There are some things that one shouldn’t go around boasting in the public realm, especially the Internet, but I was moved with tears while watching two Christian movies from Sherwood Pictures – ‘Facing the Giants’ and ‘Fireproof’.

I received ‘Facing the Giants’ to borrow from an uncle who lives down the road from us, after sharing my love for a film based on a true-story – Miracle, which features Kurt Russell. Mr Russell portrays the character of Herb Brooks – the head coach for the USA men’s hockey team that famously beat the Soviet Union to subsequently win the gold medal at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York.

As a Scotsman, ice hockey isn’t exactly a major sport, which is a little surprising, despite our cold seasonal weather here in the UK, especially Scotland.

Anyhow, Facing the Giants had been staring at me to watch for a good month, and I took the plunge to watch it. I had a pre-conception thinking it would be a bit cheesy with some dodgy acting. Instead it moved me to tears. Coming from a British culture, people over here are not exactly proactive to share their faith, and it doesn’t help when such talk become taboo subjects in the workplace – and of course in the political arena. However, since I previously had pen pals from the States and learned enough of the culture to understand the context, I found it to be the norm for the preachy dialogue. In fact, I found it most encouraging. It was a breath of fresh air to watch a movie with a Christ-centred plotline without the brutality of Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ.

Aside from the heavy American accents, I found it profound to watch a struggling family go through the motions with life, as they learn to place their trust, hope and faith in the LORD come rain or shine. Overall, it was a nice story and I actually enjoyed it.

As for ‘Fireproof’, I knew from previous background reading that it was widely praised across Evangelical Christian Americans, with publications and positive reviews relating to the movie. Strangely enough, I never watched the trailer for the movie but imagined it had something to do with firefighters. Nonetheless, I chose to watch it through iTunes. I think for me, I was initially hoping not to see Alex Kendrick (in a good way), and I was pleasantly surprised to see him take on a cameo role as such, as a local pastor, where Alex is actually an associate pastor in real life for Sherwood Baptist Church, in Albany, Georgia.

I noticed that Fireproof upped its production values in terms of the depth of the characters portrayed and noticeable quality in cinematography. I may be a single bloke, but I felt I could relate with the struggles and pains of life’s frustrations and the challenges of marriage. There were a few surprises, which resulted in a pleasing ending. Kirk Cameron did a fantastic job at portraying Caleb, and I never knew he was involved in the Left Behind series. As you can tell, I haven’t watched the series…

I guess the key highlights from both ‘Facing the Giants’ and ‘Fireproof’ is the running theme of God’s dependence in our everyday life. Depending on one’s ears when watching these independent Christian movies is that they may come across as preachy, or it may resemble a modern-day altar call to repentance, but I think Fireproof naturally hits home to married couples.

Marriage is tough love. I see the struggles and joys in my parent’s marriage, and in the marriage of others. In God’s ordination and created design of biblical marriage, it is a covenant between one man and one woman. You may find the love of your life, but you have to remember – everyday you will be waking up to this very same person that you commit yourself to everyday of your life – till death do us part.

But love isn’t based on warm and fuzzy feelings, but a covenant between one man and one woman centred on Christ. If it’s not Christ-centred, then the marriage is built on sand – and not on the rock foundation that is Christ Jesus.

I may be seeking out a future spouse in God’s timing, but I want to prepare my heart to not only live a life that pleases the LORD, but to be a loving and Godly husband (and Dad) that I desire to be.

Again, all in God’s timing and will.


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