Movie Review: Courageous

    There’s been a lot of hype about the movie Courageous, especially in the home-schooling Christian community. I’ve heard nothing but positive reviews on Christian blogs and websites. However, I can’t really say that I share the same enthusiasm. For one thing, I have never seen a Christian movie that doesn’t make me cringe. I guess it’s just really hard to make a movie with Christian themes that isn’t extremely cheesy and cliche. It makes me sad that it’s that way, but the Christian life is rarely full of Hollywood moments, and I just don’t think that anyone has mixed the two successfully. To tell the truth though, that’s not the main problem I have with Courageous. I can see past the cheesiness, but what I can’t excuse are the pervading themes in Courageous that I find very wrong and disturbing.
    One thing I really noticed is that Courageous seems to only focus on what we do, and not what God does. One of the main parts of the plot involved the fathers signing a resolution to be godly men and fathers. Although the idea does seem courageous and glorious, I don’t think that’s how God wants us to honor him. For one thing, it’s an impossibility for people to be godly. That’s the whole point of the gospel. We can’t do it on our own. To sign a resolution stating that we will be godly is prideful and foolish. It doesn’t leave room for failure, and it doesn’t leave room for God to work in our lives. I am not saying that men shouldn’t aspire to be godly fathers. I’m not even saying that they shouldn’t resolve in their heart to be good fathers. But this whole “resolution signing” thing doesn’t really seem to include God. The last words of the movie were these: “I will! I will! I will!” Say what? God will. God will help you be a godly father, and God will give you the strength you need. In the end, I didn’t feel like Courageous had a message that was any different from the typical Disney moral.
    The scene I found most disturbing however, was the scene that took place between Jade and her father. Jade was fifteen, and she was very interested in dating. However, Jade’s parents took dating very seriously and wanted her to wait until she was old enough to get married. To communicate this idea to her, Jade’s father took her out to a fancy restaurant and asked her to give him her heart. He promised to protect her heart until the day she married, at which point he would give her heart to her husband. When Jade’s eyes filled with tears and she promised to let him take care of her heart, her father gave her a diamond ring to wear on her ring finger until the day it was replaced with her wedding ring.
    Now unfortunately, this bit about giving your heart to your father is an idea that many home-schoolers are familiar with, and it’s a doctrine that has become very prevalent among Christian home-schoolers. However, it is not something that we should see as normal, or something that we should be okay with. Girls, your heart does not belong to your father or your future husband. It belongs to you and Jesus. You don’t need to wear your daddy’s ring until your wedding. Frankly, the idea is creepy. Your dad should have a place in your heart, and I think that God does want us to care about the things our parents tell us. I also think that God wants our fathers to be there for us, and I think he wants them to be concerned about our hearts. But ultimately, it is our heart. Our father cannot make the decisions for us, and he cannot protect our heart. Our heart belongs to us, and we need to give it to God, not our earthly father. In conclusion, it’s borderline sacrilege for a father to ask his daughter for his heart. The idea is absolute garbage, and it leads to some very scary doctrines and practices.        
    Courageous was not all bad, and it is right about one thing: our country does not have many godly fathers, and that can cause huge problems. However, I disagree with the way the fathers of Courageous chose to deal with that problem. Signing a resolution does not make men godly fathers. Giving your heart to your father does not protect you from heartache. He can’t put your heart in the right place. Only God can do that.

P.S. If your parents don't like a guy, he's probably a gang member. Jk. But that part did work out nice for the parents ;)


  1. Although i have not seen the movie {nor do i plan on seeing it}. i do agree with you. Not about the movie, because like you know, i never judge a movie before i've seen it. But i agree with what you pointed out about a daughter giving their heart to their father. This has always creeped me out VERY much. i've heard about it my whole life {not from my parents, haha} but its hard to have not heard of this idea when your a homeschooler. :ppp
    But anyway, i completely agree with you, our hearts should be given to God. Giving it to your earthly father does in NO way keep you from heartache. so yeah, that whole idea is unhealthy i think.
    this is a lengthy comment. :D

  2. Hm, I never heard of that movie, but this review is lovely. The message of the movie is so clear and thank you for sharing that with us. And yes, only God can do great, extraordinary things. xx

  3. My friend just told me about this movie and I'm going to see it sometime. My friend said it was...okay. She wasn't particularly thriled with it either. But you nailed it when you said most Christian movies end up cliche and cheesy. It's sad. But so true.

    This is a really good review. I loved your opinion of the movie, and now I'm definately going to watch it and see what I think.

  4. Interesting review. My mom and I are discussing it right now, lots of things to think about.
    I agree with the will thing. Many people think it's THEIR will, but it isn't. Also, there is a specific place in the new testament that says "Don't swear by heaven, for it is God's throne, nor by earth, for it is his footstool. For you cannot change the hairs on your head white or black." Something along those lines. I'm paraphrasing. So the oath thing sounds weird to me.
    Haven't seen the movie, so I can't really say.

    Hey, you had some guts, girl. I'd prefer to see Courageous make money instead of Twiblight, so I pretty much shut up about them. However, just because something is stalker/perv vampire free and has some Bible verses, that doesn't mean we should condone everything it says

    1. Ah, yes. My Dad was talking about that verse, but I couldn't remember where to find it . . .

      And thank you. Thank you very much, that's quite encouraging :) I have to admit that I wasn't overly excited about posting this.

  5. To be quite honest, this is the first review I've read that includes some negative aspects (or maybe I just haven't read a lot of reviews...). Thanks for writing it, though! It definitely gave me a new perspective on Courageous. I never realized how the men WERE saying, "I will" instead of "God will" and how the scene with the daughter was focused on her giving her heart to her dad instead of to Jesus. Thanks so much for writing this! Although I still love Courageous, it reminded me that not every movie that focuses on Christians and has some good lessons is one that we should follow (as said in the above comment ^).

  6. Thanks so much to everyone who commented =) I was kind of worried about coming off as overly harsh, but I'm glad that it gave everyone something to think about. Thinking is good =)
    It's hard for me, because Courageous does have some things right. Modern families ARE a mess. But at the same time, I don't think that Courageous presents the best solution.