3 Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they see your respectful and pure conduct. 3 Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— 4 but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. 5 For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.
–1 Pet 3:1-6 (ESV)
The Bible’s teaching on marriage is hard for modern Christians to accept. In 1 Pet 3:1-6 the Apostle Peter tells wives to submit to their husband, even if he is failing as a Christian husband. Peter tells wives of failing husbands to call them lord and win them over without a word. Because submission to a failing husband is something we find difficult to accept, modern Christians have substituted the exact opposite in its place. In the new narrative what failing Christian husbands need is a wake-up call from their wives, and Christian husbands need to respond by winning their wive’s hearts.
Darren and Heather Turner lived the story of the wake-up call, and now their story is the latest Christian movie on marriage. When Army Chaplain Darren Turner came home after deployment in a war zone, he wasn’t “communicating” with his wife and she became unhappy. In her interview with CBN she explains that she knew her only chance of saving her marriage was to trust God’s plan by kicking her husband out of the house:
I was fighting against him, for our marriage. And he was just running away.”
“She was just my wife,” says Darren, “and she wasn’t in the deployment. I didn’t think she understood who I was or where I was coming from.”
The animosity continued to get worse over the next six months. Heather told Darren he had to leave.
“I knew something deeper, something supernatural, that we could not manufacture, had to happen, or else this was going to go nowhere,” says Heather. “It was going to get worse. So that was my hope in the separation, that God would do something deeper in both of us.”
This was just the wake-up call her husband needed, and after four months he broke down and came to her crying:
Four months into the separation, Darren met Heather to drop off the kids.
“That was the first time that we had a public exchange of the children, and that hit me like a ton of bricks when I let my kids go into the arms of their Mom, and that broke me. I was just devastated, crying out ‘God, what is going on? How can we ever survive this? Please, if you’ve ever done anything, heal us. Fix us.’”
Christian moviemaker Dr. David Evans learned of their story and immediately knew he wanted to turn it into a movie:
Dr. Evans learned our full story. After the deployment, I came home and almost lost my marriage. I was a wreck and did not handle that homecoming well. I got out of the Army for a year, we patched things up and I went back in the Army. When David called us, we had just returned to the military. He said, “Oh, my gosh. It’s not just the online articles in your blog, but now you’re telling me this whole cycle of crisis and redemption.”
That’s when he said, “I’ve gotta get your life rights, I’m gonna make a film about it.
Their story was the perfect vehicle to preach the modern Christian message of the wake-up call model of marriage. Christian men need to know that the wake-up call is real, and if they don’t keep their wives happy they will end up divorced:
Based on a true story, David G. Evans’ film follows Army chaplain Darren Turner (Justin Bruening) and his wife Heather (Sarah Drew), who wrestle to keep their marriage together through Darren’s first deployment and its unexpected aftermath.
Shortly after arriving in Iraq as part of the 2007 surge, Darren’s commanding officer presents the rookie chaplain with a generous stack of divorce proceedings from the men in the camp, along with a not-so-subtle warning that he could be next.
The most disturbing thing is that modern Christians won’t question this message for a heartbeat. They love the wake-up call message of marriage just as much as they hate the biblical instruction to wives to submit to their husbands. Finally, this is a “Christian” message on marriage modern Christians can get behind with enthusiasm.