Tinellis: The year of leather

By: ellis j. still

On Monday, August 1st, 2011, my wife Tina and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary. This year we spent our anniversary close to home, and low key. We had already done an extensive amount of traveling thus far this year, and so we felt like we needed to pace ourselves. Year three of marriage is the gift of leather. I got Tina a new leather case for her IPad 2, and she got me a custom leather golf club cover for my driver. She cooked a ridiculous breakfast (I fell asleep on the couch afterwards) and surprised me with an anniversary dinner of all of my favorite foods (short ribs, mac-n-cheese, blueberry cheesecake, etc.). We spent time at the movies, seeing the new Smurf movie (we spent the entire next few days speaking in Smurf), and Transformers 3 (interesting how they integrated Star Trek with Transformers – “The needs of the many…”). Peanut was his usual unconditional loving self, wanting a lick our faces every time Tina and I kissed, and turning every hug into a group hug. Life cannot possibly get any better than this for Tinellis.

Yet also, this was a time of reflection. We are three years in, and have grown in many ways, both as individuals, and as a unit. There have been many times of laughter, and many times of pain. Many areas of strength and many areas of weakness. Many prayers have been answered, and many prayers that we continue to act in faith on.

I realize that there are many couples out there with stories to tell about how they have maintained their marriages for many more years than we have been married. Yet part of my point is to reiterate the fact that marriage is great. The world tends to paint a picture of marriage as a ball-and-chain mentality, and emphasizes how common divorce is. However marriage can be fun and joyous. Like anything in life, marriage is what you make it. I am having more fun as a married person than I have had my entire life. When Tina and I were dating and considering marriage, we had a conversation early on where we made a deliberate and conscious decision that there will be no divorce, and that we will continue to grow as a family in Christ.

When I think back on the past three years, these are some things that I have learned:

  • compromise means that everybody wins
  • it is important to maintain a balance between work, love, and play
  • keeping God as the head of your marriage is the single most important thing you can do to keep your marriage vibrant and prosperous
  • staying active in ministry / church activities is an important way to stay connected for spiritual growth

Question: What are you declaring your marriage to be?  How are you and your spouse guarding your relationship against divorce? Any thoughts?

© 2011, Ellis J. Still. All rights reserved.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

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