|Photo courtesy of Ambro, Free Digital Photos|
“I married my best friend.”
“My husband is my soulmate.”
I really do understand what people mean when they say these things. Many a terrific marriage started off with a close, non-dating friendship. The Bible even uses the word for friendship when it tells women how to love their husbands. (Titus 2:4) Marriage is supposed to be like that.
At the time I married my husband, I’d say for sure he was one of my best friends. He is definitely my best friend today, thirty-seven years later. We really, truly understand each other, and we enjoy being together. We would rather do things together—except clothing shopping—than with anyone else.
The term soulmate is a little bit fuzzy to me. I’m going to look it up. Okay, here it is: “a close friend who completely understands you; a person who has the same beliefs and opinions as another person.”* Are they kidding? Completely understands you? Has the same beliefs, maybe, but opinions?
I delve a little further. Dr. Carmen Harra, a clinical psychologist, writes in the Huffington Post, “Not just anyone can fulfill you the way your soulmate can. There's a world of a difference between your soulmate, your heart's other half and a life partner—a person who lacks the elements to mold perfectly to you. Your soulmate makes you feel entirely whole, healed and intact, like no piece is missing from the puzzle. A life partner, on the other hand, can be a great supporter and long-time companion, but is limited in his or her capacity to enrich your spirit.” **
She adds ten elements that define a soulmate. They include how the person makes you feel, how you fall in love with him, connect with him, protect each other, and other fairly predictable qualities. Two elements I thought were unique (for want of another word): “Flashbacks: If your partner is your soulmate, chances are he or she has been present in your past lives. Soulmates often choose to come back together during the same lifetime and scope each other out in the big world. You might suddenly and briefly experience flashbacks of your soulmate. You might even feel an odd sense of déjà vu, as if the moment in time has already taken place, perhaps a long time ago, perhaps in a different setting.” Interesting! This is the Buddhist idea of reincarnation. Not at all Truth.
The other element was this: “Soulmates often have a mental connection similar to twins. . . . Though life may keep you apart at times, your minds will always be in tune if you are soulmates.”
I really don’t think so.
Now, my husband and I are close, very close. Sometimes, we actually say the same words out loud together, like in a reader’s theater. It’s hilarious! We’ve even “switched roles” in some ways, because we’ve lived and experienced life together for a very long time.
You know how couples start looking alike after many years of marriage? I’m not sure my husband and I do necessarily, but sometimes you can just see that couples belong together.
But, let me say something radical: I believe there’s a huge danger in propagating the whole idea of soulmate. First, I don’t think such a person exists, except for one.
There is only one person who completely understands you. There is only one person who is so in tune with you that He really, truly understands your attitudes, opinions, thoughts, and heart desires.
He isn’t human. No human being can be so coordinated with you that he understands it all. No woman. No man. There’s only One.
Nowhere in the Bible do you see a married couple that reads each other’s thoughts, though there are some very successful marriages. Only one Person is able to read your thoughts.
And, only one Person can meet your heart needs.
I believe this myth of a soulmate husband is another one of those lies that makes young women—or older ones, for that matter—think they’re going to find someone who completes them. They get this romantic idea that someone is going to ride in on his white steed and sweep them off their feet, and then he will forever after understand them. Seriously? This is fairy tale stuff, and the sooner we get our feet back on the ground, the better.
Even the very best marriages require time, patience, and understanding. Nothing is automatic. A man doesn’t automatically understand a woman. A woman doesn’t automatically understand a man. It doesn’t happen that way. Over time, though, married partners begin to understand each other. They learn how the other thinks, dreams, and reacts. They even become more alike in some ways.
But, they will never be soulmates in the way the word is used nowadays.
No man will ever be your “twin.” No man will ever complete you. And, there certainly never will be anyone in your life who completely concurs with all your opinions and thoughts.
There is One Person, the Lord Jesus Christ, who can and will meet all your heart’s needs. Consider these Bible verses, written to born again Christians:
- And Jesus, perceiving the thought of their heart (from Luke 9:47).
- God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things (1 John 3:20b).
Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. (Psalm 62:8)
- As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him . . . And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power (Colossians 2:6, 10).
- But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).
The only true Soulmate is the Creator of our souls. He’s the only One Who can complete us and supply all our needs. Let's look to Him.
*Merriam Webster Dictionary