Whispers of Faith

When Theology Collides With "Soul Mates"

I read the popular blog post “My Husband is Not My Soul Mate” last summer when it was floating around Facebook, and it bothered me. It bothered me a lot. At first I wasn’t sure exactly why. I did agree with much of what she had to say – that she was choosing to love her husband, that life is about so much more than just getting married, and that God’s plan for our lives is to make us holy, more like Christ.

Was I annoyed because the author was so blithely poking fun at beliefs about marriage that I’ve always had? Was I upset that she trivialized the matter of marriage down to a person’s single choice? Was I sad that I could no longer believe in soul mates?

I began to formulate my reasons shortly after reading the post, but then after going to Jerod’s class at church tonight on “Sin, Suffering, and Satan,” I realized the much greater context of why I disagreed with this blogger: because her theology had replaced God’s sovereignty with her own choices.

Jerod’s definition of the sovereignty of God:
“God’s sovereignty means that in eternity past God ordained, predestined and designed every moment of every event that would ever take place (including sin and evil), AND that He currently guides, governs and controls every aspect of what He designed in eternity past (including sin and evil) for the everlasting and ever-increasing enjoyment of those who love Him.”

The young lady who wrote this post on marriage said, “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.

“But now I delight in choosing to love him everyday.

“I like it better this way, with the pressure on me and not on fate, cosmos, or divinity. I will not fall out of love, cannot fall out of love, because I willingly dived in and I’m choosing daily to stay in. This is my joyous task, my daily decision. This is my marriage.”

She is correct. At any step, they could have made other choices. But they did not. They didn’t because every step was sovereignly orchestrated by the hand of a loving God. Through His perfect mystery, He ordained the choices that they would make, while still giving them the responsibility for those choices. But when we take these choices and put ourselves divinely in charge of them – basically saying that we were the only reason they happened – we are blaspheming the perfect plan of God. If it is “my marriage” then where are we placing the God of the universe who designed that marriage to take place? Ultimately, it is not our marriage. It is God’s marriage meant to bring Him full honor and glory.

And I do honestly believe that if God decrees that we get married in this life then it is a fulfillment of His divine plan from eternity past – His divine plan that that marriage will bring Him more glory.

So now what do we do about the idea of “soul mates”? When I googled “definition of soul mate,” the first thing that popped up was “a person ideally suited to another as a close friend or romantic partner.”

If that’s all it is, then why would you not believe that the person God created you to marry was someone “ideally suited to you as a close friend and romantic partner”? Don’t you think HE out of anyone knows who would best be suited to you?

And this is why I wrote these original words last summer (from July 28th, 2013):

I will not stop believing that there is someone whom God has created specifically for me.

He who knows how my heart sings surely knows who to send my way to make it do just that.

He who created the shots of electricity called love would be the One who can illuminate my world with those sparks.

He who wrote the story of this world from eternity past surely has written the book of this one life named Lydia.

And in that book, if He wants to include a beautiful love story, He knows the best person to pick. Within His perfect timing in only His perfect way, He’ll dance me straight into his arms.

I think that a sovereign God who knows my soul best wouldn’t leave it up to chance who gets to take care of that soul here on earth.

No one person is ever perfect nor can they completely fulfill another person’s needs. That would be taking the place of God.

But indeed God does create some people to walk through life together as joyful mates, partners, and sharers together of this adventure called life – to accomplish something together that they could not possibly do on their own.

And it is not mere fate that brings them together – but neither is it solely the choice of the people themselves. It is because God orchestrated with sovereignty the events of their lives for them to come together.

There are many lovely gentlemen in my life whom I am blessed to call friends. Many of them do indeed possess qualities of a future husband. But only one man will ignite the spark that will last forever. It may be one of them or it may be someone I haven’t met yet. I don’t know, nor do I pretend to know.

But God does know. And He’s got a plan in mind that surpasses all my fondest dreams and dearest imaginings. If I didn’t have that to trust, I might as well give up all hope right now.

It’s why I write lovingly to that man right now in a little notebook of letters, dating many years back. Not because I have unrealistically high expectations. Not because I’m stuffed in a corner waiting and not doing anything to meet & build relationships with people. Not because I think it’s some mystical rite that will save my heart from being broken and will bring me the perfect man.

On the contrary. Those letters help me to keep my standards high when the rest of the world says, “It really doesn’t matter who you marry.” They spur me on in purity as I build friendships with guys, reminding me that even if they aren’t my future husband, they are someone’s future husband, and I can help to protect them as I hope they will help to protect me. And they do comfort me when my heart is broken by reminding me that one day there might be a man who will put a ring on my finger and say “I want to share forever with you.”

This, for me, takes all the worry out of trying to make it happen on my own by going out on repeated failed dates, and feeling like I’m not doing enough to “make it happen.” For goodness’ sake – if God wants it to happen, then I trust He’s big enough to make it happen. But whether or not it happens, I am satisfied to sit at His feet as His daughter, falling in love with His heart more every day.

And only because He’s revealed that love to me was I able to pray this prayer a few beautiful Saturday mornings ago:

“God, if You want me to accomplish Your dreams with someone else, I trust that You are able to bring him into my life and work out the details. If You want me to accomplish Your dreams on my own, I trust that You will give me the strength to do so.”

And that was the day that I read these words of promise:

“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:33-34)

The “all these things” may include marriage. Or it may include a specific mission that requires I stay single. I think on the larger scale, though, the “all these things” means everything I worry about [who I’m going to marry included] will be answered with the perfect love of the Father reminding me of His plan for my life. And reminding me that His perfect love is satisfying and beautiful.

I savor these single days as opportunities to get to know my Abba like I could no other way. And if one day, God chooses to change my assignment, I will joyfully take that up as well. And I choose to believe that the day we commit our lives together forever, that man will become my soul mate … the soul-protector and lover that I will choose to love and live with for the rest of my time on earth – the complement to my soul that only God could dream up.

How imperfect my thoughts … how stumbling my tongue. My intent was not to hurt or offend anyone, especially not the sister in Christ who wrote the aforementioned blog. I am grateful to be made to think deeply on these issues, and I pray that you, dear reader, would as well. If we disagree, may it be in love, and may we always run back to the Word of God as the basis of all our beliefs.

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