Men, have you considered, when you leave this world, what will be your legacy? It has been stated:
“The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.”
(Harriet Beecher Stowe)
Have you thought of what your wife and children might regret that they never got from you, if you should die before them?
It’s grim to think about such things. But many “better” life choices have been made when people have visited such thoughts. It has caused them to work to leave a legacy behind that is more positive, rather than just “so-so” or negative.
For what purpose are you put upon this earth? Is it just to occupy it and take up space and resources until you die? Or do you have a life purpose that you know God wants to accomplish in your life? And what purpose does God want you to live out in your married life?
It tells us in 1 Corinthians 7 that marriage changes the direction of how you live out your life. Marriage brings with it the responsibility to consider the life of your partner as well as yourself in how you live out your spiritual walk. And consequently if you have children, your life takes on a different dimension of responsibility. You have their lives to consider, as well.
I’m reminded of a survey that was taken a while back, written about in the book, Before A Bad Goodbye by Dr Tim Clinton. The results of this survey was truly sad.
“Only five out of a hundred spouses interviewed in a major marital study desired a marriage like their parents’. Just five. Why? There were a number of reasons given, but I ultimately believe it’s because your kids are watching. You may think you’re hiding the anguish produced by your inability to connect and love, but you’re kidding yourself. They hear it in every word to each other and see it in your lack of contact. It charges the air.”
My husband Steve has expressed to me that it is his goal in life that the words to the song “A Man of God” written by Jeoffrey Benward, will exemplify his life.
“I hope they will say of me that I loved my children and wife. Most of all I hope they say, I loved Jesus more than life. So when I’m laid to rest, when life’s journey I have trod, I hope my children will say of me, ‘Dad was a man of God!’
“I hope they say of me, my words were gentle and kind. Most of all I hope to leave, a life of truth behind. So when I’m laid to rest, life’s journey I have trod, I hope they will say of me, ‘Here lies a man of God!’ Oh to be a man of God, nothing more, nothing less. It’s not what I did or did not do. But it’s why I did it…and for Who.”
We will all leave a legacy behind us. It will either be negative, positive or so-so. Please prayerfully consider; what will yours be? As Tim Kimmel puts it in his book, Legacy of Love:
“Your words, your schedule, your choices, your obedience, the way you savor your victories and the way you swallow your defeats, all help to define your life. It is this definition that your children will rely on most as they seek to chart their own future.”
If your children were asked if they would want a marriage like their parent’s, would they say, “Yes”? What kind of marriage legacy are you leaving for them to remember?
The legacy you leave behind will affect generations to come. Most important of all, will yours be a positive one, or will it be a negative one?
In addition, to further consider this question, we would like to direct you to three articles. They are posted on the web site for the ministry of Family Life Today. To read these articles, please click onto the links provided below:
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Filed under: For Married Men