I had the honor of being able to see an advanced copy of Focus on the Family’s documentary called Irreplaceable. I was immediately captured by the premise of the film – finding out what’s wrong with the family today. As a parent to four children, I see family as vitally important to today’s society and the plight of the family as one of the most unrecognized problems in today’s culture.
The film follows Tim Sisarich, the Executive Director of Focus on the Family New Zealand, as he goes on a worldwide quest to find out what’s wrong with the family. He starts his quest at the beginning, the foundation of what family really is and what it means to society.
Sisarich interviews several experts in his search for answers on the foundation of the family and its value, but his interview with Eric Metaxas stood out most to me. The statement that impacted me the most was when Metaxas said,
“If you care about the state, if you care about the culture, the civilization, if you care about the nation, you must put the family first. If you put the family first the nation will be blessed. If you put the nation or the state first you destroy the family and ultimately also destroy the state because you cannot have a state for very long if you destroy the building blocks of the family”.
Those words literally stopped me cold because they are so true yet so ignored. As a nation, even as conservatives, we focus so much on what’s going on outside of the home that many times we ignore the most vital function of any nation – the family.
After finding out why family is so vital to a nation, Sisarich then decided to see why the family has become so devalued. So he looked at four issues affecting families today.
- The devaluation of sex.
- The devaluation of marriage.
- The devaluation of parenthood.
- The devaluation of children.
Each devaluation leads to the next devaluation. Devaluing sex leads to devaluing marriage, devaluing marriage leads to devaluing parenthood, and devaluing parenthood leads to devaluing children.
He then looks at the vital role fathers play in the equation of healthy families. With each statistic he provides, it becomes more and more clear how detrimental it is to the family structure to have the father missing; 71% of high school dropouts come from fatherless homes, 71% of teen pregnancies, 85% of children with behavioral disorders, 90% of homeless and runaway children, 63% of youth suicides, and 85% of youth in prison…..all from fatherless homes.
After interviewing expert after expert on issues affecting families, Sisarich then decides to talk to people who have walked the walked and struggled through some of the hardest issues that families face.
Each interview Sisarich conducts gives the viewer a deeper insight into why the family faces such a hard struggle in the modern world. However, for all the answers as to why the family is struggling, a deeper and more startling realization starts to come into focus as the film draws to a conclusion.
This documentary is one of the best I have seen in a long time. It is full of interviews with some of the brightest minds studying the family structure as well as interviews with real people facing real life problems. The film personally answered many questions that I had and reaffirmed many of my current beliefs regarding the struggle the traditional family faces today.
I would highly recommend this film to anyone who wants to gain a better understanding of family today, why the family is under attack, and why traditional nuclear families are still vitally important to our societal structure.
Irreplaceable arrives in theaters nationwide on May 6 for a one night only showing.
This film is rated PG-13 and contains some content that may not be appropriate for younger viewers.