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.
Labels: divorce, marriage