Be A Courageous Parent

I took my oldest daughter to see Courageous, the new {Christian} movie about Biblical fatherhood.

I cried the ugly in the middle of the sold-out theater.

My daughter and I shared popcorn, a coke, and much more. We held hands.

She declared it the best movie she’d ever seen.

The next day, my husband took our 9 year old son on the same date, except they communed over Grape Fanta.

I don’t have verification of real-life man tears, but I saw the lump in his throat, hours after the movie ended.

On the drive home, my hubby asked his only son to give him a parenting grade. (Something I don’t think I’m courageous enough to do).

He stepped out to pump gas and when he opened the car door, my son said, “Well, Dad. I have good news. You passed.”

And then my hubby started worrying.

“I’m going to give you a B-”

And then they talked. Really talked. I think it’s too beautiful to share, too private to disclose, but when they returned, we sat down as a family and talked about the one thing my son pointed out– the one thing we could really work on. It was something he felt like all five us struggle with. He was absolutely right.

I was proud of his courage to tell us. Even more proud of my husband to ask.

We sat around the sofa and joined hands and we each asked God out loud to help make us more like Him.

It was one of those moments I will never forget.

Whether or not you watch the movie, I dare you to ask your kids for a grade. It might just begin a beautiful conversation…

If you’re feeling courageous.


did you see the movie? you must. that part where the dad dances in the field by himself….. I think I even hiccuped-cried.


    • 2.1

      kristen says

      I think yes for a 9 year old. . . not sure about a 7 year old? My youngest is almost 5 and she couldn’t have done it. It’s more than 2 hours and has a couple of intense scenes.

      • 2.1.1

        Janet K says

        My 4&1/2 yr old daughter has seen it and she loved it. Fireproof is her favorite movie of all time. I think it depends on the child. My daughter was a little squirmy because of the length but I asked her about the movie and she apparently was paying close attention. During the movie I whispered in her ear some explanations. It depends on the child.

    • 2.2

      Caren says

      The movie is FANTASTIC and there were some children in the theater with us. I think you just need to honestly question how mature your children are and how Sensitive they are. There is no fowl language or anything like that. But certainly is not appropriate for everyone. My boys, 6 and 8 years old, are not mature enough to handle this movie at this time. If in doubt, find a babysitter, but DONT miss this movie!!

    • 2.4

      Lisa says

      My husband and I saw it first. I will definitely take my 13/almost 14 year old daughter. I will DEFINITELY NOT take my 8/almost 9 year old son.

    • 2.5

      MIchelle says

      we took our 8 and 13 year sons, they have both seen the others movies by Sherwood Church. we also talked about how our family could do things differently and what they could do at their age to be better men standing in this world for the Lord!

  1. 4

    Karen says

    THANKS for sharing. I have wanted to go see it, but after reading your post I have made a ‘family date’. I really appreciate that you did NOT share the conversation, but will just treasure it in your heart! Some things are meant to be that way! Blessings on you and yours as God does His work!

  2. 5


    We just saw it several hours ago! Wow! They presented the Gospel so clearly…it was intense at times, funny, sad…amazing! I am so happy that someone is making movies that have the power to change lives.

  3. 8


    OMG I have never cried so much in a movie and enjoyed it so much. It was funny, sad, intense, and enthralling, and most of all encouraging and edifying all at once. I’m so glad we chose to see it. My husband and I haven’t been on a “date” in almost 6 years (and even this time we took my nursling, but he slept through it) and we got gifted tickets to see this, and I’m so glad we did!

  4. 11


    Our whole family went to see this movie on opening weekend (son is 17 and daughter is 11). I was not concerned about anything inappropriate in the movie for either one of them. I should have brought more kleenex though. :o)This movie did prompt me to write a two page letter to my biological father. He called me a few days later and we did have a good talk. The relationship is in mending mode and I am praying for his salvation. It is wonderful that this church is making movies that prompt us to have great conversations with our families to help us do better with the relationships we have here on earth.

  5. 12

    Nancy says

    LOVED IT!! My husband heard an interview with the producers on the radio and that alone had a profound effect on him. I’m telling everyone I see that every man should see it and every woman who has a husband, son, or father should see it. I guess that pretty much takes care of everybody. Oh, and they should take their kids!

