I hate the movie “Fireproof”

For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. – 2 Timothy 4:3, NLT

About five years ago, a major marital craze went through the American, evangelical church world. A new “Christian” movie was in the theaters, and it was billed as having a marriage saving story-line. My home church in CT was not immune to the hype as they encouraged couples–husbands especially–to go see the movie “Fireproof” and do The Love Dare, the spin-off book from the movie.

While I suspect the motives behind the message were sincerely to help marriages (and may have helped some), the movie and book are examples of a very dangerous and wrong approach to marriages ravaged by adultery. I am convinced this movie caused more damage in my first marriage than it helped. It certainly sent the wrong messages to my spouse at the time further enabling her infidelity.

A brief summary of the movie plot as I remember it:

Caleb is a firefighter and his marriage is in crisis due to his porn addiction and selfish, angry ways. Catherine, Caleb’s wife, files for divorce, and while it is being processed, Caleb does the “Love Dare” at the behest of his father. This “Love Dare” consists of doing selfless acts of love toward Catherine over  a period of time. It transforms Caleb’s heart and he destroys his computer realizing his porn addiction was very wrong. During this time, Catherine has an emotional affair with a married doctor at work. Caleb finds out and “confronts” the married doctor telling him that he will win Catherine’s heart back since he has a head start. The turning point in the movie takes place when Caleb takes his own savings for a boat and uses the money instead to buy necessary medical things for Catherine’s aging parents. Catherine at first thinks the OM did this for her and only returns to Caleb after realizing he did it. Then they have a reaffirmation of marital vows ceremony to close the movie.

I have several issues with the teachings this movie presents:

1. It minimizes the sinfulness and damage of emotional affairs. 

At no point did Catherine repent in the movie for her infidelity to Caleb who she wronged. In fact, Caleb confronting the doctor in the way he did suggests Caleb, and not Catherine, is responsible for the emotional affair. This is a lie. Catherine and the doctor chose to cheat on their spouses (That is TWO spouses plus families wronged, by the way, yet another plot oversight). Adultery flows from the cheaters’ hearts, in this instance. They are 100% responsible for the emotional affair.

2. It teaches that the evangelical Christians view pornography as a greater threat and sin than adultery.

The movie fell into the typical evangelical/fundamentalist trope of railing against the ills of pornography while missing the elephant in the room–i.e. adultery. Please understand, I think pornography is awful and damaging for marital relationships. The movie gets that correct. However, I raise this broader observation to make my point about how a situation ripe for adultery teaching is missed. In fact, Caleb’s pornography addiction is treated as worse than Catherine’s emotional affair with the doctor. They are both horrible and ought to be treated as such laying the responsibility for the sin on the sinner engaged in the behavior. The script writers did just that in the case of Caleb’s porn addiction. They failed to do that in the case of Catherine’s emotional affair. This is a major oversight.

3. The “Love Dare” sends the wrong messages to partners already cheating.

The Love Dare is this program to selflessly love a spouse. It is billed as the Christlike approach to a spouse and an opportunity for the one doing it to grow in godly character. My problem with this approach is that such a dare is not Christlike when marital cheating is happening.

We are called to confront sin (see Matthew 18). Adultery needs confronting and not enabling. By not addressing adultery directly, one is sending the message that it is not so serious. By engaging in the “win back” behavior advocated by The Love Dare, the faithful spouse is sending the message that they are to blame for the adultery or emotional affair (to some degree, at least). This is a lie. Only the one who chooses infidelity is responsible for the infidelity. Until this truth is grasped, repentance is far away, and the marriage remains vulnerable to future infidelities as the adulterous spouse has not mastered the sin.

Those are just a few of my top issues with this movie. And I am not just speculating on possible damage such teachings create. It happened to me. When my former spouse watched this movie as part of our marital counseling with lay “Christian” counselors, she loved it. The part she gravitated towards was Caleb confronting the OM and not his wife for her infidelity. My ex-wife thought that was great. And I suspect she loved how Catherine was not held responsible for her sinful, cheating choices. As I pointed out above, this teaching set her up for further acts of infidelity and disempowered her to choose godliness through repentance. This was and is not Christlike.

We can do better for Christian teaching on troubled marriages.


More like fire fodder worthy!


