As a husband, I want to be strong for my wife. I want her to see me as a man in the same vein as Maximus Aurelius from Gladiator; a persistent and strong leader with good intent. In reality, I’m more like a child in middle school who’s trying to impress a girl but continually cracks under pressure.
But how can Ian, a crippled man who’s been stripped of many physical and mental capabilities, be this type of man for his wife?
Well, the most important aspect of service to your wife is soul-protector. How did Jesus best serve the church? By redeeming and caring for the church. He gave himself up for the church so that “he might sanctify her” (Eph. 5:25-26). He gave himself up “so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:27). Husbands are supposed to love their wives “as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Eph. 5:25).
We cannot save people from damnation, but we can care for them. So, the best way a husband can serve his wife is by caring for her spiritual condition and seeking her sanctification. This is the most obvious way Ian serves Larissa, and he does it well.
Ian’s joyfulness and complete reliance on God seem to bring encouragement to Larissa, not to mention his quickness to bring God back to the center of things. Ian portrays faith like it should be portrayed: as common sense. God is good and that’s the truth, even to a man in Ian’s condition.
This should reposition my focus in marriage. The most important aspect of protecting, caring and providing for my wife is spiritual. Even if I were handicapped, unable to walk by myself, and relying on her for everything, the weight of her soul on my heart should be heavier than any other burdens I might have.
I should be more like Ian, because Ian serves his wife like Jesus serves his church.