They were young and in love. Their entire future was ahead of them.
Everything seemed magical in their lives and he couldn’t wait to propose to her. He began ring shopping with great excitement and imagined the moment he would slip the diamond onto her finger.
Suddenly, without any warning, something drastic changed their lives forever.
It was a normal day for this young couple just like any other day. He headed to his car without a clue that this would be the last day he would walk or talk for a very long time.
He merged onto the highway like he always did, but this time things wouldn’t end the same way.
Before he knew it his car crashed head on with another vehicle and his body was instantly crushed.
His life was hanging by a thread for many weeks as he struggled to come out of a coma.
The doctors informed his soon-to-be wife that she should begin planning his funeral because he wasn’t going to survive.
God had different plans.
Against all odds, he pulled through and survived the terrible accident! He was alive, but his life would never be the same.
He suffered from many long term injuries as a result, but the worst was his brain injury.
He had to relearn how to speak, walk and do basic daily tasks.
His soon-to-be wife had an extremely hard decision to make.
Should she move forward into marriage with a man who would never walk again normally? Who couldn’t provide for her? Who couldn’t give her all the things a wife desired in a marriage? Who would spend most of his life being helped in and out of bed?
Our culture’s advice would be to run the other way. But for this girl, the decision was easy. She truly loved him before the accident and nothing was going to change that.
For her, his unexpected disabilities didn’t mean their marriage was over, but just that it would take a little longer to get to the alter.
Several years after his rehab and recovery process, he was well enough to get married.
My eyes became moist as I watched a video of this young couple at their wedding ceremony. The beautiful bride walked down the aisle to meet her soon-to-be husband who sat in a wheelchair at the other end.
This is the true story of Ian and Larissa Murphy.
Their love story is one of the most powerful stories I have ever heard. Larissa’s example of true love – true selfless, servant-minded, others-focused love – is an amazing story to behold.
I am blown away by every page of their story as I read their new book titled, Eight-Twenty-Eight, When Love Didn’t Give Up. If you haven’t read it, I highly encourage you to grab a copy.
In a culture where “love” is all about feelings, all about what the other person can do for you, all about getting and not giving, Ian and Larissa show the world what true love really looks like.
Pulling from the beautiful example of Ian and Larissa’s marriage, Here are 3 truths for building a future marriage that lasts:
1. True love stays no matter what.
Larissa didn’t have to marry Ian after his accident, but she did anyway. She chose to marry him because she truly loved him no matter what. That is what true love is all about. It hangs in there for the long haul, no matter what obstacles or hurdles need to be tackled.
By choosing to marry a guy with multiple disabilities, Larissa showed us a glimpse of the amazing picture of Christ’s love for us. No matter how disabled we are spiritually, Christ will never abandon His Children. His love for us is unconditional.
Once we enter into a marriage covenant, we must embrace this type of committed, steadfast love for our husband.
“But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children” (Psalm 103:17).
2. True love isn’t about getting, but giving.
Larissa knew that marrying Ian would mean a life of giving with getting little in return. She has to spend countless hours by his bedside serving him, feeding him, talking to him, helping him, etc. Ian can give her very little back. That is a mind blowing picture of true love.
Jesus lived a life that was clearly marked by giving to others. He modeled a life of giving, not getting, and commands us to show the same love for others.
As Acts 20:35 says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
3. True love is focused on serving others.
Most of us imagine getting married one day to an awesome guy who will love us and provide for all of our needs. For Larissa, this would never become a reality. She chose to marry a man who would require countless hours of around the clock service.
The only reason her marriage with Ian is able to work is because she knows that true love serves no matter what. She doesn’t expect their marriage to be 50/50. She knows that true love serves without expecting anything in return. Her marriage flies in the face of everything Hollywood teaches us.
Larissa is an incredible example of the love that Jesus shows to you and me on a daily basis.
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).
If you haven’t watched their love story video yet, you can watch it here.
I pray it will touch your heart and inspire you to rethink what true love is all about…and how to build a love story that lasts.
- How does your current definition of love measure up to the three points from above?
- If you were faced with a situation like Larissa some day, what would you do? How do you think you would respond?
- In what ways has Ian and Larissa’s story opened your eyes to what true love really is?