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Fire Purifies The Soul: A Reflection on the Fireproof Movie

Jenny is a Philosophy Major from Ateneo de Zamboanga University. She has been an online writer for three years now.

Introduction

Every relationship on earth has its flaws and trials. Human life, in essence, is not perfect, after all. The natural imperfection of human life leads to a dysfunctional relationships, because human beings live in conflict, every step they walk on the path of life. The human is not necessarily the Good, because he or she cannot achieve the Supreme Good that God has, because of the fall of Adam and Eve. In that sense, our imperfect lives are more or less the result of the circumstances that had started when the first human couple chose to sin against God. Underlying the biblical story of the Creation is the story of Lucifer's own fall from grace. He was the one who chose to oppose God, because of a perceived superiority over the Creator's will. Lucifer sinned against God and soon afterwards, he became known as Satan, the devil. Satan brought his conflict against God towards Adam and Eve – He tempted them to sin against God, destroying God's plan for his perfect creations. Because of Satan, the first marriage started to fail because Adam and Eve blamed each other and did not repent properly on their sin by admitting their faults. Adam and Eve then had conflicting views on the deed which soon led God to make them realize the lost equality of honor in married life when He banished the couple from Eden, telling Adam that he will be the worker of the household while Eve will find hardship in childbearing and her husband will dominate her. This conflict corrupted the soul of the married relationship, diluting its purity and dignity as a solid bond between a man and woman who love and cherish each other, sanctified by the presence of God in their lives.

Fireman - the Male Protagonist

The male lead of the Fireproof movie, Caleb Holt, is a fireman who learns the lesson that "marriage is not fireproof".

The male lead of the Fireproof movie, Caleb Holt, is a fireman who learns the lesson that "marriage is not fireproof".

Adam and Eve's expulsion from God's Paradise

Adam and Eve set the precedent of hardships in marriage from their expulsion out of Eden.

Adam and Eve set the precedent of hardships in marriage from their expulsion out of Eden.

Fireproof Movie Summary

Fireproof accurately shows how the conflict between a married couple happens, especially at the breaking point of the relationship. The married couple are depicted in the movie as constantly fighting, with almost no point of reconciliation. The husband is a rescue worker who feels that he is respected by everyone except his wife. The wife is a public relations officer of a hospital who feels that she is the only one working in the house, without even being appreciated by her husband. The main point of conflict in the story is the appropriation of respect. The husband, to a point of self-righteousness, argues against his wife's decisions all the time. The wife also counters by pointing out his indiscretions, mainly an addiction to porn. This is signified by the wife's askance to her mother in the middle of the movie: “When had I stopped being good enough for him?” This conflict worsens until the couple becomes in the verge of divorce. The husband almost says that he does not care whether they divorce after being married for a long time, but he was persuaded to give their marriage another chance by his father. He then tries a set of daily rules in the Love Dare book given to him by his father. Slowly, he is changing his attitude towards his wife, but the latter mistrusts him and even proceeds on preparing the divorce papers for him to sign. The husband, still determined not to give up on the marriage, confronts the man who courts his wife then learns that his wife, despite all nagging habits, is a woman devoted to family life all the time as she constantly tries to find means to buy her sick mother a wheelchair and a better bed. Deciding to be selfless, the husband spent all of his life's savings – which are supposed to be his funds for his boat – into procuring the wheelchair and bed needed by his mother-in-law. He explains to his wife, at the end of her illness, that although he started doing good things to her because of a dare, he wanted to continue being a good husband because he already loved her.

Fireproof Movie

Personal Sentiments

This movie is particularly sentimental to me, because I kept seeing my parents in place of the characters while the film was in motion. My parents, married for more than 20 years, have their conflicts through the years, but never has it been worse than the fighting they did since the past year. My father has always had a problem of alcoholism, especially when it comes as a coping mechanism to stress at work. But my mother argues against this habit because my father behaves akin to a wild bull when intoxicated, almost demon-like as he destroys property without any care. Through God's grace, the bond between my parents did not fall to ruin, because my mother was patient in their relationship and my father repented of his bad habits in order to focus more on our family, especially as the two of them are the ones taking care of my sister's daughter right now.

The Talaver family

From Left to Right: Joan Marie T. Cerezo, Erlinda S. Talaver, Joseph F. Talaver, and Jenny Mae S. Talaver

From Left to Right: Joan Marie T. Cerezo, Erlinda S. Talaver, Joseph F. Talaver, and Jenny Mae S. Talaver

Marriage

Man and woman bound and avowed under God

Man and woman bound and avowed under God

Fire Can Purify the “soul” or Essence of the Relationship

Fireproof showed me, in a cinematic manner, the reality that marriage can be burned but fire can purify the “soul” or essence of the relationship – love and bonds of the couple – through the grace of God. To survive the burning, both husband and wife must have patience with each other's attitudes, lovingly reprimanding each other if they had done something to one another. Otherwise, the flames will scorch the bonds of the couple – just like the impending divorce the married couple faced in the movie.

From the moment Adam and Eve chose to fall from God's grace, human relationships have been thrown into the fires of imperfection and trials. There is insecurity, pride, greed, and disrespect that had not been there when God first created the human couple. Over the years, God tested human relationships whether they will succumb to the trials, or to be strengthen as they survive from the flames of challenges. Marriages that have given way to divorce are those whose bonds have perished from the conflicts they faced in their married life. On the other hand, marriages that have stayed strong through all times have their bonds - the soul of their relationship – strengthening over the challenges they faced. These marriages have accepted God's presence in their lives and committed themselves to the sanctity of their bond, promised by oath since they exchanged vows in their wedding ceremony.

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