41 thoughts on “I hate the movie “Fireproof””

  1. I haven’t seen this movie, but I have heard a lot about it. This is the most detail I have received. I would have to see the movie to really understand your perspective.

    I think having Caleb confront the doctor shows that the men are fighting over her. Would you call that a “pick-me dance”? (I am guessing your x had some issues where she constantly needed to be validated. Having men fight over her and do the “pick-me dance” would make her feel special (kibbles) and once you’re married, you shouldn’t have to do that anymore. You should pay attention to her, but you won – the fight/dance is over.) I agree with you that she is no longer an innocent spouse once she goes outside her marriage to a third party that is not a counselor to discuss the issues of her marriage. That is an emotional affair and absolutely cheating.

    However, I say that Caleb cheated first. It is my opinion that pornography is cheating. You are going to other places outside your marriage to “get your needs met”. Looking at other women and objectifying them, making your wife feel like she is not good enough or as good as these women (which in turn will diminish your sex life because she no longer wants to even try to be visually pleasing), spending/depleting resources (money that should be used on the family), going to strip clubs and getting lap dances, etc. is absolutely cheating. All of these women were getting the attention that his wife should have been getting. The porn sites, the bars, the strip clubs, etc. were getting the money that should have been used on the family. These are also precursers to a full on physical affair. Caleb’s heart was adulterous long before hers was.

    Now, do I excuse her behavior? No, as I said, I agree that she cheated. You don’t get to make excuses for cheating. But, while I think your post today has absolute relevance to your previous marriage and to emotional affairs, I think that maybe (again, will have to watch this movie now even though I was trying to avoid it – thanks DM! sarcasm and teasing) the main content of the movie’s message was about his cheating.

    The writers could have gone a different route and not added her emotional affair to make the movie’s point better. Win her back, but not against another man who is also married. It sounds like the movie didn’t address the doctor’s cheating at all. So, I can see where the flaws are in this.

    1. Home School Mama,

      Chump Lady has definitely done the world a real service by providing language to talk about the dynamics of infidelity. I was trying to use my own original ideas on the post as opposed to running it through the CL language lenses. That said, I would agree the movie encourages the “Pick Me!” Dance.” The book is like a guide to how to feed “kibbles” to your cheating spouse.

      Also, HSM, you nailed it on the head when it comes to my ex. She wanted all the male attention that she could get–i.e. “cake” and “kibbles.” I actually feel sorry for her now as I realize she was trying to fix something in her that never gets fixed that way. Thankful to be a with a healthy and faithful woman now in Mrs. DM!

      As to my thoughts on the porn issue in the movie, I was trying NOT to minimize the damage of porn addiction in marriages. Pornography is definitely cheating as far as I see it. We are in agreement on that. And Caleb was definitely unfaithful in his heart first in the movie by using porn. I am glad the movie does address that issue. However, it drops the ball on emotional affairs and plays into narcissism on the female side as I see it. Adultery is thereby not treated as seriously as it ought.

      1. Watched it, and it is not a good movie on many levels. Bad acting, and overweight rookies that would never have passed the physical test aside……………. I think that the writers/producers were trying to make a movie that would speak to healing failing marriages, but they missed the mark.

        I think they glossed over a lot of the issues.

        They definitely show Caleb as a horrible guy (to his wife – not to his colleagues or community) who is very selfish and not committed to his marriage. But, I think they even gloss over the porn issue because it’s a Christian movie that can’t get too into detail about that sort of thing. It’s really only referenced a couple times.

        I absolutely see your point about how they gloss over her emotional affair. They show, only slightly, how nurses at the hospital react to what they see is going on, but there is absolutely no discussion/counseling/reconciliation about the emotional affair that Catherine is having. She also has absolutely no repercussions for her actions as being the other woman for this doctor that is married. They never show the pain that the doctor’s wife and family must have due to his issues/actions. It seems that everyone else working at that hospital knew that he was married. So, despite the fact that he keeps his ring in his desk drawer while he is at the hospital, Catherine had to know that he was married. No matter what she was going through, she shouldn’t have had a relationship with any man until the divorce was final (and certainly not another married man). That’s not to say that you can’t have friends of the opposite sex. I have several. But I didn’t go looking for attention when my x abandoned me and our children.

