Christian filmmaking duo Alex and Stephen Kendrick have made six films together, starting with “Flywheel” in 2003 and “Facing the Giants” in 2006, to the just released “Overcomer.” And in each of their movies, marriage plays a pivotal role.
The Kendrick brothers are working to portray marriage in a positive light in Hollywood, even as secular society drifts further and further away from the biblical understanding of the religious institution — a sacred union between one man and one woman designed specifically to mimic the Gospel message.
“[God] uses marriage to sharpen us, to mold us, to make us more fruitful, to have families and grow them,” Alex Kendrick told Faithwire during the Dallas premiere of “Overcomer” last week. “So if there is something we can do in our films to encourage marriages to pursue godliness, to pursue God’s definition of love and principles, we will do that.”
He went on to explain the Kendrick Brothers’ films often tackle common relationship issues, particularly between spouses and with fathers struggling to parent and relate to their children.
“Overcomer,” for example, deals with the issue of identity by telling the stories of a handful of small-town families whose lives were unexpectedly turned upside down by a series of unforeseen circumstances.
“We think it would be healthy for [married couples] to know how to encourage and love when identity is maybe not completely figured out,” Alex Kendrick explained. “As it is in this film, most men put their identity in their job, and when that’s stripped from them, they struggle. In this film, that happens, so we show what would a spouse do in that case, how could a spouse encourage, love, and support their mate when they’re struggling with their identity.”
For Stephen Kendrick, he said it’s important to appropriately prioritize our lives by addressing the two most valuable pieces of human existence: our relationships with God and our relationships with others.
If people align their relationships with their families, friends, spouses, and children with biblical principles, he said, “it blesses every other aspect of culture in a lot of ways — it’s built upon it.”
It’s clear, during a time when the institution of marriage is under so much attack, the Kendrick Brothers have really tapped into an important message.
Bible teacher and author Priscilla Shirer, who plays a leading role in the Kendricks’ latest movie, “Overcomer,” which debuts in theaters nationwide Aug. 23, told Faithwire it’s “critical” to shine a light on the value of marriage, noting she still receives message from couples whose marriages were restored after seeing the 2015 film “War Room,” in which Shirer played the main character.
“I think God is using it — in fact, I know he is, because, still to this day, we get letters and emails and comments from people who gave their marriages a second go simply because they saw ‘War Room’ and realized they hadn’t considered prayer, they hadn’t done that,” she said. “So literally, we’ve gotten testimonies from people whose marriages are still intact because of that.”
Shirer went on to explain it’s important to give representation in entertainment to “healthy marriages,” which she differentiated from “perfect marriages” — relationships that don’t actually exist. She said it’s important to show the “peaks and valleys” of marriage.
“All marriages need assistance, they need God’s help,” Shirer said, adding the “bedrock” of our society “is a strong family.”
The new movie “Overcomer” is in theaters now. For more information about the faith-based film, click here.