How hard should you try to get someone to love you?

That was the question I asked myself recently when I stayed in the home of Pastor David Daniels and his wife Charlene.

Don’t get me wrong. The Daniels showed me plenty of love by hosting me during my speaking engagements in Elmira, N.Y., this month. Charlene served me wonderful meals while David got me to my various engagements on time.

Bailey was the one I had trouble with. He never warmed up to me. A few times he came close enough to get a whiff of me, but he did not approach me once, not even when I let him lick my dinner plate.

Bailey is the Daniels’ bowlegged Shih Tzu.

He was a sweet little dog, so why couldn’t I make him love me?

It’s much the same question examined in the upcoming faith-based movie “Fireproof,” with actor Kirk Cameron in the role of Capt. Caleb Holt.

No, I’ve not suddenly become a movie critic, but I think the movie answers this important question much better than that ankle biter, Bailey.

The movie arrived in theaters Friday and centers on the marriage of Caleb and Catherine Holt. Caleb is a heroic firefighter who lives by the old firefighter’s adage: Never leave your partner behind.

Catherine grew up dreaming of marrying a brave and caring firefighter like her daddy.

You’d think they’d be the perfect match, but after seven years of marital arguments, they angrily file for divorce. That’s when Caleb’s father challenges his son to commit to a 40-day experiment called “The Love Dare.” The dare is a series of daily challenges designed to demonstrate that love requires a hard commitment, and the commitment isn’t always reciprocated.

When Catherine misinterprets Caleb’s newfound efforts as a strategy to gain more ground for the impending divorce, she declares to Caleb, “Let me be real clear with you about something: I do not love you!”

Frustrated, Caleb asks his father the question I ask about Bailey. “How am I supposed to show love to somebody who constantly rejects me?”

Caleb’s father dispenses some tough love when he replies, “Caleb, you can’t love her, because you can’t give her what you don’t have”

At that point, Caleb makes a life-changing commitment and embarks on his toughest job ever, rescuing his wife’s heart.

I’ve never endorsed a movie in this column. The amateur acting found in this low-budget film makes this a risky endorsement, but I think you should see this movie. The heart-pounding action mixed with some chick-flick moments make this a perfect date movie that will strengthen your marriage.

I sent my column to the Daniels for Bailey to preview. They told me they will try to get Bailey to watch the movie when it comes out on DVD.

Now I’m thinking that I should try the Love Dare on Bailey.