The Boundless blog is a collection of unique voices addressing the issues young adults care about right now – everything from dating and faith to current events.
Hannah doesn't believe her husband is her soul mate. In her blog post, "My husband is not my soul mate," written on her one-year anniversary, she confesses how she came to this conclusion. Her description of her own teen years may ring a bell with young women who have grown up in the evangelical church.
"THE ONE would most likely be a worship minister, or at the very least a youth pastor, and we would have to be in college when we would meet at some sort of rally to save children from disease or something. We would know that he was THE ONE because of his plethora of WWJD bracelets and because (duh) he had also kissed dating goodbye and was waiting for me, strumming Chris Tomlin songs on his guitar as he stared into whatever campfire was nearby."
The author describes many of the superficial beliefs Christian young women may hold about meeting their future spouses. Hannah says she used to believe those things, too.
"But then my theologian biblical scholar father shattered my dreams by informing me that God doesn’t have a husband for me, doesn’t have a plan for who I marry […] Nope, he said, a husband is not only not a biblical promise, it is also not a specific element of God’s 'plan for my life.'”
The "soul mate" discussion is not a new one here. (Here's one example.) And Boundless has long held the position that the Bible does not really support the idea of a soul mate — or one person in the universe meant specifically for you. Hannah describes the benefit she's found in rejecting the whole notion.
"My marriage is not based on a set of choices over which I had no control. It is based on a daily choice to love this man, this husband that I chose out of many people that I could have chosen to love (in theory, don’t imagine that many others were lined up and knocking at the door). He is not some illusive soul mate, not some divine fulfillment, not some perfect step on the rigorously laid out but oh so secret 'Plan for My Life.'
"But he is the person that I giggly chose to go out on a date with in college. He is the person who chose to not dump me when I announced that I was moving to France for a year, then Kentucky for another year. He is the person who asked me to move to DC and I chose to do so. He is the person who decided to ask me to marry him and I agreed. At any step here, we could have made other choices and you know what? We might have married other people, or stayed single, and had happy and full lives."
I think this author makes some excellent points. In general, I don't believe looking for a soul mate is the same thing as looking for a godly spouse. Proverbs 18:22 says, "He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD." It does not say, "He who finds a soul mate finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD."
However, like any good insight, I think we can take the "anti-soul mate" campaign too far, encouraging people to marry someone with whom they have very little chemistry, because, "Hey, it doesn't really matter who you marry." The concept of a soul mate — a person you are attracted to, share similarities with and understand deeply — is a great description of the type of person who makes a good spouse. And when you marry someone, you do form a soul connection.
In addition, I don't believe we are left alone to pick at random from millions of potential marriage partners, who we could theoretically love equally. When we are alert to His guidance, God directs our steps to our life partner in the same way He directs our steps to other things, such as job opportunities, where we live, where we go to church and friends we meet. So my husband may not be my soul mate, but he is the man God ordained for me to marry and partner with in this life. I honestly don't believe someone else could have fit the bill in exactly the same way. That's the beauty of human individuality and God's creative process through marriages. I believe God brought us together to accomplish specific things for Him — the raising of our children, for example. Could He have led us to marry other people? Certainly. But He didn't.
Instead of looking for a "soul mate," singles should be looking to the Lord as they proceed toward marriage. Then they can have confidence in His leading as they choose the person they will love for the rest of their lives.
You must be logged in to comment.
Sign In or
--"So my husband may not be my soul mate, but he is the man God ordained for me to marry and partner with in this life. I honestly don't believe someone else could have fit the bill in exactly the same way."
But isn't this what most people describe as a "soul mate"; that there is ONLY ONE person out there for us (i.e. the person God ordains us to marry) and that "no one else can fit the bill"? True, that there is no one like your husband just like there is no one like anyone else in this world. But to adopt the mindset that unless you marry a specific, God-chosen person you are settling for God's "second best" I believe is a fallacy.
There are only two instances in the Bible of clear cut "God-chosen" matchmaking: Adam and Eve, and Issac and Rebekah. And Adam had little choice in the matter anyway.
--Hah! My sister sent this to me the other day and asked me if I changed names to protect the innocent and wrote it. :P
I did not. ;) But I did love it.
--Love it, too Suzanne.
There is no soul mate - perfectly compatible, perfect chemistry, very similarities, no necessary effort or work because things work naturally perfect.
But there is a Sovereign God who ordains all things in this universe, including the lives of His children. And yes, there is freedom in the choice of a spouse and there is responsibility to submit to God's leading in that choice - just as there is in everything concerning decisions in Christian life.
--The problem with the whole notion of "soul mate" is that it has been used to break up marriages: ie. someone is married, but found their "soul mate" in someone else). That is complete garbage. Your spouse becomes your "soul mate" (or whatever term you wish to use) the moment you say "I do."
--I couldn't agree more. I think our romantic comedy/chick flick culture has totally twisted women's view on THE ONE. And for guys I feel that porn has totally objectified women as sex toys than actual people with emotions, feelings, and etc. With this combination, our society encourages sex outside of marriage, friends with benefits, and etc.
We need to become spiritual leaders first and foremost. Which means we need to press into the LORD. And we as guys need to live lifes of sexual integrity. We need to pursue a life of purity that is without "hint of sexual immorality". And to seek a Proverbs 31 wife.
Please dress modestly and help out your brothers, so that they aren't tempted to lust. As guys we are bombarded with sexual images...the one place of refuge should be in the body of Christ.
