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In an attempt to save his marriage, a firefighter uses a 40-day experiment known as "The Love Dare".
Caleb Holt: You never leave your partner! Especially in a fire!
Caleb Holt: Marriage isn't fireproof. Michael Simmons: Fireproof doesn't mean the fire will never come. It means when the fire comes that you will be able to withstand it.
Michael Simmons: The sad part about it is, when most people promise for better or for worse, they really only mean for the better.
Caleb Holt: I am sorry. I have been so selfish. For the past seven years, I have trampled on you with my words and with my actions. I have loved other things, when I should have loved you. In the last few weeks, God has given me a love for you that I have never had before. And I have asked Him to forgive me. And I am hoping, I am praying, that somehow you would be able to forgive me too. Catherine, I do not want to live the rest of my life without you.
John Holt: Has she thanked you for anything you've done the last 20 days? Caleb Holt: No! And you'd think after I washed the car, I've changed the oil, do the dishes, cleaned the house, that she would try to show me a little bit of gratitude. But she doesn't! In fact, when I come home, she makes me like I'm - like I'm an enemy! I'm not even welcome in my own home, Dad. That is what really ticks me off! Dad, for the last three weeks, I have bent over backwards for her. I have tried to demonstrate that I still care about this relationship. I bought her flowers, which she threw away. I have taken her insults and her sarcasm, but last night was it. I made dinner for her. I did everything I could to demonstrate that I care about her, to show value for her, and she spat in my face! She does not deserve this, Dad. I'm not doing it anymore! How am I supposed to show love to somebody over and over and over who constantly rejects me? John Holt: [touches, then leans against cross] That's a good question.
Michael Simmons: But just remember: a woman's like a rose; if you treat her right, she'll bloom, if you don't, she'll wilt. Caleb Holt: Where'd you get that? Michael Simmons: Counseling.
Catherine Holt: So, what day are you on? Caleb Holt: 43. Catherine Holt: There's only 40. Caleb Holt: Who says I have to stop? Catherine Holt: Caleb, I don't know how to process this. This is not normal for you. Caleb Holt: Welcome to the new normal.
Caleb Holt: Yeah, well, Catherine's not buying any of it. John Holt: And why do you think that is? Caleb Holt: She doesn't love me. She doesn't even like me. Dad, she just about ignored everything I've done. John Holt: Are you reading everything on each page? Caleb Holt: You mean the Bible verses at the bottom. I'm not, dad. I told you, that is not what I need. John Holt: Then what do you need? Caleb Holt: I need Catherine to wake up to the fact that we're about to get an ugly divorce. And I'm trying to prevent that. But I cannot do it by myself. John Holt: That may be true. But I think you need more than that. Caleb Holt: Dad, if you're gonna tell me I need Jesus, please don't. I don't need a crutch to get through life. John Holt: Son, Jesus is much more than a crutch. He's become the most significant part of our lives. Caleb Holt: Dad, why do you keep saying that? The most significant part... How is that? John Holt: When I realized who I was, and who He was, I realized my need for Him. I needed His forgiveness and salvation. Caleb Holt: See, I don't understand. Why do I need His salvation? What? Am I gonna be thrown into hell? For what? 'Cause I got divorced? John Holt: No. Because you violated His standards. Caleb Holt: What? 'Thou shall not kill'? Dad, I help people. I am a good person. John Holt: According to you. But God doesn't judge by your standards. He uses His. Caleb Holt: And what are His? John Holt: Well, truth, love... Caleb Holt: Okay. I'm honest. John Holt: Faithfulness... Caleb Holt: I care about people. I am those things. John Holt: Sometimes. But have you loved God? The one who gave you life? His standards are so high, He considers hatred to be murder, and lust to be adultery. Caleb Holt: Dad, what about all the good I've done? John Holt: Son, saving someone from a fire doesn't make you right with God. You've broken His commandments. And one day, you'll answer to Him for that.