  6. 13


    We saw it TWICE and it was just as good the second go round! The message is soo powerful for everyone…whether you are a parent or a child!! And what a tremendous display of the heart of our Heavenly Father for us as his children.

    And I ugly cried both times…if that makes you feel any better!

  7. 14


    You may feel like you guys have a long way to go, but I want to encourage you that I hope my family is open like yours when my kids are older. Your family is an inspiration to other families, mine specifically, with little children.

    You are a wonderful mom, and your husband is a wonderful dad. The proof is in the pudding… or should I say in your children.

    • 14.1

      kristen says

      girl, I can’t tell you how much your comment means. It’s one thing to present something online, but it’s another for someone in my real life to say these words. I appreciate them. And yes, we have a long way to go, but I thank God for the chance the get it right. xoxo

  8. 15


    Last weekend at the Catfish Festival, my 4 year old daughter asked my husband to dance with her in the middle of the grassy lawn by the courthouse where everyone was seated and no one was dancing. He had that embarrased look and I said, “Remember the movie.” He got up with her and danced till she couldn’t take anymore. It was beautiful. I love that movie.

    • 15.1

      Beth says

      Your comment made me tear up right here at my desk at work! Give your husband and extra hug for his courage in public!

  9. 16

    Heather says

    Saw it Tuesday night with my hubby. Discussed having the girls (9 and 7.5) see it. We will wait until it comes out on video and buy it and watch it with them at home so we can better monitor their responses. My 7.5 year old has a tender heart. She cried for thirty minutes after Soul Surfer. She weeps baby girl tears when she tells me how much she loves me. She’s all heart and all passion.
    The movie is great. Hubby and I talked for hours after. I could see a change in him the next morning. He is a GREAT dad – but he wants to be even BETTER! I love movies that encourage us this way. Hats off to Sherwood Baptist for coming out with another entertaining and challenging movie!

  10. 17


    Saw it last weekend…it was sooooo good! I started crying in the first 5 minutes and rode the roller coaster of laughing and crying for the rest of the movie. We haven’t asked our kids to grade us, but my grown daughters texted my husband after they saw it and thanked him for being courageous…I didn’t get it until I saw the movie.

  11. 19


    it was an ***amazing*** movie! my husband and i went to see it together. my kids are one and two but i pray daily that we are setting a good foundation for them and when they are older that we will be able to have such open conversations … and that i’ll remember to ask them to grade me. thanks for sharing!!!

  12. 20

    Elizabeth says

    I saw it and bawled my eyes out as well. I’m not a parent, but your posts inspire me and give me great ideas for when I AM a parent. I think you and your husband are both very courageous…thanks for being a real live model of what good christian parenting looks like.

  13. 21


    Kristen, that’s beautiful! I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I plan to. I can hardly wait.

    I think that episode with your son is beautiful. The traits of a healthy family are not that we have it all together, but that everyone feels free to tell the truth, and say what they see. When they see something’s wrong, they should be able to talk about it. If they aren’t free to talk about it, because they have to pretend everything’s perfect, then they grow up feeling like their instincts are wrong. They can’t trust what they see.

    Thanks for encouraging us as moms to let our kids tell the truth, even if it stings a bit! It’s so much better for our families. I wrote a column about this a while ago, too!


  14. 22


    Pray for me. I just finally made the decision to go see it this weekend. I may chicken out yet. I nearly passed out watching Fireproof from the ugly-cry. Some things just hit too close to home. I wish they could have done the movie about a carpenter or a plumber.

    Ugh I just talked myself back out of it in that last sentence.

    Seriously, pray for me.

    • 22.1

      Kathryn says

      Darla, There is a carpenter in it. Now go! You won’t regret it one bit. I will pray for you!

      Dear Lord, Please lift Darla up in spirit and give her the strength to accept your will for her. This movie is a blessing for her and I thank you for giving the encouragement and wisdom to the Kendrick brothers in making this powerful statement about fathers. Thank you for all the blessings you have given me.

  15. 23

    Leigh says

    Saw it with hubby last weekend — highly recommend!! Every parent should watch this movie. We didn’t take the kids because we weren’t sure, but now I definitely want all 3 of mine (12, 10 & 10) to see it! Our young families class is going as a group Sunday. Great movie!

  16. 24


    I knew exactly what was going to happen the moment the dad pulled up to that field. I started crying right that second and told my husband I didn’t think I was going to be able to take any more of this movie. It was an excellent movie, though.

