Former "Growing Pains" television star Kirk Cameron, 45, continues on a nationwide marriage-focused speaking tour, giving advice to couples, and one of his recent, controversial messages is launching debates. The Evangelical Christian speaker said the key to a successful marriage is a submissive wife.
Called "Love Worth Fighting For," Cameron's gatherings are being billed as "marriage events" designed to strengthen and encourage couples. Many of them are held at Baptist churches. They have been hosted in more than 150 U.S. cities over the past seven years.
"Wives are to honor and respect and follow their husband's lead, not to tell their husband how he ought to be a better husband," said Cameron in a Christian Post interview. He has been married for 24 years, and has six children with wife Chelsea Noble.
"When each person gets their part right, regardless of how their spouse is treating them, there is hope for real change in their marriage."
People magazine referenced Cameron's views as "conservative." Christian Post reported Cameron called it a "God-centered marriage" view.
Cameron also urged men not to fight with their wives because it makes it difficult for their children to ever have healthy relationships. "When couples start arguing and fighting in front of the kids, dad cuts mom, and mom cuts dad, and the kids bleed," he said.
Children who see their parents fighting can be damaged, and will follow the patterns they've seen when they get to their own marriage, he predicts.
He said many people don't know that marriage comes with instructions. "And, we find them right there in God's word," according to his quote in the Daily Mail.
Although Cameron didn't cite the following Biblical passage in the Christian Post interview, the author of the article stated Cameron may have been referring to the words from Colossians 3:18-19, which states: "Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them."
"Thinking that you are going to win an argument, you end up losing. It's a no-win situation," said Cameron. "For you to win, your husband or wife has to lose. When they lose, you have not built up your marriage. You have really cut them down."
Cameron said, "There is only one person on the whole planet who you can change and it's not your spouse."
He also said a downfall for some in contentious marriages is they tend to blame their spouse for their marital problems instead of taking blame for their own faults.
Cameron said his events are open to everyone, no matter their faith, relationship status or sexual orientation. "We talk about faith in God. We talk about the heart of the problem in marriage. We talk about what it means to love your wife in a practical way and what it means to honor your husband," Cameron told Christian Post.
"It is possible to fireproof your marriage. Fireproof doesn't mean that the fire will never come, it means when the fire comes and the heat is high, you will be able to withstand it."
Growing Pains was a television show that featured a family with a father who had a home business and a mother who was a journalist. The show ran from 1982 to 1989. Cameron's character was "Mike Seaver." Noble also played on the show "Kate MacDonald."
Cameron directed the film "Fireproof" in 2008, and also made a documentary called "Monumental." His production company, CAMFAM Studios, released the following films: Unstoppable, Mercy Rule, and Saving Christmas.