I just watched War Room and I enjoyed it very much. I was surprised that I enjoyed it that much, the lessons in that movie on prayer, family and faith are very relevant for me and I picked a few lessons along the way
I first heard about the movie from a couple of Christian blogs and from the BABES Redefined group on Facebook. You see, the movie was quoted every time a woman brought up the matter of an unfaithful husband or near unfaithful man even, women would chant “go and see war room”. I had a semi-negative feeling about the movie, it felt like a clutch that women like to throw around instead of finding real solutions to address real issues.
Besides I don’t like movies, I find it very hard to focus on a film for the 90-120 minute duration. I managed to give this one attention, even though I was on Facebook off and on (I’m definitely putting my Facebook/internet addiction on my prayer list), I loved the movie. The acting was good- really good, the story was good too- I had certain issues with it but that isn’t important. As I watched, I understood the reason those women on BABES Redefined like to quote the movie.
My main issue with the movie is the subtle reinforcement of the stereotype that it is the woman who has to fight for the home, who has to be the spiritual warrior and defense for the home. We see it everywhere, in books… The power of a praying wife, the power of a praying woman etc., in movies like The War room, in our churches and pulpits.
We act like it is primarily the woman’s responsibility to maintain the spiritual line of defense in the home. In most homes today, it is the wives who take charge of prayer times, who spend hours praying for the family and even fast for the well-being of the family while the man basically just coasts along. Is that consistent with the Bible? That’s where it gets interesting.
I’ll quote two verses from the Great apostle Paul.
Eph 5: 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.
1 Cor 11:3 But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.
He felt so strongly about the headship of a man in the home that he had to repeat himself almost word for word. He compares the husband of a home to Jesus himself, not to Angel Gabriel or Michael but the lamb that was slain, the holy king and the anointed one. If you have Jesus as your friend, would you need to pray long prayers and fast day and night for the things you need? Did Peter have to perform spiritual acrobatics before his mother-in-law was healed? Or Mary and Martha have to fast for days and nights before Jesus resurrected their dead brother? Or did Mary have roll on the ground before Jesus turned water to wine? A woman who is married to Jesus should just chill, right?
We know the answers already. However even though Jesus was the son of God who had seen the glories of heaven and who had awesome power and authority, the Bible records many times when he prayed fervently. From the forty day and night fast before his temptation Matt 4: 1-2 to the many times he withdrew himself to pray Mark 1:35, Matt 14:23, Luke 6:12, Luke 22:41-44 and one of my favourite chapters of the bible- John 17. Jesus did not slack in prayer for his ministry and for the apostles and the church they were going to build. If Jesus did not shirk his responsibility to carry his burdens and that of his ministry to God, why do we allow the men who should be his representatives to do same?
I’m not even talking about loving his wife and children as Christ loved the church, even unto giving his life for them or following the example of extreme humility that was the life of Jesus Christ but the easiest role of interceding for his home day and night. It is the man who should stand and fight for his family by prayer and the word, he is the one who should make declarations of faith over his family.
Ironically the verses that tell a woman to submit to her husband- those verses that are perhaps the only verses that most men memorise, are usually just before admonitions to men to love their wives just as Christ loved the church Eph 5:22, Col 3:18, 1Pet 3:1-6 and 7.
I do not believe that a man is the spiritual authority of the home and I have written about that almost a year ago in Dear Bible Thumper.. However it doesn’t even matter what side of the male headship and lordship divide you’re not, that is not the thrust of my post.
Haven’t you noticed that if a man isn’t a pastor or worker/leader in church, there are no systems in place to develop his prayer life. Nobody tells him to fight on his knees as a MAN. There are tons of books for women and pastors but for Brother Duru or Bro Ugo? They become Lagbaja in the famous song- Nothing for you.
We do men a disservice when we do not encourage them to fight their battles with prayer, when we do not encourage them to grow in the word, when we make it a woman’s responsibility to be the spiritual shield and oasis of a man (that is Jesus’s job!) when we do not make resources available to them for their edification and upliftment.
For instance instead of telling a woman whose husband is cheating to watch War Room, why can’t we tell her to watch it with her husband? Instead of just sharing those uplifting bible verses with your ‘girls’, share them with the boys too. Pastors also have a huge responsibility here. Instead of preaching submission all the time, preach about men emulating Christ in the home, tell them to devote more time to prayer from your pulpit… They will listen to you.
Everyone has a responsibility towards protecting the home from the wiles of the evil one, remember that one will chase a thousand and two will put ten thousand to flight with God on their side Deut 32:30. When the man and his wife team up, they get ten times the result of one person. It’s easy to see why it is to the devil’s benefit that men do not claim their spiritual authority but would be demanding submission like that solves anything.
I recommend War Room for everyone, especially men. Even if you aren’t a Christian, there are lessons on discipline that are relevant for anyone.
Have a fabulous week, it’s holy week so lets take more time to reflect on the death of Christ and on how to show his love to an unsettled world.
UPDATE: My mother and I were discussing the movie this morning, she hasn’t finished watching the movie but she was touched by it.
“I loved it too but I have a problem with the film”
She smiled before answering “I know what the problem is, it’s because it just focuses on women.”
“I wrote about it on my blog, did you see it?”
“I haven’t seen it but I know you”
Mothers are definitely something.