I did not marry my soulmate. And my wife would agree. Before anyone picks up their pitchforks and torches, let me explain. The philosopher Plato is credited with coming up with this notion of “soulmates”. He believed that prior to birth a perfect soul was split into “male and female,” and that to be complete they must find each other and “reunite their souls.” Many people out there believe in this idea of soulmates.
We all have heard someone say:
“I’ve found my soulmate” or
“We are meant to be together” or
“He/She is the one”.
Some Christians believe in soulmates, saying that the love of their life is a “gift from God”.
The concept of finding one’s soulmate is something pop culture puts out there on what an ideal romantic relationship ‘should’ look like. We are told that when we find our ‘soulmates’ or ‘the one’, we will be happy and finally be complete. Sadly, this places unrealistic expectations on the relationship. If complications in the marriage begin to occur (and they inevitably will), some might take this as a sign this person must not be ‘the one’.
No wonder divorce in the United States is so high! Sadly, 4 in 10 marriages have ended in divorce.
Early on into our marriage, I viewed our relationship incorrectly. I thought getting married was going to usher in my own happiness. When things went wrong, doubt would set in. But later on I came to realize, I had the wrong perspective on what God’s purpose was for marriage. My purpose and completeness should come from God, not my wife.
Gary Thomas points out “the problem with looking to another human to complete us is that spiritually speaking, it’s idolatry. We are to find our fulfillment and purpose in God…and if we expect our spouse to be ‘God’ to us, he or she will fail every day. No person can live up to such expectations.”
As a society, we have an ungodly view on marriage that is more transactional. The pop culture perspective of marriage is focused more on what the other person brings to your life which is quite selfish. Having this perspective on your marriage will lead to disappointment and possibly divorce.
Marriage was not created by God to find our own personal happiness and purpose in another person. He designed marriage to reflect the love He has for us. Our marriages should model the kind of relationship that Christ has for His bride, we the church. We must model the love in our marriages as defined in Ephesians 5:25-30:
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church– for we are members of his body.
This means pursuing a love in our marriages that is sacrificial, purifying, and unwavering. As Christians, our marriages should reflect the love Christ has for us. Marriage is about sharpening each other for our own salvation, not about finding our own personal happiness, purpose, and completeness in another person. Marriages are comprised of two broken people who came together to become one flesh. By having a godly perspective on the purpose of marriage provides the necessary building blocks for a successful and lifelong marriage. The pop culture perspective will only bring disappointment and unhappiness. When we fulfill God purpose for marriage, it will bring glory to Him and His kingdom.
My wife is not the one. She’s the one because I married her. When we came together, I was one, she was one, and when we got married, we became one. I didn’t marry her because we were destined to be together by fate. I married her because that was my choice. And it was her choice to marry me. I love her because I choose to love her. And she loves me because she chooses to love me. No matter what I will always choose to love her every day for the rest of my life. This is my promise to her.