By Leo Hellyer
In our society right now, there are many issues that many of us feel need to be fixed. As we look around us, we see many courageous people: firefighters, law enforcement, paramedics, military, medical professionals, etc. All of these people are great people, and we need them in our midst. There is another group of people who we need as well, and maybe ever more so, and that is courageous fathers.
Many of the issues or problems in society can be traced back to a lack of courageous, God-fearing, present, loving fathers in children’s lives.
I recently had the privilege of watching the 10-year legacy version of the movie Courageous in an actual movie theater – what a blessing. The original movie and this follow-up are not your average movies. Expect to be moved, challenged, and motivated if you block out all of the external distractions that are in your life for a couple of hours.
There is one Bible verse that is central throughout the movie and that is Joshua 24:15: “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” This movie addresses many of the types of challenges that men face every day as we strive to be honorable men of God. Men, we need to be aware that as we take a stand for God, His adversary, Satan himself, will do everything he can to get us off course. As we live life, we must keep our eyes and our hearts upon God and His will for us.
This movie was put together by a group of mainly volunteers from a small town in Georgia named Albany. A group of churches in the area got together and bathed the entire project in prayer daily. Many of those involved went through personal challenges of all sorts, but they kept the faith and pressed on. This movie reflects real life.
Our society as a whole lifts up many sports figures, politicians, and business leaders as heroes. But real heroes are men who crawl through the trenches of life serving others, leading others, and protecting others, because it is the right thing to do, not because they will get something out of it themselves. There are many memorable quotes from the heroic men in this movie. Here are just a couple:
Nathan Hayes: “You know, if fathers just did what they’re supposed to do, half of the junk that we face on the streets wouldn’t exist.”
Adam Mitchell: “So where are you men of courage? Where are you fathers who fear the Lord? It’s time to rise up and answer the call that God has given you and say I will.”
Many times when men go to a movie, we want to detach from the world around us. Courageous and Courageous Legacy grab us, shake us up, and show us how to lead, protect and serve in the world we live in. Real men don’t run from the tough things of life, they face them head on with strength, power, dedication, and faith. Real men are not passive, they take action.
Real men of God, who go to church on Sunday, know in their heart that church isn’t about a building. Real “church” is about what the people who come into the building on Sunday “do” with their lives the rest of the week. In the Bible, Peter gives much guidance on shepherding God’s flock. In 1 Peter 3:15-16a we read: “…but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, ready at any time to give a defense to anyone who asks for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do this with gentleness and respect keeping a clear conscience…”
The key to being a man of courage, a hero to our community, our church, our wife, and our children is that we must be present. We must be present physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We need men who are eager to seek out godly guidance and direction. We also need men who are willing to mentor the young people who are following up behind us. All of us need to continually be growing in our walk with the Lord.
There are many men’s growth groups available, as well as dynamic men’s groups in individual churches. We cannot live completely independent of other men in our lives. There are men of all ages, wishing and praying for a man to come into their lives who will pour into them how to become a hero of the faith. Our wives, children, community and nation need men of God to step up and be the men that God intended us to be.
There are many Bible studies available that are very good for men at any position they are at on their journey with the Lord. I personally recommend Conquer Series by Dr. Ted Roberts, Stepping Up by Dennis Rainey, Men’s Fraternity by Dr. Robert Lewis and Honor Begins at Home: The Courageous Bible Study by Alex Kendrick, Michael Catt, and Stephen Kendrick.
Get with other men who are diligently searching for the answers to the questions that they have about living life as men who honor God in all things. If your church doesn’t have a solid men’s group, talk with your pastor. You can be the catalyst of a movement of ‘Tier One Men’ within your church, men who have each other’s backs, and who enter into battle to save the lives of the people they care the most about. God will richly bless your efforts!
Leo Hellyer is a non-staff pastor with a local church and has been married to his wife Norma for more than 45 years. The couple volunteered with the Boise FamilyLife Ministry Team for 20 years. Leo has also been serving with Boise Rescue Mission Ministries for 20 years and is currently serving at the River of Life Rescue Mission. He is president and chief firearms instructor with Helping Hands Firearms Training LLC. If you have questions about Real Man’s Toolbox, or need other assistance, Leo may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 208-340-5544.