exeptions.


At 9:01 PM , Blogger Cherish said…

FINALLY got around to watching it. Wow! I'm so grateful that my own marriage is doing better, because I could relate to much of what was in the movie. It really hit home and reminded me to keep working at marriage and live intentionally, as you mentioned recently.

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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