Are You My Soul Mate?
[Editorial note: You know you’re busy when you have written blog posts completed and just don’t have time to publish them. This post may seem strange based on a few conversations I’ve had with some of you recently… but I promise, it’s been written for weeks! Carry on…]
I don’t believe in soul mates, at least not in the way/connotation that the world at large generally believes in soul mates. On the flip side, I do believe that there is one particular person that, if we’re meant to marry, that we’re meant to marry. Let me explain…
My perspective on potential marriage partners really stems from a much deeper question: is our life planned out for us simply to walk through, or do we have a say (based on our choices) in what happens? In Christianity, we call this dilemma Free Will vs. Election.
The first camp says we make choices the second says that an all knowing, sovereign God chooses for us. This doctrinal conflict has caused a serious divide in the church for centuries. My view? They’re both right.
I believe, because the Bible teaches, that God knows everything, plans everything, works every aspect of my life and the lives of others together in an intricate weave. This is simple fact, if God wants something done, it’s gonna get done. On the other hand, I also believe, because the Bible teaches, that from the perspective of my life, I have daily choices to make, and those choices shape my life. Doughnut or oatmeal for breakfast. To work or not to work. Be nice to someone who’s annoying me or say what I really think about them… These daily choices are small, but when done recurrently directly affect my ultimate health, financial situation and relationships. God is sovereign, but in His sovereignty, gives us choices to make.
Same thing goes for soul mates. Basically, there are two schools of thought: the first, from a christian perspective is that there are general guidelines we’ve been given in the Bible that tell us the type of person we should be looking for, aside from that, the rest of the package is up to us (aka. free will). This camp teaches that there is a pool of candidates, which any person within will make you just as good of a spouse as the next. This side strongly objects to the idea of “the one”, stating arguments such as, “If there is only one right person, what happens when a person marries the “wrong” person, does this not start a chain reaction forcing the one they should have married to marry someone else… And so one and so forth until it is impossible for anyone to marry the right person?” It’s a fair question, but one based on an extremist view of the opposite argument.
The extremist view is this: Each person has one other person with whom they have a deep, almost inexplicable connection. This pair was made for one another. Their task in life is to seek for the other. The sooner they find their other half the sooner they’ll be complete, the sooner they’ll be happy, the better life will be. The problem with this is that if the qualification of “the one” is the person who makes us happiest, then as soon as things are less than perfect (which they will be, very soon) then we conclude that we’ve simply not found the right one, giving us the excuse we need to cut ties and go searching again. This, admittedly is deeply flawed.
Like is said, my view, is a marriage of these two ideas, which, in my opinion is the perfect reconciliation of both extremes (if I do say so myself). As indicated above, I believe this comes down to the same foundation as free will and election… It’s all about perspective.
It goes like this, from our perspective we are presented with boundaries and guidelines, giving us an outline of the character qualities we should be looking for in a spouse. There will be a pool of candidates which fit these parameters. Of the pool, there will be many that can be eliminated due to personality and preference differences. We’re left with a small group of individuals of whom any will make a complimentary spouse. We have a choice in who we marry, at which point, vows said, we work to maintain good relationship and make the marriage work – come hell and high water.
This I agree with, it is the paradigm which we who are limited in knowledge have to work within. However, we are not the only part of this equation. We operate in a world under the control of God’s ultimate will. This God knows everything – including who, if anyone, we will marry. More than that, we’re told multiple times that God has plans for our lives, both in the general sense and more specifically. Marriage, if done well, can occupy upwards of 50 years of our life. Who we marry impacts where we live, where we go to church, what job we have, how much free time we have, how much money we have, pretty much our entire lives are impacted by who we marry… It’s kind of important. Why then would we presume that the God who thought of us from the beginning of time, creating plans for the things that we would accomplish for Him wouldn’t have a say in who we marry? That’s foolishness at best, outright pride at worst.
From God’s perspective, in His knowledge of everything, there is only one person for us to marry. There is a “best” option available to us. Whether we’re open to His will for us in this is a different story. But even if we act out in sin and make poor choices, God’s ultimate plan will never be messed up because He is never surprised by anything we do. Remember, He knows everything.
So how does this work out in real life? The way I see it, it’s pretty simple: Love God and pursue after Him with all your heart, all your mind, and all of your strength. Look for His guiding influence in your daily activities. Follow the clear, black and white guidelines He’s laid out in the Bible to the best of your ability and when you cross paths and fall in love with someone who is doing the same, marry them. They are the one!
Once you’re married, honor God first and foremost, which will naturally position you to honor your spouse and your vows to God concerning them. Once you’ve tied the knot, never doubt, you’re married to “the one”. Now is not the time to be checking out the other fish in the sea, that ship has sailed. The trick now isn’t to find someone better, but do the best you can with who you have.
Side note: I’m not saying you should stay in an abusive situation. If you or your children are in danger, leave, get the proper authorities involved, and get the help you need. I would suggest however that you approach divorce slowly and in prayer rather than retaliation and anger. God can work miracles in impossible situations if we let Him.
So there you have it, my view on soul mates. In a nutshell, I firmly believe that there is one person out there that is the best option. This view is incredibly reassuring to me when things don’t work out as I hoped they would. No worries, that guy is someone else’s, not mine, enjoy! I don’t want your husband, I want mine! But, it’s much less about finding someone who fits every item on your check list, or the person you think you can’t live without, rather it’s about doing your life with God and seeing who He brings along to do life in harmony with.
While that’s no reason to be a hermit and wait for God to drop a husband on your front steps, it also means that I don’t have to stress myself out about “getting out there more”. I don’t need to purposely place myself where the most single guys can find me, I just need to be where God wants me. It is there and then that I’ll meet my husband. No where else and not a moment sooner than the perfect timing God has.
No more stress. No more worrying. No more pushing puzzle pieces into spots not made for them. Just obediently following God and choosing Him first. Everything else will fall into line.