Caleb Holt: You never assume I would do anything worthy of respect! Anything honorable! Catherine Holt: Honorable? Honorable? What were you just looking at, Caleb? What was on that computer screen? Was that honorable? Who do you think you're fooling? Do you know why your sweet little gestures mean nothing to me? It's because that's the kind of man you've become. When you're alone, that's what you default to, and there is nothing honorable about it.
Cheryl Holt: Although love is communicated in a number of ways,our words often reflect the condition of our heart. Cheryl Holt: Resolve to say nothing negative,If the temptation arises,choose not to say anything. Cheryl Holt: It's better to hold your tongue than to say something you'll regret. Cheryl Holt: Be quick to listen,slow to speak and slow to get angry. Cheryl Holt: Do at least one unexpected gesture as an act of kindness. Cheryl Holt: Whatever you put your time,energy and money into,it will become more important to you.It's hard to care for something you're not investing in. Cheryl Holt: When a man is trying to win the heart of a woman, he studies her.He learns her likes, dislikes,habits and hobbies.But after he wins her heart and marries her,he often stops learning about her.It is a lifelong journey that draws his heart ever closer to hers. Cheryl Holt: You can't love her,because you can't give her what you don't have.
Caleb Holt: When A Man Is Trying To Win The Heart Of A Woman,He Studies Her.He Learns Her Likes,Dislikes,Habits And Hobbies.But After He Wins Her Heart And Marries Her,He Often Stops Learning About Her.If The Amount He Studied Her Before Marriage Was Equal To A High School Degree,He Should Continue To Learn About Her Until He Gains A College Degree,A Master's Degree And Ultimately A Doctorate Degree.It Is A Lifelong Journey That Draws His Heart Ever Closer To Hers.
Caleb Holt: I want to thank you, dad. The Love Dare changed my life. John Holt: God changed your life. The Love Dare was just a tool He used.
Catherine Holt: What are you doing? Caleb Holt: I see you left me no pizza. Catherine Holt: Caleb, I just lit that candle. I like the way it smells. Caleb Holt: Well, I don't! Did you leave me any dinner at all? Catherine Holt: I assumed you were eating with Michael. Caleb Holt: Does it not occur to you that there are two people living in this house and both of them need to eat? Catherine Holt: You know what, Caleb, if you would communicate with me, maybe I can have something for you. Caleb Holt: Why do you have to make everything so difficult? Catherine Holt: Oh, I'm making everything difficult? Seems to me like I'm carrying the weight around here while you're off doing your own thing. Caleb Holt: Excuse me? I'm the one working out there to pay this mortgage, and I pay for both of the cars. Catherine Holt: Yeah, that's all you do! I pay for all of our bills with my salary! Caleb Holt: Which you agreed to do. That's fair! Do you not like this house? Do you not like your car? Catherine Holt: Oh, Caleb, who takes care of this house? Me! Who washes all the clothes? Me! Who gets all the groceries? Me! Not to mention that I'm helping my parents every weekend! You know I've got all this pressure on me, and the only thing you ever do for anybody is for yourself! Caleb Holt: Let me tell you something, you don't know the first thing about pressure. All right, you think I put out house fires for myself? Or rush to car wrecks at 2am for myself? Or pull a child's body out of a lake for myself? You have no idea what I go through! Catherine Holt: Oh, yeah, but what do you do around here other than watch tv and waste time on the internet? You know what; if looking at that trash is how you get fulfilled, that's fine, but I will not compete with it! Caleb Holt: Well, I sure don't get it from you! Catherine Holt: And you won't! Because you care more about saving for your stupid boat and pleasing yourself than you ever did about me! Caleb Holt: SHUT UP! I'M SICK OF YOU! YOU DISRESPECTFUL, UNGRATEFUL, SELFISH WOMAN! Catherine Holt: I'm not selfish... Caleb Holt: HOW DARE YOU SAY THAT TO ME! YOU CONSTANTLY NAG ME AND YOU DRAIN THE LIFE OUT OF ME! I'M TIRED OF IT! IF YOU CAN'T GIVE ME THE RESPECT I DESERVE... LOOK AT ME! THEN WHAT'S THE POINT OF THIS MARRIAGE? Catherine Holt: I want out. I just want out. Caleb Holt: If you want out, THAT'S FINE WITH ME!
