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Wade Heath I am recommending a movie that might change your life

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Wade Heath

Posted: Tuesday, October 4, 2011 12:00 am

As a country, we've changed a lot over time. Gone are the days of the traditional four-member family where dad provided, mom supported, and Beaver and Wally learned valuable lessons by the end of the episode. Present are the days of singleor divorced-parent homes where the parent works overtime just to survive and junior is off teaching himself because there is no one there for him.

Are you the sole provider and authority in your family? Are you fortunate enough to be married and share responsibility for your family and home?

Answer me this: Are you the type of parent you WANT to be? Or are you just good enough; just getting by?

Our society is full of young men and women who have grown up without one or both parents, and have suffered because of it. A generation full of entitlement, selfishness and self-centeredness. One could attribute soaring divorce rates of the last decade to such attitudes.

Attitudes that merely say, "I'm bored" or "I give up, this is too hard." Websites like Ashley Madison exist for the sole purpose of infidelity, because "life is short" and you are worth it.

Idea! Stop thinking about yourself for one second and start thinking about honor. You are certainly allowed to live in a cloud of self-pity or destructiveness, but is that really your purpose on this earth?

Are you courageous enough to change?

I try to leave the movie reviews to Lodi Living's Jason Wallis, but one flick recently moved me unlike any I've seen — ever.

The movie "Courageous" showcases a group of men who work as a platoon of sheriff's deputies in rural Georgia. Each of these men are going through the motions of life, doing what they need to do to raise their kids, get by or run from their real problems.

An unfortunate tragedy awakens the fellas like never before, causing one of the men to turn to the Bible and his pastor to decipher what it is that God expects of him as a man and more importantly, as a father.

Through his soul-searching and scripture research, the deputy decides to draft a resolution of standards he will hold himself to. Sharing the resolution with his pals, each of them are overcome by the power of it and also want to take part.

In a beautiful ceremony suggested by one of their wives, the men are joined by their kids and spouses to pledge to one another, God and their families to honor them, teach them, instill in them principles and respect, and swear their unyielding devotion. They choose to raise their own standards of parenting and, as admitted by one of the men from the film, "... finish well" — even though many of them didn't start well.

This movie, more than anything, exposes how we as humans tend to invest time, effort and money into hobbies and superficial causes when the most important thing we should be contributing to and investing in are our children and family.

We will waste hours on Facebook playing "Farmville" or give hundreds of dollars to a spa for an hour or two of pampering, but we neglect to treasure the time we spend with loved ones, we neglect to realize that we are always pouring fresh influence on their souls.

There is a moment in the movie where one of the fathers is conflicted over whether or not he should turn in someone close to him for illegal misconduct. His wife asks him what he is going to do just as their son is shown standing nearby in the hallway, unbeknownst to them.

Children are always listening, always watching, always waiting to learn from their parents even when you think they aren't around. It's why integrity is monumental.

The father does the right thing and turns in the wrongdoer.

The resolution the men make isn't without conflict. To the contrary, each of them is challenged in a very real way, and not all of them live up to their new set of standards. Demons still exist.

Being engaged with a purpose in your family, rising up, leading and being responsible for your kids, spouse and home is the refreshing message behind this movie.

Rise with wisdom. Rise with conviction. Rise with strength. Rise with courage to be the parent and provider that lays the foundation of the next generation. Honor starts at home; one child at a time.

So where are you, parents of courage? As proclaimed in the film: "Every father (and mother) should step up and answer the call. To say 'I will!'"

Change your family forever. Challenge yourself. See "Courageous," now in theaters.

Columnist Wade Heath was raised in Lodi and graduated from Lodi High. He is editor of and can be reached at

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