The movie Courageous is about four men who work together as police officers. When a crisis happens in one officer’s family, he realizes he hasn’t been the father he wished he had. He begins studying his Bible, searching for answers, and shares his findings with his fellow officers. Together, they make a resolution to be godly men, fathers, and husbands. The last half of the movie is about their successes and failures to uphold this resolution and the results of their actions in their community.
“Dads used to be very intentional about fathering their children. They knew how pivotal their influence was. But because so many fathers today don’t know who they are or what they are doing, they end up doing very little. And because they are not training their sons how to be responsible men, the culture is stepping in and subtly emasculating them.”
Or not so subtly emasculating them. I’ve talked about being shocked at how negatively the dad is portrayed in the Berenstain Bears, even though the author explains Papa Bear is based on himself. Try to think of the last movie or TV show in which there was a strong father figure. (Thor actually jumps to mind—the father wasn’t afraid to discipline his son because he knew Thor needed it.) Advertising is having a heyday with men, painting men as idiots who don’t pick the right products while their women are clearly smarter and better informed.
The Resolution for Men issues a much-needed challenge to fathers and husbands—and even to single men preparing for these roles in their future—to be the men that God is calling them to be, to make a difference first in their families, then in their communities. As I read this book, I thought not only of the men in the movie but also the men in my life who lived by the principles outlined in the resolution. My dad often took me out for dinner, as Nathan takes his daughter Jade out in Courageous, to show me how a man should treat me. He opened doors for me and encouraged me to set high standards for the man I would eventually date. (My husband was one of few men at the small university I attended who actually opened a door for me or let me go through first.)
Moms also play an important role in the Courageous movie, but as Alcorn and the Kendricks point out, “Whereas moms are priceless, irreplaceable, and needed beyond measure, they were never designed to be men or to fill the role of a dad.” God created men and women to be men and women—each of us equal, yet given different roles and responsibilities. Thus this is a Resolution for Men—a challenge just to the men, based on Biblical principles. Each chapter uses Scriptures, research, and examples of fathers from history to encourage and inspire men to make a differences in their families.
January is traditionally a time for making resolutions. This year, these two books—The Resolution for Men and The Resolution for Women—offer not only a list of resolutions, but also the encouragement and inspiration to aspire to and achieve those resolutions. Grab a book, invite some close friends to read it with you, and may 2012 be the year that we make a difference in our families and our world.
“The seed that fell on good soil are those who hear the word and commit themselves to it with a good and upright heart. Through their resolve, they bear fruit.” ~ Luke 8:15 CEB
Can you think of men in your life—dad, uncle, even a friend’s father—who made the sort of influence in your life described in Courageous or The Resolution for Men?
Book has been provided courtesy of David C Cook and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from B&H Publishing Group. This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.