Catherine Holt: Is it too late to ask you to grow old with me?
Mr. Rudolph: Don't speak to him, Erma. He's weird. Erma Rudolph: Takes one to know one.
Wayne Floyd: I'm like a fine wine. I need about 35 years to reach perfection. The lady that gets Wayne Floyd; she'll get the complete package. Terrell Sanders: You mean 'complete wreckage'. Wayne Floyd: Nah. 255 pounds of pure love. All you need to make marriage work is a little bit of romance, and that comes from right here. [outlines his heart] Terrell Sanders: That's easy to say when you've never been married. It's a lot harder than you think, man. Wayne Floyd: One day I'm going to walk in with a tanned beauty on my arm, I'll show you how easy it can be. Terrell Sanders: Man, the only thing you'll come in here with hanging from your arm, is a bucket of chicken.
John Holt: Caleb, if I had to ask you why you're so frustrated with Catherine, what would you say? Caleb Holt: She's stubborn. She makes everything difficult for me. She's ungrateful. She's constantly griping about something. John Holt: Has she thanked you for anything you've done in the last 20 days? Caleb Holt: No! And you'd think after I washed the car, changed the oil, do the dishes, washed the house, that she would try to show me a little bit of gratitude, but she doesn't. In fact, when I come home, she makes me feel like I'm an enemy! I'm not even welcome in my own home, dad! That is what really ticks me off! Dad, for the last three weeks I have bent over backwards for her! I have tried to demonstrate that I still care about this relationship. I bought her flowers, which she threw away. I have taken her insults and her sarcasm, but last night was it. I made dinner for her. I did everything I could to demonstrate that I care about her, to show value for her, and she spat in my face! She does not deserve this, dad! I am not doing it anymore! How am I supposed to show love to somebody over and over and over, who constantly rejects me? John Holt: [John Holt strokes the wooden cross, and turns to Caleb] That's a good question. Caleb Holt: Dad, that is not what I'm doing. John Holt: Is it? Caleb Holt: No. Dad, that is not what this is about. John Holt: Son, you just asked me: how can someone show love over and over again when they're constantly rejected? Caleb, the answer is: you can't love her, because you can't give her what you don't have. I couldn't truly love your mother until I understood what love truly was. It's not because I get some reward out of it. I've now made a decision to love your mother whether she deserves it or not. Son, God loves you, even though you don't deserve it. Even though you've rejected Him. Spat in His face. God sent Jesus to die on the cross for your sin, because He loves you. The cross was offensive to me, until I came to it. But when I did, Jesus Christ changed my life. That's when I truly began to love your mom. Son, I can't settle this for you. This is between you and the Lord. But I love you too much not to tell you the truth. Can't you see that you need Him? Can't you see that you need His forgiveness? Caleb Holt: Yes. John Holt: Will you trust Him with your life? [Caleb nods; yes]
Anna Stone: ...if this doctor is trying to woo you while you're still married, what makes you think he won't do that with someone else?
John Holt: Caleb, is there anything in you that wants to save your marriage? Caleb Holt: Maybe. If Catherine wanted to. But she doesn't. She wants divorce. John Holt: Is that what you want? Caleb Holt: I want peace. But what difference does it make? She signs the papers, dad, it's all over. John Holt: Have you agreed to start the process with her? Caleb Holt: No, but I think we both understand where this is all headed. I've got plans to meet with my lawyer tomorrow. John Holt: Caleb, I want you to do something for me. Caleb Holt: What? John Holt: I want you to hold off on the divorce for 40 days. Caleb Holt: Why? John Holt: I'm gonna send you something in the mail. Something that'll take you that long to do. Caleb Holt: What is it? John Holt: It's what saved our marriage. Caleb Holt: Dad, if this is a religious thing, I'd rather you didn't. John Holt: Look at it as a gift from your father. Take one day at a time. Then see what happens. Please son. If for no other reason; do it for me. I'm asking as your father. Caleb Holt: 40 days? John Holt: 40 days.
