[This is an excerpt and shortened version from the study series called 'Marriage: The Myth & The Meaning', shared with the young adults of our church earlier this year (2021)]
How it sounds: “There is one perfect person out there for me.”
Compatibility is not something you find, discover, test for, or stumble into. Compatibility is something you create over a lifetime of marriage. The biblical term for compatibility is “oneness.” Genesis 2:24 says, “they become one flesh.” You don’t find compatibility, you become compatible (Focus on the Family).
The idea that God designed a specific spouse for each person as a soulmate or perfect fit and apart from them you can never be happy is not Biblical. God does not have “the one” as your perfect spouse created from the beginning of time.
I didn't marry Daniela because she was my soulmate I married her because I love her and knew it was God's will for me to marry her. I had peace. Peace from God, not from a movie, novel or catchy love song. So much to unpack here but the order is vital. If you seek a soulmate you may end up with only that, a person who you label or think of as a soulmate, and around whom you can talk about your favorite shows, Insta-influencers, political videos, and even conspiracy theories (deep stuff). You might even get warm, fuzzy feelings, a fast heartbeat and sweaty palms...but they may have nothing to do with God. But if you seek God - sincerely, wholeheartedly - He will bless you with wisdom in choosing a spouse. A spouse who also loves God and seeks His kingdom and righteousness above all other things, including above marriage!
It's interesting how the question is asked in Proverbs 31:10, Who can find a good wife? There's the notion of seeking out...searching.
God's not against you searching for a spouse. He's against you searching without Him.
So, back to soulmates and thinking there is 'one' perfect person out there, reserved only for you...
“May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ. The One who called you is completely dependable. If he said it, he’ll do it!”
What Is a Soulmate? Where Does This Idea Even Come From?
In short, the concept of soulmates stems from Greek Mythology and the famous philosopher, Plato.
In his writing, the Symposium, he taught that men and women were made in one body and were separated by the gods. The Greek myth defined humans as having two faces, four arms, four legs and possessed incredible strength. But the Greek god Zeus feared humans had too much power and strength. He elected to slice every human being in half--thus sentencing us to roam the earth our entire lives in search of our missing half---our soulmate.
With time, this concept took on different forms in pop culture and eventually permeated into all parts of society (entertainment, literature, business, education, etc.), deceiving many. Jerry Maguire was a popular movie in the 1990's that promoted this soulmate idea, made famous (encapsulated) by the line that Jerry (Tom Cruise) says to Dorothy (Renee Zellweger)... "you complete me."
Sorry not sorry, Jerry, you DON'T complete me, only Jesus does!
Paul warns us in Colossians 2:8-10 about hollow and deceptive philosophy (soulmates falls in this category).
‘See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces[a] of this world rather than on Christ. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.’
Does God Give Us A Soulmate?
No. Besides Adam & Eve, nowhere in the Bible do we see God creating someone with the sole intent of being a good match/helper for someone else. We were created for so much more than marriage. Carefully consider the people who never get married! Those people exist too and God loves them and has a plan for them. Are they incomplete because they haven't found their soulmate, as some choose to (errantly) say? Did God mess up? (It's a rhetorical question.) - Note: In Myth #4 we debunk the notion that marriage is for everyone.
All of the above considered, this isn’t to say that God is not particular about who he has us marry or that He doesn't care. He absolutely does. We know that:
1) God cares about us deeply enough to know all the hairs on our head (Luke 12:7),
2) Carries out his will as he pleases (Psalm 135:6), and
3) Works for our good through all things (Romans 8:28).
So, God is intimately involved in who we spend the rest of our life with! He cares and gives us wisdom in how we choose, IF we care enough to ask Him (see James 1:5).
All the intimacy, love, and commitment that people want out of a soulmate can be found (only) within a godly marriage—but not because you found your soulmate and everything is perfect and easy and you go riding off into the sunset. But because of an obedience to God’s Word. And above all, God's grace.
Ephesians 5:22-33, and Colossians 3:18-21 are great starting points to understanding what a godly marriage should look like.
"It is possible to “find the one your soul loves” as Song of Solomon 3:4 reminds us—but not in an idolatrous-Jerry-McGuire kind of way. Instead, it’s in a healthy, godly way." (Crosswalk.Com)
Keep the fire burning,
Short, Biblical lessons and free resources on all things love & marriage. A pocket-guide for married couples and for single adults who want Gods best for their life.