You will find this movie review to be different than those I’ve written in the past. I don’t intend to give extensive details regarding the plot of “Courageous”. What I do intend to do is encourage you to see it. In the theater if possible. Not because the actor’s performances are so riveting or the cinematography so captivating but rather because the Gospel is proclaimed and the message is undeniably important. I wholeheartedly support the message in this film and encourage everyone to do their small part by providing financial support.

Written by brothers Stephen and Alex Kendrick, the same men who brought you “Fireproof”, “Courageous” chronicles the lives of five men, Adam, David, Nathan, Shane and Javier. Four of the five are Sherriff’s in Albany, GA, while one struggles to make ends meet by working mediocre, unreliable jobs. After tragedy befalls one of the family’s the man runs to Scripture to cope. What he finds in God’s Word dramatically revolutionizes his thoughts regarding fatherhood. Through Scripture he feels challenged to be a better father and asks the other four men to hold him accountable. They take it a step farther and join his quest committing themselves to growing in fatherhood and asking for accountability.

In short, I HIGHLY recommend “Courageous”. My personal opinion is that it would make a great date night movie (don’t forget the tissue it’s a tear jerker). Men, prepare to be challenged to evaluate how you are doing as a father and husband. You may find it appropriate to humble yourself and make some changes at home. Guys, if you are single surround yourselves with older, godly men who treat their wives and children as they ought. Study them. Ask them questions. Learn from their examples. Dig into Scripture. What does God say about fatherhood? By God’s grace Grace Christian Fellowship church is crawling with godly men who are exemplary fathers and husbands. Don’t take that gift lightly, but instead take advantage of it and immerse yourselves in their lives. Who knows, they may even find you a wife.

While I have a captive audience I want to honor my own Daddy, Jim Spurgetis. Not only is he my Dad and church elder he has also been my boss for the past four years. As I was crying my way through “Courageous” I was reminded of the immense gift I have been given in the form of my parents. My Dad is the hardest working man I know, and by his example all five of my siblings and I (two boys, four girls) have followed suit. Particularly my two brothers who desire to provide for their families as faithfully as he has for ours. Being a self-employed Attorney he carries a daily burden from the office few can rival but handles the pressure with grace and a ton of prayer. While my parents are now officially empty nesters they have hardly stopped parenting. He continues to work six days a week to provide for those no longer living at home, but still in need of his financial support. Financial support is only one way to be a good father. Every so often my siblings, Mom and I will receive an email or letter from my Dad which contains encouragement, Scripture and more often then not some confession of sin. He has been humbled by the truths he has read in Scripture and cannot keep it to himself. My Dad still takes my sisters and I on dates even though two of us are already college graduates (two are still academically plugging away at their respective Colleges) and all four of us are technically old enough to be married. As a result of this example I know my brothers will treat their daughters with the same care they need and deserve, and my sisters and I will settle for nothing less when choosing a husband. My Dad regularly talks to my brothers though neither one live in Spokane and are busy with their own lives. They call him seeking advice or just to talk sports (quiz him, I dare you to find an athlete or sport he does not know). The point is they love spending time with him and value his opinion and want to know what he would do if he was in their situation. At the same time my Dad chose his wife very wisely. My parents would be the first to admit their thirty-five year marriage has not been perfect, but that means they have tons-o-wisdom ready for the taking. If you ask, they will tell you what they did wrong and what they learned. I could go on and on and on. While all I have said above is true and important the greatest lesson my Dad taught is the Gospel. Every single week night my siblings and I were required to be home for family dinner. If we were invited to a friend’s house we had to call Dad at work to ask his permission. More often then not he said “no”. This response incurred our wrath, but he didn’t care. He cared more about spending time with us and honoring the Lord by leading a family devotion after dinner. My parent’s examples of the importance of spending daily time in Scripture and being involved in a local church has born much fruit. Because of God’s grace and through their examples all six of us are walking with the Lord and are involved in local churches. None of us missed a beat when we left for college. Even though we all endured growing pains when we left home and we sometimes made bad choices and didn’t care about attending church we still went. Why? My parents instilled in us the importance of frequenting a good local church and the Holy Spirit wouldn’t let us forget it. By God’s grace I will one day marry a man who displays the same godly character my Dad has displayed all my life and he will be the kind of Father to my children that my Dad has been to me and my five siblings. I love you Dad (and Mom)!….Stephanie Spurgetis