Sunday, February 1, 2009


This blog may shock some people who know me well. Some may even view me as hypocritical. That's ok. I can't live my life to please other people, and have tried to do that too much of my life.

So what did I do? I watched a DVD. Not just a DVD, a movie on DVD. I went through a period in my life that I was rather outspoken about viewing DVDs. We should be careful of things like that. I had a couple of things happen that made me doubt if I was right. Actually, if I was right about anything. I won't go into details here, but because of these incidents, I made the decision to not speak anymore in church, or be involved anymore than necessary in being up front. I don't make it a habit to watch DVDs very often, but will view some now. The only ones I possess are a handful of Christian titles. The Chronicles of Narnia, The Nativity, and the like. And now, Fireproof.

I really didn't have much intention to watch it, but a few friends saw it and raved about it and told me I just had to see it, so I got a really good deal on it, and purchased it. I honestly didn't see what I would get from it. The story about a firefighter who is fighting to save everything but his marriage. What could a single guy get out of that?

God can use anything, even a movie, and He used it to hit me right between the eyes. Caleb & Katherine Holt have been married for 7 years, and their marriage is going down the drain. He blames her for everything that is wrong in their marriage, and she blames him. He finally blows up and mentions divorce, and she decides that is what she wants.

Caleb's dad, a Christian, convinces him to fight for his marriage, using a 40-day guide to saving your marriage, called The Love Dare. He halfheartedly starts, only to be rebuffed on every side. Instead of getting the love and respect he figures he will get in return, his wife scorns his efforts, suspecting him of ulterior motives.

The part of the movie that really got to me, was a scene between Caleb and his father, when he was about halfway through the book. They are at a setting that had been a youth camp, but all that was left was a large wooden cross, and some tree stumps. Caleb goes on a rant, asking his dad if he has any idea what is like to go day after day doing all these things for his wife, giving her everything she would want, only to go unappreciated, getting no respect or love in return. It is a lengthy rant, and I can't repeat it word for word, but by the end of it, Caleb's father has wandered over to the cross, and as the rant ends, he looks up at the cross. Caleb, and the viewers get the message immediately. That's what we do to God. The scene ends with Caleb surrendering his life, and his marriage to God, and he sets out to save his marriage with his heart in it.

For months, it has seemed that my spiritual life has been on hold. I don't know where I am most days. God all too often feels miles away. I have trouble believing, having faith. I give God a list of things I want so I will believe. I have blamed Him for my unbelief and doubts. I overlook what He has done, and demand more. If He would bail me out of my financial problems, I'd have faith again, believe He cares. If He wiped that struggle away, I'd feel His love.

All too often our relationship with God is like a marriage, and all too often, we try to place all the blame on Him, and have a list of ways for Him to improve the relationship. I don't understand how God works. There have been times in my thinking at least, that had He showed me there was hope somehow, if He had someone step in and help me, I surely wouldn't have caved. I would read how God would act in people's lives when it seemed they were about to fall, and they would be saved. Yet it seemed so often, I would fall, and He did nothing to stop me.

God isn't a person, with faults & failures, but just as in the movie I watched, as Caleb relentlessly pursued winning his wife back, and got nothing but scorn, so we must do with God. He has His reasons for seeming aloof and far away, but in spite of it all, we must keep doing our part of the relationship. I have been all too guilty of giving up on God when He hasn't acted in ways that I thought He should. In any relationship, you have to trust the other person, even when they don't act like you want them to. Obviously, the marriage analogy isn't perfect, for God is perfect, and isn't going to walk away from someone who is serving Him. We walk away from Him.

Another powerful part of the movie is a segment where there is no talking from the actors, but a song is played. As the song plays, they show scenes involving the couple, mainly Caleb. The song is called "While I'm Waiting". It talks about waiting on God, but while we wait, we must keep worshiping Him, keep serving, keep running the race. Sometimes we go through rough times in life, but we can't sit by the wayside and wait for God to rescue us, to heal us, to make everything ok in our life. While we wait, we have to keep serving Him.

I am not a very eloquent person, and have probably done a lousy job of getting some of my thoughts on here, but I feel this is a life-changing movie. Yes, it is good for a married couple to watch, no matter the condition of their marriage, but the message of the movie isn't just that marriage is sacred, and should be fought for, but that serving God is the most important thing we can do, and deserves all the effort we have and more to keep it up.

One issue covered in the movie, and handled very tastefully, is the issue of pornography. Caleb has quite the addiction to it, with his wife's knowledge. There comes a point in the movie, where things seem to be going nowhere with his wife, and he is on his computer, a little window pops up, with a girl on it - nothing improper about her look - saying "click here to see me". He has given his life to God at this point, and the battle rages. I won't give anything away, but the issue is handled in a very tasteful and even amusing way.

I was again reminded that all too often in my life, I have expected God to help me and show that He really does love me, and all the while, I was doing things I knew were displeasing to Him. I wanted Him to do something for me first, and then, and only then, I would do something for Him in return. The movie has brought the fact home to me that I need to take my spiritual life off of "pause", and pretty much do my own "Love Dare". I need to sort of view God as in the injured party in a bad marriage. I don't know if God has hurt feelings, but He has had to me rant and ask "why" too much in my life. There are things I deal with that I will have to deal with for the rest of my life. Are they my fault? I honestly don't believe so, yet my actions and misdeeds have made it worse than it would have been if I had trusted God all along, and not questioned "why?" or tried to place the blame on Him.

God may never heal the broken parts of me. I may battle certain issues until my dying day. I may forever have a struggle to believe that He really does love me. I may wait forever for some things to happen that I have so desperately prayed and hoped for. But whether they happen or not, "While I wait" - I have to keep running the race. Keep on serving Him, worshiping Him. That is the only way to fireproof my life.

(And a ps in closing, I still advocate being very careful in viewing DVD. This one had no language or sexual situations. In fact, Kirk Cameron, the actor who played Caleb, will not kiss another woman, even in a movie, so his real wife stood in on the scene that they wanted a kiss. That is integrity.)

While I'm Waiting (John Waller)

I’m waiting
I’m waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I’m waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait

I will move ahead, bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience

While I’m waiting
I will serve You
While I’m waiting
I will worship
While I’m waiting
I will not faint
I’ll be running the race
Even while I wait

I’m waiting
I’m waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I’m waiting on You, Lord
Though it’s not easy
But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait

I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting
I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting
I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting on You, Lord


Christa said...

Havent watched Fireproof, but did watch his other two, "Flywheel" and "Facing the Giants". "Facing the Giants" was excellent expecially--I get teared up everytime I watch it, and redetermine somethings in my life. Almost think the guy must be a real Christian to get the messages in there he does. If you havent watched it, and want to, let me know.

Kim M. said...

We saw it and enjoyed it too. Glad you could glean some spiritual help.

Christy said...

I have watched this movie twice and both times I have really gotten the message. I too have had my spiritual life on pause, although it is going to be a long haul, I believe that I am on my way to recovery. I also love the has so much depth and in my situation it sure hits home!

Cindy said...

As one of the friends who raved, I knew you'd like it! Awesome movie, awesome song! So glad that God is using it to help not only married people, but some of us singles too! Good post, Mark!