September 9, 2012
Life can be easily likened to a boxing match. I’m sure we would all agree. We have an opponent, which in life are the problems and challenges we encounter day by day. Left hook, right jab, straight, we have to defend and counter-punch. Jab, jab, straight. End of Round 1. We seem to be winning, but the next round, it might be a different story. We sweat, we get hit and bloodied. We fall down and cry. We continue to fight, hoping to come out victorious in the end.
Our challenges in life are physical, emotional and yes also spiritual. There is as the Bible says, a spiritual warfare going on around us. We do not exactly see what is happening; nevertheless we are part of it. Whether in the emotional or spiritual sense, we have battles to deal with. Some are easier to fight, while others are ongoing wars that we have yet to overcome. Nonetheless, all of which requires courage in God in order to win.
The film Courageous places its protagonists in their own conflicts, and shows how each of them responds. Their circumstances cater to the broad audience who may have experienced the same scenario or something similar. With each trial, there’s a lesson to be learned that we can take away.
The story revolves around the life of Adam, who is a local police officer and married to Victoria. They have two young children, Emily and Dylan. At the start of the film, Adam seems like a good father. He provides well for his wife and children, although a little favoritism is shown to her daughter. Things then take a sudden turn when Emily gets into a car accident and passes away. This grueling turn of events leaves Adam struggling with the loss and managing his family.
The death of Emily certainly wasn’t easy for Adam. However, throughout this time of pain and trial, he continued to persevere by sticking with his family and his faith. No matter how painful the loss was, he fought persistently and never turned his back on God. Instead, he made an effort to become closer to God by studying His word especially on how to become a good husband to Victoria and father to Dylan. This point in the film teaches us to remain firm in our faith, even if we have lost a loved one. God uses the painful experiences in our lives for something positive. Indeed, the tragedy on Adam’s family opened the doors to a radical change in Adam’s life and those around him.
By reading the Bible, Adam was inspired to do more for his family. He drafted a resolution to symbolize his commitment in living his life as a follower of Christ, husband and father. He wanted to start the change with himself, but also have that ripples of effect to others. As a start, he challenged his fellow officers to join him in pledging to his resolution. At this instance, we see the importance of fellowship and accountability. Adam is asking to be accountable for his actions to his fellow officers and vice versa. Just like in reality, we are not alone in this journey of faith. Whether they’re church mates, family members, or college friends, we have fellow believers in Christ to encourage and help us along the way.
Sustaining the effect of their resolution, Nathan, a fellow officer of Adam, strengthened his conviction as a leader of his family. Although he was already a believer, he affirmed his role to protect and guide her daughter to pick the right partner in life. Additionally, even though it was hard, he was able to forgive for his father who wasn’t there for him. He kept the pain and anger for so long, but it was time for him to let go. In order to move forward, we need to let go of all the clutter and unresolved baggage. We have to learn to forgive others and ourselves of the mistakes we’ve done, just as Christ forgave us.
Unfortunately, not all of Adam’s friends were successfully influenced by his resolution. Involved in handling of evidences, Shane was tempted to keep the drugs that were confiscated. His decision to give in ultimately shifted his life for the worse and led to his imprisonment. This illustrates that all of our actions have consequences. We have to learn to look at the path we are taking. Sometimes, the right path is the harder one to take, and the wrong one seems to be more pleasant. Nevertheless, judgment will come, whether it’s from the authorities or from God. We need to learn to make the right decisions to steer our lives to the path that God wants us to take.
Overall, the film is successful in sharing to us the difficult situations that we might be experiencing in our respective lives. Similar to what we experience in reality, these challenges are not depicted as easy and one-sided winnable situations. However, we are to realize that those challenging obstacles can still be hurdled over as long as we have the right devotion towards God. Our first step should be is to find comfort and courage in God. Despite the blows of life, the film teaches us to be strong and firm in our faith. Surely, the difficulties will come, but how we react to them differentiates a courageous believer. We are not alone in our battles. We have our Almighty Father who teaches and guides our action to the right path. Also, we have fellow believers who we should make accountable to our actions. Coming to the battle, we shouldn’t be empty-handed, but we need to be equipped with every armor and weapon.
Courageous ends with a challenge for the church members of Adam, particularly for those fathers and males in the congregation. This is also the same challenge posed to the viewers of the film. Will you serve as a spiritual leader to your family? Will you be faithful to your wife? Will you love and serve God? Will you serve your church and others? Adam’s resolution is found below. Will you accept the challenge?
I do solemnly resolve before God to take full responsibility for myself, my wife, and my children.
- I WILL love them, protect them, serve them, and teach them the Word of God as the spiritual leader of my home.
- I WILL be faithful to my wife, to love and honor her, and be willing to lay down my life for her as Jesus Christ did for me.
- I WILL bless my children and teach them to love God with all of their hearts, all of their minds, and all of their strength.
- I WILL train them to honor authority and live responsibly.
- I WILL confront evil, pursue justice, and love mercy.
- I WILL pray for others and treat them with kindness, respect, and compassion.
- I WILL work diligently to provide for the needs of my family.
- I WILL forgive those who have wronged me and reconcile with those I have wronged.
- I WILL learn from my mistakes, repent of my sins, and walk with integrity as a man answerable to God.
- I WILL seek to honor God, be faithful to His church, obey His Word, and do His will.
- I WILL courageously work with the strength God provides to fulfill this resolution for the rest of my life and for His glory.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15)