One of the most outstanding aspects of this latest movie from Sherwood Pictures, is the fact that at the heart of this production, there is a desire to glorify God, and communicate the truth of His Word through the media of film. Because of this, I didn’t leave the movie theatre thinking “what a great movie” as much as I left thinking “what a great God!”, “what a responsibility I have as a father!” and “what a tragedy it would be for me to not step up and follow God’s will for my life as a husband and father”.
The principles in God’s Word that relate to fathers have been something that I have sought to communicate to men as God has given opportunity over the past few years. It is always an uphill battle, convincing men of the desperate need to step up and do what God has called us to do as godly men. Some remain apathetic, some ridicule and only a few respond to the call, but it’s all worth it to see even a handful of men taking their calling and responsibility seriously. What Sherwood Pictures have done, is to display through film the reason men need to step up, the way men should step up, the consequences when men don’t step up and the blessings when men do step up – all in the context of normal life, with all the normal challenges and struggles, yet with the assurance of God’s help towards the man who really cares. Essentially it is a message of hope, reminding us that we are weak men, with a strong God, and that equation makes it possible to run and finish well as godly men.
I was very impressed with how the filmmakers dealt with many problems in society which can be traced to absent or apathetic fathers, showing us how God can and does redeem those situations for His glory when godly men get serious. Typical modern day stereotypes, such as the withdrawn media-hooked teenage boy and the giddy romance-seeking teenage girl, were both depicted in the movie – yet the refreshing difference in the way this was handled was that these young adults were clearly products of fathers who had not turned their hearts towards their children. When they do, the problem is solved. With themes such as this woven into the script, you are left not just entertained, but you are actually edified – something that rarely happens in a movie theatre!
The numerous deeply emotional scenes were so touching not because of the music or the acting, which was excellent, but because the music and the acting depicted REALITY – real pain that happens today because of foolish decisions that fathers make, or don’t make. And it’s all displayed within the movie, in a way that leaves a lasting impression on your mind and heart.
As well as some hilarious “I can so relate to that” scenes that are timed just right not to lighten the subject matter, there is such a diverse application of the truth presented, that almost every situation that is a result of “fatherless-ness” is provided with a solution when the man is willing to do his part.
You will be challenged and encouraged watching this film. You will laugh lots, and cry more, and if you take the subject matter seriously, and view it not as “just” a movie – you will press into God, and ask Him what it is you need to change in your life, to be the best father you possibly can for your children.
The producer’s intent was not to sell tickets for the sake of making money -that is clear. Their intent was to sell tickets for the sake of making a mark on eternity, and if you take on board the message of “Courageous” you certainly will make an eternal difference your life, and the life of those God has entrusted to your care.
Kris Baines – 17/11/11