        They gloss over the doctor’s issues as well. They barely touch the surface about this guy being a narcissistic predator. He was the stereotypical doctor who charms the ladies at the hospital. It never delves into his side of the story at all. The wife and kids being neglected while he works long hours at the hospital and then doesn’t come home to his family because he is having multiple affairs and preying on women. The devastation of women who find out he is married. The other women (who were wrong also) when they finally realize that he is never going to leave his wife/family for them.

        I really think that the creators of this film wanted to create something that would help failing marriages. I do not think that they were equipped to handle the real content of the subject matter they were putting into this movie. Clearly, these people are not people who have experienced the things in this movie. I can see where it might have helped some couples. But, I do not see this as something that will speak to anyone who has experienced or is experiencing infidelity.

  2. That movie came out at the time my now ex had moved out to play house with the other woman. Skipping over the drama, the point that got to me was where Caleb’s father says “You can’t give her what you don’t have” (meaning love) Well, there you go. Nothing more unloving than adultery. I gave up hope right then and there. Probably not what the authors intended.

    1. Exactly Iolair!! They don’t have any love to give. They really don’t know what love is or how to love someone. I don’t think the characters in the movie were even at that point by the end. I don’t think my x had ever experienced love growing up. I pity him. I’m sorry for what you went through. Your love is better spent on others.

      1. Home School Mama and lolair,

        This reminds me of a teaching I heard from Anthony Hulsebus (author of Rejection Exposed). He cited Proverbs 30:23. Here’s the verse in context (Proverbs 30:21-23, NASB):

        “21 Under three things the earth quakes,
        And under four, it cannot bear up:
        22 Under a slave when he becomes king,
        And a fool when he is satisfied with food,
        23 Under an unloved woman when she gets a husband,
        And a maidservant when she supplants her mistress.”

        This wisdom I think applies to both genders–i.e. an unloved man with a wife and an unloved woman with a husband. Personally, I think unconditional love is such a human need that a person missing this experience from his or her parents will continue to look for it until it is met somewhere. Ultimately, only God can fill that hole. But we can be helped along with godly parents who loved us well. It gives me a sense of compassion to realize this was in operation in my first marriage as I see it. As you’ll put it, how can he/she give what she/he never had. Or as the Scripture says, “…under four, [the earth] cannot bear up.”


  3. Only thing that was worse was (in my case) working in a Christian bookstore at the time the movie came out. I was forced to presell the upcoming DVD, “The Love Dare”, and the boatload of ancillary merchandise while going through a divorce of my own. My then-stbx would come into the store to leave me messages, and my fellow workers (trying to help me out) tried to hardsell her the merchandise. (Yeah, THAT helped things…) It was years before I could stand to see the movie on TV, and that was two hours of horrible acting I’ll never get back.

  4. Pastor, I have experienced the trauma of spousal adultery and abandonment and agree with your message that divorce is Biblical when an adulterous spouse is unapologetic and unrepentant. That having been said, my take away from the movie “Fireproof” is that the theme of the movie is accepting Christ, shedding our sinful ways, and living a life in which we are instrumental in helping lead others to Christ. This is the point they drive home in the final scene when the wife tells her husband that she wants, “what he has.” I don’t perceive the adultery as having been inappropriately minimized but simply a plot driving vehicle. Other equally destructive and painful sins could have been used. Sadly, pastor, you come across to me as having lingering unresolved insult to your pride which caused you to focus on the plot vehicle with limited scope of the overall purpose of the movie. I find this focus on the negative somewhat baffling in a man of the cloth, especially when by your own descriptions of your current marriage and family, it would appear that God has restored to you what the locusts consumed..and in abundant measure. When we are busy counting our blessings, we don’t have nearly as much time to dwell on our trials. http://www.christlifemin.org/home/blog/articles/the-great-sin/

    1. PH,

      We may disagree on this point. I do not think the movie does enough to properly address the emotional affair (sin) of wife. And I do not apologize for holding such a position. I know of too many people who have been harmed by this movie’s (and/or its accompanying book’s) unbiblical teachings to say otherwise. It’s not “just” a plot device. The emotional affair is sin.

