I watched “Fireproof” at Covenant Vision Christian Church yesterday and a few points impacted me. These are not new things but reminders of what I already know and believe. But as we all know and experience, living out what we believe is an entirely different matter. Here are the lessons that touched my heart …
You can be a hero at work and at the same time score a zero in your marriage. That was how it was for Caleb (the male lead). He was a great captain, leading his men more than ably as they saved lives as firefighters. He was good in what he did at work, but was terrible in his relationship with Catherine (his wife).
It is so easy to think that the fault lies with the other person. Both Caleb and Catherine thought they were putting in their best in the marriage. They looked only at the imperfections of their spouse. If they had stopped to see where they had gone wrong in their own behaviours and attitudes, they would have seen the problem.
How nice to be able to talk with your dad. What was really heartwarming was the way Caleb was able to talk to his father, to seek his advice and then to heed that advice. And godly advice at that. His father didn’t just live next door … he was a good 4-hr drive away! Yet, when Caleb needed support and encouragement, his father willingly drove over to talk with him. And to pray with him.
When parents pray. There was a scene when Caleb hit a really rough and low spot. His marriage looked as if it was totally over. Catherine was adamant with pushing through with the divorce. After receiving this update, Caleb’s father tells his mother, “We have to pray harder for Caleb.”
When Christians live as Christians at work. Caleb had a second-in-command, Michael, who was also a good friend to him. Michael didn’t have to talk about Jesus or God, but lived so clearly that his faith was undeniably strong and unshakeable in any situation – even when he was almost run over by the train. As Caleb shared his struggles, Michael stood by him but was not preachy or pushy. His godly influence was subtle but stabilising. Although Caleb wasn’t one to believe in God (at that point), he readily admitted that Michael’s “got the real stuff”.
Strong marriages require work, hard work. Beautiful relationships don’t just happen. It takes a lot of hard work. And often, it is about putting our spouse ahead of our own desires, wants and needs. That’s hard work!
Love is not about feelings. It may have begun that way, but for marriages to mature, love has to mature. Love is more than just feelings. It is an act of will to always desire the best for the good and well-being of our spouse. That kind of love is not selfish but seeks to reach out, to sacrifice, to give. Even when you don’t feel like it.
You can’t love if you ain’t got love. This was a wonderful revelation Caleb’s father shared with him. After trying so hard on his own strength, Caleb was just about to give up on the 40-day Love Dare. That was when his father explained why he was not able to love Catherine … Caleb first needed the love of God in his heart. Without a right relationship with God, we will not be able to have a right relationship with others around us. Without having and experiencing His love, how can we know how to love our spouse in the right manner?
I really enjoyed the movie and I’d encouraged everyone to watch it. If I had watched it in the cinemas, I probably would have cried my eyes out 🙂