The Instinct to Protect Your Family
A man and a woman leave their paternal family as two separate individuals. They join in marriage and become one. Marriage is special to God. The first miracle that Jesus did was at a wedding where he turned water into wine to celebrate a marriage. A special part of a marriage is bringing children into this world. When God puts children into a family, he also instills in parents an instinct to protect their children. Sometimes it takes more effort to recognize that gift than others. Here is a short story about the power that was instilled in one parent to protect his family.
A man whose wife recently had a baby shared with me an amazing experience that I’d like to share with you. I was at home on a Saturday morning and got a call from a client named John. I knew his wife, Amy was expecting, and John and I had talked about life insurance, but he wasn’t ready to get it yet. Amy delivered their baby on Friday and John was insistent that he buy the life insurance today. People usually don’t call me on the weekend to buy life insurance, so I asked John if everything was okay and he said yes. Amy was fine, and the baby was fine too. And he told me a wonderful story about the week leading up to his son’s birth.
John is a pharmaceutical representative who meets doctors all the time. Last week he met with a doctor that was about sixty miles from home. Amy knew John would be driving so he would be about an hour away, and she was due to deliver any day. Amy was worried that John would not be able to make it back in time if she went into labor. Travel could be even worse if he ran into a lot of traffic. She made John promise that he would keep his cell phone with him all the time where he could hear it.
John was meeting was a surgeon, Dr. Wang. John was presenting a new drug, and Dr. Wang was very interested. John did his presentations from a laptop computer, and he usually kept his cell phone in his pocket or his briefcase. This time he sat the phone prominently beside the computer.
Dr. Wang noticed John checking the volume on the phone and setting it on his desk. He asks John if he was expecting a call? John told him that his wife was expecting their first child and she was due any day.
Dr. Wang has four children of his own, and he told John he knew exactly what he was going through. He told John about his first child being born. He lamented that there is nothing like the feeling of being there when your child is born. Dr. Wang told John that doctors don’t make life and doctors can sometimes cheat death by delaying it, but they can’t stop death. But, if you are a dad, and you can be there when your child’s life is being brought into this world, you are in the presence of God, and you will feel the awesome wonder of how He creates life. For a brief moment, God allows you to be part of it.
Dr. Wang explained to John that there was one more surprise to expect. He said, as special as being there for your child’s birth is, there is no time quite like the beginning of the following day. It happens when you finally leave your wife for that day and go home. At some point that evening, you’ll be alone again. The night after your child is born is a time you never forget. You might sleep, but it is not unusual if you do not. There is such a feeling of excitement and anticipation of the next day. You cannot wait to get back to the hospital and be with your wife and child.
John told me that the most important thing that Dr. Wang told him during their meeting was to leave! He told John that he needed to go and be closer to home. Dr. Wang said there is nothing like being there when your child is born, and if you miss it, you will never be able to get that time back. John did not even do his presentation, and Dr. Wang agreed to meet with him in a few weeks.
Dr. Wang’s words kept running through John’s mind during the drive back home. Two days later, Amy went into labor and John was so glad that he was there when it happened. But the story doesn’t stop there.
John told me that every word that Dr. Wang told him came true. The baby was born at 8:39pm on a Friday and seeing his son being born was so humbling. It was like the Holy Spirit was in the delivery room that night. Amy was exhausted after being in labor for about fourteen hours. She slept, the baby slept in a hospital crib right beside her and about 1:00 a.m. John decided to go home to get a few hours of sleep.
John might have slept two or three hours, but he wanted to make it back to the hospital early. The hospital was close, so he swung into a drive-thru to get a breakfast sandwich and a cup of coffee. John said that as he pulled out of the drive-thru, he stopped at the red light. There wasn’t much traffic, and John noticed something that he had passed a hundred times or more on the street corner.
There were two white crosses with a few artificial flowers around them. Each cross had a name and a date, December 24, 2005. John said that for some reason, the image of those crosses stuck in his head. When he got to the hospital, Amy and his son were still asleep. So, John sat quietly with his phone drinking his coffee. He Googled the names and the dates on the two crosses.
The names on the crosses were a husband a wife that were coming home on Christmas Eve. They were only a few blocks from home, and they were both killed in a horrible accident. John said that he had to get up and walk out of his wife’s hospital room because he was overcome with emotion. Today was a really happy time, but he couldn’t help but feel sad for the couple that died.
It was about mid-morning, and John walked outside of the hospital and called me. He told me the entire story about what Dr. Wang had said, about the baby being born, about the excited feeling and that fact that he couldn’t wait to get back to the hospital to see Amy and his son. And he told me about the two crosses.
Then John told me this. He said I remember Dr. Wang telling me that doctors don’t make life, they can sometimes cheat death by delaying it, but they can’t stop death. John said that he asked himself, what was the difference between that couple that died on Christmas Eve and him and Amy? He had no answer. That couple didn’t know they were going to die on Christmas Eve!
Then John said this. “I can’t stop death from doing to my family what it did to those whose names were on the crosses. But I can cheat death. I can cheat death by leaving my families traditions, heritage and a legacy to my child.” John said I want to buy the life insurance and I want to buy it today.
John asked me if he could take care of the life insurance online now. I told him, yes, but don’t jump too hastily. I told him it was good that he wanted to take care of his concerns but not to make an emotional purchase. A critical point that he did not know was that the only way to have the life insurance in effect that day was to pay the first premium. If everything on his application was okay, then there would be no changes. But he insisted that he take care of it today.
I knew this was important to John, so I told him I would drop by the hospital and help him put the life insurance in effect today. I couldn’t make it there for a few hours, so I gave him my website. He was able to figure out on his own how much he needed.
When I got to the hospital, it brought back so many memories of my own children being born. It was the same hospital in which my children were born. I met John in the cafeteria. He had already completed the essential parts of the application for his life insurance online. I helped him go through all the details and fill in the things that were confusing. We were able to get the life insurance done, and he paid his first premium, so the life insurance was in effect immediately.
But that wasn’t all we did. I brought up to John that life insurance was only part of protecting his family from things that happen unexpectantly. Having a will, and life insurance for Amy, as well as having a plan for the future was important too. The life insurance was only a big patch on a quilt that would cover his family for anything that might happen in the future. I showed him that having a will for him and Amy was just as important as having life insurance. If something happened to him and Amy, there would be a decision of who would care for his son? So right there in the hospital cafeteria, I showed John the website where he could do a will for him and Amy. And before I left John and I agreed that we’d get back together in a few weeks and to get the insurance for Amy and work through any other planning that they needed.
John was such a grateful dad. He was honored that God had blessed him with a family. John is a spiritual man who believes in God and has accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior. He knew that protecting his family was a Christian responsibility. The apostle Paul wrote to his disciple Timothy and stressed the responsibility that men and women have to their family. “But those who won’t care for their relatives, especially those in their own household, have denied the true faith. Such people are worse than unbelievers” (1 Timothy 5:8, NLT)
The circumstances of this story are real. The names and some of the details have been changed to protect the privacy of the characters. May their testimony serve as an inspiration to help you better serve God by building a stronger family.