Before we proceed, let me first tell you that what you are reading is not actually a movie review but my homework in our Theology class. In school, we watched this movie called Fireproof, which tells the story of how God saved thee relationship of a married couple who are about to divorce. As always, we were tasked to make a reflection paper about it answering the questions given. Yes! This is more of a question and answer reflection paper but still, it has a little hint of review so I still posted on my blog. After all, Fireproof deserves a slot on my blog because of the message it imparted and inspiration it shared to me.
1. What main problem(s) did the couple face? Did the couple strive to understand each other? How? In what way(s) did the couple handle arguments or differences of opinion? Were they able to open up and tell each other how they really felt, or did they tend to just snap at each other with anger?
Just like most married couples, Caleb and Catherine experienced marital difficulties. Catherine accused Caleb of being selfish due to his desire to buy a boat taking preference over paying for her mother’s medical bills, and frustrated over his habitual use of internet pornography. Caleb felt unappreciated and undervalued. At first, they didn’t strive to understand each other. They just accepted that their relationship will never be fine again which led to the decision of divorce. They did not handle their arguments well because instead of opening up their feelings, they just snapped at each other with anger.
2. When one of the partners brought up a problem, did he or she seem to do it in a constructive way (keeping things specific, explaining his or her feelings without attacking), or did it seem more like an attack? Did it seem like bringing up a problem became an assassination of the partner’s character?
Both of them felt that they are being attacked whenever one of them brings up a problem. Instead of talking about it, the other will insist his/her own claim. No one agreed with one another because of their pride. This was usually the cause of their fight. For them, it seemed like bringing up a problem became an assassination of the partner’s character.
3. Did the partners seem to have similar expectations of their relationship? Where did their expectations differ? Did it seem like they were aware of their own expectations? Were their expectations reasonable? Did they share their expectations with each other?
The partners had different expectations on their relationship. Despite of seemingly unending fight between them, Caleb still hoped for peace in their relationship because he knows the importance of never leaving one’s partner. On the other hand, Catherine believed that their relationship had no chance anymore so she was the one who demanded the divorce. They are aware of their own expectations and share these with one another. I think Caleb’s expectation is reasonable while Catherine’s expectation is not because divorce is never an answer to a married couple’s problems.
4. What role did God play in the relationship of the couple?
God served as the couple’s guide in making their relationship strong. He used Caleb’s father to remind Caleb about the importance of their relationship through a “The Love Dare.” which built his faith to God. When he became Christian, he learned how to accept his mistakes and to ask for forgiveness. When Catherine saw his changes in him, she forgave him and turned to be a Christian as well. From then on, God has become the center of their relationship as they renewed their wedding vows as Christians.
5. Choose one symbol shown in the movie and explain its significance in relationship.
In the movie, we’ve seen Catherine removed her wedding ring because of their misunderstanding. Wedding ring is an important symbol in a relationship as it exemplifies a couple’s wedding vows to each other. That’s why in a wedding ceremony, rings are worn while saying their vows. The saddest part about it is when most people promise for better or worse, they really only mean for the better just like Caleb and Catherine. Catherine removed her ring because she was tired dealing with the worse.
6. How does one’s belief in God help a person relate with others?
Faith in God is a faith that produces love. Taking the movie as an example, when Caleb finally had faith in God, he learned how to love himself which enables him to love his neighbors. Through love, he learned to accept his mistakes and to ask for forgiveness which builds a good relationship with others and with his wife. Faith in God changes a person and how he acts in front of people. He/She can also be an inspiration to those people who want to change for the better.
7. What is the love language of Catherine and Caleb as shown in the film? What does love language imply in their relationship?
I think, the love language of Catherine and Caleb is the act of service which they learned in “The Love Dare.” People who speak the language of service want their partner to recognize that their life is rough and help them out in any way possible just like what Caleb did while he was following the journal. Through this love language, he was able to show how he truly cares for his wife. This also makes your partner appreciate your love. An example is when Caleb paid Catherine’s mother’s medical cost. This moved Catherine which leads to reconciliation with Caleb.
8. If you can decide for Caleb and Catherine, would you push through divorce for them? Why?
Honestly, in general, I’m in favor of divorce but only in some situations (e.g. hitting or putting you down). However, in the case of Caleb and Catherine, regardless if they’re Christians or not, I would not push through divorce for them because clearly, they just let pride overpower their love for one another. And in cases like this, divorce is not the answer. They just need someone or something that will bring down their pride and make them realize their love for one another. As we can see in the movie, this is what happened that’s why they did mot continue their divorce.
9. What other things happened in the movie that might lead you to think differently about relationship/marriage in general or in specific area of your life?
As we can see in the movie, Caleb received “The Love Dare” which gives Caleb 40 days of asking him to do something kind for his wife. These things did not just help bring the two back together, but it also made them realize their love for one another. With this, I learned that strong marriages require work, hard work. Beautiful relationships don’t just happen. It takes a lot of hard work. And often, it is about putting our spouse ahead of our own desires, wants and needs.
10. What other comments do you have about this movie? Write a short reflection/ realization about marriage and family life in general.
Fireproof just showed what God intends for marriage. Singles and married couples alike will witness the reconciliation of two broken people and how God can heal even the most damaged of relationships. This movie made me realize that in having a good marriage, one must first find the source of unconditional love, which is God, before loving someone. Without a right relationship with God, we will not be able to have a right relationship with others around us. Without having and experiencing His love, we will know how to love our spouse in the right manner.
I, myself, is a fire volunteer. I know how hard it is to be like Caleb. But I never thought that my firefighting experience can be applied to love. As what the movie is trying to tell us, both in firefighting and in marriage, remember to never leave your partner behind.