Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Return My Kidney

You know that your marriage is not going well when your spouse asks you to return the kidney that he/she donated to you. Fortunately the divorce lawyers, in just such a case involving a New York couple, concluded that a kidney was not to be considered a marital asset to be divided.

How can things deteriorate so dramatically in the relationship of a couple who at one time professed a deep, abiding love for one another? Yet, it happens every day, 365 days a year. Divorce is no respecter of age, education, financial status, celebrity status, body type, or religious values. There is no simple answer. “If only she would…” “If only he could…” I’d love to say that Christians have the answer, that they understand that in the eyes of God they have entered into a covenant relationship, one that is not to be broken. I’d love to be able to say that, but I can’t. Christian marriages appear to be ending at approximately the same rate as non-Christian marriages.

I’m sure there are a number of contributing factors for “I do” becoming “I don’t because you didn’t”. My personal opinion is that the number one reason for couples breaking up is self-centeredness. Andy Stanley refers to these marriages as “I Marriages”. It is all about me, my needs, my desires, and my expectations. To over simplify it, Andy suggests that when our desires become expectations we are in a no win game. His rational is that somewhere along the line couples have converted their relationship into a debt/debtor relationship. For when a desire migrates into an expectation it is the same as saying “You owe me.” You owe me dinner on the table every night at 6:13; you owe me 47 minutes of meaningful conversation every night; you owe me clean laundry, folded just the way I like it; you owe me kind words and affection that don’t always translate to sex.

So you see, If you give me what you owe me it’s no big deal, it is what I expected. And if you fail to give me what you owe me I’m unhappy, you reneged, I’ve been cheated, I want out!

Fill in the blank – “My husband/wife owes me _____________. The answer should be nothing. If you have inserted anything else you have identified an expectation.

Before you ask for your kidney back you might want to ask yourself “Have I made our marriage all about me?” “Am I unhappy with my husband/wife because they do not meet my expectations?”

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