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Marriage ‘Pains’

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According to the Oklahoma Marriage Initiative, 32 percent of marriages in the state have ended in divorce — one of the highest divorce rates nationwide.

As many Sooner couples find themselves saying “I don’t” more often than “I do,” one unlikely man has taken it upon himself to save these remaining marriages: former teen heartthrob-turned-evangelist Kirk Cameron.

On Friday, the star of the 1980s hit television sitcom Growing Pains brings his Love Worth Fighting For tour to the metro.

According to Cameron, it’s not a moment too soon for many couples struggling with matrimonial vows.

“A divorce is easy. A marriage is hard. A marriage takes work. Marriage is not a ‘you-make-me-happy’ contract that you just throw away once somebody does something to hurt you or offend you,” he said. “Marriage is a school where you learn things like forgiveness, patience, selflessness and how to focus on others more than yourself.”

Cameron said he believes people intrinsically want to succeed in their marriages, but often don’t have the tools to do so.

“No one wants to fail at marriage,” he said. “But many people aren’t married in partnership with God. A marriage without being in partnership with God is doomed to be less than what it could be. People don’t realize that marriage comes with an ancient instruction book. If you’re trying to reinvent the wheel with marriage, you’re in trouble.”

For inspiration for the Love Worth Fighting For program, Cameron drew on his hit 2008 Christian drama, Fireproof — the highest-grossing independent film of that year.

“So many people saw that movie and were so moved by it that we decided to turn it into a live experience and bring it to communities all across the country,” he said.

Although the tour is aimed at strengthening the Christian foundations of marriage, Cameron said anyone willing to work toward building a meaningful relationship — with their significant other and with God — is invited to the event.

“If you’re married, if you were married and now divorced, or if you’re thinking about getting married one day and want to be in a lifelong relationship built on love and forgiveness and togetherness and gets better and better with age, just like a fine wine,” Cameron said, “then come to Love Worth Fighting For and invest in the most important relationship you’ve got.

“Find hope and healing for your marriage. It’s just a great night for you and your spouse to invest in your relationship, to laugh together, to sing together, to pray together and to learn together.”

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