Janko Tipsarevic didn’t play at the Australian Open this year. The Serbian tennis player hasn’t picked up a racket since October due to a heel injury.
This time last year, Tipsarevic was ranked No. 8.
These days he treads water down at No. 69.
Yet it was this mostly forgotten tennis star who came to mind during the tennis coverage this year because I remembered something he said during an interview after a magnificent match that resulted in Lleyton Hewitt’s first-round exit in the 2013 Australian Open.
He essentially tipped his sweaty tennis cap at his wife. “Honestly, I don’t know why but from the moment I got married I started producing great results,” he grinned.
Marriage is good for you, is what I heard him say, and I can vouch for that.
We’ve just celebrated a decade and I don’t mean to brag but we’re a good team! Anyone would kick our butts at a game of tennis doubles, but don’t even bother attempting to come between us in the bigger match of life. We’re a force!
As we celebrated our 10 years we did a lot of reminiscing. It was great fun.
“Remember that time we got lost in Granada and eventually realised we were driving our rent-a-car down a garden path connected to the Alhambra?” (true story)
“Remember when we chased that whale along the coastline at Eaglehawk Neck and, emerging breathless and exhilarated from the dune scrub, we were treated to the most incredible vision of it launching from the water and slapping into the blue, just metres from where we were standing?”
“Remember holding our son for the first time, being so completely awestruck, so choked up with love and God’s goodness that we could do nothing but grin and cry?”
There’s been the whole gamut of experiences, not only the ones that put a warm aura around the heart, because marriage is also hard work. Yet, it’s been the challenging times that have proved that marriage is truly good for you. To have someone there beside you every step of the journey, a full-time cheerleader devoted to building you up and seeing you achieve your full potential, a listener, a repairer, a motivator, an insulator. For our home to be a place of peace and stability.
We returned to our marriage vows and I was reminded once more of the power of words.
I promised to love him, “for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, ‘til death do us part.”
Am I a wife whose every communication with her beloved hinges on these promises? Sadly, no. But I do believe in marriage; marriage for life.
Ephesians 4:29 reads, “Say only what helps, each word a gift.”
Ten years ago, the words I spoke to my husband at the front of a little church in Hagley were a gift. They still are and as long as we work to “love and cherish” through all of life’s rigmarole, I’m confident there will be another ten years. And another, and another.
Oh – something else about Janko Tipsarevic. His injured heel may have prevented him from attending the Australian Open this year but it also enabled him to be right there beside his wife last month as they met their first child, a daughter. Congrats to the Tipsarevics!
First published in The Examiner Newspaper for Keeping the Faith column on Monday February 3, 2014.