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When Reality Hit Me on My Honeymoon

By: Kristen Clark

“Babe, I have a great idea…” Zack said enthusiastically. “I want to plan our entire honeymoon by myself and completely surprise you!”

With a shocked face and raised eyebrows, I smiled at my handsome fiance and asked, “Seriously? You want to surprise me and plan our entire honeymoon on your own?”

“Yes!” Zack responded confidently. “You don’t have to worry about a thing. I’ve totally got this,” he added with a wink.

With four months left until our wedding day, it was honestly a huge relief for me to remove the honeymoon planning from my to-do list.

Before I knew it, the time had finally arrived and I found myself packing my honeymoon suitcase.

The wedding day was over in a blink and I was headed on a surprise honeymoon destination with my new husband.

Everything was perfect and life felt like a fairy tale dream. Zack took me to a romantic jungle cottage in the beautiful country of Costa Rica. Life seemed perfect!

Like any girl, I had envisioned a “perfect” honeymoon and had extremely high expectations of how my new husband would meet my needs. He would always love me perfectly and anticipate my every unspoken need…right??

Well, Zack was amazing and he did love me really, really well.

However, I made a huge mistake that I think a lot of modern girls make. I naively romanticized the “marriage relationship” to the point of forgetting that two sinners were marrying each other.

I romanticized everything and expected the honeymoon and marriage to be absolutely perfect in every way.

I distinctly remember laying in bed one night (around day 7) and feeling frustrated and confused. Although Zack was (and is) a truly amazing husband, it was impossible for him to live up to a “perfect” standard, and I found myself upset over it.

As I tossed and turned in bed that night, God began doing a major work in my heart.

As I thought about my “unmet expectations,” God opened my eyes to see just how off my perspective was.

This is when reality hit me on the honeymoon.

As amazing as marriage is, I realized how wrong my perspective had become. In the busyness of wedding planning and excitement, my eyes had slowly shifted from depending on God, to depending on my new husband. Rather than finding all of my security in Christ, I was looking to Zack to meet my every need.

Regardless of how amazing a guy may be, it’s impossible for him to meet every need.

This was a good wake up call for me.

Over the next week, God continued working in my heart and challenging my incorrect mindset. I knew the truth, but had let my excitement and romantic dreams cloud biblical thinking. Slowly but surely, I began re-embracing some foundational, biblical truths about true love and relationships. The more I embraced God’s truth, the more joy-filled I became.

Although my honeymoon was an absolute blast in so many ways (and still remains the best trip of my life), I wish I had been more in tune with God’s truth at the beginning of the trip.

If you’re hoping to get married someday, I want to help you avoid the struggles that I went through. With the right mindset, you can avoid a bunch of unnecessary heartache and just enjoy your honeymoon for all it’s meant to be.

Here are 3 truths I wish I had embraced wholeheartedly on my honeymoon:

1. My husband can’t meet all of my needs.

It’s so easy to shift our focus away from God and onto a guy to meet all of our needs.
Sadly, the moment we do this is the moment we set ourselves up for disappointment. Whether it’s with a husband or boyfriend, guys cannot meet all of our needs.

Our relationship with Jesus Christ is the only relationship that can fully satisfy our heart’s longings (John 15:5).

2. Expectations can quickly become idols.

When our focus shifts away from Jesus and onto a guy, we begin expecting things from him that are totally unrealistic. Our “expectations” quickly become the gage we use to measure our happiness. If our guy is meeting our needs like we want, we’re happy. If he’s not, we’re upset and sad.

This is a clear sign that our expectations have turned into idols. When our joy and happiness become dependent on a human, we have a clear sign we’re idolizing that relationship above our relationship with God. Only heartache will follow.

3. True love is built on self-sacrifice.

Despite the message Hollywood pumps into our veins, true love is not built on emotional feelings. I realized this first hand on my honeymoon. When two sinners get married, conflict is a sure thing. In those moments, we have a choice to make.

