As many of you know, Fireproof, a Christian movie about marriage was released at the end of last year. I was excited to see this movie, mainly because there are no good films dealing with love in marriage. This would be revolutionary in many ways. While this post is not a review of the film, I must mention a few things that I thought were disappointing. First is the use of this "Love dare" book to restore the marriage. Second was the "men are always wrong" attitude; the wife did not have a core "problem" that overtly contributed to their marriage breakdown. (I think many women watching this movie did not think she did anything wrong.)
Here's the primary issue I see facing our culture: the loss of marriage, and the band-aid solution from the Church. If something goes critically wrong in a marriage, anything, it is because of a lack of self-denial. All sins stem from a focus on self, on the ego. So, when Christ says: take up your cross and follow me, or if you save your life you will lose it, He is being literal. This can only be done after being born again, His Spirit birthed in you.
So the "love-dare" book and any 10-steps to improving your marriage is absolutely worthless apart from the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit. And once the Lord puts His Spirit within you and causes you to walk in His statutes, you don't need 10-steps or 12-keys. In fact, they would only serve to limit you. You will be able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that is required. You will submit to your husband because it pleases the Lord, husbands will love their wives for the same reason. Let us run from the mountain of morality, where we would die in our sins trying to keep the Law, and let's embrace the grace and truth that come through Jesus Christ.
The second thing that bothered me about the movie, is that the wife was justified in her anger. This is really an observation of the Church at large, because of the second-generation feminist movement, to say anything about the need for women to submit to their husbands is taboo. The pastors jump through hoops to get around this sensitive issue. But it is God's truth, right? I am a woman. I must submit to my husband. Why? Because the Lord tells me to. Who am I to go against the order my Creator ordained? Just because men abused their role in the 50's doesn't justify my unwillingness to submit. This is not easy to do, but again it comes back to self-denial. Paul says "It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me."
One thing is needful- that we sit at His feet and learn of Him. Marriage and all else will fall into place after doing this. May God give you understanding, and open your eyes and hearts to His truth.