Directed by Alex Kendrick and written by Alex Kendrick and Stephen Kendrick.
War Room follows Tony and Elizabeth Jordan, a middle-class couple who seemingly have it all – great jobs, a beautiful daughter, their dream home. But appearances can be deceiving. In reality, the Jordan's marriage has become a war zone and their daughter is collateral damage.
1. Does the plot glorify God?
At first it just seems like a regular plot. where God is nowhere to be found, but there are some keywords here: Tony and Elizabeth seem to have it all - great jobs, a beautiful child and a dream home. This is typically what the world measures as having it all: Wealth, beauty and grand possessions. But the plot says appearances are deceiving. Why is that? Their marriage is in pieces - it's a war zone and their child is paying the price. What I see in the plot, does honour God, because between the lines, it says that when we have our focus on worldly standards, we are walking in the opposite direction to God. Since God made marriage, and God is love, then a marriage cannot be a war zone if the couple have God in the centre. So the plot could have easily said: War Room follows Tony and Elizabeth Jordan, who discover, through their broken marriage, that they had long drifted away from their faith in the Lord. The plot is essentially saying that we need the Lord at the centre of our lives.
2. Does the film content glorify God through His Word: Use of Bible verses and adhere to His commandments?
Yes, the film has an abundance of Bible verses in it
Ms Clara mentioned that we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23)
Ms Clara told Elizabeth that:
Jesus died for us when we did not deserve it (Romans 5:8)
We can’t ask for forgiveness when we don’t forgive others (Matthew 6:14-15)
Seek the Lord (Matt 6:33), trust Him (Psalm 125:1) and stand on His will (Matthew 6:10)
Satan has come to kill, steal and destroy, but Jesus has come to give us abundant life (John 10:10)
That the Lord has instructed us to go into a room, shut the door and pray in secret (Matthew 6:6)
Believe when He says He loves you and will take care of you (Hebrews 13:5)
The following verses were written on notes and taped to the Elizabeth’s prayer room wall: John 10:10, 2 Thessalonians 3:3 (God’s faithfulness to strengthen us and keep us from evil), James 4:7 (submit to God, resist the devil)
2 Chronicles 7:14 is shown at the end of the film
Promotes God as the only God
The opening scene includes a statement from Ms Clara’s about God being the only force that can give us victories.
Ms Clara explained to Elizabeth that only God possessed the power to save their marriage.
Ms Clara calls upon the Lord when she and Elizabeth find themselves in a difficult situation.
Ms Clara said there is not enough room for Elizabeth and God on the throne of her heart. Elizabeth needed to step down.
Go into your inner room and pray in secret, acknowledging God as the only God.
Elizabeth’s submission to God, while praying for her marriage
Tony’s submission to God and request to be a better father
Promotes being free from idols or refrain from promoting idols
The couple have their careers and possessions (big house) as their idols. Elizabeth said their focus on their careers was the reason they did not have more than one child.
Tony’s focus on bonus checks
Tony’s reliance on the gym to cope with stress, instead of turning to God
Ms Clara demonstrated Elizabeth’s luke warm state concerning her faith
Elizabeth’s statement that Jesus is the Lord of her house - their home was under new management
Promote the Sabbath or refrain from promoting Sunday as the day of worship?
There were several scenes with church worship service but the day was not
Honours parents or refrains from promoting dishonour of parents?
Even though their daughter could have rebelled, she was respectful to her parents throughout the turmoil.
Tony wanted to honour his parents by giving them some extra money, as they were elderly.
Speak against adultery or refrain from promoting adultery?
Elizabeth’s reaction at the text message about Tony being deceitful showed the hurt adultery causes.
Tony’s repentance for his deceit against God and his family
Speak against theft or refrain from promoting theft?
Tony's situation at work - it shows the shame, confusion and pain we go through as a result of not obeying the commandments - in this case, theft.. Tony’s theft was not condoned and the harsh consequences were shown.
Tony’s struggle with his conscience after asking God for forgiveness and realizing that there were still some loose ends to take care of.
Speak against lies or refrain from promoting lies?
Tony’s difficult situation illustrated how far away from the Lord he had strayed and it resulted in him rationalising adultery, lies, coveting and theft.
Speak against coveting/jealousy or refrain from promoting jealousy?
Tony’s client’s secretary was coveting Tony and committing adultery as she knew he was married (he had his wedding ring on). Elizabeth’s prayer for her husband was a call on the Lord to lead him away from this destructive path.
Question: What Christian standards does the film promote?
Ms Clara promoted the Bible as our life guide and foundation
Ms Clara offered Elizabeth one hour of her time per week, to teach Elizabeth how to get closer to the Lord, through prayer and reading scripture. this reminds me of Ephesians 6:17 (the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God)
Ms Clara gives Elizabeth her Bible when Elizabeth doesn’t know where to start in her new prayer life
Ms Clara - The Word of God will kick the enemy out of Elizabeth’s home (Jesus’ example of the power of the Word during his temptation in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11)
The scene where Elizabeth buys a Bible for her and her daughter after she submits to God
Tony’s lack of shame when he goes to speak to his boss about his deceit and the business partner, Tom’s attempt to make Tony feel ashamed. Reminds me of 1 John 1:9 - Tony could stand tall on God’s promise, which does not lead us to shame.
I noticed Ms Clara’s Bible was falling apart from use - showing her life was based on the Word of God.
Salvation through Christ alone (does not promote good works)
Ms Clara reiterated Jesus’ sacrifice for mankind, in a conversation with Elizabeth and about everyone falling short of the glory of God and God’s grace.
Elizabeth comes to the revelation that her joy only comes from Jesus - who has already defeated the devil
Tony’s confession and submission to God, through Jesus Christ
The film shows that God protects our marriages when we put Him in the centre and see marriage as the covenant God meant it to be, not a temporary contract.
