If you’re familiar with the Kendrick brothers, then you may already know that one of their most recent movies – Show Me the Father – is a must-watch. From Overcomer and Facing the Giants to War Room and Courageous, these brothers know how to harness the ability to relate to people, no matter where they are in life. I’m so blessed to be able to provide a movie review of their newest release, Show Me the Father.
Show Me the Father: A Movie Review
One of My Favorite Movies
When I first heard talk of a documentary from the Kendrick brothers earlier this summer, I was immediately curious. But while I do tend to love anything “real,” I was also a bit skeptical that it could live up to the Kendrick movies I’m acquainted with.
I was wrong. So very wrong!
After having the privilege to preview it at the Christian Worldview Film Festival (CWVFF) in August, I immediately concluded that it was one of my favorite Kendrick movies!
The documentary is broken down into seven sections (“A Father’s Impact,” “A Father’s Brokenness,” “A Father Figure,” “A Father’s Responsibility,” “A Father’s Redemption,” “A Father’s Assurance,” and “A Father’s Blessing”) and each powerful section explores different aspects of fatherhood through both heartwarming and heartbreaking stories as examples. The movie explores the role of a father in showing us a glimpse of our Heavenly Father, and also addresses God’s grace working in the lives of those who had imperfect or even absent fathers.
Show Me the Father has wide appeal, but may not be as compelling to younger audiences. That being said, I have always believed that a movie, book, sermon, etc. with spiritual value and not too “mature” of a topic could be beneficial for younger children.
I can remember many times hearing nuggets of wisdom and spiritual teaching that went over my head. But, it still stuck with me. This is usually because of the very fact that I couldn’t quite grasp it but wanted to. Years later, I would suddenly have an epiphany when life overlapped with some bit of mysterious teaching I had stored away in my brain from childhood.
My recommendation for this movie would be ages 10 and up, but watch it first to make sure you agree. There is nothing overtly uncomfortable, but there are some sensitive topics (physical abuse, alcoholism, abandonment, etc.). You will need to decide whether or not you are ready to have certain discussions with your children.
What We Liked
Obviously, we need to always check everything against Scripture. However, one thing I have always loved about the Kendrick’s movies is that I can trust them to be biblically solid. I love that their movies are born through prayer and asking God what to do, rather than relying on their own wisdom and cleverness. Like they said at the CWVFF, referring to their blockbuster movie, War Room: “Who does a movie about an elderly woman’s prayer closet? We thought we were crazy, but that’s what God told us to do!”
Addresses an Often-Overlooked Foundational Truth
We all know that God is our “Abba Father,” our “Daddy,” but in many Christian circles, this key truth is not emphasized as it should be. When we understand what a good earthy daddy looks like, then we can transfer that knowledge to our image of our Heavenly Father. He is not distant or angry. He is not harsh or cruel. He delights in us! I love that Show Me the Father gets this point across in such a vivid, moving way.
More than “Talking Heads”
So many documentaries are filled with “talking head” style interviews, giving them a reputation for being dry and boring. There were plenty of video clips and reenacted scenes to keep the movie flowing.
I can’t say much more than this. But by the end of the movie, I wanted to stand up and cheer, “Yaaay, God!!” Only God can write a real-life story that is so much better than any fictional movie the Kendricks or anyone else could write.
What We Didn’t Like
It seems that every Kendrick movie has to include sports of some kind. Ha! I don’t suppose it’s really any big deal, but we are not much of a sports family, so we don’t always connect as closely with the sports stories. That being said, the key story in Show Me the Father transcends the topic of sports, though football sets the stage.
Here are a few ideas that will help you incorporate a little lifeschooling after the movie.
The Father Heart of God
This is the perfect movie for starting a study on the fatherhood of God and how we relate to Him. There is much here that you can use for launching into spiritual discussions with your children!
I really loved how personal the Kendrick’s made this documentary. They shared Stephen and Jill Kendrick’s own adoption story about their daughter, Mia. It’s one more incredible God-story included in this movie! And it gives parents a great place to discuss adoption and perhaps even do some research about the topic. I remember doing a research paper on adoption when I was in high school. It was interesting to learn about the process and it gave me more of a heart for adoption.
Well, if there’s going to be sports again, then I suppose we can learn about it, right? 😉 Your kids may want to learn the history of some of the teams mentioned. Or, if they have little idea about the rules of football, then this might give them a bit of curiosity to learn.
Godly Character Traits
As with any movie, there are opportunities to discuss different character traits demonstrated in some of the people interviewed or featured. One idea I had is to make a chart with character traits of a godly father on one side (which would be the same as our Heavenly Father). Then, the opposite traits on the other side, showing what an ungodly father looks like.
This can be a real challenge to us as parents! Fathers, are you demonstrating the nature of your Heavenly Father? Or are you an ungodly example to your children? Teach your children to pray for their father to be a good example and to forgive him when he fails.
Show Me the Father is already impacting many lives. It’s giving people who were hurt by their fathers as children a chance to forgive and heal. I have heard some amazing stories! It is a movie I will be recommending often in the future, especially to anyone who has struggled with their relationship with their father. Every Christian needs to hear this message and understand God’s fatherly love for us!