The following is a transcript of a live interview I recently had with the Little Dude in My Head on the show “Driving Over Endless Interminable Miles of Trackless NM Wilderness With Too Much Time to Think.”
Little Dude in My Head: Thank you so very much for being on the show today, Dr. Gruben. We’re excited to have you.
Aaron Gruben: Thank you, Little Dude, I’m excited to be here.
Little Dude in My Head: So I thought I’d start this internal dialogue off on a deep tone, to contrast with the thousands of miles of shallow sand zipping past you. I’m told you’re a veritable renaissance man by watery modern standards. You have, in fact, got your fingers in so many pies you don’t have any clean fingers left; and folks who haven’t figured out the startling secret of consuming two pots of coffee a day all wonder how you’re not dead yet. With all those different demands tugging at you right now, I gotta wonder which is most important to you. Tell me, Dr. Gruben, when imagining yourself 20 years from now, what one thing in your life will you wish you’d spent more time working on? Or stated differently perhaps, what’s the thing you’ll be gladdest you worked hard on now?
AG: Ah! Well, being a good Christian (and quite honestly), I’d have to say that would be my relationship with Christ.
LDIMH: Oh yes, of course. But I’m thinking a bit more temporally here. What one “earthly” thing will you care most about in 20 years?
AG: I’d definitely have to say, without hesitation, that it would be my relationship with my wife. Hm… I really don’t feel any hesitation here, Little Dude. And I guess it’s that lack of hesitation in calling Joy and my relationship the most important earthly thing in my life that proves it an undeniable fact to me.
LDIMH: Why the thoughtful face, Dr. Gruben
AG: Well, I’m just wondering suddenly why it is I spend so much time and effort worrying about things less important than my relationship with Joy. I really would rather my career crumbles, or my books all get banned, or my house burns down, or even my kids hate me 20 years from now, than have Joy not love me or be unhappy. She is more important than anything under this old, eclipsing sun. Huh.
LDIMH: Yes. We Little Dudes inside the head really do have some penetrating questions. You should pause in your scurrying more often and listen to us a bit more. And think of your recklessness in doing and saying things that actually hurt your marriage! It’s a good thing we’re talking today, Dr. Gruben. So… is it Joy herself, or the permanent quality of marriage that makes your relationship with her that important?
AG (sweating just a bit now): I think it’s both actually. She’s absolutely wonderful more ways than I could count on my pie-stained fingers, and probably in hundreds of ways I haven’t even discovered yet beyond that. But it is the truth that we fully intend to stay together until we die: which automatically makes our relationship more important than any of those thousand other things in my life that won’t last that long.
LDIMH: Totally! Do you think that’s all that makes her the most important person in your life?
AG: Well… I think, on a mystical and deeply fundamental level, making her the most important person in my life is the way things “ought” to be, due to the nature of marriage.
LDIMH: Oh? Do elucidate this erudite point, Dr. Gruben, please.
AG: Well, Nick (mind if call you Nick?)
LDIMH: Yes. Don’t do it.
AG: Oh… OK. Well, Ephesians 5 indicates God designed marriage as a picture of Christ and His church’s relationship. There’s really not much else in my life that paints a God glorifying image so clearly or anything else that wrecking would do so much damage to his Image would. And if I really believe that my purpose in living is “to glorify God and enjoy him forever” (which I say I do), then that makes marriage the most important human relationship in life too. And in way back in Genesis God made marriage to fix the deepest loneliness in man (Gen 2:18), to make “mankind” two equal beings mysteriously and really existent in one flesh (Gen 2:22-23), to make man more in His image (as a triune God; Gen. 1:27), and perpetuate families of humans throughout the earth (Gen 2:24). All of those things would seem to indicate that there isn’t a relationship more important in my life than the one I’m in with that lady sitting in the passenger seat next to me.
LDIMH: So it’s not just because she’s really pretty and a lot of fun?
AG: Weeeell… Those things certainly play no small part…
At this point, Joy looked over at me with quite a puzzled expression covering her gorgeous face. “Who exactly are you talking to, husband of mine?”
“Oh! Er… Nobody at all, dear. Nobody. Did I tell you I love you yet?”
Because I do. I love you forever, Joy. Happy Anniversary!
 Not a surprised one, mind you.