Fireproof or on Fire?

However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Ephesians 5:33

I haven't seen the movie "Fireproof". In part, because when it was in my little town, life was too nutty to try to fireproof anything. I really drug my feet about going, also. I have mentioned a time or twelve that Troy and I have survived a rough patch in our marriage (kind of like Katrina has been a 'rough patch' for New Orleans) and things are, this minute, better than I ever thought they would be in the middle of that (and please don't hear me say 'perfect' and please DO hear me giving God every bit of the glory for any marriage left -- without Him, we were DONE). However, there is still a little hurt and healing that God needs to take care of, and I don't know that I'm ready to go see someone else struggle through the same thing (obviously, I'm not even positive what the premise of the movie is other than 'fireproofing a marriage' -- but I'm guessing it starts with a marriage in a not-great place).

Tucker saw it recently with his wife out there on the frozen tundra where he farms when it isn't frozen tundra. In writing his thoughts on the movie, and the scripture, he talked about the scripture in Ephesians 5 is, like the movie (evidently the movie very closely acts out Ephesians 5:22-33) mostly directed to men. The scripture says again and again, "Husbands love your wives,... husbands love your wives..." However, notice (above) how v. 33 ends talking to the women. We aren't told to love our husbands. Chances are, we already do, always have, always will, no matter what he is or does. We are told to respect our husbands.

This is one of those things that I know, but don't always put into practice. Just recently -- within the last month, I think -- I had to apologize to Troy when we got home from somewhere. I made some comment -- probably trying to be funny -- that could have been demeaning to him. Truthfully, I do not remember AT ALL what it was, I just remember apologizing, and thankfully, Troy has a horrible memory so even if I asked him, he wouldn't remember either. HOWEVER -- whoever I was talking to may remember it. And they may have an impression about how I feel about my husband that is inaccurate. What if it was someone who wasn't a Christian and that was my witness? Praying God's grace over that...!

One of the comments on Tucker's blog made me realize that I have been given MANY opportunities to hear and learn this information, and I STILL have trouble actually doing it. I went to a Christian school 1st-12th grades, and 12th grade Bible class was ENTIRELY about marriage. I had both Faulkner and Brecheen for Bible at ACU, who spent YEARS giving marriage seminars, and Troy and I have been to two of those seminars as well. KNOWLEDGE isn't what makes the difference in respecting your husband (nor about any other aspect of Christianity, I guess). It's day to day living it.

The comment on Tucker's blog made me realize that's kind of a foreign concept/ idea for some women. Even though it sounds like a great idea, they may not be sure how to 'put legs on it'. In short, it means it is your job to honor your husband by the way you talk TO him, the way you talk ABOUT him, the way you respond to his decisions, the way you care about the things he cares about. Again -- I can SAY it easier than I can DO it. But God can do a LOT when I let Him.

When Troy and I were in marriage counseling, much of our discussion was around my role as "Troy's biggest cheerleader" -- not only just to him, but to other people. We all get so beat up by the world around us -- your spouse should be the last person who "puts you in your place"!! Home shouldn't be where you go to become wounded further, or a place to hide from -- home should be the safest place there is.

I have mentioned before -- maybe not here -- that Coffee Group has an unwritten rule: we do NOT husband bash. So many women's groups turn into a place to air all of their complaints about their spouse. That can turn into a VERY ugly mob-frenzy! The best part about my Coffee Group is that if any of us do need to vent about something not going well, we can vent -- but the group generally 'sides' with the husband. Because they all love him, too, and don't want anyone to talk poorly about him.

This has just been on my mind since reading that comment on Tucker's blog. Since hearing Gary Thomas at his 'Sacred Marriage' workshop (which I wrote about and can't currently find) -- I have been haunted by this thought: "As Christians, our marriages SHOULD be one of our biggest evangelism tools. They should look completely different from the world's. But they don't..." Ouch, huh? (or, in current vernacular, "I know, right?" -- whatev...)

So I must leave here and go be with my husband. And I will commit to you and him to renew my commitment to him and the Lord to respect my husband.

Which brings me to another post for another day -- AWESOME book I'm reading now...!


wjcsydney said...

great post, girlfriend!

Kelly Sessions said...

Sarah, I just checked the blogs before bed and I saw your entry. I dont have time to read the entire blog right now, but I read the first few paragraphs...and might I say AMAZING movie. I loved it, but I loved Facing the Giants too, even though both are a little cheesey at times because of the lack of acting experience but the point and message was very cool. Just wanted to say that if you do see the movie let me know what you think, also, my Mom and Dad got the "books" for eachother and are doing them now...when you see the movie you'll understand! But I loved it!

john dobbs said...

Sarah ... my respect for you has grown as I read this post ... your openness and the articulation of your faith is a precious gift to all who read this blog. Thank yu.

Tucker said...

WOW, this Tucker guy must be awesome! Great thoughts! I think you should see the movie, embrace the struggles as something that helps a marriage come out better on the other side, and, know that it all works out when God is involved. I can't wait to see your movie review!

stephanie said...

Oh, the putting the legs on it...

I loved this post.
The legs are kind of this part "it is your job to honor your husband by the way you talk TO him, the way you talk ABOUT him, the way you respond to his decisions, the way you care about the things he cares about"

We saw Fireproof together... While there are no children involved (kids add a whole other dynamic to a marriage!) it certainly touched on some universal truths.

Lisa Laree said...

I read today's post in amazement...I've just finished reading a book titled Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs and saw some things I should've seen before...but didn't. One little nugget in particular really jumped out at me and I've been debating whether to blog it or just post it as a note on Facebook...think I'll go the blog route.

Respect is such a key thing, and we ladies just don't get it so much of the time... Thanks for posting!

Melene said...

We finished the Sacred Marriage Bible Study with a group at church in early December. It was powerful and so good for us and our marriage. It made Joe's leaving for deployment on Dec 26th harder than ever. I recommend Fireproof, too. Thanks for sharing this.

Jana said...

"One very important to befriend our sorrow (past or present) is to take it out of its isolation and share it with someone who can receive it" (Nouwen, Here and Now, 45).

Thank you, Sarah. As always, you put salve on wounds and inject hope in dark places.

Jana said...

I meant, "One very important way..."

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