      While it is okay to disagree, it is not okay to do so by personally attacking me and lecturing an ordained minister. Your comment devolved to this level when you wrote, “Sadly, pastor, you come across to me as having lingering unresolved insult to your pride” and followed it up with a link addressing pride issues. We may disagree about the messages of the movie, “Fireproof.” However, just because someone disagrees with your interpretation of the movie does not mean they have a pride problem. In fact, insisting that they do is far more revealing of your own heart than theirs.


      1. I’ve been reading you for over 6 months DM & as a very good judge of character, an expert at reading between lines 🙂 …and a trained Psychiatrist … I have not seen one shred of evidence alluding to pride or an”unresolved insult to your pride” in anything you write… You just have a firm conviction that adultery is wrong and in going so you hVe helped so many of us who gave been taught by church and culture to accept it or worse take the fault for our spouses adultery.

    2. PH, the overall purpose of the movie is something completely separate from DM’s post. The post was not about what the overall purpose of the movie was. His post is on the message that that movie sent about adultery. As this is a blog about adultery, you comment about the overall plot of the movie does not fit, as that was not the focus, nor was it ever meant to be, the focus of the post. “That having been said, my take away from the movie “Fireproof” is that the theme of the movie is accepting Christ, shedding our sinful ways, and living a life in which we are instrumental in helping lead others to Christ.” That is fine to see that as a take away. You can have that as a takeaway and still also have a takeaway that they completely missed the mark on the message about adultery. It is not an either or.

      I suggest you reread your takeaway sentence carefully and then reread DM’s post. If “shedding our sinful ways” is the purpose of the movie then Catherine still completely missed the mark as she was never called out for her own sinful behavior. The married doctor was never called out for cheating on his own wife and family. He was never called on to shed his sinful way nor was he led closer to Christ through Catherine or Caleb. Your comment only strengthens DM’s opinion that the movie was lopsided in the message of the wrongness of adultery.

      If your purpose is to simply state that you respectfully disagree on certain takeaways and offer up an additional takeaway from your own viewpoint, your post should have stopped at “I don’t perceive the adultery as having been inappropriately minimized but simply a plot driving vehicle.” Had you stopped there your post would have been ok. You would have succeeded in respectfully disagreeing and offering up your own interpretation as an additional viewpoint. Had you done that, you would have actually contributed to the conversation. Instead, you continued on and the entire last part of your comment erases everything prior, showing that your purpose was instead to insult, disrespect and condescend. Please keep that in mind the next time you copy a link on pride as a means to discredit someone and beat them down.

  5. Although I initially liked the movie I was advised to do Love Dare whilst my ex wife was cheating ! Needless to say it didn’t work as DM has pointed out elsewhere, the problem lies with the spouse feeling entitled to cheat and you can’t ” nice” them out of their behaviour.

    Indeed I am sure my ex was very happy to go out with her boyfriend in countless bars, restaurants and hotels while I stayed at home looked after the children night after lonely night trying to fix things and trying so hard to be better.

    Just one other thing struck me about the movie, if Caleb had been too poor to buy the medical equipment and the presumably rich doctor had, does that mean Catherine would have gone off with the doctor as it was only at that point she returned to Caleb?

  6. Catherine _was_ challenged by a Christian co-worker in the movie and chose to walk away. I understand that she never specifically verbally repents of her emotional affair, however, the tears and genuine sorrow expressed as she hunts for her wedding ring, and her approach to Caleb in the fire hall at the end would indicate repentance to me. There is a constant underlying disapproval of her conduct with the doctor, and the doctor is the villain of the piece, so his behaviour is not condoned either.

    Yes, you could conclude the Caleb and the doctor fought over Catherine, however, Catherine is clearly presented as not a helpless female in between, but the one making the choice. Caleb recognizes that, but obviously feels that an outright confrontation with Catherine isn’t the best move at this point. I agree that trying to placate a spouse committing adultery with service is not usually to be recommended. They do need to be confronted and clear boundaries made. However, one must keep in mind that Caleb had committed adultery again and again and in effect hardened his wife’s heart toward him — so in a sense for him to confront her in the movie with her sin would be the “pot calling the kettle black.”

    I think pornography seems “worse” in the movie because it is the first action. If one spouse commits adultery, and in their disgust with their partner the faithful spouse turns to someone else and also has an affair, they are equally sinful, however, I think most of us would still tend to point to the first affair as the moment the marriage really fell apart.

