For the past four years, former kid actor Kirk Cameron, best known for starring in TV’s Growing Pains, has been crisscrossing the country as a featured speaker on the “Love Worth Fighting For” tour, which comes to North Texas this week.
The event here is at Gateway Church in Southlake, beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday.
“I think marriage is critical to the survival not only to the family but to the nation,” Cameron says. “Marriage is the bedrock upon which you build a family. And if families fall apart, our churches and our communities and ultimately our whole nation crumbles.”
Cameron addressed more than 65,000 people attending “Love Worth Fighting For” conferences last year and can cite many stories about of the events saving troubled marriages.
“It’s been very rewarding to be part of this,” he says.
We chatted with Cameron about his involvement in “Love Worth Fighting For.”
How did you get involved with this tour?
The “Love Worth Fight For” marriage event came together out of the success of a film we did called Fireproof. It was a movie all about marriage. I played the firefighter who takes a 40-day challenge to restore his failing marriage.
We decided to take the messages from the movie and turn it into a live event, hosted at a church, and we had about 9,000 people show up that weekend to get help and find some hope on the subject of marriage. So we thought, ‘Wow, there’s really a need for this; we ought to do it again.’
So we’ve been doing it now for about four years, touring the country, and it’s been just fantastic.
Are there some success stories from the tour that come to your mind?
We have gotten lots and lots of emails and comments on Facebook from people who have benefited from these conferences. There are a lot of special stories.
For example, there was a couple who came up to us at the end of one of our events and said that they had been divorced about 20 years ago but neither one had remarried. They came to the event because they remained in the same town and they came as friends. And by the end of the event, they were holding hands and saying they were going to get remarried to one another.
What are some common trouble areas when relationships go sour and how can they be repaired?
Well, I’m not a therapist or a marriage magician, and my name’s not Dr. Phil …
Maybe so, but your marriage goes back 20-plus years, meaning you have a better track record that many marriage counselors do.
Yes, my wife and I have been married for 23 years and we have six children, so we’ve got a little experience. And one of the things I know: When a lot of people point to things as the cause of trouble in their marriage, it has to do with money, communication, friends, in-laws, family problems.
I remind them that there likely were days when there were money struggles, maybe in the beginning, but they got through those because they were just so in love and didn’t care about how many dollars they had in their pocket. As long as they went through it together, that’s all that mattered.
But now money is a problem, communication is a problem, other things are a problem. The fact is the heart of the problem is often selfishness, which is easier to see in your spouse than to see in yourself. We deal really strong with this idea of selfishness ruining marriages and how to defeat it.
People have found that really empowering.
It has been more than 20 years since Growing Pains ended its long run on TV. But how often do you meet fans who still fondly remember the show?
It happens pretty regularly. The other day, I was at a burger restaurant and someone said, ‘Has anyone ever told you you look like Kirk Cameron?’ I said, ‘Every single day. You wouldn’t believe it.’ And she said, ‘Yep, you’re a dead ringer.’ And she walked away.
But for a guy like me, who had some success as a 14-year-old child, to still be working on projects and to be remembered fondly, it’s a real privilege. I take that seriously and I realize that if it weren’t for my fans, I wouldn’t have a career. I’m grateful for them.