Months after Fireproof became a surprise box office hit, Kirk Cameron found himself in front of an audience eager to keep the conversation on marriage rolling.
More than 9,000 people flocked to a Baptist church in Knoxville, Tenn., last July to hear the actor-turned-evangelist espouse on marriage.
The event was so successful that Cameron and Feed Your Faith, the Knoxville charity that sponsored the event, created a national tour to promote a biblical view on marriage.
"People are dying for a solution to fix their dying marriages," Cameron said in a telephone interview this week.
The tour, Love Worth Fighting For, will stop in Aiken next Saturday for a 3½-hour event at Cedar Creek Church. Warren Barfield, who wrote the lyric after which the tour was named, also will appear. The singer-songwriter's Love Is Not a Fight was the theme song for the film.
Cameron, who starred in Fireproof as a firefighter faced with divorce, acted on the 1980s sitcom Growing Pains and married co-star Chelsea Noble, who played his girlfriend. They've been married 20 years and have six children.
In that time, he said, he has learned that the state of the family affects all else in life.
"There's no joy like family joy. And there's no pain like family pain," he said.
The tour is designed to strengthen good marriages, heal broken marriages and lay the groundwork for biblical relationships, regardless of marital status.
Cameron talks about waging war with things that might destroy marriage, such as pornography or separateness, when two people never really weld their lives. Cameron said he will tell personal stories but will focus on sharing a biblical view of marriage.
"I don't want to just tell people my sob stories," he said. "It needs to be practical, but at the same time, you need to be thinking right about marriage."
It starts with an understanding of how God intends marriages to be, Cameron said.
"It's a covenant. It's something you don't break," he said. "We lock the door and throw away the key. If we stay in there, God is our teacher and we learn things we wouldn't ever have otherwise. Come hell or high water, I'm staying. If you leave me, I'm going with you."
Millions of people walk down the aisle every year, but:
"Most all of them never have the intention of getting divorced and hating the person they vowed to cherish. At least half of marriages end up crumbling and failing. Something happens. What is it?"
With a laugh, he suggested, "It's all the guy's fault."
Actually, he added, "People are selfish. A lot of people get in marriages thinking love is a feeling you just fall into.
''If you can fall into it just like that, you can fall out of it. We need to define what love is."
God offers a counter-cultural definition of love itself, Cameron said.
"Love is a decision to sacrificially serve someone else, even when it's difficult," he said. "It transforms you. In the movie, the defining symbol of love is at the cross, where Christ died for us.
"That's how we're, as husbands, to love our wives."