Michael Simmons: 40 days? Does Catherine know? Caleb Holt: I'm not gonna tell her. If she wants to go ahead and file, it's up to her. Michael Simmons: Divorce is a hard thing, man. Caleb Holt: Well, if it brings peace... Michael Simmons: But Caleb, you want the right kind of peace. Caleb Holt: What do you mean by that? Michael Simmons: You know what that ring on your finger means? Caleb Holt: It means I'm married. Michael Simmons: Yeah, well, it also means you made a lifelong covenant. You putting on that ring, by saying your vows. The sad part about it is when most people promise for better or for worse, they really only mean for the better. Caleb Holt: Catherine and I were in love when we got married. Today, we're two very different people. All right? It's just not working out anymore. Michael Simmons: Caleb, salt and pepper are completely different. Their makeup is different; their taste and their color. But you always see 'em together. And when you... Hang on a second. [Michael glues a salt and pepper shaker together] Caleb Holt: What are you doing? Michael, what did you do that for? Michael Simmons: Caleb, when two people get married; it's for better or for worse, for richer or for poor, in sickness and in health. Caleb Holt: I know that. But marriages aren't fireproof. Sometimes you get burned. Michael Simmons: Fireproof doesn't mean a fire will never come, but that when it comes you'll be able to withstand it. Caleb Holt: You didn't have to glue them together. [Caleb picks up the shakers and starts trying to force them apart] Michael Simmons: Don't do it, Caleb. If you pull them apart now, you'll break either one or both of them. Caleb Holt: I am not a perfect person, but better than most. And if my marriage is failing, it is not all my fault. Michael Simmons: But Caleb, man, I've seen you run into a burning building to save people you don't even know. But you're gonna let your own marriage just burn to the ground. Caleb Holt: Michael, you are my friend. And I have allowed you to speak freely to me on this job. Don't abuse it.
Caleb Holt: Dr Keller? Gavin Keller: Yes? Caleb Holt: Caleb Holt. I need a word with you, please. Gavin Keller: Look, it's really not a good time; I'm just about to make my rounds. Caleb Holt: I think you need to make time. This is concerning Catherine, my wife. Gavin Keller: All right. What can I do for you? Caleb Holt: I know what you're doing. And I have no intention of stepping aside as you try to steal my wife's heart. I've made some mistakes, but I still love her. So just know that I am going after her too. And since I'm married to her, I'd say I've got a head start. By the way, [closes his hand to form a fist] Caleb Holt: thanks for helping me with my hand; my ring finger's feeling a whole lot better.
Latasha Brown: Honey, I agree with you. You gotta get out. He don't deserve you. Deidra Harris: You can say that again. A real man's got to be a hero to his wife before he can be to anybody else, or he ain't a real man. Ashley Phillips: Catherine, do you need a place to stay? I can't imagine living in the same house as that man. Catherine Holt: No, I decided last night that I am not the one who's leaving. He's the problem, not me. Deidra Harris: That's right, girl, stand your ground. Make him respect you. If there's one thing a man understands... Caleb Holt: [Cuts to Caleb and Michael, discussing the same situation] It's respect. That's the issue. That's the reason our marriage is failing. She shows me no respect at all. And the saddest part about it is... Catherine Holt: [Cuts back to Catherine and her group of friends] He doesn't have a clue. He thinks our marriage has been fine for the most part. You know, he probably thinks... Caleb Holt: [Cuts to Caleb and Michael] Our marriage has been fine until this year. Now all of a sudden she goes off the deep end. Michael Simmons: Do you really think this happened all of a sudden? Caleb Holt: I don't know what to think. I don't understand her. She's emotional about everything, she's easily offended, and way too sensitive. Catherine Holt: [Cuts to Catherine, starting to sob] I mean, he's so insensitive. You know, he doesn't truly care how I feel, he doesn't listen to me. Even if I say it over and over and over again. Caleb Holt: [Cuts to Caleb and Michael] And then she starts nagging me and saying I don't listen to her, or something like that. It drives me crazy. I feel like I'm going... Catherine Holt: [Cuts to Catherine] Insane. You know, he doesn't understand my needs. It feels like we are completely and totally... Caleb Holt: [Cuts to Caleb and Michael] Incompatible. She's probably whining to her friends, making me sound like a criminal. I can see them all right now: crying, having some sort of group hug. Latasha Brown: [Cuts back to the women crowded round Catherine, comforting her, giving her a group hug] It's gonna be okay, sweetie. It's gonna be all right. Ashley Phillips: You'll get through this. Deidra Harris: We have your back. Whatever you want. Whatever you need. Whatever you need. Michael Simmons: [Cuts to Caleb and Michael] So, you think it's past the point of no return? Caleb Holt: I don't have a reason to return.
