We must make a daily choice to continue to love one another and remember that little things can make a big difference. Ever since we were first married almost 18 years ago, my husband leaves a note for me on our bathroom mirror. He keeps a pad of sticky notes in his drawer and writes me a short message every day. And if one of us is traveling, he sends it to me in an email.

He takes his inspiration from whatever is happening in our lives at the moment or from his morning devotional reading. Sometimes he thanks me for something I have done, other times he compliments me, occasionally he apologizes, often he writes an uplifting and encouraging message, and sometimes he just simply says, “I love you.” There are usually just a few sentences, but they mean the world to me. They make me feel loved, appreciated, valued and cherished. 

And he has told me that in the disciplined act of writing these daily affirmations of his feelings, he “finds a new reason to love me, every day”. And that is the advice that he gives to all newly married couples he encounters, “Find a new reason to love one another, every day.”

That attitude demonstrates the realization that LOVE IS A CHOICE. It illustrates how to make the choice to continue to love, day after day, in spite of any circumstances that might detract you. And it exemplifies how you successfully transition from the blazing, passionate flames of new love, to the warm, glowing embers of a love that lasts a lifetime.

It is also interesting to note that while The Bible gives us a great definition and much advice regarding “Love”, I could find no reference at all to a “soul mate”. God never instructs us to seek out a soul mate. However, if we follow the precepts of marriage he provides, then it is possible to develop the spiritual, physical, and emotional connections implied in the term.

So is the notion of a soul mate some sort of sham? Perhaps. But I believe that my spouse is my soul mate--not because of some mystical twist of fate, but because we work on our marriage every day to ensure that our “soul mate status” remains intact.

We seek contentment and happiness within ourselves, try to limit our selfish behavior, forgive easily and quickly, and strive to maintain our connection with God and with each other. We appreciate each other and endeavor to find new reasons to love one another on a daily basis. We spend time together, sharing “interests and experiences”.  And we make the choice, every day to continue to love each other, respect each other, and treat each other with kindness, compassion and patience.

Perhaps we should all start embracing the notion that “soul mates” are made, not born, that we can become soul mates with our partners. After all, what we really want when we seek a soul mate is someone that excites us, someone we can depend upon, and someone who really loves us for who we are. Put in those terms, it doesn’t seem so far-fetched or out-of-reach, does it?

I know that becoming soul mates with our spouses requires more work on our part than just getting “lucky” and “finding” them does, but at least we don’t have to abandon our romantic desire for the level of connection and intimacy that the term “soul mate” represents to us. We can stop “searching the world” and start searching our own homes. And best of all, with God’s help, if we will integrate this mindset into our marriages, we can actually turn the fantasy of a soul mate into a reality.

Take a good look at your spouse today and see if you can’t “fan the flames” of love a bit. You just might find that you have been married to your “soul mate” all along, after all.

“So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe that God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.”  ~ Colossians 3:14 (The Message)

Deborah J. Thompson is a writer, artist and Stephen Minister.  Please visit her website http://www.inspiredreflections.info/ for additional “Reflections” on Life and Marriage. She has just finished the first draft of her first book, Your Life, Your Choice, which gives 5 simple steps to harness the power of your choices and bring more Love, Joy and Peace into your life. She can be reached at reflecting@me.com.