Q – Do I have a soul-mate, someone who God made for me and whom I am made for?
A - Thanks for the question. The answer is yes and no. God didn’t make you for anyone except Himself. Our ultimate relationship is with God, not with another human being, even our spouse. The romantic vision of having a soul-mate is made for movies, not Christianity. Our one and only soul-mate is God.
There are a few problems with believing that God made us for one person in the world. The first problem is the question some have about whether the person they are married to, or planning on marrying, is the “one”. This can lead to doubt about the relationship, a feeling of never being fulfilled, and ultimately it leads to problems in the relationship. A second problem is the idea that we are destined to be with one other person. This would be a cosmic swipe at the gift of free-will. It is as if we mess up fate if we don’t choose the right person or never find them. Ultimately, this idea of a soul-mate is dangerous and un-Christian.
But, there is another, better, way of thinking about having a spouse to partner with. It is found in the spousal analogy of becoming “one flesh” with your spouse. While souls are not fused in marriage, the bodies do become “one flesh” during sexual relations with each other. This is a reflection of the Sacramental bond that is created between two Christians when they marry. This bond lasts until death and nothing can break it. This is the more Christian way of understanding a mutual and exclusive relationship.
Furthermore, love is always a choice, it isn’t something we fall into and out of. Love is not something that merely “happens” to us. This respect of free-will and the ability of each of us to choose love is more consonant with Christian understanding of relationships. Marriage isn’t just about romance and it isn’t about fate at all. It is about love, freely chosen, and being bound together (with God) into the union of man and wife. This is for the good of the spouses, the raising of children, and ultimately it is a call from God.
I think this quote sums it up well:
“Nearly all marriages, even happy ones, are mistakes: in the sense that almost certainly (in a more perfect world, or even with a little more care in this very imperfect one) both partners might be found more suitable mates. But the real soul-mate is the one you are actually married to.”
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