    Catherine was fed up with Caleb’s adultery, and filed for divorce. Her sin was that she moved on to someone else before she filed for divorce (and of course that the one she moved on to was also married).

    1. Sin is not justified by sin. And I still do not think the movie took Catherine’s sin seriously enough. Her “change of heart” follows what some critics have rightly identified as Caleb buying her back with medical supplies for her parents. It is possible that she was confronted by a coworker, and I missed that. But even that I missed that suggests it was not a major theme.

      Caleb was wrong and sinning with his porn addiction. Catherine was wrong in having an emotional affair. This is supposed to be a Christian movie and is promoted as such. One is treated as more wrong than the other in this movie, IMO. That should not be.


  7. I have seen this movie Fireproof many times and I like it. Remember Caleb is the one who went to Christ, therefore he learned what he was doing was wrong. His wife at the end said she wanted to have what Caleb had to change too. Then Caleb wife will learn that she was being unfaithful, but not until she goes to Christ and by gods were she will know.

    1. Maybe she will and maybe she won’t. Sometimes people reject and refuse to repent when God exposes their sin. But that is beside the point as I see it in the movie, they still do not address her infidelity treating it as a lesser problem than Caleb’s sins. That is not okay as I read Scripture.

  8. While I do agree with some of your points. I disagree with several. First off, I am sorry that you had to go through what you did. Adultery is so very damaging to marriages, and is a very immature way for someone to “handle” problems in the marriage. Your review is obviously coming from a place of someone who has not yet healed, and that’s ok… but I believe past experiences cloud our judgement. So what you find terrible about this movie (because you had a mirroring experience) may not even be an issue for someone else. I realize this is strictly your opinion/review, but I would hate for people to not even watch this movie because of 1 persons jaded opinion. In your review you blame this movie etc for basically “encouraging” your ex in her behaviors. Yes, I realize she and this doctor are 100% responsible for their actions, but being proactively self-aware is also important. While it may not be your fault she cheated, revisiting the marriage dynamic and your behavior leading up to a during that time, can be a very therapeutic tool to help you move on. You may be a “victim” of this affair, but feeling victimized after a certain amount of time is not healthy.

    1. Christen,

      What you have engaged in with this comment is called an “ad hominem” argument by calling me “jaded” and “obviously…not yet healed.” It is a fallacy–i.e. error–of reasoning where you attack the person to discredit their voice and argument. People who do this often do so because they lack legitimate arguments to invalidate those presented by the person they are attacking.

      I have reason to believe this is so in your case as you seem to concede my point that the doctor’s emotional affair was wrong. As an ordained minister with a Master of Divinity from Yale, I have a problem endorsing any movie or message that minimizes such sin. It is my professional opinion “Fireproof” does just that when it comes to the emotional affair with the doctor. I see it as teaching dangerous things about morality and marriage. That is not a jaded opinion but a pastoral, professional one.

      It is not a “may” as to my former wife’s cheating not being my fault! I take zero responsibility for the sins of another person including hers.

      You seem to understand this earlier in your post but loose your train of thought here at the end suggesting I might be partly responsible for my former wife’s adulterous actions (i.e. You wrote, “Yes, I realize she and this doctor are 100% responsible for their actions….”) As a pastor, I would exhort you to remember what you wrote earlier on that matter. There is no “may” on this point. God will hold us 100% accountable for our own individual actions (see 2 Cor 5:10). That includes if someone cheats on their spouse regardless of marriage history.

      Also, it is NOT “you may be a ‘victim’ of this affair.” I WAS a victim of my ex-wife’s adultery. That is a historical fact. My feelings on that matter are irrelevant as far as it goes to the truthfulness of that statement. I am a victim of her adultery. It is not the totality of who I am, but it is true of me and always will be.

      We may disagree over how we feel about this movie. But rest assured my objections to it are not merely from an emotional place. I have very good–IMO–rational reasons to reject it. Maybe next time if you post a comment you will try to present a substantive argument as opposed to engaging in errors of reasoning.

  9. I agree that FireProof is not a good movie for Christians to watch and it presents an unbiblical view of marriage on so many levels.

    I disagree with the modern evangelical equation of looking at pornography to adultery. A man looking at naked women on a computer screen and a person actually having a physical or emotional affair are in two different worlds.

