In the 1980s, Kirk Cameron was one of the most sought-after teen idols, admired by teenage girls throughout the world as the star of the hit show "Growing Pains."
But these days, the former "Tiger Beat" cover model has a much bigger goal in mind: helping marriages stay together.
On Oct. 6, Cameron will be in Pflugerville at First Baptist Church, 306 S. 10th St., as part of the “Love Worth Fighting For” event, a national event focused on marriage, featuring teachings from the former teen heartthrob.
For Cameron, a devout Christian, religion has played a significant role in his career path. Following his role on "Growing Pains," Cameron starred in the “Left Behind” film series, based on the Christian-themed novels of the same name by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. Cameron also starred in the 2008 film "Fireproof" about a couple who uses faith to save their marriage.
Cameron said the “Love Worth Fighting For” event grew out of the response from fans of the film.
“['Fireproof'] struck a chord in so many men and so many women, we decided to turn it into live event and bring it to churches across the country,” Cameron said during an interview Oct. 2.
The event centers around issues touched on in the film and includes a presentation from Cameron, described by the actor as filled with humor, music, honesty and Biblical teaching on the subject of marriage. Cameron said while the program utilizes scripture, it is not intended as a Bible study.
“We're going to show clips from the movie 'Fireproof' [and] share stories,” Cameron said. “We're going to get down to the core issues that make a marriage flourish.”
Men have been neglecting their wives ever since things went south in the Garden of Eden, said Cameron.
“[Marriage is] the most important relationship you have on the planet,” Cameron said. “Marriage is the bedrock of family. Family is the foundation of civilization. If you lose the family, you'll destroy your civilization.”
Cameron said he will talk about men loving their wives, protecting their wives, and wives honoring and respecting their husbands.
Speaking events such as the “Love Worth Fighting For” tour have become a staple for Cameron. He speaks regularly in schools, churches and at community events, and recently took part in the 2012 Voters Value Summit held in Washington, D.C., in September.
Cameron said he's switched to “Rescue 911 mode” when talking about issues because of the state the natiion is in, politically, morally and spiritually.
“We're losing that specialness, that recipe that gave us a free economy, a [free] political system and religious liberty,” Cameron said. “We're losing those things very quickly.”
As an outspoken conservative, Cameron has made headlines for statements on various issues in recent years. As for whether he views himself as a controversial figure, he said he is unwavering in his convictions.
“No one should be afraid of controversy if you're a person of integrity,” Cameron said. “Truth always causes controversy. Our goal is to discover what is true and what is right. People are ultimately going to rely [on] and trust a standard for truth.”
Cameron said those who accuse him of being intolerant are often in guilty of the same offense.
“It's easy to say we're tolerant of all people and accepting of all people except those people who don't believe what we believe,” Cameron said. “We want to call those people 'haters' or call them intolerant. All of us become intolerant at some point of something. It all really comes down to what you believe is good and right and true.”
Cameron said the worst attacks come from those who are intolerant of Christian beliefs.
“And those tend to be the [people] waving the tolerance banner,” Cameron said. “The double standard is striking when you look at it.”
Cameron said fans who remember him as a teen idol are still supportive. He said for every one person who is offended by his outspoken beliefs, “There's 100 who say, 'Thank you for standing up.'”
Cameron will be joined Oct. 6 by Christian singer/songwriter Warren Barfield, who will perform at the event. Barfileld's song “Love Is Not a Fight" was featured in Fireproof.
The "Love Worth Fighting For" tour is scheduled for 35 stops throughout the nation, including Texas, New York, Michigan, Virginia, New Jersey and Kansas. Tickets range from $20 to $35 each and are available as reserved seats or general admission for singles, couples and groups of 10 or more. Doors open at 5 p.m.; the event starts at 6 p.m.
Information on the event and how to purchase tickets can be found online at www.feedyourfaith.org/event/love-worth-fighting-for-pflugerville-tx/