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.