Courageous: Honor Begins at Home is a movie released to theaters on September 30, 2011, and currently playing in theaters nationwide. My husband and I watched the movie over the weekend and enjoyed it. I highly recommend it to everyone who loves God and thinks fathers hold a very important position in our families.
Courageous was the fourth film produced by Sherwood Pictures, an independent Christian company. It was produced on a $2,000,000 budget and grossed $2,000,000 in pre-sales on its opening weekend and grossed $9.1 million for the weekend. The film received mixed reviews but scored a rare A+ rating from film goers. The film is rated PG-13 due to violence; therefore, it is not appropriate for young children to see.
The main characters in the movie are police officers and their families. The officers are involved in stopping drug smuggling in their city. One day the sheriff shares some statistics about children raised in homes without fathers and encourages the officers to spend their off-duty time with their families. The officers discuss the statistics, but they fail to take them to heart until tragedy strikes one of the families. Six weeks later the officers are prepared to sign a "Resolution" to honor God in every aspect of their individual families and do so in a formal ceremony. They later invite all the fathers in their congregation to join them in their resolve to be the best fathers possible.
The movie is well worth the time and money to see it, particularly if it lights the desire in its viewers to make the same resolve. Almost any man can father a child, but begetting a child does not make a man into a father. To become a real father - a more than just OK father - a man must care about his children enough to take the time and exert the effort to make a difference in a child's life. He must unselfishly put the needs of his wife and children ahead of his own needs.
Fathers can affect their children either negatively or positively. They can help their children reach their full potential or they can literally send them down the road to suicide, drugs, alcohol, sex, crime, gangs, and worse. Fathers are the head of the home. They are the leader, protector, and provider of the family. The way they accept and fulfill their roles as fathers affects their children's growth and development - physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. Men are instrumental in teaching their sons how to become men, and they are priceless in teaching their daughters how to be real women. When a man loves his wife and models appropriate behavior towards her, his sons learn how to treat women appropriately and his daughters learn how real men treat women. Here is a very informative article entitled "The Importance of a Father in the Home"by Amanda Lynn Geesey.
In another article entitled "The Importance of A Father," Dr. Stanley Watson of the Family Support Network wrote: "The question, `Should a couple stay together for the sake of their children' is answered differently today from what it was 40 years ago. In the 1950's opinions were evenly divided on the question, but by the year 1985 over 80 percent of the women polled said `yes' a couple should stay together for the sake of the children. Today we appear to be more aware of the necessity of keeping families together for the sake of the children. Only in rare cases should a married couple consider breaking up their home and depriving their children of a full time mother or father.
"The need for a mother is well established in our culture, but fathers in recent years have often been considered unnecessary. If anyone ever doubted the worth of a father, they can be reassured by recent studies. If more couples were aware of the father's influence in the home perhaps the trend toward fatherless families could be reversed." For more of Dr. Watson'sarticle, go here.
In yet another article entitled "The Importance of Fathers," Stephen F. Duncan, Ph.D., Professor, Family and Human Development Specialist, MSU Extension Service, wrote: "There was a time when many authorities discounted the role of fathers in families. They believed that fathers were merely a biological necessity. As a result, researchers primarily studied mothers and their children.
"Recently, scientists have discovered fathers. Researchers learned that fathers were not `optional family baggage.' Studies show the importance of a caring father in the life of a child, boy or girl." The rest of Dr.Duncan's article can be found here.
A psychologist, David Lowenstein, Ph.D., wrote still another paper entitled "The Importance of Fathers in the Home." His article started: "`Wait till your father gets home!' used to be a mother's ultimate threat. But with the two-parent household becoming less and less common, a new research study in Child Development (1999) set out to study how important contact with dad is to children's development. This study found that even when fathers do not live at home, children whose fathers are actively involved in their lives tend to have better cognitive and language skills and fewer behavior problems. They found that fathers who are involved with their children have children with fewer problems. That added involvement from a father helps children tremendously." The rest of Dr. Lowenstein's short article ishere.
In yet another article entitled "The Importance of Fathers," Mark Gungor wrote: "We live in a culture today that minimizes the role of men, discounts the importance of fathers, and generally tends to dismiss the male gender as unnecessary. Stemming from the women's lib movement that began in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the continuing and pervasive line of thinking says that women don't really need a man, they can do almost everything that a father does in a family and that men are pretty much obsolete. Sadly, some go as far as employing the science of artificial insemination where a women doesn't even need the man for procreation, she only needs his sperm.
"So are men really only useful as sperm donors, or is there something that the feminist agenda is missing? Studies have shown that, indeed, their thinking is very flawed and they are missing a great deal. The bottom line of research says that it is the father who overwhelmingly determines the moral and spiritual development of the children. Three separate studies that I have read come to mind: One done by the Swiss government, a second reported by the Baptist Press and finally a third one reported by MSNBC (hardly a Christian biased outlet). A variety of sources - the government, church and the liberal left - yet these investigations show the same results. All three sources support the important influence fathers have on their kids - shocking as that is to those in the `we-don't-need-men' club." More of Gungor's article can be found here.
I think that you have probably gotten the message that I consider fathers in the home to be extremely important - as do many other people. Mothers can do more for their children by keeping the father active in their lives than they can do without him. Mothers and fathers must start acting like adults and do what is best for their children. Most of the problems in society today could be solved by keeping mother and father in the home!