my greatest regret (wedded wednesdays guest post)

{We need to get talking about what marriage really looks like. In that spirit, we chat about it here once a week, on Wedded Wednesdays.} 

Nikki (Simply Striving) was one of the first women who encouraged me in the blogging world. I can’t even remember what link-up connected us, but I’m sure thankful we’re friends. Her precious words and phenomenal writing are a beacon of light online and I treasure her perspective! Take it away, Nikki.

wedded wednesdays image 2

Ecclesiastes 4:12

We sat adjacent. She in her new pencil skirt and heels and me in my jean capris and sandals. I smiled as I noticed her freshly manicured toenails and tucked my feet under when I saw the flakes of magenta missing from mine.

“Only a few more weeks to go!” I said as excitedly as my weary voice would allow. It felt like they had just gotten engaged yesterday . . .

“I KNOW! Hurry up already!” She replied while slapping her lap for exclamation. Grinning, I reminisced on love’s anticipation and patted her knee to show I not only heard her, but felt it, too.

She played with the hem of her white skirt while I asked all the normal pre-wedding conversation starters. When I ran out of questions, I asked lightheartedly:

“So, what’s the most common advice you’ve received about marriage?”

We laughed as we recognized some stemmed from sappy love songs. And paused as we tried to figure out what song the most common one came from — for it was too cliché not to.

“Love is a choice, not a feeling.”

Our sides split as we created our own 80’s themed song. And as we stopped to catch our breaths, I confessed to her.

“You know, I thought the choice to love would be easy because I knew I was marrying the one God hand-picked for me. But, I was wrong. It’s not easy. The enemy makes sure of that.

I’m not sure how long it took me to figure out I wasn’t capable of I Cor 13 love alone. And the daily choice, for me, became not to love my husband, but to lay my own life down, pick up His cross of love and follow His lead . . .” I waited until our eyes met, winked and said finally, “My husband just happens to be in my path.”

Nodding her head slowly, she let me know with her next breath, she got it.

“That brings the chord analogy to a whole new level. Which is one of the Bible verses we chose for our wedding . . . Thank you for that.”

Never has that Bible verse made more sense to me. Because let’s face it–any marriage involves two humans. The one thing we humans all have in common is we are not perfect. But love is . . .

Love never fails.

Who am I to think I will never fail? I’m guaranteed to fray if left to my own capabilities . . . so would my husband (although not as quick as I would). Oh but with God intertwined, who can penetrate?

It’s then I shared with her my greatest regret in marriage:

I looked to my husband for love. I expected him to love me. Every day. I relied on him to do what I’ve proven I’m incapable of doing alone without fail.

I placed the greatest burden on my unknowing, undeserving husband: Expectations.

How can I expect him to love without fail? When God. Is. Love. Not my husband.

It’s God that has all we need.

Friends, marriage is the best practice of Luke 9:23 I’ve ever received:

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.

And when we choose to follow His lead, marriage can be one of the greatest gifts given. God makes sure of that.

It was then we decided the advice is true: Love is a choice, not a feeling.

Because He. Is.

Oh, I pray we all choose God. Before all else. Daily. Because He is the chord that holds a marriage tightly in place.

His LOVE never gives up.

Nikki @ SimplystrivingNikki is a girl in love with her husband of 14 years who has blessed her with the greatest role ever: being a mom. She’s honored to be a child of The King, daily accepting His gift of grace, and is elated with the idea that we can help each other along life’s journey. Because we’re all striving. Stretching. Sometimes struggling. Why not encourage each other along the way?
She journals her thoughts on a blog titled Simplystriving. There you will find her journey of seeking joy in the everyday while simply striving to become all that God has made her to be. And she’d love to have you along.

PS — What’s your marriage story? Every story matters, and we want to hear them all here on Wedded Wednesdays. Interested in guest posting? Email me — sarahkoci at gmail dot com — and we’ll chat.