    I realize based on Matthew 5:28 that there is such a thing as mental adultery. But looking at a picture of a naked woman and enjoying the sight of it or being aroused by it is NOT mental adultery.

    Lust is covetousness(Romans 7:7). Lust is not mere sexual arousal or sexual imagination. Lust is the desire to actually possess someone or something we are not meant to possess. Lust is NOT simply finding someone or something desirable. Lust is not sexual imagination.

    So when we say that a man looking at a picture of a naked woman on a screen is grounds for a woman filing for divorce and then having an emotional affair with a doctor we fall very short of the Bible’s view of what adultery actually is(both mental and physical adultery).

    1. Both are sins…whether viewing porn is classified as lust or mental adultery. Now, is porn viewing justification to divorce? That is a question for spiritual discernment. Regardless, one sin does not excuse another.

  10. One question if the Dr had given more money than Caleb what would she had done. It’s all about money!!!!!

    1. Ha! I wish there was a like button like on Facebook so I could like this response. Sadly, you’re right. While I’m not all about money, I know some people are.

  11. Romans 7:7
    I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

    Matthew 5:28
    But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

    Caleb severed the marriage. Lust is equated to adultery and coveting. Jesus is telling people to not think that they haven’t broken the law already by stating that they have never committed the act. They have, just by lusting. For out of the heart proceeds evil thoughts.

    He broke two of the Ten Commandments, and by the law, he is commanded to be stoned to death.

    1. Thou Shalt Not Covet
    2. Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery

    I am at odds when the wife is accused of an emotional affair when the act of lusting already did that in two commandments by her husband. The marriage was over. By the law, Caleb would be dead by now.

    Just because a sin is not acted out, you are already guilty of sin just by thinking of it.

    How did people see naked women in the days of Jesus? Online, or Hustler Magazines? Or carvings on a cave wall? The local strip club? How?

    I do not see this as a case of 2 wrongs don’t make a right, nor do I see this as don’t pay back evil with evil. I do not see her act as an affair, let alone a sin, or evil. I see it as “moving on” after her husband severed the marriage. He is lucky to be alive, for one, and for another, he’s lucky that she reconciled with him. She didn’t have to, nor should she be obligated to.

    Ed Chapman

    1. I would disagree. The penalty for lusting was not death in the Old Testament.

      Besides, she was still legally married to Caleb. Even if she had the right to divorce him Biblically (up for debate, IMO), she had not done so. It was still wrong for her to engage in another relationship while still married.


      1. He committed adultery, DM. The marriage is over at that point. Are you saying that she had no bible reasons for divorce? Are you indicating that he did not commit adultery? According to the law of Moses, the penalty for adultery is death, not divorce. She did not sin. As a matter of fact, IMO, she is justified. The marriage was over at the moment he coveted a woman not his wife, to lust after her, not at the moment that a judge signs the divorce decree. Under the law of Moses, there would be no divorce decree for adultery. Just death.

        Ed Chapman

        1. Biblical warrant to divorce is not the same as BEING divorced. The permission still needs to be exercised before moving on to another relationship.

          She sinned–doubly so–by getting involved with the doctor (who was married!) without having first honorably divorced officially.

          It matters that she was not legally divorced. Even the death penalty for adultery in the Old Testament did not end the marriage until the adulterous partner was dead.

          1. Be it known, DM, that I disagree. She needs no permission to move on. His adultery is the key, not her reaction. You did not answer me whether he committed adultery or not. I’m wondering why. It’s as though you are minimizing his sin. I don’t know why you concentrate on her reaction so much. I stand by my statement that she is justified. But, it’s OK to disagree. This topic is all over the place with all sorts of denominations within Protestantism. No one is in agreement anywhere, except within their own denominations. No one is uniform. And yet, they all claim to be experts in the field.

          2. Come now, Ed. No need to get mean. Of course, I think Caleb was unfaithful by indulging in pornography. I made it clear in the body of my post that I agree that it was wrong and sinful of him to do so.

            In fact, I write elsewhere on this blog that such a porn addiction MAY be a justification for divorce Biblically. However, I am more cautious than you over broadly applying the Matthew passage to all pornography situations as equaling adultery always. Jesus also talked about gouging out one’s eye in dealing with sin in the Sermon on the Mount, and so, some pastoral discernment in application is needed, IMO. That stance of mine likely means we disagree over application, and that is okay. That said, I still strongly opposed porn use as it is sexual sin and consider Caleb as having engaged in such serious sin.