Girls think twice about dating/marrying a guy who has not fully dealt with his struggle with sexual sin. Many guys out there are compulsively viewing porn/masturbating. That stuff doesn't go away after one retreat/revival or after you get married. MAKE SURE that the guy you plan to date has ACCOUNTABILITY in his life and he is taken all the necessary steps to live a life of sexual integrity. This is so crucial and something that I feel women are no FULLY AWARE of.
--achoi15: I think your advice, though well-meaning, is actually quite bad. There is nothing healthy about charging into a new relationship demanding to know a man's accountability structure and sexual past before you even get to know whether or not he likes steak or seafood.
Although I recognise that you are trying to look out for their best interests, and this is probably an area where you either excel or are *currently* excelling, most women do not need encouragement or permission to turn their dating relationships (or subsequent marriages) into porn witch-hunts
--Oh, look...it's on the ladies (again) to dress a certain way because guys can't control their junk. Men AND women should be offended by this line of thinking.
--When we talk about soul mates, it's important to get our definitions straight. Do we mean that our soul has been split in half and that one half was placed in a male body and the other half was placed in a female body forever roaming the earth seeking to be reunited back into one complete soul? That's a Platonic idea, if I remember correctly, and it certainly isn't found in Scripture.
Do we mean that there is one person out there who God created perfectly for us and that unless we find that one person, we will never be as happy as we could have been? While closer to Biblical, it still seems like we're reading way too much into Proverbs 18:22.
If we go with the belief that God doesn't care who we marry and that he just strongly encourages us to marry someone Godly, that also seems to go too far, just in the other direction. While we don't read much in the Bible about God choosing spouses for people, we do see a God that is actively involved in all kinds of details that we would have never seen having the consequences that they did. Acts 16 also shows a Holy Spirit that does not allow Paul to go to certain cities to spread the Gospel.
Where does this leave us on the issue of a spouse? I can't say for certain, but I can say that who you marry is a big deal, and if God is concerned about any action in our life that would be worth him coordinating behind the scenes, it would be marriage.
--Finding your "sole mate" is of much greater importance than finding your "soul mate".
Yes, who you marry IS a big deal. It really comes down to making a wise decision but also trusting in God's provision, rather than forcing your own will and making an unwise choice (For example, marrying a non-believer). I think "The Sacred Search" by Gary Thomas provides a good balance. (Here's a link:www.christianbook.com/.../704894)
Do I feel waiting on God's timing and direction produced a better marriage match for me than I would have made earlier on? Yes, I do. That's my personal opinion, not a biblical truth. But the fear of the Lord (listening to and acknowledging Him) is the beginning of wisdom, and wisdom leads to the best path.
--19-year-old Kelly completely and utterly believed in the idea of her soulmate being out there, and she just had to wait until she found him. At 23, she did.
At 24, her "soulmate" told her that, um, sorry, she was wrong.
It took far too long to get over that devestating heartbreak, because I had been so invested in the idea that he must be The One; I couldn't possibly have such strong feelings for someone who wasn't, could I?
Over the years I learned that falling in love is easy but staying in love is a choice.
These days, I'm a little sad that I lost the illusion of a single soulmate. But overall, I am in a much healthier place. I've met someone awesome, who suits me so well, and we have so much in common. He's one of my potential soulmates - as were the others I loved - and the SOLE mate is the one you choose to marry, who also chooses you.
-- "THE ONE would most likely be a worship minister, or at the very least a youth pastor, and we would have to be in college when we would meet at some sort of rally to save children from disease or something. We would know that he was THE ONE because of his plethora of WWJD bracelets and because (duh) he had also kissed dating goodbye and was waiting for me, strumming Chris Tomlin songs on his guitar as he stared into whatever campfire was nearby."
This was so funny, but it is so sad that it is too often true!
-- achoi15, sorry, but I have to agree with MrsAshleyTOF. Men are responsible for their own sins period. End of story. As far as the spiritual leader thing, and I know this may not go over well here on Boundless, but probably 30-40% of men are NOT spiritual leader material. And you know what? So what! They can still get married and have happy Christian marriages. I have seen this in some couples I know where the female is the more spiritual-leader type, and they still make it. Let's try to do away with the latest evangelical-speak faddish teachings.
-- achoi15: Wise Words! I think some of your critics blew your words out of proportion and/or they lack spiritual knowledge and insight on the depravity of our sinful nature.
-- "Girls think twice about dating/marrying a guy who has not fully dealt with his struggle with sexual sin. Many guys out there are compulsively viewing porn/masturbating. That stuff doesn't go away after one retreat/revival or after you get married. MAKE SURE that the guy you plan to date has ACCOUNTABILITY in his life and he is taken all the necessary steps to live a life of sexual integrity. This is so crucial and something that I feel women are no FULLY AWARE of."
I know married men who struggle with the above mentioned things. I'm not trying to diminsh their seriousness, but isn't marriage supposed to help curb some of the sexual sins that men are succeptible to? At least that's what I've heard from proppnents of early marriage. I'm 30 and unmarried, and that's not for lack of trying either. I've read "Every Man's Battle" and have spent years in the Christian community, so I'm well aware of all the techniques and strategies to deal with lust. However, I still struggle with unmet sexual desires. I don't believe that marriage will magically solve all my problems, but at least I would have a healthy and church approved sexual outlet.
made with ♥ by Boundless