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Soul Mates — Is It Biblical?

Some family and friends have had this ongoing, albeit playful, discussion about the concept of “soul mates.” Is this rooted in biblical concepts or has it been hijacked by romantics of our age? We’ve arrived at three possible answers:

1.) The concept of “soul mates” is essentially biblical. Eve was made specifically for Adam, brought to him, and fit perfectly with him. Likewise, God has created someone who fits perfectly with you and He works out your destiny to bring you together.

2.) The concept of “soul mates” is unbiblical. Relationships are entirely random and utilitarian. Any number of people could make “the perfect spouse.”

3.) “Soul mates” are possible, but not guaranteed; they are contingent upon factors both in and outside your control. Relationships have the potential to become a “perfect fit,” but are conditioned by number of factors, both human and divine.

What do you think? Which one of these three answers is closest to what you believe is true? Or is there another category we are missing?

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{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Levi Montgomery July 10, 2011, 10:22 AM

    I think God has a perfect plan for each of us, and when that plan includes marriage (which is not all cases), then it seems reasonable to assume that the marriage includes a perfect spouse.

    But we live in a nasty world, and we pollute it further with this nasty thing called “free will” (and let’s not get started on that whole “free will” debate — at least not in a comment thread). We may or may not allow God to lead us into his perfect plan, we may or may not allow him to lead us to that perfect mate, we may, in fact, never even allow him to have any control at all over any aspect of our lives. I think most of us live somewhere in between, stumbling along parallel to the path most of the time, occasionally walking on it and occasionally moving so far and so fast in all the wrong directions that we lose all sight of the goal, and yet we still call ourselves Christians.

    None of us are perfect, and yet all of us are good enough in God’s eyes, if we realize we are bad enough to need him. In the mess of all of this, yes, sometimes God brings together the right couple, to stumble along side-by-side in that quiet desperation, but sometimes not. Sometimes the wrong couple becomes the right one, sometimes the right one becomes the wrong one.

    There are soulmates. God made them such. But if you never find yours, it’s not the end of the world.

  • Jay July 10, 2011, 10:50 AM

    Using Adam and Eve as an example is a little shaky since they were in an unfallen world. If we look at marriage as a covenant (which it should be within the church), then we can treat as covenants were in the OT possibly. Covenants always (to my knowledge) involved God but did they originate FROM God? I don’t know.

    • Mike Duran July 10, 2011, 6:22 PM

      Jay, I agree with the “covenant” part in the sense that is a human response to a divine thing. The covenant acknowledges both that a.) God has brought me/us to a certain point/person, and b.) This “divine doing” requires my response, maintenance, and industry. So I think the covenantal nature of marriage reflects the Human and the Divine.

      As far as Adam and Eve, just because they were unfallen, doesn’t mean they no longer prefigure God’s original design. In fact, when expounding upon marriage principles, New Testament writers often referenced Adam and Eve.

  • Morgan Busse July 10, 2011, 11:15 AM

    I do not believe that God has the “right one” out there for you. I think there are a lot of “right ones” (wonderful godly men and women). But you can also choose to disregard wisdom and just follow your heart, which may or may not link you up with a good spouse.

    No matter how one meets or how one marries (or how old or young one is or education or anything like that), I think it matters who you choose to be after marriage. Your spouse will not fulfill all your needs or desires as a human. Why? Because he/she is human too, with faults and sin.

    Only God can fulfill that role. And when I submit myself to Him and allow Him to meet my needs, I am free to allow my husband to be who God has made him, free to forgive him of both big and small things, and love him with nothing in return.

    Thankfully, I have a husband who passionately follows God, loves me even on my bad days, and respects me as a human, as a woman, and as a fellow Christian. He just makes marriage easy for me 🙂

    • Mike Duran July 10, 2011, 6:25 PM

      Morgan said, “I do not believe that God has the ‘right one’ out there for you.”

      Mike asked, “Does your husband know he is not the “right one” for you?” 😉

      • Morgan Busse July 11, 2011, 5:22 AM

        LOL! He became “the one” when I married him. Funny enough, we were just friends for years (or at least I was, apparently he liked me a lot more). When he asked me out, I compared him to a list of qualifications I had for a husband (yeah, needed mental help ;P), he met most of them and he was a good friend, so thought, why not? He wasn’t really my type. But he was fun and a godly guy.

        I’m so glad I went out on that first date. I never fell in love with him, I grew in love with him. I guess I could have found some other guy who fit my “list of requirements”, but perhaps there is something to be said about God bringing 2 people together. I’m so glad God put us together 🙂

        On the other hand, I can see people who are dissatisfied with their marriage and believe perhaps the one they married wasn’t their soulmate, so that gives them permission to get a divorce and leave their spouse and go find the one they were suppose to be with. Nonsense in my opinion. Once you marry, that’s “the one” (except in cases of infidelity and abuse, which is a whole other post).

  • Ane Mulligan July 10, 2011, 12:21 PM

    Funny you should pose this, Mike. My WIP is about this very subject. I believe that indeed, God has the perfect mate in mind for each of His children. After all, He’s a personal, intimate God, Who numbers the very hairs on your head. The problem is, most Christians don’t pray enough about it and make their decision based on their heart alone.

    That said, once married, the one to whom you are married is God’s will for you. I know that sounds at odds, but it isn’t really. God can take what man has done and use it for His purpose.

    When I taught 9th grade girls Sunday School, I taught them to make a list now of all the attributes they would want in a Godly husband. Then I laminated their lists and had them keep it in their wallet. They were to start that day, praying for the man they would one day marry. When they began to date, they were to consult the list to see how the young man compared.

