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more thoughts about the kidney

As a pastor and a Christ-follower, I’m generally not a fan of pre-nuptial agreements. To enter a marriage with a pre-arranged exit strategy seems to undermine the whole “till death do us part” business. In my mind, a pre-nuptial agreement seems to presume failure — that the marriage won’t last.

Having said that, if you do decide to craft a pre-nuptial agreement, you might consider putting in a few clauses concerning organ donation. Not in the end-of-life-become-a-donor sense. More like: what if your husband or wife needs a kidney and you decide to donate one? Should you get it back if the marriage ends in divorce?

One husband thinks so. Richard Batista, a Long Island doctor, donated a kidney to his now estranged wife back in 2001. After a long divorce battle, he has decided to ask for his kidney back.

I’ve heard of couples arguing over jewelry, paintings, houses, even pets — but never have I heard a couple argue over a kidney. One of the best lines I’ve read in news reports comes from Lisa Bloom, a legal analyst for CBS News:

“She ripped out his heart, but he doesn’t get to rip out her kidney.”

Pardon me for being insenstive, but that line would make a great country song. You might have to shorten it a bit, to something like: “You tore out my heart, now gimme my kidney back.”

Left to themselves, grievances will only fester into something worse than the original offense. That’s why Jesus tells us to be proactive in settling matters with those who have offended us:

“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:23-24).

Holding grudges and exacting revenge may provide a temporary sense of relief but in the end only do greater damage to ourselves and others.

Put another way, if you give someone a kidney, let them keep it.