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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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