It's from the creators of Fireproof and is definitely a Christian movie in mainstream culture. I know critics tore it apart - so yeah maybe the acting is a little cheesy, maybe the chase/fight scenes aren't as realistic, maybe it's a tad dramatic, but it has an awesome message, is uplifting, powerful, and honoring to God. The movie is about four male police officers who are called to serve and protect their community, but are struggling to do the same at home. After a tragedy strikes and causes them to wrestle with their faith and fears, they make a pact to raise their children in a God-honoring way and to be more present fathers.
A few weeks ago Tyge and I watched a documentary called "Absent" which ran parallel to the message in Courageous - the absence of an earthly father can leave a severe impact on a child. Some eye-opening statistics highlighted in the film include:
- 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes.
- 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes.
- 85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes.
- 80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes.
- 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes.
- 70% of juveniles in state operated institutions come from fatherless homes
- 85% of all youths sitting in prisons grew up in a fatherless home.
What does this mean? Children from fatherless homes are:
- 4.6 times more likely to commit suicide
- 6.6 times to become teenage mothers
- 24.3 times more likely to run away
- 15.3 times more likely to have behavioral disorders
- 6.3 times more likely to be in a state-operated institutions
- 10.8 times more likely to commit rape
- 6.6 times more likely to drop out of school
- 15.3 times more likely to end up in prison while a teenager
I guess because I grew up in a home with a father not only present but loving and attentive, I never really thought about this problem. Most of my friends also had Dads as great as mine, so it fatherlessness wasn't really a part of my world. Now that I'm an adult and have have seen more than what my limited high school bubble exposed me to, I have seen several cases where the absence of a father has left a negative impact on someone.
I don't know the full answer to the problem but I do know that the ideas in the movie Courageous are a great starting point. These men signed a declaration of sorts stating how they would serve their families and raise their children from then on. They used the many examples in scripture of how to be a "good" father - a few examples like:
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 - "These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates."
Proverbs 23:24 - "The father of a righteous child has great joy; a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him."
Ephesians 6:4 - "Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord."
My strong belief is that the only way earthly fathers can live these verses our and raise their children in such a way is because of God as the ultimate example of a Father.
Psalm 103:13 - "As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him." - A good father has compassion.
Proverbs 3:11-12 - "My son, do not despise the LORD’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in." - A good father disciplines out of love.
Matthew 6:14 - "For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you." - A good father forgives.
John 15:9 - "As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you." - A good father models how to love by his love.
Luke 6:36 - "Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful." - A good father is merciful.
I guess my point in all of this is that watching the movie made me so grateful for my earthly father (my Dad!) growing up, and so excited to see Tyge be a father someday as well. I know we will both raise our children in a God-honoring and loving home, but there is something about being married to a man who will be am amazing father someday that makes my heart smile.