  17. 26


    My husband and I saw it together, I swear I cried through 90% of it. Or at least I felt like I had. I knew it would be good as I love love love Fireproof, but hands down this was better.

    What a touching and wonderful idea, our children are to young to see this movie, but I love this idea for when they are a little older. I can (already and still) see how this movie has helped both of us be better parents, and especially how it touched my husbands heart.

    Thanks for sharing.

  18. 28

    Deanna says

    What a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing your life with us, it is inspiring. I love learning from you has we raise our 8 month old daughter.

  19. 30


    I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I just had to say that I admire your family so much. How beautiful that you would turn that moment into an experience all of your kids will remember. Awesome.

  20. 32


    Oh, I want to see it. I think we have to wait until it comes out on DVD (in the middle of our attachment plan with our newest Darling), though. I love that your husband was brave enough to ask the question, and that your son was brave enough to answer the question. That ALONE makes me think you are doing something right. I wonder what our children would say…..definitely something to think about.

  21. 33

    Carolyn says

    I rarely cry in movies…. VERY rarely. Until I saw Courageous. I cried so hard that my eyes were swollen for the next few hours. My son said… You even cried on the parts that weren’t sad! I just couldn’t stop. I am blessed to have a WONDERFUL father who never goes without telling me how beautiful, smart, and precious I am to him. I cannot imagine living life without that. My husband is also an awesome father! It just breaks my heart for children who are missing such an important part in their lives.

  22. 34


    Excellent post. We saw the movie opening night. It has been at the heart of my prayers. To ask my kids for a grade…that is courageous! :) Thank you for this encouragement!

  23. 36

    Emma says

    Wow, that’s an awesome story!

    I went to see this the second night it opened in Saint John, NB.

    I have this whole dancing thing with my dad. Our song is Cinderella by Steven Curtis Chapman so when he didn’t dance with his daughter, I was just mad. and then when he went back and danced alone, I almost had to leave the theatre. My dad was sitting right beside me but, because of the relationship I have with him (very-loving) and our dancing moments, it just really affected me.

    the movie was just so above and beyond the expectations of my parents and I. can’t wait for their next movie 😉

  24. 37


    That’s beautiful. I have seen the movie and I loved it! I don’t think I have the courage to ask the question to my children either. I love them, and they love me, but I think they would give me a not so good grade… They would have lots to tell me that I need to work on… But maybe I should step out on faith and ask anyways. Just to see what they would say. They might surprise me.

  25. 38

    David McCarthy says

    I went to see the movie last Friday, October 14 and was blown away by the message that was delievered. I had hoped and prayed that “Courageous” might have the same impact on families and fatherhood, specifically, that the movie “Fireproof” had on couples in marriages. “Courageous” is a movie that can change the fathers we have become and give those of us a “wakeup call” that many of us needed! We are given, through his glorious graces, beautiful children that look to us for love, guidance but most importnatly, “spiritual direction.” This movie showed me that I can do a much better job as a father, councelor, leader, and guide my two daughters to allow them to become better Christian women. As fathers, it is so important for us to leave a leagcy for our children. I know I can, “and will” do a much better job having my eyes opened through the awesome experience of having witnessed this movie. Oh, and by the way….I too cried like a baby during the scene of the father getting out of the car and dancing in the very same spot his daughter did…….

  26. 39

    Coach Ron says

    Phenomenal movie…you cannot see this movie and NOT be touched!! You cannot see this movie and not be moved!!! You cannot be a parent and not feel there’s more you can do!!! I will see it AGAIN this weekend!!

  27. 41


    Saw the movie last night with my wife. It was awesome! We are a nonprofit organization out of Lake City FL. This is the message I have been spreading for about 6 years. It is the message GOD himself is spreading. Malachi 4:6 says, paraphrased, that in the end times the spirit of Elijah will come and turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children and the hearts of the children back to the fathers. He’s doing it through us. Great website here, come see ours . God is on the move! This movie is a just starting point.

