Fireproof, a Personal Review
The story in this movie isn't just a problem that affects marriages… this is a problem that is destroying my marriage. I saw this movie with my husband on opening weekend. We both agreed it was a good depiction of the issues that are caused by pornography. This is only the tip of the iceberg as the disease caused by pornography is a progressive disease and can get much worse. Ted Bundy at the end of his life shared with Dr. James Dobson that pornography was the beginning of the path that turned him into a murderer.
This movie deals with the pain caused by two imperfect people in a marriage who are both selfish, looking outside the marriage, and do not have a relationship with God. There are powerful scenes between Caleb Holt and his father who is pointing him to Christ. It very accurately portrays that we cannot give what we don't have, and we don't have it because we are not looking to God to fill our love tank. In addition, when people are looking to pornography to fill them, they are looking in the wrong direction to fill their God hole.
The movie was realistic in portraying that it took time for her to rebuild any willingness to stay in the marriage. It was also good in that it made the point it may take longer than 40 days to rebuild, but remember God chooses in his time. It may be years that it will take to rebuild, but God also promises to restore the years the locusts take. The scenes that Catherine had with her girlfriends giving her bad advice are so typical of the reasons that we need to choose wise counsel.
In addition a very good point was made to Catherine by an older lady that if he will do it with you, he will do it to you. I have seen this play out in friends lives over and over again. It isn't that God wants to punish us by visiting our sins into the 3rd and 4th generations; it is what happens as a result of our sins.
I liked how Caleb's co-worker shared his own experience, strength and hope with Caleb. His scars had given him something to offer. It is, however, so much better if you can learn from the experience of someone else by reading the Bible instead of needing to learn the lessons directly.
This movie is very good at emphasizing the covenant part of marriage, and it is very accurate but handles with dignity the pornography addiction in this movie. The dynamics and pain between the couple are probably typical of a marriage with problems and definitely typical of a marriage with problems caused by pornography. What is handled well, though, and this may not sit well with some women in this place, is that it was not all caused by him. There were things that she contributed to the problem, and while, if you are in this situation yourself, you may not have had an emotional affair, but there are things that you are doing that are contributing to the problem even if it is denial or not reacting with the love needed to correct a situation that is damaging you and your husband. The only way a woman can stay right with God in this situation is to rely upon God to provide the things your husband is not. Isaiah 54 paints a beautiful picture of God standing in the gap where our earthly husbands fail us.
Also don't be discouraged if this movie does not fix your marriage. It may fix some marriages but many that are dealing with this issue will need therapy and 12 step groups. For most men they need more help and an accountability partner or sponsor to get through this. My husband went to a Every Man's Battle intensive which he highly recommends http://www.everymansbattle.com/ or http://www.newlife.com. I would suggest Celebrate Recovery or SA (www.sa.org) as it is the only sexual addiction group that defines its sobriety in the same manner the Bible does, which is, sobriety is only sexual relations between a married man and woman as God designed it. Don't forget though, if you are in this relationship or affected by someone else’s sexual behavior, there is help needed for you. I would suggest S-Anon www.sanon.org. There are additional resources including a Fireproof your Marriage Couples kit bible study based upon the principles in the movie Fireproof and the Love Dare book and many references to other resources including marriage intensives at http://www.fireproofmymarriage.com.
Obviously the best bet is to stay away from this highly addictive sin completely. However, it is never too late to get help and God can heal you, but I would be lying if I were to say the path of healing from this is an easy path for either the partner or the spouse addicted to pornography. In addition, while this is mostly a man's problem, women are not exempt from it either.
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