I have been a part of a lot of funerals. In a strange but real sense, I have come to really enjoy them. Not because they are such a time of fun, happiness and celebration. But rather because of the impact they continue to have on my life and soul.
I don’t expect anyone to go searching for random funerals to attend, but I do hope that you will be more eager to attend funerals that are close to you.
Here are 4 reasons why you should attend more funerals:
- Your family. The most important relationships in life are those in our family. Husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, and so on. These relationships are so important. We often take them for granted. We often neglect the opportunity to really enjoy and appreciate these loved ones. Funerals remind us of these strong-bond relationships. Funerals remind us that God gave us our family. Funerals remind us of all the hard times and all the good times and all the memories that families have to treasure. Funerals remind us to prioritize our family before it is too late. I have seen wives bury their husbands, and it moved me to love and lead my wife well until I die. I have seen parents bury their children, and it moves me to tears every time as it challenges me to be the very best dad I can be every day for my kids. I have seen a 10 year old boy standing on his tip-toes stretching to lean into the casket to kiss his father good-bye. I will never forget moments like that. One reason to attend more funerals is to strengthen your commitment to family.
- Your friends. Funerals will show you how much someone was loved. Funerals will show you how many friends someone had. I have been to funerals where less than 10 people attended. It was sad. And I have been to funerals that were so crowded there was standing room only. When it comes time for you to die, who will attend your funeral? Who would want to? Who would say this person was such a dear friend to me that I do not want to miss the funeral? Or let me take this a little further – Would there be any diversity at your funeral? If you are white, would there by any black people at your funeral? Would there be any Latino/Hispanics at your funeral? Would there be any International people at your funeral? Would your co-workers come to your funeral? Would your next-door-neighbors come to your funeral? These are good questions to ask. Funerals have caused me to examine what kind of a friend I am. Have I cared about people? Have I invested in people? These are some of the questions that funerals can raise. One reason to attend more funerals is to strengthen your commitment to being a true friend to people.
- Your focus. One of my favorite things about funerals is how people speak so highly of the deceased. This is special! (Now I am not for us lying and making the person out to be greater than they were, but I don’t think that is always the case anyways.) It is beautiful to be at a funeral service and hear many people saying so many positives about the deceased. I have often wondered ‘why don’t we say these things BEFORE they die?’ Wouldn’t it be even better to tell THEM how highly we view them- along with telling everyone at the funeral? I think the stresses and pressures of life often hinder us from seeing the good in people. We see the negatives in people and it causes us to overlook the positives. Funerals change that. Funerals are a time when people overlook the bad so they can focus on the good of a person. There is something healthy about that! I want to encourage people more often. I want to speak well of people. I want to build people up. One reason to attend more funerals is to strengthen our focus on recognizing the good in people.
- Your faith. With our happy-go-lucky lives we often are focused on something other than the main thing. Most people don’t think about life or death, heaven or hell, forgiveness or condemnation during their weekly routines. Funerals are excellent for bringing a pause to our normal lives. Funerals allow us to sit down for an hour (or less) and think about what really matters. Death has a way of doing that! Death is the best at leveling the playing field. Everything comes into perspective at death. Once we finally focus on deeper things like God and forgiveness for our sins then we will consider our faith. One reason to attend more funerals is to examine and strengthen your faith. Do you believe in Jesus? Are you ready to die? Are your sins forgiven? Funerals will get you pondering that! And it is too costly to never get around to your faith.
No one likes death, and we shouldn’t. Death is the wage of sin. We hate death. But funerals can be a blessing. And attending funerals can be beneficial. The next time you have the opportunity to attend a funeral, don’t look for excuses not to go. Instead, Go and watch your life and soul be impacted. You will be a better man or woman because of it!