Fireproof

Email…
I’m wondering if you ever saw the movie “Fireproof.” It’s a movie made by a bunch of Evangelicals about a man who is losing his wife and the steps he takes to get her back. It would be interesting to read your take on his procedure.
I haven’t seen Fireproof – I’ve heard of it, just not seen it. Based on the trailer and the Love Dare, it’s essentially saying in my terminology “add Beta”.
If the problem is a lack of Beta, it will fix the problem. No really, it will. If he’s basically ignoring her and paying zero attention to her, it really will fix the problem.
However…
If the problem is the husband has not enough Alpha, then he’s just going to screw it up even faster by piling on the Beta.
It’s really revealing that they made the main character a manly man heroic firefighter, so he has all that Alpha stuff in place anyway and doesn’t have to do anything Alpha in relation to her. He’s Alpha to the audience  and all the Christian women watching the movie will get wet pussies moved by the spirit for Kirk Cameron as a firefighter.
So it’s basically a romance movie for Evangelical women. Which is fine by me because I don’t have to watch it. But what you’re meant to do if your an Evangelical guy that has an office job I don’t know. Pray to God for a horrible office-wide cubicle collapsing accident so you can step in and save the day and look Alpha? What if you already call her just to see how her day is, give her flowers and cook her candlelight dinners and she still won’t have sex with you?
I bet there’s not a scene in the movie where he is Alpha in direct relation to her though. Seriously, will there be a fittness test in there anywhere that he passes? Or does he just pile on the Beta goodies until the film goes overbudget?
Damnit, now I have to watch it.

Comments

  1. I saw Fireproof out of curiosity a couple of years ago when it was all the rage in evangelical circles. (Boundless actively promoted the show and excoriated anyone who didn't like the film or want to see
    it.)

    The plot is that Kirk Cameron is in an unhappy marriage. He is a firefighter who looks at online porn; she works at a hospital where she has an ongoing flirtation with a doctor. One day Kirk and his wife have a big argument that ends with his wife demanding divorce. Kirk's dad asks Kirk to try the "love dare," which is 40 days of Kirk treating his wife like a princess without expecting anything in return. Kirk almost gives up when his wife doesn't respond immediately, but he sticks with it, and eventually he becomes a Christian, wins his wife back, and they renew their vows in a "covenant marriage." (Covenant marriage is available in some states and is meant to resemble Marriage 1.0 in terms of grounds on which to dissolve the union.)

    I don't remember if Kirk had any specific oments of acting alpha relative to his wife. Mostly the movie falls into the "you're a
    screw-up man who doesn't treat his wife, who is a precious gift from God, right, so get on your knees and buy her some flowers before you screw it up any more" camp.

    For those who aren't aware, Fireproof is the third feature film from Sherwood Baptist Church in Georgia. Other than Kirk Cameron, everyone
    involved in the film was from the church – actors, extras, directors, crew, etc. – and the script was co-written by two brothers who are
    pastors at the church. The church considers filmmaking its evangelistic ministry. As you might expect, you're not going to find Hollywood values in Fireproof – on any level.

  2. The "a real man's gotta be a heroto his wife before he can be a hero to anyone else" comment kinda hints at him needing to add Alpha in the home..

  3. I watched it and for me it was useful, because I err on the side of too much Alpha, I've always been that way, and I have enough social proof/flirting with and from other women to be solid in my Alpha status, so the reminder to act more beta every so often was good to me.

    I think the film was more targeted at the Alpha at work, neglecting their wives crowd. I've met a lot of women with Alpha husbands, or boyfriends who have thrown themselves at me or a friend, because they aren't getting the beta attention they need to feel comfortable.

    It really is for a specific group of guys. It also is a GREAT movie to show to the uber-feminist women who are confused about why their husband likes to flirt with the cute stay at home mom next door, and not hear about their day. If the woman is too masculine then it's good advice for her to take. Near the end of the movie the guy's dad tells him that his mom did the love dare to him.

  4. Jeez, fundamentalist brainwashing.

    Are the churches over there crawling with women too? ThereĀ“s a reason for men fleeing that.

    Like the British princeling has to watch his COMMON wife abandon all promises of obeying him, so have the churches succumbed to feminist / male subservience ideology.

    Wake up.

  5. Eric S. Mueller says:

    I'll be interested to hear your thoughts on the movie if you see it. It's the typical American Evangelical message. I don't think the message itself is too beta. You have no control over how your wife acts, but you can control how you act toward her, so serve her selflessly. It also has the Gospel thrown in.

