Because of the unsavory practices of a few financial services and banking representatives, many people do not trust the systems which these industries have initiated to assist people in managing their finances. The life insurance industry is one such institution.
First of all, no one likes talking about life insurance or matters of death, but it is something that we will all face at some point in our lives. Insurance is an age old solution to a problem with suffering losses in the event of a catastrophe. The idea is to minimize losses by passing on the risk to someone else who is capable of paying for the loss when it occurs.
The Babylonians and Chinese were the first to consider the losses which they incurred while shipping their goods across the high seas. Because accidents were prevalent due to capsizing, the merchants spread their shipments among several carriers in order to minimize their losses. They would also pay an additional fee when they received a loan to transport the goods, as a guarantee that the lender would cancel the loan if the merchants suffered any losses.
Around 600 B.C., the Greeks and Romans started offering benefits for the families of deceased members of their benevolent societies and also paid for funeral expenses for the society members. In the Middle Ages, these societies were known as guilds and friendly societies in England. Health and life insurance, however were not established until the 1700s.
As Christians, God expects us to provide for our families and to take responsibility for them. We read in I Timothy 5:8, “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” God makes it very clear here that the husband should provide for his family.
Further, God considers the man who provides for his family and his descendants a righteous man. Proverbs 13:22 says “A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.” Psalm 112:1 “Praise ye the Lord. Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. His seed shall be mighty upon the earth; the generation of the upright shall be blessed.”
I Peter 3:7 says, “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” Here God is stressing that the husband be considerate of the wife and to treat the wife as the weaker partner. If the husband is to provide for the wife, then the wife would be at a loss if he was to die prematurely. Therefore, by providing her with life insurance, he is being considerate to ensure that her needs will continue to be met after he expires.
This assumes, however, that the husband is gainfully employed. The reality is that not all husbands today are gainfully employed, nor are all of the husbands living with their families. Natasha Cornelius states in her July 7, 2015 blog post that “nearly 44% of the women in the household are the primary breadwinners.”
Because of the opportunities for career advancement for women, this figure has been increasing since the early 1990’s to its current level today. Accordingly, it now appears that the women need more life insurance on themselves because their children and husbands are now dependent on them financially, in some cases.
Women have an obligation to provide for their families because of the increases in their responsibilities and in their incomes. I Timothy 5:8 applies to everyone. However, it is also clear that the husbands are not taking their rightful place as providers of the family, according to the Bible. In some cases, this is due to circumstances beyond their control and in other cases it is due to a defect in their character which prevents the men from owning up to their responsibility. The man who takes responsibility for his family will be blessed. Psalm 112:3 says, Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth forever.
In conclusion, Life insurance is a way for God to provide for our needs according to Philippians 4:19, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”