The movie Courageous tells the story of four men with one calling: to serve and protect. As confident and focused law enforcement officers, they stand up to the worst the streets have to offer. Yet at the end of the day, they aren't truly prepared to tackle the challenge of fatherhood. When tragedy strikes, these men wrestle with their hopes, their fears, their faith and their fathering.
“I loved being a part of this movie,” says Renee Jewell, who plays Victoria Mitchell, wife of the lead character, Adam. “The experience was eye-opening and faith-building for me. We worked hard to make the movie very real for people. Whether you are a married, never-married or divorced dad, this movie will speak to you.”
Local folks may recognize Jewell’s face on the big screen because she grew up in Hixson and Ooltewah.
A big takeaway for Jewell from the movie was recognizing how much she appreciated her father for being there for her and encouraging her to follow her dream.
“I remembered my dad talking about wanting to be an artist, but he was discouraged from following that path. He ended up going into engineering,” Jewell says. “I loved the arts, especially music. “Knowing the importance of following your passion, my father encouraged me to follow my dream. What he did for me growing up gave me the opportunity to do amazing things including being a part of this movie.”
An overarching message of the movie is that the decisions fathers make today create a legacy one way or the other.
“Something that hit me while we were filming was that for a long time fathers and mothers alike have been checking the boxes – going to church, putting food on the table, going to the soccer game – and assuming that is good enough,” Jewell says. “The reality is that isn’t good enough. We need to be pouring into the hearts of our kids engaging them and building relationship with them. Even when things don’t go the way we anticipated, it doesn’t absolve us of the responsibility of being the parents our children need us to be.”
The movie is full of intense emotion as well as hysterically funny moments. Its message: It takes courage to be the father children need.
A courageous dad:
Invests at least five minutes a day learning how to enhance his fathering skills.
Surrounds himself with other like-minded men.
Prays for his children.
Demonstrates to his kids how a man should treat his wife, and how women should expect men to treat her.
Understands his role in disciplining his children.
Accepts that his wife and children are healthier emotionally, physically and mentally when he is intentionally present, and acts with wisdom and discernment for their greater good.
Teaches his children how to forgive, deal with temptation and to serve.
Stands for what is right even when he is standing alone.
“Every father should go see this movie,” Jewell says. “It’s a life-changer.”