What matters in the end is: Did I matter?

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Life is just a blip in God’s master plan but how we address it will determine how we answer the question: Did I Matter? How will you answer that at the end of life?  The greatest question is: What does really matter in life? Once we know the answer to that question, we can center our life on it and when the end of life comes, there will be no doubt that our life did matter. I know what the answer is not; it is not how much money I made, how large my home was or whether I was recognized as an important person in the community. No, it has to do with the most important thing we do in life and that is the relationship we have with God first and then the relationship we have with our family.

Lord, how long will I live?
      When will I die?
      Tell me how soon my life will end.

How short you have made my life!
      In your sight my lifetime seems nothing.
   Indeed every living being is no more than a puff of wind,
     no more than a shadow.
   All we do is for nothing;
      we gather wealth, but don’t know who will get it.

 What, then, can I hope for, Lord?
      I put my hope in you.

Psalm 39 (Good News Translation)

All we do outside of God and family will come to end and according the Psalmist is nothing. The family today is fragmented, under attack and is being redefined. Once it was clear what a family was; it was a husband and a wife and the children.  Most lived on a farm; they worked together; ate together and lived together. They traveled together in a horse and buggy on Sunday to church. They talked and laughed together, played together and lived their life together.

Today a family can be two men living together with adopted children or two women living together with adopted children or a couple living together but not married. Some have grown to believe that is alright but it is a far cry from the family of yesterday or the family of the Bible.

Strong families make for a strong country but fragmented, divided families are the weakness of any nation.

A strong family is a family that knows and cares for each other. They are in touch with one another on a daily basis. They focus attention on each other. Let’s face it; today it is hard to get the earphones out of the kids ears long enough to have a conversation. Most kids today need to give their thumbs a break and go outside and play. The family often goes their separate ways in separate cars to different events. They spend little time together and often eating separately, all trying to meet rigid schedules.

Some kids never get a hug from their parents or a pat on the back. It is no wonder young girls get in trouble for doing what they shouldn’t because they never get attention at home and are starved for human connection. If they had the hugs, touching and affection at home it would be a deterrent for getting it in the wrong way.  Studies have revealed the need to be touched. It is believed that we need to be touched 8 times in a day to maintain a strong mental and psychological state and 12 times for mental growth.

Having a strong tight knit family is the most important thing we do in life. But you know what? I heard the other day that 82% of women asked said they wish they were not married. I have not been able to confirm those statistics but if true it confirms the state of the family today.

The focus of the family should be on each member and their individual needs. The highest divorce rate is among couples whose children are out of the home and on their own. One day the dad looks across the dining table and says: Who are you? They have paid so little attention to each other until now they barely know one another. Your spouse is #1 so don’t let the relationship die but keep it alive and growing by paying close attention to one another and meeting each other’s needs daily.

Take time to ask your kids questions; find out what is going on in their life; be slow to speak and quick to listen. Get to know them and what their needs and problems are. Spend quality time with them; tell them you love them often and be very careful about criticism. Parents are responsible for everything about their kids; where they go, who they hang out with and what they do.

I know it is very hard and takes a lot of time but remember it is your main purpose in life. It is not a matter of being perfect; we all make plenty of mistakes but it is a matter of giving it your best shot.

I know that this article is different than what some would expect it to be. Having a life that matters is not how many old ladies you help across the street or how often you visited the hospital or how much you contributed to the firemen’s fund but how well you connect with your family. Your family is your first responsibility, first priority, first concern and the most important thing you will ever do. Don’t let career, pleasure, hobbies, others or anything else keep you from it.

Did I Matter? How will you answer that at the end of life? Will it be, my life mattered because I had a wonderful family; we had such pleasure; we loved each other, we lived together, traveled through life together, laughed together and played together?

Conclusion: It is much easier to form strong family ties when the family worships God together and prays together. Having a relationship with God is the source for strength, wisdom and knowledge for raising your family to be strong and united together. For more on having a relationship with God go to: http://otobefree.com/?p=3

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Every 3.6 seconds someone across the world dies of starvation and 75% are children; that amounts to 24,000 people who die EACH DAY from starvation or malnutrition. For several years now I have been helping through my financial support. $40 per month will feed, clothe and send a child to school in a third world country.

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copyright © 2010, Jimmie Burroughs. All rights reserved

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