Will we choose to love that person in spite of their flaws, or will we demand perfection from them? True love always chooses self-sacrifice over demanding your own way (1 Corinthians 13). True Christ-like love, is about giving, not getting.

My honeymoon was amazing in so many ways, but I wish I had done a better job at embracing those three truths.

Whether you’re old enough to get married or not, I can’t encourage you enough to start embracing and applying these three truths in your life. In fact, the best place to practice them is right now, wherever God has you. Great future marriages are built on the foundations you lay today.

If you’re interested in digging deeper into God’s design for love and romance, check out our new book, Girl Defined: God’s Radical Design for Beauty, Femininity, and Identity. We wrote an entire chapter on the exciting topic of true love and romance! (More info HERE).

Let’s keep this conversation going down below.

  • What lies have you believed about true love and romance?
  • Which of the three truths could you relate to the most? Why?

P.S. We want to personally invite you to join our LIVE 8 Week Summer Webinar Study! It’s going to be a blast. More info here.

Photo Credit: Here 

Girl looking over cliff. GirlDefined

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  • Leanne

    Great post!

    How do you love sacrificially, not just in marriage, but more particularly in the workplace, the marketplace, and other places without getting abused? Is there a line you need to draw? How do you determine this line Biblically? Because we don’t want to get cheated in the marketplace, and the Bible says to do justice, but I also want to show Christ’s all-forgiving love.

    With things like modesty, high purity standards, gender issues, and much more, especially swimsuits, how do you respond when one of your own brothers or sisters in Christ don’t understand you? I know some people and even churches are afraid to put basic boundaries on because they are afraid to be “legalistic,” but you do need some basic morality in the church. And it’s not even legalistic; it’s Biblical; but it seems as if (although it is not really) ordering another person around on how to live their own personal life, and interfering with such would be considered rude?

  • vwlover

    This can’t be said enough. I know this in my head but I really need this post to heart especially when I have been told this several times. Married or not we have to learn to depend on God for everything. Life , even with the difficulties, will be better.

  • Sarah

    Have you read the book “Equipped To Love”? Thank you so much for posting, God bless!

  • Joanna

    Great post! Thank you!

  • Gabrielle

    Ah yes!! I noticed that we girl always have these big expectations when it comes to our future husbands meeting our needs, looking forward to all the romance, tall, dark, handsome, etc. but we seem to compltely forget that marriage in and of itself it not all about the romance and physical touch. God wants to use the both of you as a team to glorify Himself. In your marriage you’ll see a picture of Christ and His bride. You’ll learn to truly love UNCONDITIONALLY, encourage each other in the Lord, and push each other to grow spiritually and obey God. Therefore, whether or not he holds you in his arm all day, or is super romantic, has a way with words, or is tall, with blue eyes, and incredibly gorgeous, it ultimately isn’t about that.

    I’ve realized that we as Christians gals, along with myself for sure, have to maintain the right focus, and biblical perspective of marriage. Knowing what’s truly important, and always keeping God first. Knowing that only He alone can complete us, and that only He alone is where our joy, satisfaction, and true happiness come from! If we keep the right perspective we won’t ‘like’ someone solely based on their looks and the butterflies we feel when they smile. And we won’t focus so much on the excitement of physical touch, kisses, etc.

    Do you guys think it’s actually possible to not have all these high expectations concerning marriage that divert the right, biblical perspective?

  • Courtney Jackson

    The biggest lie I have also believed is that a guy will complete me. I’ve learned that it takes two complete people in Christ to make a lasting relationship work. I’m a single 24 year old woman and I’ve dated one guy and went on two dates with different guys. I am trusting in God’s timing.
    The hardest part for me is finding someone who is whole heartedly dedicated to God but also enjoys things that I enjoy. Is it wrong to want that? A balance of spiritual compatibility and physical. I don’t think it is but I continue to learn new things everyday.
    I just recently found your site and I am excited to become a part of women who are seeking to be defined by God and not by the lies of society. Thank you!


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