The Love Dare's Alex Kendrick on Christian Marriage and Movie Making
- Wednesday, October 14, 2009
As the Family Editor for Crosswalk.com, I receive a lot of books about marriage from publishers all over the United States. If you could see my desk right now, you'd probably feel overwhelmed with the stacks of marital advice waiting to make it onto your bookshelf! Occasionally, a book rises to the top of the pile and has a much more powerful impact than even the authors themselves anticipated. This is what happened with #1 New York Times Best Seller The Love Dare (Broadman & Holman, 2008) by Alex and Stephen Kendrick.
Written in conjunction with, and featured in, the hit movie Fireproof, The Love Dare offers husbands and wives a 40-day scripture-based challenge designed to help couples better understand godly love and put it into practice. In the fictional Fireproof, Kirk Cameron plays a fire chief with a crumbling marriage. Not willing to watch his son head for divorce court, Cameron's on-screen father hands him a copy of the Kendricks' The Love Dare which ultimately helps the couple overcome their difficulties.
With over 3 million copies of The Love Dare now in print, Fireproof's message of hope is playing out in homes all over the nation -- some are even referring to its widespread impact as a marriage movement. This past summer, Alex sat down with me to discuss both the production of Fireproof and the success of The Love Dare. Check out what he has to say…
CW: So, how does it feel to be part of a "marriage movement?"
AK: It's something we prayed for, and we looked at that process of dying to what we thought would be effective and spending what we call "seasoned prayer." At the end of that season, the Lord gave the idea for the plot of Fireproof and The Love Dare at the same time. Of course, The Love Dare is part of the plot for the movie, but writing the book and just praying through that, researching for it, and reviewing and getting testimonies for it, and then watching it, it's just very exciting.
I'm not shocked at what God does, because He is God of the Impossible. I'm still a little bit shocked that He uses us. I have a good marriage, but my wife sometimes looks at me and says, "I know you research, I know you study, I know you pray, I know you write, but when I see the impact, it's like it's not really us." It's like the authors are out there somewhere. The moviemakers are out there somewhere. It's not really us. So, it's been very exciting, kind of surreal.
CW: Do you have any particular stories of marriages being saved from exposure to the book or movie?
AK: Oh, wow. I will give you my favorites. The couple that got divorced -- they both lived in Middle America -- I'm not sure what state. He went to the West Coast, I believe in California, and she went to the East Coast. Thanksgiving 2008, when "Fireproof" was in theaters, when they came home to visit friends and family, their friends invited them to go see [it]. They went with their friends and then found themselves in the same theatre. Both broke down and wept after the screening and have ended up reconciling and getting remarried.
There is another one where a man stood up after a screening of the movie and said out loud, "I'm Kay Lapolt, and my marriage is dying. Would someone please come pray for me?" Several Christians that were in the audience grouped around him and prayed for him.
There was another one. This is probably my favorite. A man, who was married, was seeing a mistress in a nearby town. His wife did not know. One weekend, he took that mistress to see Fireproof thinking it was an action movie.
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