Marriage Tuesday

Los Angeles Lakeres at Dallas MavericksI was watching the end of the Mavricks-Bobcats basketball game tonight and it reminded me how much of a huge Dirk Nowitzki fan I am.

Since moving to the great state eighteen years ago, I’ve struggled to get behind the local teams.  First, the obvious.  I’m a San Diego homer.  100%…through and through…and that leaves little room for loyalty to other teams.  That’s just the way it is.

Second, the local teams have huge strikes against them in my world.  The Rangers play “Beer League Softball” in a 147 degree sauna.  Can’t do it.  The Cowboys are run by Jerruh Jones.  Can’t do it.  The Stars play hockey.  Other than dropping the gloves for an all-out slugfest, I don’t get it.

But the Mavs have grown on me.  Especially Dirk.

So here’s a test for those of you that spend too much time following your favorite sports teams:

What do Dirk, Larry Bird, Jerry West, Tony Gwynn, Cal Ripkin, Troy Aikman, and John Elway…have in common with Alex Rodriguez, Lebron, Nolan Ryan, Albert Pujols, Shaq, and Josh Hamilton?

A lot of things.  They are/were all some of the greatest athletes in the world.  The absolute best in their games…commanding huge salaries and enormous fan bases.  But the two groups are deeply different in one huge way.

The first group played their entire careers with the same team.  They signed contracts and honored them.  They were as motivated by loyalty to the team and ownership that made the commitment, both financial and emotional, to them when they were young and unproven.

So they stayed.  Even when other teams tried to lure them away with bigger contracts and promises of better teams and careers.

The second group?  They left their original teams for greener pastures…more money…and the potential of greater recognition and success.  They left because they could.  They left because loyalty doesn’t factor into the world of sports much anymore.

Sheesh…loyalty doesn’t factor into much of anything anymore.  I guess that’s why I like Dirk so much.  His loyalty to the Mavs…to his owner, Mark Cuban…to the greater Dallas community…is simply amazing and almost unheard of in these days of  broken promises and jaded, shallow loyalty.

When Josh Hamilton left the Rangers last year for the promised land of SoCal, his wife made a really profound statement about the whole process:

Katie Hamilton compared the relationship between her husband and the Rangers to dating. She said the club should have quickly moved to prevent Josh Hamilton from hitting the free-agent market.

“They let us go out and date other people and kind of give our hearts away.”  link

Here’s the marriage lesson:  We live in a culture that has fundamentally redefined the meaning of contracts and promises over the course of my lifetime.  I’m not saying people didn’t go back on their word back in the day.  Far from it.  People have always struggled with promise-keeping and loyalty.

It’s just that we live in a culture now that not only makes it easy to move out and move on from our first love…we actually reward it and disrespect people for not continually looking for something better.

Now that may make sense in the world of baseball and basketball contracts and any other kind of job-related move up the ladder of financial and professional success.  But that mentality is devastating in human relationships.

So when it comes to the marriage contract, are you more like Dirk or Lebron?  Do you find contentment and purpose in loyalty… or are you open to the possibility of something better…no matter the cost?

Your answer says everything about your understanding of God’s faithfulness to you.

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9 thoughts on “Marriage Tuesday

  1. Definitely Dirk. The pastures are not always greener on the other side. Rather than move on to the next best thing, I would rather invest in my current situation than start off in the hole.

  2. Dirk! In 2014 we celebrate 35 years of fun, memories, ministry, family, friends, loyalty, bumps, heartache, set backs, and it’s been worth the struggles and joys along the way. (Beer league softball, really!!)

  3. You had to throw josh in there!! He would have gladly stayed in Texas if the rangers would have been interested in keeping him. You could have added Kirby Puckett to the top list.
    Sorry! From a die hard Hamilton fan.

    1. Come on, Kevin. Josh is my boy, too. The fact that the Rangers didn’t really want him back doesn’t change the fact that he’s still in bed with Lebron and ARoid. He’s no Tony Gwynn…

      He better pick it up a notch this year, too.

  4. No Dirk for me…
    Hakeem Olajuwon. Dated his spouse at Uof H, married her in the Rockets. I consider his 30 games with the Raptors as the spouse died.
    Currently, he’s been playing with the Grandchildren (D. Howard).
    That is dedication to a team.

    Dirk will bolt for the permanent Oktoberfest before the jersey is hung.
    If Cuban’s business mind doesn’t kick in first.

    I prefer to think of marriage as the 2man luge. You join your partner physically, and trust that neither of you make decision without the others consent. Once selfish decision could kill you both. This is a more cut and dry approach.

  5. I’ve taught at Clark High School for 14 years (through good, bad, and worse times). I take no credit for the ‘loyalty’ necessarily; I just happen to enjoy the cyclical nature of new and different administrations and the subsequent ‘policy’ changes. I definitely don’t always realize it in the moments of frustrating (and potentially futile) attempts to bring our department up to the level of appreciation math & science (unfortunately for them due to state-mandated testing) celebrate. (I am not delusional or arrogant; I have plenty of help) My point is this: maybe sometimes we aren’t aware, in the moment, of our loyalty to things outside of marriage. My loyalty to Dara, also having seen its fair share of ‘tough’ times, has never been questioned. Ever.

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