We just had the pleasure of watching the movie, Courageous, produced by Sherwood Pictures. First of all, I have thoroughly enjoyed the movies I’ve seen from this company. The list includes: Flywheel, Facing the Giants and Fireproof. It is such a blessing to have access to good quality Christian films.
Courageous is one of the best films they have made to date. My only complaint is that there were not many times in the film where I could stop crying! It is a heart rending, beautiful film.
If you haven’t yet watched this movie, it is now available on DVD and is well worth your dollar-and-ten-cents or your wait on Netflix, if there is one. The story is about five men and their commitment to be better fathers. Four of the men are police officers, one is a construction worker, all are Christians. Through a series of events, the men realize how important the roll of a father is in the lives of their children. In a fancy ceremony, they sign a resolution stating they will be better dads, better men, better Christians and that they will hold each other accountable for this commitment. There is much action, many tearful moments and a few laughs in this excellent movie.
Hollywood would have us believe that courage is running into a burning building, pulling someone from a train track or fighting in a war. And, those certainly are forms of courage. However, it is also courageous to stand against evil when it could cost you your job. It takes courage to stand up and say that the restaurant, “H**ters” is a wicked place for Christians to be. It takes courage to face false accusations that your marriage is bad or that you have hard feelings against another preacher. It takes courage to stand before people, week after week, and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The devil hates the name of Jesus, he wriggles and writhes and is enraged when this name is proclaimed. He hates the preachers of such truths and uses “Christians” (who may or may not be such) to attack him.
If I sound like I’ve witnessed the above, I have. These courageous men are my father and my husband. When I was twelve years old, I watched my dad lose a very well paying job because he didn’t “socialize” with the right people over a glass of whatever. He lost. We’d like to believe that standing for what’s right will pay off, that we’ll come out on top, but that didn’t happen for my Dad. He struggled to find work for many months after he lost his job. He finally found a good job, but it was never the same for him. He never found a job that he enjoyed as much as that one he lost. I don’t know, however, if he knew that his young daughter was watching. I watched him as he filled out 3×5 cards with Isaiah 41:10 on them. I saw how he would pull one copy out of his shirt pocket and read it, then try to say it to himself without looking. I saw another taped to his bathroom mirror, and on the dash of his car. I saw how he faithfully attended church, how he continued to tithe and give to the Lord when the funds were at an all time low. I saw his courage. While he never recouped his losses here, I’m pretty sure that my Savior was waiting for him on July 29, 2004, around 2 AM with the words, “Well done, Ron. You did it. You were faithful till the end, and that wasn’t easy. Well done.”
My husband stood for right, and it wasn’t pretty. He didn’t “come out on top”. People didn’t show up outside the church by the droves to show support for his stand. In fact, people left by the droves. Other “Christians” claimed that by his naming sin, he was “casting a stone”. When the false accusations were hurled, I wanted to hurl back a few choice words myself, but God’s grace restrained me. My husband didn’t even seem tempted to lash out. He never once used his pulpit as a whipping post, or as a place to explain the truth. He took the emotional beating and got up. He went back to the battle and kept fighting. And, once again, I witnessed courage. While droves of people were not supporting him, I know that a heavenly host was standing, honoring his courage. Had God opened our eyes, as He did for Elisha and the young man in 2 Kings 6:17, we would have seen them.
This movie exemplifies courage in a dynamic way; it is very inspiring! But, it is, after all, just a movie. Being courageous in real life is less glamorous and much, much harder. There is no audience wiping tears from their eyes, rooting for you. There’s no stirring orchestra score in the background.