The folks who produced the Christian films, “Fireproof” and “Facing the Giants” have produced a new film entitled “Courageous.”  If you haven’t seen it men, I encourage you to go and take your wife with you.  Every father needs to go.  Judy and I have seen it.  It’s about four cops in Albany, Georgia.  They do a great job at protecting and serving the community.  They are courageous and they uphold their duty no matter what.  But at home they are not the fathers they should be.  As fathers, these cops decide to make a change.  They pledge to embrace the principles of biblical fatherhood, and live as courageously at home as they do at work.

The producers of the film emphasize the connection between the failure of the fathers and crime.  “If fathers just did what they were supposed to do,” says one of the cops, “half the junk we face on the streets wouldn’t exist.”  As Charles Colson on his “breakpoint” blog noted in his reveiw of the movie, “Our prison systems are full of people who never had the example of a courageous father – or any father at all.  Over 70 % of long-term prison inmates comes from broken homes, and young men raised in fatherless households are at least twice as likely to be incarcerated as those from intact families.” As Colson goes on to say, “Take it from someone who has witnessed the destruction of failed fathers for over three decades: you’ve got a duty to your children.  And you can change the course of their lives and society.

Casting Crowns has recorded the song “courageous” to go along with the movie.   I have already used it for one of my “Wildman” Saturdays.  I encourage you men to download the song and let it sink into your heart and spirit.  Here are some of the words from the song.  I personally find them convicting as a man and father.  “We were warriors on the front line standing unafraid, but now we’re watchers on the sidelines while our families slip away.”  Wow!  The implications are that the warrior will fight for his family.  The chorus reinforces this truth. “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.”  There you have it men.  It’s time to be a warrior, by starting on your knees at home. 

I want to quote one more phrase from the song. “We will reignite the passion that we buried deep inside.  May the watchers become warriors.  Let the men of God arise.”  I like this phrase.  It speaks right to the heart of the vision of “wildmen.”  A wildman is someone who has allowed himself to get in touch with his real passion for God.  I want to tell you men; it is there within you.  The problem is that we have ignored that deep passion, while fiddling around with lesser passions, that will never give us to energy and desire to serve God.  Listen men, God has put into your heart the desire to be a warrior for him.  He has put deep in you the passion to be their for your family.  He is asking you to stand and be courageous.  As the song says, “In the war of the mind I will take my stand.”

A very effective part of the song is the segment in which you hear the voices of children singing.  Guess what they are singing.  They are singing a paraphrase of Micah 6:8, “And what does the Lord require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with hour God.”  The Message puts it this way. “It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, and don’t take yourself too seriously – take God seriouly.”  I never thought of it as beginning at home.  Yes, God wants us to be warriors and it begins at home.  So let’s be courageous, by doing what is fair and just, while walking humbly with God, not taking ourselves to seriously, but rather taking God call on our life seriously.  Remember, “the only way we’ll ever stand is on our knees with lifted hands.”