It seems like the term soul mate is pretty popular these days. I see it on T.V., read it in magazines and hear young singles talking about it in coffee houses. There is even a soul mate internet dating service. Seems like nearly everyone, even Christians, are looking for their soul mate. Some politicians even leave their families and careers and move to Brazil in search of their soul mate.
I think what people really mean when they say they want a soul mate is that they want a deep, rich and rewarding relationship where two people can be open, honest and vulnerable with each other. They want a real, authentic, intimate connection. They want what God intended from the very beginning when He said, “the two shall become one flesh”.
The difficulty is more energy and attention today is focused on finding a soul mate and all the excitement in early stages of romance, rather than becoming a soul mate. True oneness takes time, trials and trust. True oneness involves knowing one another including how they handle their hurts, disappointments, and anger.
Oneness is not about what I get out of the relationship but what I can give to the relationship. Real love is patient and kind, not envious, proud or self seeking. True love keeps no records of wrongs, always protects, always hopes, always trusts and always perseveres (See 1 Cor 13:4-7). This is about each partner taking responsibility to grow and develop emotionally and spiritually themselves.
This whole soul mate concept is part of the reason we have so much infidelity, divorce, and unhappy marriages. Married couples are subtly buying into the deceptive belief that there is only one true soul mate for them and if they are discontented and unsatisfied in their situation then they must have made a mistake. True soul mates would not struggle and have to work this hard. Instead of spending time and energy working through problems they decide that they need venture outside the marriage and find their one true soul mate. What a lie!
Next time you feel a little lonely and disconnected from your spouse remember, soul mates are developed not discovered. This takes realizing that God did not intend that all your needs will not be met by this one person. He wants to use your partner to transform and mature areas in your heart, mind, and behaviors. Ask God for the wisdom and strength to create the kind of oneness both of you desire. “May your fountain be blessed and may you rejoice in the wife (or husband) of your youth” (Prov 5:18).
Allen Haley, M.Div., P.C.
Thoughts and comments are welcome.
How do you feel about the term soul mate?