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22 thoughts on “my greatest regret (wedded wednesdays guest post)

  1. Pingback: Thoughts on Marriage {And My Greatest Regret} | simplystriving

  2. Yes, I remember that day all to well ( my wedding day) the church, the walk down the isle, but probably the most part, coming out of the church for the reception line, and starting to cry, (Oh I guess almost crying) why wasn’t my new husband looking at me, kissing me, talking with me, was this a mistake, was it going to be a marriage like his parents, (a father that never talked, but only yelled) sorry I said that one, ???????????? Boy all of those questions, all selfish thoughts, me, me , me! Not a very mature person in Christ for sure! But here we are, we made it in spite of me, only thru Christ. thanks for sharing again, Nikki

    • Oh Cindy! I could have written your comment! We’ve all had moments like that, and I’m certain Mr. S. (and ALL our husbands) would echo that. Our instinct is me, me, me . . . and it’s Christ, Christ, Christ instead. Thanks so much for visiting today!

    • Oh my heart, Cindy…I so get this. And Sarah is right. The enemy tries to re-wire us to think about me, me, me…when that’s not how we were designed. at all.

      So true, Cindy…only thru Christ.
      Thanks for sharing today!

      All for Him with hugs to you,
      Nikki

  3. Wow! Nikki this was absolutely beautiful. I’m speechless because it says it all so wonderfully. I recently shared my testimony of how God transformed my marriage and I know our struggles in the earlier years of marriage were because of the expectations I had put on my new husband…expectations to be everything I needed. “I pray we all choose God. Before all else. Daily. Because He is the chord that holds a marriage tightly in place.” Amen! Thank you so much for sharing your heart. Thank you Sarah for hosting Nikki at your place. (((hugs))) to you both.

  4. Hey there Nikki friend! 🙂 I love your heart, your truth. I love when you write. You are faithful, beautiful, encouraging. 🙂

  5. I am thankful that my husband helped me learn this before we were married, but letting go of expectations is still something that I struggle with daily. One of the best pieces of advice that I received? The best thing you can do for your marriage is to love God with all your heart. Great post, Nikki!! And thanks, Sarah for hosting. Love this emphasis on marriage!!!

  6. I’ve got 26 years under my wedded belt, and I’m here to tell you that you hit the nail on the head, Nikki. Every wife will be disappointed if she looks to her husband as her source of love and appreciation. It’s so easy to grow resentful over the years. We have to get in the habit of laying our neediness at the foot of the cross.

    So nice to meet you, Sarah. Nikki is such a doll!

    • So true, Susan! Makes me realize why my Grandmother told me our household threshold should always be the foot of the cross… thank you for reminding me of that!

      (and Sarah is a doll, too! She is full of grace…)

  7. Hi Sarah and Nikki girl… In the past 11 years my hubby and I have been through good and bad times, like each of you reading along. I desperately need the Holy Spirit to be our go-between because He keeps the peace. I am a different person today than when I got married. I know some people have felt they had to separate because of just that reason, they’ve changed too much to be a part of something they once vowed themselves to. PRAISE GOD for CHANGE, growth, and for pulling me more and more out of myself, to not just survive this marriage road, but to thrive in daily worship.
    I praise God for you Nikki girl… come visit me when you can. I miss you. And I bless all you sweet sisters here as well. 🙂 ~ Love from Maine, Amy

    • I remember you sharing on your wedding trials and joys, Amy. (you should consider writing a post for Sarah, for you have such a story of redemption to share!)

      to not just survive but thrive…I love that…

      So blessed by you…I’ll be over soon! {HUGS}
      Thank you for stopping by, Amy dear!

  8. I remember the first time I heard this lesson. We were in our home group and there was a couple, so dear to us, married at least 40 years. He was explaining how love is a choice, an action, not a feeling. I was so confused, all wrapped up in my own emotions and newlywed love, but I listened and I learned and I remember still. It is one of the most valuable lessons. It’s hard to see past the expectations that society places on love and relationship, but once we learn to stop looking to people for our worth, it is so much easier to love properly.

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