A Clash Of Worldviews On Marriage

Michael Hardy of The Boston Globe has reviewed the new Fireproof movie.   My concern isn’t whether Mr. Hardy enjoyed the movie cinematically or how many stars he gave it.   My concern is over one paragraph within his review:

Director (Alex) Kendrick seems to care less about his characters’ relationship with each other than their religious fealty.   We start to realize this when Catherine meets a charming doctor at the hospital where she works.   Compared to Caleb, who needs some very worldly help, preferably from a psychiatrist, this doctor is a dream.   But Kendrick is so intent on saving Caleb and Catherine’s sacred covenant that he sabotages this budding romance, forcing Catherine to take Caleb back out of sheer desperation.   One of the film’s songs advises couples who get married to “lock the door and throw away the key.”   That sounds more like prison than holy matrimony.

And therein lies the clash of worldviews on marriage.   Mr. Hardy correctly described Caleb and Catherine’s marriage as a “sacred covenant.”   It’s sacred in that marriage was designed, defined and regulated from the days of the first couple by the Creator of the universe (Genesis 2:24).   The Creator’s Son gave clear indicators of the divine intentions for marriage (Matthew 5:31-32; Matthew 19:3-9).   The Spirit of God continued to reveal just how critical the bond of marriage is throughout the New Testament (Romans 7:2-3; 1 Corinthians 7:10-11).

I haven’t heard the film’s song that Mr. Hardy references, but I have read Jesus’ instructions in Matthew 19:6.   Whatever doors I have to lock and whatever keys I have to throw away, I’ll cast my lot with the Son of God.

May I encourage you on this issue–and whatever issue you face–to approach life with a worldview shaped by Isaiah 55:8-9?

For more on the questions and complications of marriage, divorce and remarriage, feel free to check out some sermons I’ve preached on the subject.

  • In Search Of The Standard (10.21.07)
    (outline; audio)
  • “As It Was In The Beginning…” (10.21.07)
    (outline; audio)
  • “But I Say To You…” (10.28.07)
    (outline; audio)
  • The Role Of Repentance (10.28.07)
    (outline; audio)
  • What Has God Said About Who Can Marry? (4.13.08)
    (outline; audio)
  • When Marriage Doesn’t Go As Planned (4.13.08)
    (outline; audio)
  • Divine Instructions For Marriage From 1 Corinthians 7 (4.20.08)
    (outline; audio)
  • What Exactly Is “Mental Divorce”? (4.20.08)
    (outline; audio)

About Jason Hardin

Jason lives in southern Indiana with his wife Shelly and their three daughters. He works with the Charlestown Road church of Christ. Jason has written three books and a variety of workbooks. He's a fan of photography, baseball, mountains, wildlife, BBQ, banana pudding, and coffee. You can contact him here or connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

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God Notices the Little Things. Do We?

And [Jesus] sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, "Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on." (Mark 12:41-44)

God notices and appreciates the little things. Little things are powerful. They can accumulate to have positive and negative impacts on our homes.

Little things affect our marriages. Most husband-wife relationships that have grown to be strained are not so because of one-time, massive, easily-identifiable "meteors" that suddenly and unexplainably fell out of the marital sky. Most of the significant problems we experience in our marriages can be attributed to the multiplication of the little things---a selfish choice here, rude disregard there. Attitudes produce actions. Actions evolve into habits. Habits undeniably impact life at home. Given enough time, the little things can snowball and cause serious damage at the very foundation of a marriage.

Children who are not taught to appreciate and participate in the little things are set by their parents on a trajectory of ingratitude and self-centeredness. Mom is not the maid. Dad is not the ATM. Children are not entitled to everything their hearts desire, nor should they be treated as immune to sacrifice or free from accountability. When the little things are taken for granted, erosion of the heart is experienced that can eventually lead to devastating consequences.