This will be another post on the Christian movie Fireproof. The last post that I wrote about this movie was in November.
movie is about a firefighter named Caleb who tries to save his
marriage. It's a daunting task for him, for he and his wife are
extremely estranged from each other, such that she is surprised when he
calls her while she's at work just to see how she is doing (this was
assigned to him in a book that he was reading on how to save a
marriage). And she is quite cold towards him and rebuffs him for some
time whenever he reaches out to her. You'd think that saving this
marriage would be a hopeless cause. But, as Caleb perseveres in doing
good things for his wife and caring for her (even bringing food from the
famous Chick-Fil-A franchise!), she eventually sees that he really does
care for her, and she finally comes around.
I guess my question
is this: Should every marriage be saved? If two people are miserable
around each other such that life together is continually an uphill
battle, is there any reason for the two of them to stay married? Maybe
they can find someone else with whom life is not perfect, mind you, but
less of an uphill battle. In the movie, Caleb is at his wits end until
he receives Jesus' love, and then things become easier for him: he's
willing to do good things for his wife (i.e., wash the dishes, leave her
roses, etc.), even if his wife is still unappreciative. He's sustained
by Jesus' love for him, and perhaps also by the realization that Jesus
loves her, too.
So you'd think that Jesus' love can enable a
Christian to endure any marriage until death. And there are plenty of
evangelicals who believe that. One evangelical woman I know
remarked that a godly person should be able to be married to anyone (and
I'm sure she meant of the opposite gender), for, even if the spouse is a
jerk, the godly person is sustained by God's love and can treat that
spouse with love and kindness.
But then there are evangelicals who actually think that compatibility is important.
Granted, they probably have conservative views on divorce, but they
still see value in compatibility when it comes to looking for a spouse.
They may express desire for a Christian mate, or feel that their
previous romantic relationships did not work out because God was trying
to lead them to someone better for them. I mean, try going onto a
Christian dating site and saying that someone should marry you because
he or she should be godly enough to have a decent marriage with anyone!
Most won't take that risk.
But if compatibility is an
important issue when it comes to looking for a spouse, why can't it
similarly be a consideration when it comes to deciding whether or not to
I can see value in both what Fireproof
presents and also the notion that some marriages probably should end,
for the well-being of both parties involved. I think that, in many
cases, marriages should not go without a fight, for marriage should not
be in the same category as going steady. And yet, my hunch is that
there are many people who have struggled to keep their marriages, yet
the marriages still end in divorce.
The Pope and the Patriarch
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