Storms with a Spouse
On most days, the news coming across my Twitter feed (@yiothesia8) is fairly predictable. I’m guaranteed to see a lot about Chicago’s professional sports teams, a few items about Michigan football, a few items regarding discipleship plus the daily Justin Wise/BeDeviant feeds. Occasionally, Keith Murphy will post something to make me laugh, Fox Business will post something that causes me to shake my head in disbelief, and about once a month, Life Insurance Selling magazine will dump about 10 tweets at once.
While my primary work duties swirl around how life insurance fits into well designed estate and business plans for the monetarily blessed, one of my occupational passions drives my free time at work – finding ways to communicate effectively with those in our society who need what we’re selling — which is often Gen X and Gen Y.
Last night, as I was scrolling through Twitter while waiting for my hot fudge-marshmallow malt from DQ, I read Life Insurance Selling mag’s tweet about “Don’t ask, don’t sell.” The headline wasn’t real accurate for the article, but the article stuck with me. And in a few weeks, I’ll cite these numbers to some agents I’m speaking with: life insurance ownership is at an all-time low, yet 62% of respondents in a recent State Farm survey said that life insurance was more important now because of the recession and it’s residual effects. Those are the insurance facts. But here’s the really bad one: 74% of respondents stated that they don’t even discuss life insurance with their spouse with the primary reasons given economic pressure in their lives or hesitance to discuss an untimely death. Are you kidding me?
For those of us that are married, we’ve made a commitment (marriage) to make our spouse the most important living human in our lives. Yet, as these numbers suggest, only a ¼ of married couples will openly discuss matters that make them uncomfortable. If we can’t discuss them with the person who is committed to loving us until our/their dying day, then who can we discuss them with? As a husband and a father, how can I tolerate an approach to my life that doesn’t allow me to seek out the needs of my wife and children and do my best to cover them – regardless of whether they’re financial, physical or emotional? Quite simply: I can’t. That’s not part of my definition of what it is to be a man, a husband and a father.
For those of you who are married but are struggling with being open with your spouse, I have a challenge for you. Try forgiving them, even when they don’t ask for it. Up the ante on grace in your relationship. Don’t get offended. And watch the culture of your relationship begin to change. Be a safe place for your spouse. For about 10 of the 11 years that Angie and I have been together, we didn’t get that at all – and the storm continued to grow in intensity. But in the last year, we’ve learned to fully disclose our hearts and minds and vulnerabilities – and it’s been enormously liberating. And with less of our crap in the way, intimacy has become quite effortless. Our children reflect that closeness, too.
Sure, it was just one number from one study by one insurance company. But I believe it points to something much more disturbing in our society than a lack of life insurance policies being sold.