Steve and Megan Cottam

The thing that we have been most struck by in our second year of marriage is the joy and importance of being united in common work, even at those times when we work separately. When we were dating and when we were engaged, we had these starry eyed visions of what it meant to live a common life together – sharing breakfasts and dinners together, laughing together the laugh of those-in-love while we did the laundry and cleaned the bathroom. And while the concrete manifestations of those visions may be more tedious and mundane then they were in our dreams, they are none the less romantic – for these routine encounters are the glue that holds our life together.

On many a Saturday morning we will divvy up the task list of our lives. Often times, these things will take us in opposite directions. I will go to the hardware store to buy the lightbulb that needs replacing; Megan will start the laundry or run to the grocery store. Today we spent the day preparing our house for an influx of young kids from a tutoring program, and we weren’t in the same room with each other but for a few minutes of a pretty long day. But when we do these things, even separately, we have come to appreciate these things as that which we do to build and maintain our life together. We try hard to view our marriage as a ministry, both to each other and to the community we live in, and we end a productive day with a shout of “Go Team!” And there is a very true love built into that cheer; a love that is born out of the camaraderie of being in the trenches together. In my younger days I would never have thought I would find housework a source of passion – and yet, when my wife leaves on a long trip and comes home to find that many of “her” tasks have been done for her, I have been known to receive a kiss that would bring a blush to the cheek of the young and the modest.

[For the story of Marriage Year 2 by Emma and Gordon Whiley, click here]