    I’m delighted to say out of the 5 girls, 4 found their soul mates and have happy, Godly marriages. Cute kids, too. 🙂

    • Sherry Thompson July 10, 2011, 4:43 PM

      Ane wrote in part: “… I believe that indeed, God has the perfect mate in mind for each of His children. After all, He’s a personal, intimate God… The problem is, most Christians don’t pray enough about it and make their decision based on their heart alone. ”

      Ane, I must most respectfully disagree with you. In my opinion–and obviously generalizing–this is what happily-married people believe. For married Christian people, saying this solves the “mystery” of Christian singles–we didn’t pray enough for a spouse. I’m 64 years old. I’ve been praying about this since I became a Christian (as an adult)–really up until a couple of years ago when I finally gave up. That’s 40 years of praying. I’ve prayed earnestly with tears, distraught over my earthly loneliness–even though OF COURSE I HAVE GOD.

      “make their decision based on their heart alone”

      What decision? There never was a decision for me, as in between an appropriate and an inappropriate mate. Well, yes, I belatedly rejected an extremely inappropriate potential mate, before I became a Christian. But only after he had half wrecked my family

      I’ve occasionally asked God, half with curiosity & half with respectful jocularity, “So, do I ‘get credit’ for being a virgin, even though I never chose this ‘lifestyle’ or made a vow to commit to this?” Just whimsy. Not expecting an answer. Well, maybe someday in Heaven, He may have a few words for me on the subject.

      None of the 3 options really fits, but I’ll choose #3, because of, “…not guaranteed … factors outside your control…”

      Sign me, Distraught with a very old pain.

      • Taylor March 9, 2014, 9:23 PM

        That is very sad of a story and I am sorry for your pain I believe that you are a very very special lady of god and were to special for any of the men here on earth and god has a special place just for you in heaven and you will know when you see him. Love for you as a fellow child of our lord

  • Bruce Hennigan July 10, 2011, 3:20 PM

    I met my soul mate while dating someone else. I had joined the church and this young woman was the only young person to come through the reception line to shake my hand. I had never laid eyes on her. When she shook my hand, I knew. I just knew she was the one. I was totally and completely at peace with the fact God had just shown me my soul mate. As I said, I was dating someone else at the time and it would be a year and a half before I asked this young woman out.
    Now, here is the caveat. I’m driving home one night alone from college. I lived in a small town 45 minutes away from my university. I was in the six year program — two years college then right into medical school — which required me to go to night classes so I could get all the hours into one semester. I was lonely and frustrated and depressed because I had no one in my life. No one! I pulled off the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. I got out and wept and sobbed beneath the stars and then fell on my knees in the wet dirt and prayed this prayer: “God, I am so lonely and I want to fall in love with the woman you have planned for me. Either bring her to me soon or give me the patience to wait until you reveal her to me.”
    I had forgotten that prayer when two years later I joined this church and this woman shook my hand.
    It wasn’t until after we started dating that I realized I had been patient and God had kept His promise. It happened to me and my wife and I are committed totally to each other. Our lives have not been easy. Being a soul mate does NOT guarantee a free ride. What it does guarantee is the promise that God will meet your mutual needs through each other in the midst of crises because He put us there to spend our lives together.
    Do I believe in soul mates? I married mine. And, my wife agrees.
    Does everyone have a soul mate? I don’t know.
    Good question, Mike. I wish there were an easy answer.

  • Lyndie Blevins July 10, 2011, 7:27 PM

    I choose option 3. I believe free choice creates the factors of ‘no guarentee’.

  • Valerie July 11, 2011, 6:26 AM

    I don’t believe soul-mates is biblical, but to say that means relationships are random? We’re not issued relationships like lottery tickets. We choose who to love with that thing God gave us called free will, just like we can choose where to work or what to eat for breakfast.

    And utilitarian? As if someone we choose to love and cherish for life is just utilitarian? I don’t understand that conclusion.

    And to then say “Any number of people could make the perfect spouse”. That sums up the flaw exactly. Anyone looking for the “perfect spouse” will be disappointed.

    Where in the Bible does God say anything about the “perfect spouse”? If we go into relationships with that mindset, disappointment is the only thing guaranteed. And that, in my opinion, is one of the big problems with the soul-mates concept.

    What the Bible does do is direct us how to treat our spouse, whoever they may be and it has nothing to do with them being a perfect fit.

    In Biblical stories (way more than just Adam and Eve) there are a wide variety of relationships presented (including Paul advocating avoiding marriage if possible), many of these Biblical couples are less than ideal. I think the picture is much more complex than options A,B,C.

    And I’m sorry if I’m coming off as opinionated – it’s just that I am on this subject 🙂

  • Bruce Hennigan July 11, 2011, 10:22 AM

    I guess I should consider myself lucky? I talked about this with my wife last night. I often tell people how we met and how I thought we were destined to be together. For the first time in 31 years I told her about praying for my future wife. She revealed that just prior to the time we met, her pastor and his wife prayed with Sherry for her future husband that he would be a “minister”. I’m not a pastor, but I have been involved in ministry all of my adult life. So, it seems that God answered both of our prayers.
    Where does this place those who also diligently prayed? Why would God give me a “soul mate” and not give someone else a soul mate?
    I wish I had the answers. It would seem this is a very complex matter. Back in 2005 I was working on a play set in 1941 and I watched the top ten movies of 1941 to get a feel for culture and romantic relationships. I was stunned to see how easily a man and woman might “fall in love” but then realized that their love for each other and their marriage was viewed as a work in progress. “You don’t fall in love. You grow in love.” as it has been said.
    I suppose it is true if you are waiting for the perfect mate, you’ll be waiting forever. I know that I am not perfect and my wife had to “finish raising me” as she tells people. Being a soul mate doesn’t guarantee a “perfect mate”.
    Maybe we need to play around with the definition of soul mate.
    Anyway, good questions and not good answers. There are no good answers, it seems!

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