The law firm where my wife practices is seven blocks of sauna-like heat away from my office. I can hardly help but go visit her during lunch, even upon her protests. I do relent, especially when she is exceptionally busy, but she’s right there. Even if the half-hour round-trip that drenches me in humidity and sweat only results in 5 minutes of eye contact or hand-holding with the love of my life, well, that’s what my building’s showers are for.
That’s the relentless attraction that can be found in a thriving marriage spirituality. I don’t go to work to work: I go to work to love.
I work not for the love of wealth, but to free us at home to share a wealth of love. I go to work not to reach my personal goals, but to make goals more personal: to ensure that my little boy eats until he is plump and that my wife can pursue anything she wants (like, say, law school). I don’t go to work to build a record of success; rather, I go to build a record of service that fulfills my God-given vocation as Provider-Papa. My marriage works, not in the traditional sense of the phrase, but I am given something holy to work for.
And now that my wife works 15 minutes from me, I sometimes get to be in the presence of actual love here during my workday. And we sometimes carpool, too, turning what is a frustrating commute into a delightful sort of gondola ride, complete with oh-to-be-young-again hand-holding over the center console. Since she is nearby all day, I am ever attracted to her like a satellite in orbit. Some divine gravitation compels me to nearness to my beloved throughout the workday, to remind myself that the grace of marriage never stops pulling two people together. I head off to work and investigate the limits of science and technology, flung out into uncharted business space but never beyond her pull, her attraction, until my person once again re-enters the air she breathes—the space where her love grounds me.
And there’s the relationship tip: Every moment of the workday, we can experience grace tugging at our marriage union, drawing us together whether near or far. Work gives us a means to love sacrificially; grace gives us a means to be in love every minute of our day.