Soul mates?

February 15, 2011

in 1 + 1 = 1

Meant to be? © Orlando Florin Rosu | Dreamstime.com

I saw an article entitled The Soul Mate Myth that got me thinking. I must confess I once bought into this idea. I remember telling my bride “God ordained us for each other before the foundations of the world.” Yeah, really, I said that (to her credit my bride gave me the “what have you been smoking” look). Could I back it up with Scripture? Well no…

I no longer believe in soul mates. It’s not that I doubt God has a specific will for each of us, I do. However, I have come to understand we make such messes of our lives by our sins and wrong choices that most of us end up a long way from the “perfect path” God had for us. I also have come to understand that God, in His love, walks with us even when we go where He does not want us to go. What’s more, out of His grace, He finds ways to give us good things wherever we find ourselves. That means there is not one perfect woman out there for each man, but rather a number of women who will make a good wife for each man. It also means the “pool” of great choices will change as the man grows and changes.

I think the idea of soul mate is appealing for several reasons, some of them less than healthy. I think it is sometimes used to manipulate: telling her she is your soul mate is easier than trying to fix yourself. Telling yourself she is your soul mate is a way to try to stay together when it’s not working. If that takes the place of working on things, then the situation just gets worse.

The darker side of the soul mate lie comes when a man decides, “She is not my soul mate”. This gives the man “permission” to leave his wife (and kids) and seek out his “one true love”. The soul mate lie is also used as an excuse for adultery – “She’s my soul mate, I can’t help it”.

If you do have a soul mate, it is the woman to whom you are married right now. Regardless how wise or right your marriage was, or wasn’t, your job now is to make it great.

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13 comments
The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

@Harry - Are you suggesting that God requires a divorce in this situation? How is than any different than thing the way to forsake adultery that leads to pregnancy is to have an abortion?

Harry
Harry

This is the second time in two weeks (Feb. 8 was the other) that you've told us that even if it was wrong (sinful) to enter a marriage, it is God's will to continue in it. God's prescription for sin is to confess it as sin and forsake it.

Kathleen
Kathleen

It makes sense! I mean, come on, what are the chances that a person would even meet their "soul mate"?! I like the idea of making it work because we want it to, not because we are soul mates. It can be a cop out.

Michel J.
Michel J.

I agree to John,if the husband and wife is in line in God's plan, the marriage is strong and blessed... great post! we should respect everyone's opinion..

MBoyd
MBoyd

I love the Generous Husband. My marriage has benefited so greatly from aspects of your philosophy and more importantly the spiritual guidance it offers. However, I have a tendency to believe that my wife and I were destined to be together. There is no doubt in my mind that she & I are both equally capable of finding another 1 of many thousands of partners that we could make a successful marriage with. Or, that we are equally capable of destroying our own relationship. I do however believe that we were led to each other by God. We are viewed by our social others as soooo very different and outwardly it may seem that we don't make the perfect match but we have both suffered in our childhoods in similar and unfamiliar ways. We have each adapted to protective measures that contrast the others and this has created difficult situations. However, without these similarities we wouldn't be so connected and without these differences we would be condemned to an emotional solitude and ultimately remain broken within. We have been together for 21yrs and during that time, I've never known another couple who remain so devoted to the other as we. We have the same distresses in life that most have as well as many that most will never know. When she's too weak to move forward, I carry her and unfortunately, for the last 2+yrs, I've been so weakened that she has carried me. I believe that she has confided in me 100% as I have with her. The Skeletons in the closet are no more. Sure thoughts may enter our minds that we don't share but surprisingly, we share the thoughts that society would condemn us for. Ofen that shocks the other but the connection is so close and forgiveness is given so freely that it could only be due to divine influence. Humanity isn't (in my opinion) capable of dealing with some of the thougthts (Not Actions) that we share. Maybe we're timid about sharing but we do and have always been surprisingly met with guidance and support of the other. I know this could change but it can only change if one of us chooses to allow that change. Our entire life together is well represented as an incomplete tirangle. We bagan at the base and we grew closer and the closer we grow to the other, the closer we grow to God (Who sits at the top of the triangle) until we meet God upon our ressurection from death. In summary, I agree that we probably were not predestined since B4 time but I feel assured that God guided (not forced) us together and that ours is truly a marriage made in heaven and that it can overcome anything except our individual refusal to allow it to continue toward heaven. I hope I haven't made anyone uncomfortable in my thoughts and details & I stongly disagree that there is ever any valid excuse for leaving a marriage that you promised God that you would commit your entire life to(w/obvious exceptions that are actually covered in scripture).

