Saturday, October 3, 2015

Soul Mates or Sole Mates?

The idea that there's just one person out there who completes you, is your other half, and with whom a close and intimate relationship is easy and effortless is a secular idea (and a false one), not a Biblical one. Too many people are looking for a soul mate instead of putting the hard work into making the relationship they have work.

Don't worry about whether you and your spouse are soul mates. When you get married, that person becomes your sole mate, and it is God's will that you make that relationship the best it can be.

Of course, some couples find it easier than others to understand one another and get along. And it can be easy to think that someone else has the perfect marriage when they seem to make it work so effortlessly. In some cases, this is due to personality types that are low drama. In most cases, however, it is because those people who seem to have it so good have merely developed good character and habits that make marriage easier and make good communication a regular part of their everyday routine. They figured out behaviors that make life smoother and worked to make them habits.

Here are some good habits to develop in your marriage:

  • Show gratitude for everyday things like taking out the trash, going to work, doing laundry, or making meals

  • Express physical affection (hugs, cuddling, kisses, holding hands) every day and not just during sex or date nights

  • Take time to talk regularly about something that isn't logistics like doctor's appointments or what the kids are doing in school

  • Do little things for each other like getting a glass of water or making a favorite meal without being asked, and do them frequently

  • Consult with each other before making changes, inviting people over, or making large purchases

  • Be careful to speak positively, both to the spouse and about the spouse to others

  • Learn to communicate effectively by listening well and speaking respectfully

  • Resolve conflict calmly and rationally, without arguing or accusations or manipulation

  • See yourselves as teammates and have each other's back

So, whether your marriage is an easy or hard one, whether you finish each other’s sentences or can hardly understand each other, you can make your marriage a close and happy and God-glorifying one. You don’t have to instantly and effortlessly click to build a great marriage.


  1. I couldn't agree more.

    The concept of a soul mate or that one person is meant for you is contributing to the decline of dedicated, permanent, and Godly marriages. Think about it. If a person is your soul mate then there is nothing to work toward since you're obviously meant for each other and things will just work out. Right? It's a childish and superficial sentiment.

    The truth is that you can always find someone prettier, more handsome, nicer, younger, wealthier, etc. But choosing to remain with your spouse is an example of true love reflecting God's unyielding love for us. True love in marriage is not accidental or predestined. It is intentional, willful, and sacrificial which makes it supremely more loving and romantic than any relationship based on the superficial concept of soul mates.

  2. All of those practical suggestions are good.

    My idea of a soulmate, in the Biblical sense, is quite different though.

    The Hebrew word for helpmeet is "ezer k'negdo", which is literally translated as "help opposite". It's a complementary relationship, two halves of a whole. Opposites attract, but then they drive each other crazy precisely because they are opposites. The easy and effortless thing would be to have a relationship with someone who was exactly like us, or someone who was simply there to serve us. That's not the plan, though. It is not good to be alone, God tell us, and that's what it would be like if we simply married our clone. Animals were also not a suitable helpmeet. We need more than physical assistance and comfort and someone to obey us.

    As a couple, we are two halves of a whole - and that whole was created in the image of God. This means that the very things that drive us crazy are what we actually need to be complete, and to reflect Godliness. It's a big concept, but when we actually believe it and think about it, it's a powerful source of respect.

    I'll use my husband and I as an example. I'm an introvert, I tend to quietly think things over, I'm pretty calm and laid back, and I have no problem saying no. My husband is an extrovert, tends to spring into action right away, is full of energy and always needs to be busy, gets impatient when things aren't done quickly and has a hard time saying no. Left to my own devices, not a lot would get done. I'm the brakes in the relationship. Left to his own devices, he could spin out of control. He's the gas. At some point, we realized that it was pointless for us to try to change each other. Neither approach is "right". We work best when we cooperate, and respect that each of us has something valuable to contribute.