With movies like Noah, Heaven is Real and God is Not Dead hitting it big at the box office, it's an exciting time for faith-based films. We explore eight spiritually-charged movies ideal for enjoying with your little loves.
Photo credit: Image Studios/UpperCut Images/Getty Images

Soul Surfer

The true story of surfer girl Bethany Hamilton, who lost her arm in a shark attack while surfing, Soul Surfer is one of those movies that you could watch a hundred times and never get tired of — the story is beautiful; the videography is beautiful; the acting is beautiful. The film is a fitting nod to a young girl who relied on faith to fight seemingly insurmountable odds and, ultimately, overcome them and touch millions in the process.

Courageous

Courageous was a success with Christians and beyond when it hit theaters in 2011, grossing more than $9 million its opening weekend. The film, which tells the story of four police officers struggling with their faith as well as their roles in their families, keeps audiences riveted from the start with an impressive opening action scene. A smart balance of poignant and funny, Courageous stares down the struggles we all face when tragedy strikes and our faith is tested.

Fireproof

Although Fireproof was panned by many critics, the Christian community embraced the film wholeheartedly — it became such a surprise hit, in fact, that it went on to become the highest-grossing independent film the year of its release. Outspoken Christian actor Kirk Cameron helms this emotional flick, playing a cynical firefighter who finds God and saves his marriage through a 40-day experiment known as "The Love Dare."

Facing the Giants

Who doesn't love a good underdog story? Facing the Giants is a truly inspirational one, following losing football coach Grant Taylor at a Christian academy who hasn't posted a winning record in his entire six-year tenure. When his seventh season starts off much the same, Taylor decides to build a new coaching philosophy around praising God. Without giving away too much, suffice it to say that Taylor and his team face their fears on and off the field through faith... and the outcome will give you goosebumps.

Abel’s Field

Abel's Field beautifully illustrates the Biblical scripture of Philippians 4:13: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." High school senior Seth McArdle is struggling, to say the least — abandoned by his father and left without a mother after a tragedy, the teen must support his younger sisters. School offers no respite, as he is bullied daily by the football team. When he finally fights back, he bears the brunt of the blame and ends up in after-school work detail detention under the supervision of the solitary groundskeeper, Abel. And, in an inspiring turn, Abel becomes McArdle's saving grace.

The Prince of Egypt

Even if this wasn't an animated movie and this wasn't a kid-centric list, we'd include The Prince of Egypt. It's a stunning movie, both visually and in story. Plus, since it is animated, it makes it all the more appealing to your kids — which makes it that much easier for you to use it as springboard into conversations about faith. An adaptation of the Book of Exodus, The Prince of Egypt follows Moses' life as an Egyptian prince who finds himself being called to lead the children of Israel. Huge bonus? The music in this movie will keep your kids (and you) captivated.

Heaven is for Real

This movie is a real game-changer for several reasons. First of all, it punctuates mainstream cinema's growing shift toward universal acceptance of faith-based films. With big-ticket stars like Greg Kinnear and Thomas Haden Church, Heaven is for Real boasts incredible acting. But it's the story that is truly affecting. In the wake of a nearly fatal accident in the life of a four-year old, the film follows the boys' parents — including a small town pastor — as they try to come to terms with their son's insistence that he went to heaven during his emergency surgery. It's a heartwarming story of hope and family and redemption and faith.

The Nativity Story

Released in 2006, this epic Biblical drama wasn't the biggest hit at the box office, but it's a film that sticks with you. Based on the nativity of Jesus, the movie brings the pages of the good book to life. Keisha Castle-Hughes and Shohregh Aghdashloo as Mary and Joseph, who star as Mary and Joseph respectively, bring a lot to the table and turn in understated, yet stirring portrayals of two of Christianity's most pivotal characters.

This post was sponsored by "Heaven is for Real.".

More on parenting & religion

How I'm raising a spiritual child without religion
The constant misinterpretation of "separation of church and state"
Pope Francis, putting Christ back in Christianity