    Most marriage messages preached in the church are beta, but I doubt an alpha would last long as a pastor in most churches with all the passive-aggressive pious politics involved.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I watched it. My take away from it was that it was more of a chick movie than anything. I hadn't picked up on the "alpha fire fighter for the female audience" angle before, but now that you mention it, that dynamic is definitely at play.

    The movie totally focuses on how it is Kirk Cameron's characters fault that the marriage is in disarray. Not once does it touch on how the wife has issues that could be hurting the husband, or their marriage. I did not care for the movie at all, and after I pointed out my observations with my wife, she concurred, and did not like it either.

    I am a Christian, not the speaking in tongues, wearing my faith on my sleave, getting my identity out of what other christians think about me, type, but a Christian nonetheless. The movie sucked, 99.9999% of "Christian" movies suck.

    Adam

  7. Crowhill says:

    @hans, while you're right that women generally outnumber men in churches, that is not so in conservative Protestant churches. The combination of the mission and the teachings on the husband being the head of the home tend to make those churches more guy friendly.

  8. Phil Mueller says:

    @Crowhill,

    You are right, and from what I understand the same is true in the Catholic world as well– traditionalist Catholics (i.e. the Latin-loving, anti-Vatican II crowd) are going to be much more male friendly than the feminized liberal circles. In general if you are a churchgoer, seek out a more theologically conservative congregation. The gals there are going to be a cut above, and as a bonus you might catch some truth from the pulpit.

  9. Two takeaway points from the movie (my wife/inlaws insisted on watching it together)

    1. The wife never apologized for her wrongs, whereas Kirk did. Basically the whole movie dogged on the husband but never on the wife when she was just as guilty of wrongdoing.

    2. One thing that bugged me – while another woman played his wife, during the final scene where they embraced/kissed, that was his wife. They said as Christians they didn't feel it right that Kirk kiss someone other than his wife… than why not let the wife play the role, then? What about her wasn't good enough? I don't get it, and I'm a conservative evangelical…

  10. Anonymous says:

    e.p. –

    I can think of several possible reasons…

    1. Kirk and his wife Chelsea were an on-screen couple on "Growing Pains"… perhaps Sherwood Baptist didn't want to remind people. (Or remind them of "Boner")

    2. They already had the other actress cast and didn't want to fire her and/or they couldn't afford the salary of another name actor (OK, so she's not exactly an A-lister, but they'd probably have to pay her more than the no-name that actually played the role)

    3. The Camerons have at least six kids, IIRC, and having both parents on set might have been a logistics issue.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Give me a break, Adam. I actually agreed about the wife being spoiled, but upon watching it a second time, I realized something: she was scared out of her mind. Her marriage was failing and she thought her husband didn't love her, hence a lot of ehr aggressive behavior. They were both responsible, but he found God and had a new source of strength; she didn't. He had Christian friends giving him advice and strength; she didn't. When he first started it his heart wasn't in it, so she sensed it and rejected him. Plus, he at first never told her his intentions to repair the marriage, so she had no idea why he was acting so friendly all of a sudden; add to this the fact that one of her friends told her, based on experience, that her husband was just trying to butter her up for a divorce settlement (and she caught her husband looking at porn again after his initial friendly attempts), and you have a good explanation for why she was confused and unhappy. I thought she was a real brat sometimes, but the story was about giving love, not being a doormat (any Christian will back me up on this), and proof of love was what she needed, since she at the time had no incentive to hope or think the marriage would survive. Plus, again, she didn't have God; he basically needed to lead her in the right direction. I was mad that she never said the words "I'm sorry", but I'm guessing her teary "Is it too late to ask you to grow old with me?" question to him was meant as an apology and an "I screwed up too, please come back" acknowledgement. This post had some rather ugly thoughts in it, and while game is useful, I prefer to chalk it up to men acting like men as the Bible says and generally find the alpha/beta labels unattractively simplifying. When push comes to shove, I look to the Bible.

    Jennifer 6

  12. Anonymous says:

    "I prefer to chalk it up to men acting like men as the Bible says"

    Huh, no wonder so many secular guys don't get it (game has been said, after all, to be for guys who don't get it). Of course, if you take the Bible in an unbalanced fashion, you can be either weak or domineering too. This goes for women as well; one book about obedience for wives actually says that one wife won her violent husband over, a husband who chased her with a butcher knife while pregnant. She tamed him by speaking of him nicely 24/7 and never criticizing him or repeating his abuse to anyone else ever again. Suuuurrree. I swear, we've got feminism making men pansies and patriocentric religion making women weaklings.

    Jennifer 6

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