An upcoming Christian movie will look at the damaging reality of divorce on spouses, children, families and friends as it aims to put forth a message for the hurting that healing is possible.
"Why does God allow divorce?" "How can you overcome the pain and bitterness that follows?" and "Is there ever healing?" are some of the questions the movie attempts to answer.
"Me & You, Us, Forever," based on a true story, follows a 47-year-old Christian man struggling with questions and painful emotions after going through an unwanted divorce. Troubled by it all, he starts to reminisce about his old high school girlfriend and first love.
"This movie is very real," said Dave Christiano, producer of the film. "The story tries to help people who have been affected by singleness, separation or divorce, and that begins by being honest with your feelings, emotions, and yourself. Through the main character in the film, we'll see just that. It's the beginning of healing in any situation."
He said that divorce is often associated with pain and estimates that at least 90 percent of people in church congregations today have been affected by a broken marriage.
A study by the Barna Group shows that Christians are just as likely to divorce as non-Christians. Around 35 percent of married Christians have experienced a divorce, according to the 2004 survey. Other estimates put divorce rates among Americans today at 50 percent.
"A mother, father, brother, sister, relative, almost everyone has now been touched by this dreadful word," noted Christiano.
"And it is devastating," he added. "Separation and divorce is difficult for all, regardless of which side of the equation you're on."
Experts studying divorce often say that there is no such thing as a "good" divorce although they note that an amicable break-up is better than a hostile one.
Divorces take a hard toll especially on children, according to Tricia Cunningham, director of Support Resources for the National Institute of Marriage. Many teens who experience a divorce struggle with anger, fear, loneliness, depression, and guilt, and others doubt their own ability to stay married, she reported.
Christiano hopes the movie will encourage discussion and ministry on behalf of those recovering from divorce.
"I'm asking church leaders in the cities where this film will open to take a serious look at their congregation and see how many people have been affected by divorce," he said.
"This film is a tool that can be used to help those people who have been hurt by it. The movie has some answers to help ease the pain."
The Christian producer also makes it no secret that his films carry a Christian message, promising a love story with no nudity and sex that will appeal to the hurting or the romantic at heart.
The movie's initial release is set for 83 cites and 34 states on Feb. 15, following Valentine's Day. A second release to additional cities is slated for May 9.