Do You Believe in Soulmates?
- Christianity Today Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2004 10 Nov
I don't believe in soulmates. To me, having a soulmate means there's only one person God has chosen specifically for me and predestined for me to marry. The reason I don't believe in this is because on God's list of priorities, his top desire is for everyone to be born again. Even so, according to
I think God has ordained someone special for each individual—just like Adam and Eve. When God created Adam, he only created one mate for him, not several potential mates. I think it was like this for a purpose. God wanted this to be an example for us. Otherwise God could have created a whole generation of people and then let Adam meet Eve either by divine intervention or after dating several potential mates.
There are a lot of single, Christian, God-fearing brothers out there, but just because they're Christian doesn't mean they're compatible with every Christian woman. I have several Christian guy friends who will make great husbands for women other than me. It will take a special man to minister to my needs as a single mom to two teenage girls. Marriage is a ministry, and just like certain gifts are required to minister to the needs of individuals in ministry, the same applies to a marriage.
I think we should always reflect back to the first marriage when addressing a question like this one. What happens is we deviate from God's plan because of anxiousness and go through several potential mates before we get to the right one. We must allow God to bring us to the person he has for us. Sometimes, in our effort to meet the one God has for us, we may develop soul ties with other people and may confuse this person as being our soulmate. We must remember Adam didn't have to go looking for Eve; God brought her to him. Think about it, there was no other Joseph for Mary, there was no other Sarah for Abraham, and there was no other Eve for Adam.
I don't believe in soulmates. My parents probably thought they were soulmates when they were married 30 years ago, but I doubt they would say that now. They can barely tolerate each other, and have been that way for the past 25 years. Truly, the happiest couples I know are the couples whose relationship is grounded in their relationship with God and their conscious decision to love each other through thick and thin. For example, my best friend's parents met in college. Marilyn was engaged to another guy. Ted was single and had his eye on Marilyn. Marilyn's fiancé ; dumped her, so Ted asked her to marry him. She thought, Why not? I don't have any other prospects. Fifty-three years later, they're the happiest, most loving couple I know. They're committed to God and to each other. They'd never claim to be soulmates. They were just two single college students who didn't want to spend their lives alone.
I don't doubt the existence of true passionate love. I just think the best, most lasting love is the kind you grow into through commitment and patience. My best friend and her husband are more the soulmate type, I guess. They were high school sweethearts and have known each other since they were hanging out in the church crib together. They love each other so much it fills the room when you're with them. It's beautiful. But they've struggled to maintain that love. They've fought hard and worked hard and committed to God and to each other. Their soulmate love has grown into a more mature, committed love.
Maybe the real problem is when we try to hang on to that initial twitterpation—the soulmate fixation. Our culture teaches us that's what love is supposed to be. So we run around searching for eternal twitterpation, something we really can't maintain. I think God intended love to be more logical than that—a choice. We're commanded to love. If it wasn't a choice, I don't think we would have needed a command. If biblical love is a conscious decision, why are we searching for something we "fall" into? Because of my background, I don't know if I have the ability to "fall" in love. But I want to love someone. I want to choose to commit myself to someone who will commit himself to me—the way God commanded us to love each other.
I believe there's one person God has designed perfectly and specifically for each person. This person isn't only one's perfect match at the time they meet, but God knows that even their purposes and destinies match. He knows the combination of these two individuals will produce exactly the kind of children he wants added to the world. However, so few people make being in the perfect will of God a priority. Instead, they walk down a road that winds on and off of God's most desired path for them. Along the way they meet and fall in love with people who are great for them, but not perfect for them. So they get married and have a great life, but only God knows how short of perfect it really is.
I believe when a person actually does meet his or her "soulmate," it's undeniable. I also think there's so much more involved than just enjoying life with someone special. God desires that each of us be "perfect, even as our Father in heaven is perfect." So if God is looking for each of us to be perfect, and has given us the tools to be so, he certainly would require a perfect union of two who are to become a perfect one in him.
We will reach perfection as we desire and seek God's perfect will. And as we desire and seek God's perfect will, he will surely send us that perfect one.
I'm not sure the term soulmates is accurate in a biblical sense. Actually, I think the whole concept of "soulmates" is worldly romantic baloney packaged as spiritually connected predestination.
I have yet to find a passage in the Bible that hints at or promises a soulmate. It's one thing to believe God will help you discern and choose a person who will complement your weaknesses and strengths in serving him. But it's something else altogether to believe God has chosen one person out of the whole planet that only you can marry and serve him with.
Two becoming one is the goal and a process. Adam and Eve were soulmates. Everyone after that has been by choice, convenience, family obligation, religious yoking, or some other reason. Yes, I understand divine providence is at work in some instances.
In the end, all women have souls. So, any one of them could be a "soulmate" for me in a logical sense. But, not every one could be a quality mate for me in an actual sense. There will be some women whose strengths, weaknesses, and personality types will enable them to blend with mine much easier. While meeting someone who matches up with you in many areas may feel so good that you can't ascribe it to anything but God, that doesn't mean God has predestined the relationship because he chose this person "just for you."
Instead, you show me two people who love each other in a godly way, trust each other, treat each other with respect, and accept each other truthfully, and I will show you two people who feel like their souls have mated.
I do believe God has specifically chosen one person for me. I'm over 40 years old, and I've been in many romantic relationships. Looking back, I can see how they just weren't the men for me. I was in these relationships for various reasons, but none of these men were my soulmate, including my ex-husband. If I put God first in my life, I believe he'll guide me to meet and ultimately marry the man who's the best fit for me, my lifestyle, and my world (and for whom I'm the best fit).
Until the last few years, I truly believed in the single soulmate theory. I felt God had designed one man whose beliefs, personality, talents, and weaknesses would mesh perfectly with those same areas in my life. Then I met Evelyn. This precious woman's soulmate died. They had been sweethearts since their teen years and had a wonderful marriage. After her husband's death, she immersed herself in church, and a couple of years later met a man who also won her heart. This man is her soulmate as well. They share a loving and exciting marriage just as she did with her first husband.
This leaves me to believe that while God does design the perfect spousal complement for our lives, perhaps more than one will fill the need if the first is taken by death. The second gentleman may not have been what Evelyn needed as a young woman, but he's what she needs now that she's in her 40s. Timing is always a key in God's plan for our life.
Someone once asked me if I believe in soul mates, and I told him yes. He proceeded to tell me he, too, believed in soul mates, but that sometimes soul mates don't work out. However, he added, God's second choice for us is better than our first choice.
I thought about what he said, and I've come to a conclusion. I still believe there are soul mates; however, I've seen people who just want to be married and who take the matter into their own hands instead of letting God take the lead. They end up marrying "Mr./Ms. Alright" instead of "Mr./Ms. Right." So, what happens to their real soulmate? Well, they either do the same or they get God's second choice for them.
If, for some reason, my own soulmate has either married someone else or has been hit by a bus, I think I'd be much more satisfied with God's second choice for me than my first choice for me.
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