At one point or the other in our lives, we must have heard relationships aren't easy, or marriage is hard work. The thought of two people coming from entirely different backgrounds to be united as one can be a hard pill to swallow sometimes. The way both parties are brought up is apparently different because they didn't grow up in the same household and if they did, that would be weird because you are probably getting married to your sibling and you all will have strange children. But jokes aside, it is not easy joining different backgrounds that is why people butt heads from time to time in relationships. Maybe one person is used to waking up early, and the other isn't, perhaps one person believes in working hard at the expense of their relationship, as long as they are bringing home the bacon and the other person swears by a healthy balance. In a relationship or a marriage, you will always find something to fight about. Now it takes time and maturity for you to know how to pick your battles and how to compromise on certain things in a marriage, so there can be peace.
In today's world, you cannot talk about Christianity without getting the flak for it. But as believers, we must push back the fear of being criticized and pass our message across with love, whether it is received or not. War room, created by the Kendrick brothers, touches on some challenges marriages face when God is not at the center of your home.
Although the movie is met with mixed reviews because it portrays the lead in the film fighting for her marriage through prayer, and it seemed she was left alone to carry out that responsibility, we cannot overlook the overall message of the movie, which is prayer is powerful and can change things.
The story takes us through the life of a real estate agent Elizabeth, played by the fantastic Priscilla Shirer, and her husband Tony (T.C Stallings) who works in a pharmaceutical company as a sales representative. They have a beautiful daughter who is about eight years of age, and they are dealing with life as an average married couple. The wife and husband go to work and their kid to school, every day. They come back home, barely spend time with each other and do it over again the next day. In fact, the mom is so busy that she misses out on essential stages in her daughter's life. The husband doesn’t know their child has switched from basketball to jumping ropes in school. They are disconnected from the life they are working so hard to keep. One day, Elizabeth comes in contact with an old lady who is trying to sell her house. The lady who loves to be called Miss Clara (Karen Abercrombie) invites her in for coffee and starts asking her questions about her life and her relationship with God. Elizabeth is initially quite uncomfortable, but as their conversation progresses, she reveals that herself and her family go to church occasionally but have no real commitment to it or God because their lives are so busy.
As the movie continues, Elizabeth opens up to Miss Clara about her relationship woes. The communication with her husband Tony is almost nonexistent. She doesn't trust him and doesn't know where else to turn to. Miss Clara, lets Elizabeth in on a little of her own story with her late husband. She shows Elizabeth her War Room where she posted prayers and where she prays and intercedes for people. She reveals to Elizabeth that Tony is not her enemy, but there is an enemy out there, who wants to remain invisible that is fighting to tear Elizabeth and Tony’s home apart. But first Elizabeth must get her relationship right with God then go to war for her family. When Elizabeth gets home, she clears out her closet, orders a new bible and writes down prayer requests for herself and her family and starts praying. Her daughter picks up on this as well; she does the same thing her mom is doing. To cut a long story short, Tony who is away on business almost cheats on his wife but doesn’t any longer because he starts feeling sick on the night when he was going to sleep with someone else. He gets back home and continues as nothing happens. Not too long after Tony returns from his trip, he is called to work for questioning. His bosses suspect that he has been stealing inventory from the company. He comes clean about it and gets fired, also facing a possible lawsuit. He has nowhere else to turn to, except to his wife and her new found closeness to God. This trial they are facing now draws them closer together; they start praying and reading their bibles as well. He then apologizes to his daughter for neglecting her, and also to his wife for being mean to her all those years. His boss decided to drop the lawsuit against him but doesn't offer him his job back for obvious reasons. He then takes up a job at the local community center coaching kids, including his daughter to jump ropes. He little by little became the husband and father Elizabeth wanted him to be for her and their daughter. God stepped in and turned their life around through the help of the old lady Miss Clara. Miss Clara then advised Elizabeth to find a young lady to mentor, just as she did her. Miss Clara had gone through some adversity in life with her husband, and he passed away before she had a chance to let go of the anger she had towards him. So when she met Elizabeth, she didn’t want her to waste her life hating her husband, she wanted her to get her relationship right with God first, and then focus on her family.
1) It is vital for us to build our relationship with Christ first, before joining our lives to someone else: Elizabeth didn’t know what was missing in her life was Jesus. She and her husband both had great jobs, a child, and a big home. They did not lack financially, but spiritually they were in a deficit. That is when the enemy swoops in and begins to tear families apart. He turns you and your spouse against yourselves because he knows that a kingdom divided against each other cannot stand.
"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for our weapons of warfare are not carnal, but they are mighty in God for pulling down strongholds."(2 Corinthians 10:3-4)
2) Prayer is vital: The Bible urges us never to stop praying (Luke 18:1). As Christians, prayer should be an intricate part of our lives. We should pray because our lives depend on it, we should pray because we want to remain in constant communication with God, we should pray because the enemy never gives up, so why should we? When we pray we take care of things spiritually, we get empowered, we turn from our wicked ways, and we do the impossible. As the saying goes, a prayerless Christian is a powerless Christian. Prayer releases power and changes things.
3) Love Never Gives Up: There were times when it would have been easy for Elizabeth to walk away from her marriage and that would have been justifiable. But with the help of Miss Clara, she persevered. When Elizabeth wanted to talk wrong about her husband, Miss Clara refused to be that listening ear. Instead, she urged her to love him through it all. Then Elizabeth saw that she needed to change some things in her own life before her husband could change. You see, what God calls us to be to our spouses (husband and wife inclusive) is what Christ is to us. We are not perfect, we sin against God every day, and yet He is patient with us, He forgives us and His arms are always open wide to receive us. That doesn't mean He is a doormat, there is so much a person can take, and even Paul asks in the Bible, "should we keep on sinning so grace may abound? God forbid!" Even if we are called to persevere, the erring person should also have in mind that there is a limit to what someone can take.
4) Your children are always watching: Whether you have kids or not, I think you should have this lesson at the back of your mind. Kids are like sponges; they soak up everything they see around them. That is why God insists that we should train our children up in the way of the Lord because it is easier to shape their minds when they are young. Elizabeth's daughter also wanted a bible just like her mom's and started putting down prayer requests in her little closet just like her mom did. She started praying as well because she saw her mom doing so. What a fantastic behavior to emulate. How many things do we do as adults now that we learned from our parents? So many!
Produced by Kendrick brothers and released in the fall of 2015, War Room is life changing, family friendly and a movie with a message. I encourage you to see it if you haven't done so yet.
Leave your comments below and let me know what you think about this movie. Have a blessed day xoxo.
Picture Cred: War Room posters for the movie from facebook.