  28. 42


    My wife and I went to see this movie several weeks ago. WOW does not describe the impact it had on us. We both blubbered through a lot of the movie. The movie hit way too close to home for us especially with the loss of the daughter. We lost a daughter to cancer in 2001 and we can still relate to the raw emotions that were portrayed in the movie. Needless to say, I was inspired by the movie. I believe that all men who are husbands or fathers should go view this movie. It would be a good movie to take male friends to. I think that it is a message that all of us husbands and fathers need to hear. I also believe that there should be some sort of follow up within the church via men’s groups that can help men to learn how to be MORE courageous and to be the leaders that GOD has called us to be in our homes.

  29. 43

    Ramona Kelley Bishop says

    Well, here I am again telling the world about this movie. I have written several messages to several different spots about this amazing movie. My daughter and I went to see this movie together on a Mother/daughter date. Something we used to do more often. But, she had another little girl. So, it has been awhile. I had heard about this movie from my favorite band Casting Crowns. They had spoke on it and told they had done the ending song. So, I suggested to my daughter that we go see it. When the movie began to affect us we both thought we could get through it without crying. We swallowed hard a few times. Finally, as we sat close together there in the theater I could feel us getting closer. soon we were both sniffling and wishing we had brought tissue. I found something wipes the nose with. While, I nasty cried and she never said, anything. She was crying too. After the movie we talked. almost immediately. As soon as we walked out of the theater and into the restroom to clear eyes and wash our tear streaked faces. We talked about how good the movie was, how we thought everyone should see it. And, what parts we just couldn’t keep from crying about. Which was a lot of the movie. We left there with something different about us and our closeness. We left with a fuller heart than we came in with. I really want my husband and my son in law to see this movie. I think it is something that if you can sit through t his and not be affected ? Then, you truly have a tough heart . I could see it again and again and I know I would still cry. It’s that good. And, I it’s something special I shared with my daughter. I will never forget <3.

  30. 44

    Jason says

    Saw it twice both times alone, have noone to go with. It showed me alot and I try now to dance or play or do whatever with my daughter whenever she asks if I am able. As far as ages for kids I think it depends on the kids. Some 7 yr olds may get it and not be disturbed some may have issues. Fantastic movie and I may have gotten some dust in my eye a couple times as well, especially the dad dancing with his daughter.

  31. 45


    We took our 12 year old grandson. He enjoyed it very much. Our daughter is a single mom and she took her 10 year old daughter. They loved it! My granddaughter’s comment was ” My Dad needs to see that movie!” I think she is going to ask him for a date to go! It is truly a wonderful family movie! I has so much potential for changing and making families stronger.

  32. 46


    We haven’t seen it yet, but would love to.

    This is the second time I’ve tried to add you to my Google Reader only for Blogger to deny me:(
    Do you have a subscribe by e-mail form anywhere? I didn’t see it!

  33. 47

    Karen says

    I posted earlier about setting up a family date. My husband, 16 yo son and I just got home from our ‘date’. My son declared it one of the best movies he had seen in a long time and has already ‘tweeted’ his friends about it! VERY inspiring and I’m not telling if we shed tears….we will just keep that a family matter! :-) I am now going to encourage my 20 yo and my married 23 yo to go see it!

  34. 48


    I haven’t watched the movie, but I’m reading the book in our men’s bible study at church. It’s very powerful. I can’t wait to watch this with my family. Thank you very much for sharing.

    I wanted to drop a note to you and let you know that I often read your blog and hope there is a post regarding your husband. I truly appreciate that he’s willing to share. There are times that I’ve re-read things that he’s posted that give me hope and inspiration. Thank you very much. It makes me feel like I’m not alone with the struggles that I go through – he’s already been there.

    Thank you

  35. 49

    Sara says

    I absolutely loved this movie! I laughed a lot and I’m pretty sure I cried the entire time. I was holding back sobs at one point! We don’t have children yet, but my husband and I had awesome conversation for hours after seeing this movie. It really impacted me and especially him with thinking about the kind of Dad he wants to be one day. I really think this might be my new favorite movie…so powerful!

  36. 50

    Valerie says

    Thank you for all of your comments! We are planning on seeing Courageous this afternoon and I came here seeking advice on bringing our 9 year old son and 7 year old daughter. After reading all of the comments here, we’ve decided this movie sounds too incredible not to bring our children along! I can’t wait to see it and, more importantly, have my husband and children see it with me! PS: Can I admit that I am crying already just reading all of your wonderful comments about the movie….I can only imagine the hot mess I will be when I’m actually watching the movie!!!!

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