Jun 132017 8 Responses

Think Twice Before Marrying Kevin Durant

I’m a fan of Kevin Durant. While I appreciate his basketball ability, I’m more impressed with his compassionate, giving heart. I also feel he has been treated unfairly over the past year since he left Oklahoma City and signed with Golden State. He has been called a cupcake, a cry baby, and a ring-chaser. Yet he was able to ignore his critics and accomplish his goal by winning both an NBA Championship and being the MVP of the championship series.

But if you are thinking about marrying him, I’d recommend getting one question answered first.

My hesitation has nothing to do with his basketball or the choices he has made in the past year. The critics have been harsh and unfair. Durant didn’t do anything unethical, immoral, or even unkind. He fulfilled his contract, weighed his options, and sought a new opportunity. Everyone blaming him for ruining the NBA needs to reevaluate their perspective. He played within the rules and did what he thought was best. The other teams need to stop whining and start playing better. It’s not Durant’s fault that Golden State created a superior system–front office personnel, players, and scheme–which has led to great success. (See: What Every Mother-in-Law Should Know)

The marriage question isn’t so much about Durant as it is about his mom. She’s clearly a strong figure. When Durant won the MVP award a few years ago, he gave a moving tribute to her calling her the “true MVP.” She should be applauded.

However, when Durant was finally experiencing the fulfillment of his dreams, Wanda Durant was not standing on the sideline cheering on her son. Instead, she was right in the middle of the celebration. As a matter of fact, as the trophy was being presented, Momma Durant was closer to the cameras, trophy, and microphones than most of the Golden State players. In order to get an interview with the head coach, the courtside reporter had to push past Ms. Durant. That wouldn’t be an issue if Durant was 8; the problem is that he is 28.

Men in their late twenties need the support of their moms, but they don’t need their moms to be the center of attention. There comes a point where a parent’s role becomes positioned on the sideline rather than on the court. They are there for emotional support, but not part of the action.

I don’t know if this was a one-time slip by the Durant family or if it is a symbol of an overly-enmeshed relationship. No matter the scenario, if a woman marries Durant, she needs to clearly understand the relationship between mom and son. If proper boundaries are not present, a girlfriend would be better to run than step into the middle of an overly involved mother-in-law.

While there is no way for me to know if Wanda Durant is failing to respect the adulthood of her son, as a pastor, I see unhealthy dynamics between mothers and adult children on a regular basis. The moms refuse to treat their children as adults and the children continually allow themselves to be treated as children. It’s unhealthy and damaging. (See: My Wife Before My Mother)

Proper boundaries are vital for healthy relationships. It’s possible to love your momma and still tell her no. You can support your son while refusing to treat him like a child. A husband and wife can love each other without being negatively influenced by mom and dad.

Before committing your earthly life solely to another individual, do everything you can to ensure that they have drawn proper boundaries with their parents. Date long enough to see how they interact through every season of the year. Ask for clarification and seek understanding if a parent seems too involved in a child’s life. Have uncomfortable conversations the first time a parent oversteps their boundaries.

The key issue is that we love and support one another while respecting the individuality and adulthood of the other party. We love one another while maintaining our personal identity. We assist one another without owning their emotions, responsibilities, successes or failures.

A Checklist for Healthy Relationships with In-laws

Consider the following to evaluate if healthy boundaries are present between adult children and their parents:

Is everyone treated like an adult?

Can you develop new holiday traditions without hurting the relationship? (Disappointment is okay, but choosing to forgo Christmas Eve dinner should not injure things for the long term.)

Do parents restrain from giving their opinion about personal issues–marriage, raising kids, etc–unless asked?

Can you have productive conversations about issues which lead to resolution when boundaries are crossed?

While not perfect, are the relationships with extended family a benefit to your marriage and family?

Can you accept differences of opinions and decisions while still giving love and support to one another?

No family relationship is perfect. We all make mistakes. Each of us has wrong expectations and get our feelings hurt. However, a healthy family has so many benefits that it must be sought in every way. One of the key steps to creating a good family is drawing the right boundaries and living by them. (See: How to Deal with Passive Aggressive People)

I don’t know Wanda Durant. What I have seen on television and heard from Kevin Durant has impressed me. However, if a friend wanted to marry Kevin, I would encourage her in the same way I encourage many brides. Before you say “I do,” make sure he can tell his momma, “you don’t.”

 

Cover photo: Christopher Johnson from Tokyo, JapanIMG_5828_2

8 Responses to Think Twice Before Marrying Kevin Durant
  1. Niki Reply

    Kevin, oh Kevin, where was this post 12 years ago? I shall pin this for my children, at the very least, to hopefully save them some of the heartache I still deal with to this day. Thank you for yet another great post!

  2. Kennette Crockett Reply

    Being a single black mother who has been pushed aside and usually unfairly blamed for not effective parenting, I’m glad that his mother was front and center. Why not be there? It was her strength and love that for him this far when our culture usually sees black men as a threat. So maybe if you were speaking about a mother who had raised him with another parent in a solid financial situation and had a supportive community, I would agree.
    I love my mother and so does he. Should he have someone who only showed up for the success besides him? Anyone knows that he worked hard; her standing with him didn’t take away his achievement. She gave birth to him and know his heart and dreams.

  3. Rob Reply

    I have a friend who struggles greatly with this in his marriage. He is often on the outside of the mom/wife inner circle (and then the mom/wife/kids inner circle). Advice for him within his marriage? Love your content! Also love the KD/KT parallelism here. 🙂

  4. karen Reply

    Pastor, every family dynamic is not the same. Your reference is from a solid, white family upbringing. Yes, there was divorce later, but I believe you “know not that of which ye speak”. Chill on that,pastor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Please enter your name, email and a comment.