If you are looking for a good Valentine’s Day flick, I recommend that you pop over to your DVD stores to pick up the Fireproof DVD. So often we act as if our marriages never need tune-ups...that somehow they can look after themselves. Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to put our other distractions aside and treat our spouses as the most important persons on earth.
Kirk Cameron plays the part in Fireproof of Captain Caleb Holt, a dedicated firefighter who gives his best at work, but needs to pull up his socks at home. His wife Catherine (Erin Bethea) becomes fed up with Caleb’s negativity, and files for divorce. What follows is a challenging journey of falling back in love as Caleb takes the forty-day ‘Love Dare’. The sub theme of ‘Fireproof’ is the old firefighter’s motto: ‘Never leave your partner behind.’
Caleb tries hard to change how he treats his wife, but often faces discouragement. Firefighters, especially since 9/11, have been put on a pedestal by many. "How is it that I get respect everywhere I go except in my own house?" Caleb complains. His fellow firefighter Michael says to Caleb, "You'll run into a burning building to save people you don't even know, but you're going to let your own marriage burn to the ground?"
Caleb finally turns to his father saying "How am I supposed to show love to somebody who constantly rejects me?" It seems to his wife Catherine that Caleb cares more about his new truck, new house, and future boat than Catherine herself. Caleb's dad wisely tells him that "whatever you put your time and money into will be what you care about."
Listening to his father’s wisdom, he finds an inner strength and faith that gives him hope to keep trying to change. "I am sorry," Caleb poignantly tells Catherine. "I have trampled on you with my words and my actions." It is often so difficult for us as men to humble ourselves before our wives and admit that we were wrong. But what a Valentine’s Day difference that can make.
Mitch Temple of Focus on the Family said that, "This brilliantly produced film radiates messages of authentic determination, faith and hope, even for those of us who have felt like giving up on our marriages” Joe Leydon of Variety Magazine comments that "Cameron is genuinely compelling as Caleb, a work-obsessed firefighter on the verge of divorce from his neglected wife.”
In its first weekend, Fireproof grossed $6,836,036, putting it in fourth place at the box office. As of January 2009, Fireproof has an estimated domestic gross of $33,351,975, more than tripling the lifetime earnings of its predecessor, Facing the Giants. The average Hollywood-produced movie costs more than $100 million to make. Fireproof, as an independent film with only a $500,000 budget, proves that the little guy can still make a big difference.
To check it out for yourself, just click on YOUTube at
Fireproof, while not a perfect film, reminds me that marriage is worth fighting for. Marriage is a gift from God that can revolutionize our lives, when we put our spouses first under God. My Valentine’s Bliss prayer is that marriages across Canada will become stronger, healthier and more caring.
The Rev Ed Hird+
Rector, St. Simon’s North Vancouver
Anglican Coalition in Canada