Yes, you should go see the movie Courageous this weekend and take your wife or husband, your children's father or mother and your kids and then talk about it. The topic: fatherhood and fatherlessness.
On the surface that may sound plenty boring compared to watching something where cars get blown-up or where there are writhing bodies filled with enthusiastic and explicit lust. But, this movie tackles one of the most important topics in our contemporary culture. The role of fathers has been allowed to languish on the altar of cultural change and we are paying a stiff price for it.
The movie focuses on four fathers who are all cops and a young Hispanic handyman type. There are three guys, one divorced and with a son, one unmarried and with a daughter he never met, one more traditional family type who wrestled with connecting with his teenage son and who adored his nine-year-old daughter. The black cop never knew his dad but was married and had a teenage daughter.
In their individual families, they were struggling with being fathers and holding demanding jobs. They had to deal with young thugs in a gang that served as a major distributor of dope.
One obstacle for many to getting into this film is its inclusion of open, out-of-the-closet Christianity and male characters who read the Bible and who tried to gain a connection to God through it.
But in this period of our culture where inclusion is the buzzword, this is just part of a very legitimate story. Film viewers need to process the importance of this for themselves. The main issue is fathers.
Do they play a unique role in their children's lives? Do they add something to their kids that can't be given by moms? Are today's dads fulfilling their responsibilities? Do they know what those responsibilities are?
These are issues which need to take center stage in churches, in bars, at the workplace and in sports stadiums.
As fans get-together tonight and throughout the coming days for baseball playoffs and the World Series, they need to open the door for the fatherhood issue.
Courageous is a movie worth seeing and talking about. It's a good story and its told in an entertaining way and for kids who are suffering from some form of fatherlessness, it's vital.
Go see it.