Editor’s note: Now we’re moving on to Larry’s comparing his first failed marriage to the things he thinks are wrong in ‘Fireproof’. Turns out that the movie was released about the same time as he was divorcing his first wife and that someone in church leadership insisted that Larry make like Caleb in the movie and practice sacrificial love. That didn’t go over very well at all. I apologize in advance for the length of today’s quote, but we’re pushing through towards the end of this mess. This is the next to last bit.
I have personally seen the damage that the Fireproof movie has caused in marriages
When Fireproof was released in September of 2008 I was in the midst of my divorce from my first wife. My story in many ways mirrored the story of Caleb but in some ways it was different.
First let me state the biggest difference is that my wife and I were both professing Christians and we both had attended church for most of our lives. When I say “professing” I don’t mean that I did not truly believe because I have truly believed in God since I accepted Jesus Christ as my savior at the age of seven years old. But by “professing” I mean in my opinion I am not sure that my ex-wife was ever truly a genuine believer. I cannot say for sure that she is not a Christian as only God knows that. But the fact that she has rarely graced the door step of a church in years and the way she has lived her life since our divorce has not given me any cause to think her faith is genuine.
But the reasons for the breakdown in our marriage were similar in some ways to Caleb and Catherine and different in many other ways.
My first wife thought I worked two much – I worked a full time job and a part time job to support our big family with five children. Unlike Caleb though I was not tight with the money and pretty much anything my wife wanted she got if we had the funds. In fact in many ways I was too soft on her as she was an extremely lazy woman with a princess mentality.
Like Caleb I also had a habit of viewing pornography although it did not affect my desire for my wife in the least bit and for all of our marriage until the last year of it we had sex several times a week. At the time though and for most of my life I condemned myself on a regular basis for viewing porn and I ask God’s forgiveness and her forgiveness on a regular basis. After my divorce from my first wife God finally revealed to me that my self-condemnation for viewing porn was misplaced and that I could view some type’s porn guilt free as long as it did not lead to obsessive behavior or affect my desire for my future wife.
Now the reason that our sex life decreased rapidly in the last year of our marriage was not due to my porn habit or any decrease in desire on my part for my wife. The decrease came because for the first time in our marriage she began to sexually deny me. At first it was only a decrease in our relations and then eventually she started to flat out deny me.
What I eventually came to learn is that she had been having an affair with another man for the past year (which completely explained the change in our sex life). She cited my working too much and my history of viewing porn as her primary reasons for the affair. She felt that she should have been the only woman that I desired to see naked and she should have been the center of all my sexual focus and really my life’s focus. She wanted to be number one in all areas of my life and she felt she did not occupy that position based on me putting so much into my job and my viewing porn.
I started attending a support group at a church for people facing the possibility of divorce or actually going through divorce. The director of that group was a huge fan of what was at the time new “Fireproof” approach to handling the wayward wife.
He actually told me that I needed to do what Caleb did in the movie and compete for my unfaithful wife. He convinced me for a time that my porn use was just as unfaithful to my wife as he being unfaithful to me with this man she had been sleeping with for the past year. Many good Christian men have fallen for this false comparison as I once did.
I did what Caleb did and I apologized to my ex-wife in tears on my hands and knees. I begged her to return to me and that I would treat her like the “jewel” she was if she would just give me another chance while I knew she was still seeing this other man.
For a time following this horrible Fireproof advice I was given I convinced myself that my ex-wife was not truly the lazy and the self-centered princess that she truly was.But then I realized very quickly what this man from this church support group was saying was wrong and that I was trying to convince myself of a lie. Was I the perfect husband? Certainly not. Did I work too much at times and was I neglectful of her at times? Yes. But what I did certainly did not justify what she did.
Did God win back his unfaithful wife by performing acts of affection? No way! He brought down the house on Israel because of her sin. My ex-wife and other Christian men who had unfaithful wives saw their wives emboldened in their unfaithfulness by the example of the Fireproof movie.
It was their husband’s fault not theirs and their husband’s needed to win them back. What heresy! What an utter and complete false teaching this is!
QUOTING QUIVERFULL is a regular feature of NLQ – we present the actual words of noted Quiverfull leaders, cultural enforcers and those that seek to keep women submitted to men and ask our readers: What do you think? Agree? Disagree? This is the place to state your opinion. Please, let’s keep it respectful – but at the same time, we encourage readers to examine the ideas of Quiverfull and Spiritual Abuse honestly and thoughtfully.
Stay in touch! Like No Longer Quivering on Facebook:
Copyright notice: If you use any content from NLQ, including any of our research or Quoting Quiverfull quotes, please give us credit and a link back to this site. All original content is owned by No Longer Quivering and Patheos.com
Read our hate mail at Jerks 4 Jesus