Movie review: "Courageous" - separating the men from the boys

My husband and I just saw this incredible movie this past weekend. We laughed, we cried, but mostly, we praised God for the gift of fatherhood and how it is accurately displayed in a media format.

So many TV shows, movies, and commercials nowadays depict fathers as the idiotic, nuisance of the family, rather than the respected head of the household God created them to be. Then we wonder why they don't take the lead, or why they prefer to hang out with their buddies rather than their families.

I realize not every father is worthy of honor because they are not honorable people. I understand many of us live under very different circumstances with men of authority, who abuse their position in multiple ways. I'm not talking about these men. I'm talking about the average Dad who often gets forgotten. The one that gets told what the family's weekend plans are and if he has an opinion of his own, everyone rolls their eyes and say, "Oh Dad, you don't know what's good."

Unfortunately, this is all too common within the Christian households as well as those of unbelieving families. Christian women spend more time in Bible study than most men, which results in many women taking the spiritual headship of the home.

We wives need to learn what true biblical submission is. And men need to stop acting like little boys, and act like the men they are, living courageously under the headship and authority of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.”
~1 Corinthians 16:13-14 (ESV)
Okay, I'm off my soapbox...back to the movie review.

When a movie captivates your heart as well as your conscience, it isn’t something you can just sit back and watch. Movies like Courageous compel the viewer to participate in the lives of the characters as they face real-life, every day issues that many of us have experienced—or will. The writers, Alex and Stephen Kendrick, move you from complete annoyance at the obvious lack of judgment and love displayed by the main character, Adam Mitchell (played by Alex Kendrick) to utter compassion and grief for what he suffers.

I’m married to a godly husband and father who spent the beginning of the movie gruffing about the flagrant self-centeredness of Adam. He just couldn’t believe how Adam could so nonchalantly decline to participate in activities that were obvious blessings from God. He’d say, “Did he really just say, ‘No’ to her?! I’d pay a million dollars to do that. What a loser!” And that’s what Adam finds to be true when tragedy hits his home. Adam is awakened to the reality that he’s lost what can never be replaced; opportunities that will never come again. And he is left swaying between the despair of what will never be and the gratitude to God for all that has already been.

What ensues is a firm resolve to live fully in Christ in every aspect of life. Adam shares this resolution with his friends who at first think Adam is taking things too far as, Shane Fuller (played by Kevin Downes) says, “You’re being too hard on yourself...You’ve been a good enough father.” To which Adam responds, “I don’t want to be a good enough father.”

Rather than settle for “good enough”, Adam is determined to be what God has called every man to be—a man of courage, not a boy of mediocrity.

Marriages are tough enough without the added burden of a man who doesn’t live as one who is above reproach, but rather as one who is above approach. Humility and submission to Christ the Lord, opening oneself up to accountability with wives, children and especially other godly men who will faithfully rebuke them when necessary is vital to any Christian man’s spiritual growth. It’s sad that there isn’t enough of this in American churches today. I am however, grateful for this movie that is setting standards for all men who profess Christ as Lord and Savior to truly live abandoned to Christ.

Courageous is currently rated number six in the box office, with showings in only 1,161 theaters as compared to other movies that are showing in 2,000-3,000 theaters.*

All glory and praise to God for allowing even the least of these to do anything to further the kingdom of Jesus Christ and raise up men who will courageously follow the Lord; no matter the cost.

“Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ, and be found in Him...”
~Philippians 3:8-9a (ESV)

“Courageous” is showing in 28 theaters in the Dallas, Texas area. Check your local AMC andCinemark theaters for dates and times.

*Movie ranking provided by: