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Courageous As we try to grapple with issues plaguing our society, many point to the deterioration of the family as one of the primary causes of our struggles.   The “traditional” family is turning into a memory as the divorce rate climbs and marriage rates decline.  Additionally, the ability for parents to accept responsibility for the action of their children has been replaced by blaming teachers, schools, or anyone other than themselves.  This is aptly expressed in a Casting Crowns song aimed at inspiring a resurgence in responsible parenting (particularly fathers):

We were warriors on the front lines
Standing, unafraid
But now we’re watchers on the sidelines
While our families slip away

The song “Courageous”  which became the closing track of the movie with the same title is a commentary on the role that fathers play in families and continues with these lyrics:

Where are you, men of courage?
You were made for so much more
Let the pounding of our hearts cry
We will serve the Lord

The movie plot examines the lives of 5 police officers and the impact of their work on their families. It takes a tragedy in one of the families for the father to challenge his co-workers and friends to take back their families.

We were made to be courageous
And we’re taking back the fight
We were made to be courageous
And it starts with us tonight

The only way we’ll ever stand
Is on our knees with lifted hands
Make us courageous
Lord, make us courageous

Not typical of a Hollywood production, this film is not a feel good presentation.  It deals with difficult issues that  continue to plague us today.  Perhaps the most pressing  theme of this film is the delicate balance between one’s career and one’s family.  Is there room in our lives for both?  Is it possible to perform at work, and still fulfill our parental role raising our children in a way that honors God?  The movie ends with a glimmer of hope, if not for all of us, at least for the characters of the film. If life imitates art, I think there is a valuable lesson that we can learn through this movie, as well as the song.    Our priorities need to be reexamined, as we contemplate how we live out our lives:

This is our resolution
Our answer to the call
We will love our wives and children
We refuse to let them fall

I can only imagine the impact on our society if the above mantra was taken as a pledge by fathers everywhere. The unfortunate result would be less work for prison guards, drug dealers and divorce lawyers, but I think that is a small price to pay.

By Ed Atkinson 3/10/2016

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