Thursday, April 6, 2017

King-Queen Winners?

Can someone play poker and have a happy marriage at the same time? Some of the stories that make the news can make you wonder.

The latest comes from New York, where poker pro Beth Shak has filed for divorce. She's been married to cable TV news reporter Rick Leventhal only ten months. But an attorney says "irreconcilable differences" have developed.

We're struck by what Shak said about meeting Leventhal:

"I’ve never been lucky in love, but meeting in him proved that my luck has changed...."

Disclaimer: We've never been married, so we won't pretend to be experts at this. But we'll go to a great guidebook on the topic, and ask: is love a matter of "luck" - or something more?

He who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the Lord. - Proverbs 18:22 (NLT)

Both Shak and Leventhal will be ending their second marriages. Assuming "she who finds a husband" also receives favor from God, both of them found it twice. But we think finding it is one thing, while maintaining it is something else....

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.... - Ephesians 5:25

We don't know what sort of "differences" Leventhal and Shak have. But this verse says love is about giving - in this case, a husband going "all in" for his wife. How far did God and Jesus Christ go with that?

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. - Romans 5:8

It's about going all in, even if the other party is sinning and doesn't deserve a thing. At a human level, that can take a lot of work and resolve - but that's what God's love is, and that's the example we're supposed to follow.

(In a few days, some Christians will recall that giving sacrifice by taking part in "Lord's Supper" services. Some call them Passover or communion services. This article may help you understand that better.)

Giving isn't something players at a poker table are supposed to do. Tournaments are won by collecting the most chips. But to show love in a marriage, somebody's got to give. It's even better if both do. May all married couples learn to do that - even to have a "love Shak."

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