            His wife does not get off the hook for her emotional affair, though. It is still sin. The divorce paper DOES matter–which Caleb’s wife did not have–just as a marriage license matters–e.g. it is called fornication if you have sex prior to an official marriage. She was wrong to step out of the marriage in get involved romantically based on that. Furthermore–even granted the assumption that she is released from Caleb (we disagree on this point, which is fine)–she is still violating the doctor’s marriage. Any way you cut it, what she did was wrong, and the movie minimized her sin.

          3. This is weird. One moment, my comment is there, the next it isn’t. I saw the movie, DM, and I do not interpret the movie as you do. He broke the contract, not her. The marriage is null and void, whether there is a State/County civil divorce decree, as church’s do not issue those. In God’s eyes, it was over. In the states eyes, it was not. She had no evil intent in her heart at all. She was not in sin, he was. He is guilty of adultery, and I am extremely surprised that you minimize his adultery to a simple misdemeanor. She is a victim of his actions. In my humble opinion, I believe that you are falsely accusing the woman of something that she did not do. There was no evil intent on her part.

            Ed Chapman

          4. Agreed. We disagree.

            I care not for her intentions since I cannot judge those as a human with limited knowledge. Besides, “the road to Hell is paved with good intentions” as the saying goes.

            I AM pointing out her actions:

            She was “dating” a married man–i.e. the doctor–which is clearly wrong. And she was dating before she was legally divorced, which means she was dating while married (according to the law of the land). We disagree over the later point as being problematic and possibly the first point.

            ***Since I care not to continue a conversation here on my blog where one party is minimizing emotional affairs, I consider the matter and this discussion here closed. You are entitled to your opinions, chapmaned24, on these matters, and I am entitled–as the creator and moderator of this blog–to decide whether it is appropriate for that conversation to continue on in this forum. We disagree on some points, and I will leave it at that.***

  12. Amen! Preach it brother! While I haven’t seen the movie, I’ll be honest and say I don’t like it either and I’m a woman. I’m sure some people have tried to do selfless acts for their spouse because of this movie in situations not ravaged by adultery. However, I feel like it can encourage people to be doormats in situations where they need to set boundaries. Honestly, it was good that Caleb repented for his actions – the porn addiction. Still, it isn’t good that Catherine’s actions are swept under the rug. I was always under the impression that I was still married to my ex until the divorce was finalized. I didn’t consider myself free to date during the divorce process and also thought it was not practically the best idea to do so while going through the grieving process from the loss of my former marriage.

    1. Also, I tend to believe “emotional” affairs are either one of two things:
      1) Affairs where the partners just hadn’t gotten to the sex part yet
      2) Physical affairs and the affair partners just didn’t admit the sex part

  13. I’m thankful that God uses all things for those who love him and are called according to His purpose. I am also thankful that the teaching fundamental of this movie and book are that love covers a multitude of sins. I don’t think it essentially matters who sinned first or who repented or didn’t repent, the fact is that this move and book have done more good than harm, in MY opinion. My husband and I were new believers when this came out and essentially this curriculum helped two very broken hearts and softened them enough to see what love looks like. God used this to help save our marriage. He changed the trajectory of our path with it and now we share what we learned with other marriages. Not with just this one teaching/tool. With many, many, many.
    I think that when people are too focused on what is wrong with something, it easily skews the truth. God doesn’t focus on the bad. Jesus didn’t focus on the sin. This “tool” was used to speak to hearts. And that is what God looks at. He doesn’t see the sin, and neither should we. Thank God he doesn’t search for what is wrong with us and focus on what we have done wrong.
    Caleb didn’t look at the sin. And who know what happened in the missed moments outside of this movie, just like in real life. We can’t guess what does or doesn’t happen in someone elses life or home. Just because we don’t see it ourselves doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen.
    I am thankful that Caleb chose to forgive and look past the mess of a marriage they both created and take HIS responsibility in the relationship. I am sure that at some point she asked for forgiveness and took responsibility for her actions. If you connect with God and Holy Spirit I think that it would be hard not too.
    Just my two cents.

Comments are closed.