John
John

I can easily agree with the latter parts there... In that it gets used as an excuse for doing wrong things (adultery, divorce, obstinance, etc). But the first part... let me ask a few questions: Do you believe that God created you and this world? Do you believe that God is all-knowing? Do you believe He is all-powerful? If you answered yes to those 3, then can you honestly think that you can throw a wrench in His plans? Yes... we're human flesh. Yes... we screw up miserably (sometimes it seems at every turn). But, YES! He walks with us through it all, if we have chosen to follow Him and abide in His will. That's the key, though. When we walk with Him, our steps are guided. Even when we go off course, He's still there... lining things up to get us to the intended destination. If we're honestly, faithfully walking with Him, then all those excuses for sinning are moot. We may be tempted to stray, but we see it for what it is... lies from the pit of hell. So do I believe that my wife truly is my soul-mate? YOU BETCHA!!

Phil
Phil

I used to buy into the idea myself. To be pleasing to God, one must marry THE person that God has hand picked for us. After 22 years of marriage, 19 of which have been great (last 19), and after counseling several couples, I am now convinced that if just ONE of the spouses in a marriage is willing and actually does what a husband or wife is supposed to do, that marriage can be good. If both are in line with God's plan, the marriage WILL thrive.

Harry
Harry

Paul--The pregnancy is not the sin. The adultery is, and is to be forsaken, pregnancy or no pregnancy, marriage license or no marriage license. Scripture clearly says that the marriage of divorced persons constitutes adultery. I don't see how to get around that.

The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

@MBoyd - Your marriage sounds a lot like mine. I have no issue with "God guided us to each other": I would say the same my marriage. That said, I see choices and sins in both of our lives that, had we not done those things, we would never have met, or we would not have been nearly as good a match. So, had I lead a less sinful life, which I would say would be living more in His will, I am confident He would have guided me to another who was more suited for who I would be on that path.

The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

@John – I answer yes to all three. As to how I can think I can mess up His plans, it’s call free will. If we could walk sinless, and did so every day of our life, then what you say would be correct. But we can’t walk sinless, so we do things that get us off the path He would have us on. I personally don’t think God is obligated to fix my messes. Because of His grace, He often does, but the reality is there are consequences for our sins, and sometimes our actions close doors permanently. Just saying this to share what I believe. Free will is a massive argument that has gone on in the Church for a very long time, and I doubt we will resolve it here. I will finish by saying that Jesus taught His disciples to pray for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. To me this is proof that God’s will is NOT always done on earth.

The Generous Husband
The Generous Husband

@Harry - Yes, Scripture does say if a divorce was not for sexual sin, then remarriage results in adultery. What the Bible does not say that the solution to that is to do something that we are told God hates. That is something man has added, and in my mind it's a case of trying to right a wrong with another wrong. But I have good friends who has studied it and see it differently than I do.

Robyn Gibson
Robyn Gibson

Hi, i'm a little confused about this reparte; let me use my own life as an example. we married as both unbelievers; hubby was married before (no biggie, as it is the way of the secular world) 4 years into our marriage, the Lord calls me ... i get saved and realize that divorce is wrong (which i presently stand on) however, if i understand correctly, what you are saying is that, at the point of my conversion, (or realizing that divorce is not God's will) i should have then divorced (forsaken) my husband ... because he was married before ... thereby making me an adulterer (btw; i have had christians actually tell me this) ... i don't believe it, as this remedy would have me actually sinning (divorce) to become to become "in the good" again. i believe the remedie for "forsaking" sin is called repentence; didn't Jesus say, "go, and sin no more." He didn't condemn the woman at the well for all of her ex-husbands, but told her that THIS was her point of repentence ... it was NOW that she was to sin no more. two wrongs never make a right ... at least not in God's economy.

Harry
Harry

One huge limitation to this kind of interaction is the impossibility of really conveying my heart for you, Robyn, and your husband, and the many, many others who find themselves in similar situations. I have no delusion that what I believe God is calling you to is unbearably hard, and my heart just aches for you all. But there's no improving on God's design, even when it hurts. If I had embezzled money before I came to the Lord, after I gave my life to Christ, doesn't repentance mean giving the money back? If I stole a diamond ring and gave it to my dear wife, telling her it was hers to keep forever, once I give my life to Christ, don't I have to give the ring back, even though I have to "steal" it back from my wife to do so? I am not kept from making restitution for the earlier sin by not wanting to break my promise to my wife, as it was a promise that was unlawful for me to make in the first place. My prayer for you is the same as for myself: that God will give us all the grace to follow His truth, wherever it leads, whatever the cost.

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