Catherine Holt: I know you always told me to hang on during the hard times, but you don't know what I've been competing with. Momma, when he looks... he makes me feel so humiliated. And he doesn't even know it. When did I stop being good enough for him?
Caleb Holt: What? You were married to someone before Tina? Michael Simmons: For one whole year. I got married for the wrong reasons, then I turned around and got a divorce for the wrong reasons. Man, I thought I was just following my heart. Caleb Holt: Michael, I have worked with you for 5 years. You've never told me that. Michael Simmons: Because I'm not proud of it! It was before I gave my life to the Lord. Man, I was only concerned about my rights and my needs. Man, I ruined her life. But when I gave my life to God, I tried to find her but she'd already remarried. So believe me when I tell you I got a big scar. Man, God meant marriage to be for life. That's why you gotta keep your vows to Catherine. You gotta beg God to teach you to be a good husband. And don't just follow your heart, man; 'cause your heart can be deceived. But you gotta lead your heart.
Caleb Holt: If there's a God out there somewhere, he's not interested in me and my problems. John Holt: I disagree. I'd say he's very interested. Caleb Holt: Then where's he been in my life? John Holt: I'd say he's been at work all around you. You just haven't realized it. You haven't exactly given him an open invitation.
Pastor Strauss: It is the desire of Caleb and Catherine to establish their vows from this point on as a covenant, and not a contract. For marriage is a sacred institution established by God and one that is meant to last for life. Caleb, in the presence of God and these witnesses, do you come today to freely and unconditionally commit to this covenant marriage with Catherine? Caleb Holt: I do. Pastor Strauss: And Catherine, do you come today to freely and unconditionally commit to this covenant marriage to Caleb? Catherine Holt: I do. With all my heart.
Caleb Holt: Did you have breakfast already? Catherine Holt: Yes. Caleb Holt: What did you eat? Catherine Holt: I had the last bagel and a yoghurt. Caleb Holt: Do you plan on making a grocery trip soon? Catherine Holt: Caleb, you work 24 hours and then you're off for 48. You've got more time to go than I do. Caleb Holt: Hey, I just asked you a simple question. You don't need to get smart with me. You could at least have saved me some breakfast. Catherine Holt: Well, I never know when you're coming home or going out. You don't tell me these things. Caleb Holt: Catherine, what is your problem? Did I offend you by walking in the door this morning? Catherine Holt: No, you just can't expect me to work every day and still get the groceries while you sit at home looking at trash on the internet and dreaming about getting your boat. Caleb Holt: You chose to take this job! And no-one said you had to work full-time! Catherine Holt: We need the income. Especially since you took away a third of your salary saving for a boat we don't need. You got $24 000 in savings while we have things in our house that need fixing. Caleb Holt: Like what? Catherine Holt: The back door needs to be painted, the yard needs better landscaping, and I keep telling you I want to put more shelves in the closet. Caleb Holt: Those are called preferences, Catherine. Those are not needs. There's a difference. If you want to spend your money on that stuff; go ahead, that's fine. But I've been saving up for my boat for years; you're not taking that away from me. Catherine Holt: This is so pointless. I don't have time for this.
Erma Rudolph: Takes one to know one.
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