In 2003, Lex was engaged to be married to Dr. Helen Bryce. In protest, his father Lionel Luthor refused to attend the wedding. Since his father refused to participate, Lex chose Clark Kent as his best man. Lex also invited Jonathan and Martha Kent to the wedding. Since he knew Lex's father wouldn't be there, Jonathan took the opportunity to bond with Lex and offered him the traditional wedding gift for members of the Kent family: A compass.
When Lex's airplane went down on the night of his honeymoon, ultimately crash-landing at sea, he used the compass to find his way to an island. Upon his return to Smallville, he found the Kent Farm under foreclosure. As a token of his appreciation for Jonathan's helpful wedding gift, he bought back the land and gave the Kents the deed. As usual, Jonathan tried to refuse any monetary assistance, but Lex reminded him that he considered himself part of the family and that it was no burden at all, and that he expected nothing in return.
- Jonathan: I got you something.
- Lex: A compass.
- Jonathan: Yeah, it's a Kent family tradition. My father gave me one on our wedding day, just in case I got lost going down the aisle.
- Lex: Thank you, Mr. Kent.
- Season Two, Exodus
- Martha: You bought our farm?
- Lex: I put your names in the deed.
- Jonathan: We can't accept this.
- Lex: There's nothing to accept but my gratitude.
- Jonathan: Lex...
- Lex: After the plane went down, I made my way into one of the broken wings. This compass, your wedding present, guided me to safe harbor. The least I can do is help you keep your farm.
- Jonathan: We will find a way to pay you back.
- Lex: I'm not worried about that, Mr. Kent. If it's not too presumptuous, I hope you'll just consider me part of the family.
- Season Three, Phoenix