Question: So About Soulmates



Anonymous asked:

Hello! Do you believe in soul mates? Do we pick and choose who we want or does God have a way of placing a certain someone in our lives?

 

I say this with as much grace as possible, but my very short answer is 1) sort of and 2) both.

I do believe God has a plan and a blueprint and a vision for your life: but I also believe that if we fall off the tracks, God still has something else in mind.

Mathematically, the idea of a “soulmate” doesn’t work out. If you don’t end up with your soulmate, then they don’t end up with their soulmate, which means their soulmate’s soulmate doesn’t either, and so it goes for infinity.

But more than that, the idea of a soulmate can accidentally lead to a passive laziness as if a knight will bust in the room and rescue you from a tower. It can lead to a paralyzing fear if you target-lock on someone and lose them.  It can make us stop working on anything, thinking that marriage “completes you,” that the chemistry is enough to keep it working, that the person you’re looking for “accepts” you and is not interested in pushing you to your higher self in Christ — and I know none of that is your intention, but I’ve seen it happen so much that it’s worth mentioning.

I find that friendship is already extremely difficult work. I feel like I’ve known my best friends for longer than I have, and certainly there’s a comfort and openness and honesty with them that allows me to be totally screwy around them: but friendship, even the kind that feels like fate, requires hard work. It needs nutrition, sustenance, and caretaking, like everything else. Maybe “soul-mate-ness” brought us together, but it doesn’t keep thriving from it.

 

While I don’t want to get caught in the crossfire of predestination and free-will, I believe God knows the person we’re going to end up with (God would know because He’s God) but He also lets us choose this with active determination and participation in His Story (God would allow this because He’s God). How these two fit together: I don’t know. My three lb. brain is allergic to paradoxes.

On one hand, you are wired for a certain type of person. You can rule out a lot of stuff by knowing your non-negotiables. But on the other hand, if you haven’t met “the one,” you can hardly imagine what they will be like and it won’t be someone you could’ve guessed. It’s like looking back at the last ten years of your life: most of us couldn’t have guessed where we’d be today nor the type of person we are right now.

I can almost guarantee your “one” won’t fit your current checklist — though he or she certainly could — not only since God enjoys surprising us, but because every single person is uniquely crafted, wildly complex, and wonderfully flawed. A soulmate is infinitely more boring than the real whole person we will eventually find.

I must also close here by saying: to “become” the right person for someone else is good and all, but it’s less important than just belonging fully to the Lord.  We probably make a very big drama out of dating and romance when it’s a little easier (and more thrilling) to pursue Jesus, and along the way, we’ll see someone else pursuing Him too, and we can call that a greenlight blessing.


— J.S.



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14 thoughts on “Question: So About Soulmates

  1. “A soulmate is infinitely more boring than the real whole person we will eventually find.”

    YES times a million. Thank you. 🙂 Fantastic perspective and I appreciate it. 🙂

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  2. If we replaced the idea of a “soulmate” with the biblical concept of a “helpmate” or “helper” as expressed in Genesis 2, I think we would have a more realistic and useful view of what a marriage partner should be and do. A wife (or husband) is someone who “helps:” you through this life and you do the same for him/her. You become like a team. And that approach certainly expands the pool of possible candidates….

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    1. Yes! I think most people dislike the word “helper” when they forget that the Holy Spirit is also referred to as “helper” sometimes, and He isn’t any lower than the Father or Son.

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  3. Great perspective.
    “How these two fit together: I don’t know. My three lb. brain is allergic to paradoxes.” LOL! 😀
    After I’d chosen my husband, I realized I’d picked a man very much like my brother. He was comfortable and a good contrast to me in a positive way.
    Sometimes I think about this same give-and-take relationship between us and God in what we choose to do with our lives. God obviously designed us to be good at certain things, but He leaves vast areas of freedom for us to choose what exactly to do with those gifts.
    God didn’t want robots, He wanted family. 🙂

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    1. That is an awesome point. There is certainly flexibility within God’s Will to choose what we like, since sometimes our heart does align with what God wants too.

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  4. Loved this: “Mathematically, the idea of a “soulmate” doesn’t work out. If you don’t end up with your soulmate, then they don’t end up with their soulmate, which means their soulmate’s soulmate doesn’t either, and so it goes for infinity.” Whenever I try to wrap my mind around stuff like this, it makes my head hurt!

    It has been my experience that God ordained marriage so we would have someone close by to bring out the worst in us! Once we see what’s in our hearts and surrender it to the Lord for transformation, then we become holy. He seems to be infinitely more interested in our holiness than our happiness. If we don’t “get” that we are in need of an overhaul, then He gives us children who can model our behavior for us!!

    (I wrote about this here: http://lessonsbyheart.wordpress.com/2013/06/04/happily-ever-after/. It took me awhile to finally understand this!)

    Thanks for addressing the issue of “soulmates.” I think it can become an excuse to move on from a marriage, never a good move!

    Be blessed today.
    \o/

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    1. I agree! Tim Keller writes about how marriage causes a “truck to drive through our hearts,” therefore exposing all the cracks that were always there. That’s when the process of healing begins. We never realize how selfish we truly are until a relationship, and that’s always an opportunity for sanctification.

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