It Takes Two: A Plumbing Parable of Marriage

(In honor both of our 33rd wedding anniversary, and our icemaker 😉

Last week some workers discovered that there was a leak underneath our house, and they recommended that we call a plumber. Cheryl & I saw where the leak was coming from, and the “game” was on. We decided to try to fix it ourselves.  It would end up taking a big chunk of our Saturday, and it would also serve to remind us of an important lesson on the nature of marriage: it takes two, working together!

When we saw the leak, we immediately thought of the one which a plumber had fixed before we closed on the house, which had originated in the icemaker line in the kitchen.  So we each grabbed a side of the refrigerator, which is huge, and together we were able to pull it from the wall. I thought I could hear something behind there, but I couldn’t see anything. Cheryl could see it, and pointed it out: sure enough, that same icemaker line, which was made of old plastic, was leaking in another place.

After we gathered a few tools, Cheryl (who had actually installed an icemaker years before) identified where the line needed to be disconnected from the refrigerator, but she couldn’t get it loosened. I said, “Let me try” — and I was able to get it off. We basically did the same thing with the other end: each of us took a turn before we were finally able to remove it.

I ran to the store and bought a brand new line (we decided the whole thing needed replacing instead of just another “patch” — if the previous plumber had done this we wouldn’t have had this problem!) while Cheryl got everything at home cleared and ready.

But when I brought the new line home, I couldn’t see how we were going to thread it from underneath the sink, where it connected to the water source, through to the other side of the dishwasher, which stood between the sink and the refrigerator.  I didn’t know if we could do it. Cheryl suggested that we duct tape it to the old line, and pull it through. I was skeptical that it would hold together through that,, but she taped the two together and began to pull. It looked like it might work — until it got stuck. She couldn’t pull it any further.

So I said, “Let me take a turn.” I got down under the dishwasher and saw something that she hadn’t seen — a little gap in the baseboard where I could barely see — and reach — the icemaker line, which gave us a better angle to pull it with.  From there I was able to pull it almost all the way through.

I say “almost”, because when it came to the part which was duct-taped together, the little opening was not big enough to pull it through. Now I was stuck.  I didn’t see any way we could get it.  Was this “the end”?  No, it was just Cheryl’s turn!

She got down where I had been and found yet another opening, further back behind the dishwasher, which was large enough for the taped section to pass. She pulled the rest of it through, and we soon had it hooked it up to the refrigerator — and a job well done was ours!

As we stood there looking with pride (and no small measure of relief that we hadn’t destroyed anything!) Cheryl proclaimed: “It took us both!”  I nodded my head in agreement.  There were times when if it were just me working alone, or Cheryl working alone, that each of us would have thrown up our hands and said, “It can’t be done — we’ll just have to call a plumber on Monday!”  But with the two of us, when Cheryl couldn’t get the part loose, I could; or when I didn’t see another way around, she could, and vice-versa. It took us both.

And that little “icemaker line incident” is a pretty good picture of God’s plan for a marriage. He  brings two people together, to work side by side, each with their own particular gifts and strengths and weaknesses, and together the two can accomplish more than either of them could have individually.  But as Cheryl said, it takes both!

About Shawn Thomas

My blog,, features the text of my sermons, book reviews, family life experiences -- as well as a brief overview of the Lifeway "Explore the Bible" lesson for Southern Baptist Sunday School teachers.
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4 Responses to It Takes Two: A Plumbing Parable of Marriage

  1. Alan Brown says:

    That’s Anne and me Shawn. I like to kid her that it’s my brains and her brawn, but it’s us complementing each other. She’s my right arm, although she recently said she was my right brain. Does that make me a half-brain, or both of us a half-brain. I don’t know, but I don’t know what I would do without her. I thank and praise the Lord for putting us together. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  2. Pastor Shawn, I have often said Dennis and I are like 2 halves of a whole…but recently Jessica is getting in the mix…sometimes it takes all three of us to get something accomplished. She’ s got the technological edge over us.

  3. Charter says:

    Excellent story of what marriage requires – working together!

    Sent from my iPad


  4. Wendy Hatcher says:

    That is what I always tell ken! It is funny how we have both done things when we have to, and actually “accomplished” them by ourselves. For the most part, we are pretty determined people, if nothing else. But, together, we get things done a lot better, and more efficiently, and we don’t give up as easily! I suppose God knows a thing or two about this pairing thing, huh?!?

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