what i’m watching: fireproof

Category : God, feeding my brain, hope, love, taking action

 

I saw this movie with some hesitation. 

As a rule I’m not a fan of things marketed as “Christian” to “Christians.”  Especially when it comes to entertainment.  ”Christian movies,” in my experience, tend to have extremely cheesy plots and low entertainment value.  Of course it doesn’t need to be this way, I just think it is this way.  But my girlfriend had been pushing to watch Fireproof for a few weeks, so on Valentine’s day I relented. 

Like most things involving God, I was surprised.

Fireproof is one of the best movies I’ve seen this year.  That’s not to say the acting was top notch.  It wasn’t.  And the production values were pretty low.  But this movie touches on something.  It’s bigger than the sum of its parts.     

The story revolves around a couple who’s marriage is falling apart.  Caleb Holt (Kirk Cameron) is a firefighter who’s better at putting out fires than saving his marriage.  When his wife demands a divorce, Holt turns to his father, who asks him to take “the love dare“  - a 40 day journal describing how God wants him to treat his wife.

I’m not going to pretend the movie’s plot was original, or that it’s somehow ground breaking.  Rotten Tomatoes gave Fireproof a 37%.  That’s not very good.

But as I alluded the strength of the movie isn’t in the story line, the acting, or the production values.  The strength of the movie is the fact that we can all identify with the characters.  We’ve all been hurt by someone we loved.  We’ve all felt that betrayal, and the anger that comes with it.  We all long to be loved.  And I believe we all long to know God.

I found myself completely identifying with Caleb and his demand for respect.  While my girlfriend completely identified with Caleb’s wife (Erin Bethea) and her longing for love. 

The primary focus of R3 is how you live out a life of faith, and Fireproof offers a perfect illustration of this.  The characters do enough “wrong” things that it’s easy to blame either one of them for the situation.  Just like in real life, no one is perfect.  We all do things that damage relationships.  The world tells us we should repay violence with violence, sarcasm with sarcasm.  But what we see through Caleb Holt is someone who wants to act out in anger towards his wife, but chooses to do something else.  And it’s through that “something else” that his marriage is saved.

That’s what it means to live out a life of faith.  We must choose to live differently, to live for something else.  And in doing so, God transforms us.