An excerpt from What Do You Want People To Say At Your Funeral? by Mark Altrogge:
What do you want people to say at your funeral? What will your children say? What will your wife say? Will people say things like, she was a great Mom. He was a wonderful husband – he really took good care of his wife in her last years. She was the most humble woman I know. He was the best brother in the world. He always put others first. My mom always had time to listen to us. Dad did so much with us when we were kids. She was my best friend. He was always serving someone. She never thought of herself.
Or will your loved ones say things like this: I never really knew my Dad because he was always at work. Mom didn’t seem to have much time for us as kids. Dad always seemed disappointed in me. Mom and I didn’t talk that much. Dad seemed like he was angry with us all the time.
If you look at all these statements, both good and bad, they all have to do with relationships and character. Relationships: she was a loving mother. Dad always had time for us. My mom was my best friend. And character: she was the most humble woman I know. Every week he’d read to a blind man. He was always joyful.
Relationships and character. That’s what’s going to matter in the end. I once heard this statement: Success in any other area of life cannot make up for failure at home. This is not to condemn anyone – I’ve failed many times as a husband and dad. But like the question I’m asking today this statement helps me focus. What if I’m the most “successful” man in the world? What if I make all kinds of money or create the next YouTube, yet neglect my wife and kids? Will I really be successful? What do I want people to say at my funeral?
An even more important question: what will God say when you die? Will he say, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your master”? To hear those words would mean more than almost any others.