My wife suggested a date night. I don’t feel like I am an Al Bundy type, but, we have four kids and it had been awhile since we had actually been out on a date. So we loaded up and headed out to dinner and a movie. There aren’t many options when you live in the middle of nowhere for romantic sophistication. We take it slow, and we keep things simple.
The movie was the much raved about Fireproof, another in the line of movies from Sherwood Pictures. As a volunteer fireman and an instructor with the Nebraska State fire marshals office, I was set to observe with a critical eye. Movies that try to depict actual fire incidents are horrible in their attempt, but, this one wasn’t much about fire at all. It’s main focus was around relationship. My first surprise was as we arrived to pay for our tickets, some anonymous member of our community had graciously paid for 175 people to view this movie. That aroused my curiosity even more.
Much like Sherwood pictures past productions, they are feel good movies. You are rooting for the underdog and you feel their pain and struggle. The acting isn’t going to win anyone an academy award, but the message is impactful to anyone who desires a better relationship. Kirk Cameron from the TV series Growing Pains fame has the lead role and does an excellent job portraying the disgruntled, troubled, married man.
The movie is about firefighter Caleb Holt, and the struggle to save a marriage to his wife Catherine. Catherine is ready to call it quits, and her husband Caleb is ready to do whatever she wants. He consults his dad for advice and his dad offers him an unique challenge before he signs the papers.
What I find interesting about the movie is the fact they literalize the text in the Bible found in Ephesians 5:24-33:
24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church– 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery–but I am talking about Christ and the church.
33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
The movie spends most of the time from the mans perspective. So does Paul in the text above. Husbands, love your wives. The emphasis is for the man to love his wife. The movie portrayed the struggle Caleb had in learning how to love his wife. He just wasn’t “With” her. But, through time, he learned commitment and how to love his wife.
I am sure many women are thinking, “This is what my husband needs to see” or, “My husband is just like this guy”. One may watch this movie, and just see this from the man’s perspective. And, just like the scripture above, the man is one who most of the focus is on and instruction is to: Love your wife. A hard lesson for many men to learn and a reason many marriages fail.
However, there was one scene in the movie that as I sat and prepared myself for a lesson on the males role in marriage, this scene spoke to the wives. As much as the theme, husbands love your wives eminents and is important, one wonders why this instruction in the scripture isn’t fortified to the women? My speculation is, they don’t need to hear that lesson, they have that down!
The one scene in the movie where the boiling point hits and it seems that there is no more hope for their marriage comes when Caleb has his wife up against the wall and he yells, “I want respect!”. Notice verse 33 in the above scripture, love your wife as yourself, and the wife must respect her husband. Many wives don’t lack love for their husbands, unlike the struggle that men may have in putting themselves above their partner. The warning is to respect that man you chose to spend the rest of your life with.
The result: Husbands love your wives! Wives, respect your husbands!
Women: How do you respect your husband?
Men: How do you know your wife respects you?
Feel free to leave anonymous comments.
UPDATE: Here is an additional link that might be of interest to you. It’s from Family Life and it goes along with the movie. If you have seen the movie, it will make perfect sense.