‘Courageous’ holds message for family, fathers

Published 1:22 am Saturday, October 1, 2011

Courageous, an action-packed police drama, will be released in theaters across the country this weekend.

It’s the fourth release of Sherwood Pictures, the moviemaking ministry of Sherwood Church in Albany, Ga. Their films have made an impact on lives through heartfelt stories of faith and hope.

“Adam Mitchell, Nathan Hayes, and their partners are confident and focused. They willingly stand up to the worst the streets have to offer. As law enforcement officers, they face danger every day. Four men with one calling: to serve and protect.

“Yet when tragedy strikes close to home, these fathers are left wrestling with their hopes, their fears, and their faith. From this struggle comes a decision that changes all of their lives,” according to courageouthemovie.com.

The movie’s theme is fatherhood. “The statistics on fatherless children are devastating,” Executive Pastor Jim McBride has said. “And because the family is the building block of society, one important place to rebuild families is through fathers who stay and lead and love.”

Facts about fatherhood in America that are posted on the movie’s website verify his position. Some 24.7 million American children (36.3 percent) live without their biological fathers. Only 60 percent of these children have seen their fathers in the past year.

“Children living without their biological fathers, on average, are more likely to be poor and to have educational, health, emotional and psychological problems, to suffer child abuse, and to engage in criminal behavior, than peers living with their married, biological mother and father.

“Fatherless homes produce: 63 percent of youth suicides (Bureau of the Census); 90 percent of all homeless and runaway children (Center for Disease Control); and 85 percent of all children with behavioral disorders (CDC). In a recent survey 7 out of 10 participants agreed that the physical absence of fathers from the home is the most significant family or social problem facing America.”

Courageous is rated PG-13 for some violence and drug content. But Sherwood Pictures believes, “Moviegoers will once again find themselves laughing, crying and cheering as they are challenged and inspired by everyday heroes who long to be the kinds of dads that make a lifelong impact on their children.”

Courageous emphasizes that honor begins at home. The movie’s theme is based on the truth of Luke 1:17 and God’s desire “to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children.” While the four men, “consistently give their best on the job, good enough seems to be all they can muster as dads…. but their children are beginning to drift further and further away from them. Will they be able to find a way to serve and protect those that are most dear to them?”

Previous Sherwood movies – Flywheel, Facing the Giants, Fireproof – have reportedly touched audiences where they live, and they show the means to live more fully through faith in God. Fireproof was the No. 1 independent film in 2008.