Elizabeth asked God in prayer to enable her and Tony to love one another once more.
There was a radical change in Elizabeth and Tony’s actions and outlook on life when they put God at the centre of their marriage
Elizabeth gets support from a Christian colleague, who doesn’t want , as she puts it, “World War 3” to break out in Elizabeth’s house. She encourages her to submit to her husband..
Tony’s Christian friend who is a para-medic, warns him against having an affair and promotes the sanctity of marriage. His friends said he had no intention of watching Tony throw away his marriage, as it was for life. A reminder of the importance of friends who have the Word of God as their guide.
Ms Clara’s advice on what Elizabeth should be doing for Tony: Praying, loving. and respecting him (Ephesians 5:33, Proverbs 31:12, Titus 2:4)
Elizabeth stated that her renewed love for Jesus enabled her to withstand the challenges her and Tony were going through.
Elizabeth stated that she would rather have her man chasing Jesus than a house full of things
Ms Clara encourages Elizabeth to teach other young wives how to fight for their marriages (Titus 2:3-5)
Husband as the head in his home and the local church
We see Tony’s journey to becoming the spiritual leader in their home and how his actions transform from arrogant and prideful to humble with a strength by God’s power, not his own: 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 And he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10, Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then I am strong.
Recognition of the value of life and blessing in children
Elizabeth and her daughter, Danielle’s conversation about how much Danielle thinks her mother loves her.
We see Elizabeth and Tony, by God’s grace, mend their relationship with their daughter.
We see Tony asking God to help him be a better father
Modesty of Dress
Ms Clara compliments the young man who attends to her garden, on his dress style and haircut - comparing him to other young men who were not so neat or modest.
Recognition of the body as the temple of God
Elizabeth's stress eating made me think of this Christian standard. How we can disrespect our bodies by inhaling food into it without a thought about how it tastes or how thankful we are to have it. In this scene, she was not shown saying a prayer before her meal.
Question: Does the film give glory and honour and thanks to God?
The opening statement from Ms Clara gives glory to God - she emphasizes that victories don’t come by accident
The film lifts up the most powerful tool the Lord has given us on this earth - a direct
line to Him - prayer (Matthew 6:9-13 - Jesus teaches us how to pray).
The film uses its main characters to witness of God’s mercy, grace and love
Ms Clara’s wall of answered prayer - giving glory to God for His faithfulness
There is also a scene where Elizabeth and Tony receive God’s grace in a situation
that could have dramatically changed their lives. You see them acknowledge God’s grace and give thanks to Him.
Ms Clara lifts up Jesus’ name, in a situation that promotes the protection we have, when we call out to the Lord. She gives God the glory, through Jesus by reminding the policemen to include Jesus in the incident report.
Elizabeth’s comment to her daughter, Danielle, explaining that she needed to lose against God, so that God could fight for her and their family - that way they could all win
Ms Clara’s moment of praise when Elizabeth's situation turns for the better. She states the Lord is faithful, powerful, in charge. He can’t and won’t retire from His position. She then bursts into songs of praise.
Elizabeth gives thanks to God when Tony asks for forgiveness.
Ms Clara tells Elizabeth that she was an answer to her prayer. Elizabeth also states that Ms Clara was a gift from God and they are both thankful for this.
Ms Clara’s prayer at the end of the film, was full of praise and thanks.
Question: Did the film encourage my faith?
Absolutely! The film depicted beautifully the power of prayer and the salvation we have through Jesus Chris. It all illustrates God’s grace, which is beyond our understanding. The film is also a reminder that we cannot carry ourselves through this life by our own strength- we always need to seek the Lord first, as Matthew 6:33 says: But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.
Question: What actions did I do, as a result of seeing the film?
The first time I saw the film I considered making a war room, but then I realized I had done that in my own way. I don’t have prayers on the wall, but I certainly have places at home where I pray. The film encouraged me to reflect more on the power of prayer and the gift we have in being reconnected to the Father, through Jesus Christ. And as I like music, I downloaded the soundtrack and have it on my Spotify list.
The prayer that Ms Clara says at the end of the film is powerful and each time I see the film, I pray at the same time for all she prayed for. I also think the man, with his hand raised, praying over the city is very powerful.
Question: Would I change anything about the film?
The scene where Elizabeth’s daughter cries during the conversation about how much she thinks her mother loves her. It’s a very powerful scene and I can’t watch it without my tears appearing, then I remind myself that it is just a film. It always invokes a thought process and films, acting, etc. How far do we need to go? Jesus taught parables but he didn’t bring those parables to life through acting. I think films are fine as long as we don’t go too far trying to make it look as real as possible - at the end of the day, it’s understood the goal is to just illustrate a story and that’s ok.
Tony committed emotional adultery with his client’s assistant and he planned to do more than just looking, but the Lord intervened and stopped him. He told his wife he almost cheated on her, but according to the Word of God, he had actually cheated, several times, in different situations (Matthew 5:28). Tony repented for his actions, and that brings 1 John 1:9 to mind: If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
This is another film that I have seen many times. It’s a powerful film about faith, prayer, the power of the Father and His Son, our connection to God, through Jesus’ sacrifice and the scriptures - it encompasses the entire Christian walk and highlights the powerful things God gave us, through Christ, to use for our protection while we reside on earth - prayer and the Word of God. As the song during the end credits said, prayer makes the enemy, Satan, tremble, because he then realizes the battle we are facing has been handed over to God to fight. We then switch to fighting through God’s power, in Jesus’ name, and that’s a whole different battle, and one that Satan can never win, because he has already lost.
Thank you very much for listening to this review. Until next time - peace be with you.
Source for film thumbnail: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_Room_(film)