Opinions That Matter

Opinions For The Resting

You might have seen the headline recently about the woman whose grown children wrote a very unflattering obituary for her. In the piece, they talked about how she abandoned them when they were young, and they ended with this: “She will not be missed by [her children], and they understand that this world is a better place without her.” Wow.

Other survivors have been likewise in parental obituaries. One man’s said that he was a “model example of bad parenting” who had a complete commitment to drinking, drugs, womanizing, and being generally offensive. Another was meant to be humorous, describing the recently deceased as one who “enjoyed booze, guns, cars, and younger women until the day he died.”

What makes this so interesting to me is that just this morning I was pondering my own obituary (don’t worry, I’m in excellent health). As I was praying for each of my children and grandchildren, I found myself wondering what my children will say of me after I’m gone. Of course, most people don’t speak ill of the dead. We try to focus on the positive aspects of a person’s life. But at the end of my life, what would an honest assessment by my children look like?

Your Family Knows The Truth

I think this is important. For one thing, our wives and children know who we really are. They don’t just see our public personas. They see us at our best and our worst. They see us first thing in the morning. They see us when we are most exhausted. They see us when nobody outside the walls of our homes does. So they know the truth about how much integrity we have. We might think we have them fooled, but they know.

Another reason our children’s assessment is so critical is that their opinions matter most (other than God’s, of course, whose judgment is perfect). Think about it. Who cares if my neighbors think I’m a good dad if my kids know I’m not? Who cares if my coworkers think I’m a loving husband if my kids know I ignore—or worse, abuse—their mother? Who cares if the people at church think I am a godly man if my kids know how selfish, unkind, and ungodly I am at home?

Takeaway: So think about this, dads: How do your kids see you? They know the real you. And if they suddenly had to write your obituary, could they honestly speak of you as a wonderful husband and father, as an exemplary Christian, as a godly man? Theirs are the opinions that matter.

Author: Mike Miller. Pastor of Central Baptist Church in Jacksonville, TX.

Opinions That Matter

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