Fireproof and Retrouvaille

"If you do good, know for whom you are doing it, and your kindness will have its effect." —Sirach 12:1

My wife and I went to see the film Fireproof with Kirk Cameron on Saturday.

To begin with I don't like this genre of film. Even though I knew it would have a veiled tinge of Evangelical overtones I was surprised that the overtones weren't all that veiled, but they weren't in the face either. The problems faced by this couple are the same that are faced by many husbands and wives, who fall into living the "married singles lifestyle", the day to day distractions which cause them to get selfish in their marriage. Cast into in a state of despair and hopelessness they each try to make sense out of what they have and what they want.

"Say not: 'I am independent. What harm can come to me now?' The day of prosperity makes one forget adversity; the day of adversity makes one forget prosperity." —Sirach 11:24-25

Kirk Cameron, "Caleb Holt", is a fire captain who leads a very stressful life. He seems to have reached the pinnacle of career, and longs to buy himself a boat. He is a life saver, rescuing a pair of teenage girls from a train. His schedule causes him be home 2 out of every three days,but finds himself on the computer in his off time looking at pornography, a fact which does not go unnoticed by his wife.

"If I sin, no eye will see me; if all in secret I am disloyal, who is to know?" —Sirach 16:19

His wife played by Erin Bethea, "Catherine Holt" is a career woman who works in public relations for a prestigious hospital. She is consumed by her job, and troubled by her husbands unwillingness to help around the house on his days off, feels she is being ignored by him. She feels abandoned by him. She complains to him, and he replies that she does not respect him. Her complaining to her friends leads them to give her a bit of advice, namely, "Leave him!".

"Instead, associate with a religious man, who you are sure keeps the commandments; who is like-minded with yourself and will feel for you if you fall." —Sirach 37:12

Enter a handsome Doctor, and she becomes involved in a "office marriage". Her "friends" notice that she has perked up and chalk it up to by the love interest of the handsome doctor. He seems nice and she is prepared to carried away by this man who is attentive to her. Her reaction to her husband: she becomes more distant.

"Contumacious desire destroys its owner." —Sirach 19:3

Calebs one true and faithful friend speaks to him frankly and asks, "How is it you will risk your life to saving a stranger from a burning house but are incapable from saving your marriage?" This freind is Caleb's backstop, a strong and steady friend.

"A faithful friend is a life-saving remedy, such as he who fears God finds." —Sirach 6:16

Caleb talks to his parents and his father gives him a hand written copy of the book "Love Dare", a 40-day challenge for husbands and wives to understand and practice unconditional love.

"Spurn not the discourse of the wise, but acquaint yourself with their proverbs; from them you will acquire the training to serve in the presence of princes." —Sirach 8:8

Catherine Holt: What day are you on?
Caleb Holt: 43.
Catherine Holt: But there are only 40 days...
Caleb Holt: That doesn't mean I have to stop.

Some of the failings with the film are, he apologizes profusely for his wrongs, yet she never does. It is so blatant that it is impossible not to notice. It is not a matter of blame it is a matter of humility. Her job does not seem to be the impediment, but his does. There are no children in the marriage. Caleb's friend has been married before, divorced and remarried, though troubled and remorsful it is still a very protestant image.

Fireproof is about making choices, and examining our priorities. It is about finding the way back to the reasons why a couple first decided to be "as one". We decided to Love then, and we make the decision to Love now.

"Happy the husband of a good wife, twice-lengthened are his days": -Sirach 26:1

"He who hates correction walks the sinner's path, but he who fears the Lord repents in his heart." —Sirach 21:6

I would be remiss in not mentioning "Retrouvaille", The word Retrouvaille™ (pronounced re-tro-vi with a long i.) is a French word meaning rediscovery. The program offers tools needed to rediscover a loving marriage relationship. Thousands of couples headed for cold, unloving relationships or divorce have successfully overcome their marriage problems by attending the program.

The Retrouvaille Program consists of a weekend experience combined with a series of 6-12 post-weekend sessions over 3 months. It provides the tools to help put your marriage in order again. The main emphasis of the program is on communication in marriage between husband and wife. It provides the opportunity to rediscover each other and examine your lives together in a new and positive way.

If you or a friend is presented with a dissolving marriage for what ever reason, show them this web site, here...

Dieu Le Roy!
de Brantigny

The reading excerpts are from, Presentation Ministries. except Sirach 26:1, which is from the Douay-Rheims bible on my desk.

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