If you liked “Fireproof” and “Facing the Giants,” don’t miss “Courageous.”
The newest film from Sherwood Pictures, a ministry of the Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Ga., just may be the best.
Opening Sept. 30 in 900 theaters across the nation, “Courageous” tackles the crisis of fatherhood in America.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 24 million children — one in three — live apart from their father. Nearly two out of three African-American children live in father-absent homes.
Children who grow up without their fathers are, on average, at least two to three times more likely to be poor, to use drugs, to experience educational, health, emotional and behavioral problems, to be victims of child abuse and to engage in criminal behavior than their peers, according to the National Fatherhood Initiative.
Men who abandon the babies they father will beget sons who often will repeat the same mistake. Can the generational pattern be broken? Can men be challenged to take a “courageous” stand to reverse this trend and begin a new generational pattern of men determined to raise, nurture and honor the God-given gift of children?
As “Facing the Giants” focused on trusting God in the face of trial and “Fireproof” stressed remaining true to the covenant relationship of marriage, “Courageous” confronts the issue of men taking the lead in their homes and being strong fathers for their children.
My wife, Lenore, and I got a sneak preview of “Courageous” and found it to be powerful and moving. It’s an action-laced police drama with the stream of parenting and family challenges running throughout. It’s also rife with lighter moments as the banter between the main characters turns humorous.
The film’s message is clear — fathers need to step up and take their responsibilities seriously.
I rarely weep at movies but found myself with tears streaming down my face half-a-dozen times.
“Courageous” is truly heartwrenching. At times, it borders on gratuitous in its obvious effort to turn on the
waterworks. My fear is that the movie may not appeal to its target audience — men — due to its heartrending nature.
Regardless, I already can envision planning a men’s gathering to watch the movie and form discussion groups around it. I can envision numerous men’s groups using “Courageous” as a catalyst for challenging conversations on the topic of fatherhood.
I’m sure the marketing wing of the production company already is printing copies of “The Resolution,” a book featured in the film, and the certificates the men use to hold each other accountable.
I think “powerful” is the best word to describe the experience of sitting through the film. A scene at the end where the main character speaks from the pulpit, challenging men to be courageous, will have a convicting and lasting impact on those who watch it. Men will ultimately excuse the emotional overload and appreciate the powerful challenge to courageously be the fathers to their children that God has called them to be.
Perhaps some enterprising tissue maker will anticipate the release of “Courageous” and make tissue boxes featuring a camouflage pattern.
I think we are going to need them. Tim Tripp serves as family minister for the Northeast Church of Christ in Cincinnati.