If you look at additional poverty, education and substance abuse levels, you will see a scary correlation between a lack of fathers and social ills. Fatherless children constitute:
-71% of pregnant teens
-63% of youth suicides
-71% of high school drop outs
– children are twice as likely to be in prison
-4 times as likely to need emotional or behavioral help.
And that’s just the tip of iceberg.
Life happens, and it can get messy. Dads can’t always live with their kids. Sometimes those who do live with their kids get distracted or distant. But I truly believe that sincere dads (and moms!) everywhere can find ways to be involved in their children’s lives and increase their chances of living happy, productive lives. We can all up our game a little.
That is why I love the movie Courageous. This Christian film shows four policemen taking the responsibility of taking care of their children seriously. It shows people who mess up. It shows them try to make up for their mistakes, it also shows them being proactive to avoid other pitfalls. But this movie is more than preaching. Car chases, shoot outs, running jokes, and a tragedy that will make you cry but leave you feeling inspired, this movie is a great one for older families to watch together.
This is not just a movie for dads. It is a movie for sons: if they don’t have a great male role model in their lives, this movie can show them how to step up to the plate. If they do have a great role model, this is an easy way to reinforce how important dads are. It is also for daughters: it creates a model of what they want their future husbands and the fathers of their children to be like. It also teaches that girls should expect to be treated with respect.
No matter your situation, this is a movie that will leave you feeling inspired to live up to your best and accept personal responsibility for your actions.
-How did having a group of friends that he shared his goals with and was accountable to, help Adam?
-How can you reach someone that you might not have the best relationship with? (Ex: Adam starts running with his son.)
-What is self-justification? Did you see it used in the movie?
-How can we feel the urgency to change without needing a tragedy?
-It is super easy to get distracted from our goals. Adam was distracted around his children early in the movie and Shane became distracted from his commitment. How can we remember our goals and the bigger picture in daily life?
-What examples did their children see and what will the children remember as they grow?
-Why do some people join gangs?
-Are there some things you just won’t do? Why?
Community Question: What is your favorite memory of your dad?
*facts and additional information can be found here.