Mark Wahlberg Wants the Church to Take Adoption More Seriously
By Tess Farrand, Staff Writer
Just in time for the Thanksgiving holidays in 2018, Christian actor Mark Wahlberg’s latest movie INSTANT FAMILY came to theaters. The story follows Pete (Wahlberg) and his wife (Rose Byrne, PETER RABBIT) as they decide to embark on a journey to become foster parents to three children. While doing press for the movie, Wahlberg, a father himself, spoke to The Gospel Herald and imparted his own charge to the church about the dire need for adoption and his personal convictions on the subject.
“The subject matter is really important,” he said to the Herald. “These kids need somebody to open their home and their heart and let them in. There were so many reasons to do the movie; I didn’t find any reasons not to do it. I gravitate towards the things that I’m interested in: real people, real stories, things that inspire people, people overcoming adversity.”
Wahlberg, a devout catholic, went on to comment on the church’s role in adoption. “Leaders in the Church have the biggest responsibility because their job is to protect the church and do God’s work.” The actor’s charge to the church continued, “if they don’t do the right thing, I think it’s better to have never been born. It’s like knowing God and turning your back on God.”
The role in INSTANT FAMILY, along with his own family including his five children with wife Rhea Durham, inspired his stance on the matter. “Just being a dad, I couldn’t help but get a little bit emotional,” he said of the opportunity to play the character Pete in the movie. “It was something I wanted to be a part of right away.” In Movieguide’s exclusive interview, Wahlberg spoke about the set dynamic, “it’s a love fest all around… everybody wanted to be a part of telling this story.”
Additionally, before the role for INSTANT FAMILY came about, Wahlberg attended an adoption event in his hometown of Boston. He spoke about the experience, “I was supposed to be there to kind of give words of encouragement, you know, give kids a boost and here these kids are, inspiring me. I spoke with a 14-year-old boy who had a couple of siblings who were in the system.” Wahlberg continues, “he was just like, ‘Dude, nobody’s going to adopt me, but I’m good. I’m getting a great education, and I’m going to go and do this and that, accomplish all these things in life. And I’m excited about my future.’ I was like, ‘Wow.'”
Wahlberg’s, and many American’s conviction about the importance of adoption is definitely supported biblically. James 1:27 sates that “pure and genuine religion” means caring for orphans and widows. Wahlberg hopes his movie inspires that. He stated, “If there’s one person who sees this film and says, ‘Hey, there’s a kid who needs a home, and I’m capable and in a position to be able to provide for them emotionally, financially, all those things,’ fantastic. There’s a lot of kids out there who need that.”
Movieguide’s complete review of INSTANT FAMILY is available here.