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 ;)