Our youth mission trip team helped host an evening of fundraising flick watching at a local church last night (yes, I’m an adult chaperone for this year’s youth mission trip!). The movie was Fireproof, which tells the tale of a marriage in trouble and how the couple came through it together. Kirk Cameron is the star of the show and the only noteworthy actor on screen. It is obviously a low budget film with a powerful message. Worth a rental, for sure.
A central theme to the story is that when a marriage is in trouble, it is often because the spouses are demonizing each other, blaming and critical of what the other is doing or not doing. They are so locked in subjectivity that they never step back and see a more objective view. They think the problem is the other, instead of seeing the marriage as an entity in itself and something that needs to be ‘fireproof’…able to withstand a fire, a crisis. Spouses need to band together and work through it, come to a place where love has space to grow again… In the movie this movement begins when Kirk’s character begins to move from a criticizing place to a place of serving and pursuing his wife.
Another central theme is that real healing and love isn’t possible without the love of Jesus present. Kirk’s character tries and tries to woo his wife, but is unable to do so from the heart until he is surrendered to Christ. His wife sniffs the facade and doesn’t begin to turn toward him until his love emanates from his relationship with Jesus.
As I look at our marriage, we’re probably pretty average for a 20+ year union: much has been great and plenty has been really hard. We’ve battled fires but I sense there is still much that needs to be fireproofed. I’m the classic demonizer, so aware of what he’s not doing for me, or what he is doing that damages our union. I saw the movie and sat wishing ‘if only’ he would do this, or do that. It took some doing to look into the mirror and say ‘if only’ I would do this, or do that…I’m so selfish, it is scary.
Maybe if I ask God for help in this marriage thing, His love through me will find space to grow something beautiful, something lasting, something that will bless our future grandchildren. Yes, that is my prayer…
(contemplative prayer update: ok, I know I promised this update thing, but to tell the truth this kind of prayer has been kinda tough this week. Not much desire (I think I’m cranky as a result) and when I try, it is pretty dry…(probably why I’m cranky and don’t have much desire).