The Myth of the " Soulmate"
“God, not your relationship, defines you life.” 1 Corinthians 7.17
Most people do not know the origins of the concept of a soulmate so here it is: A Greek myth tells a story of humans originally being 4 armed and 4 legged creatures, but out of fear of humans growing to powerful, as an act of control, Zeus separated the bodies in half so that each only possessed 2 legs and 2 arms. As an act of punishment, he condemned what was now man and women to spending a lifetime trying to find their other half in an effort to complete themselves. Generations and generations removed from this story, and we still find this weaved in almost every fabric of our society in how we view love.
Even as Christians, many of us have bought into the idea that when God created us, He also created a perfect person just for us. Or if you’re of the more pragmatic caliber, maybe not “perfect” but you may hold a view that there is literally only one person out of billions who was made to fit you in all the right ways , flaws and all. Fair enough, but there is a difference between being with who you deem God has called you to be with vs. thinking a person was created to fulfill you in ways that only God can. Contrary to popular belief, a person can’t save you. A person can not be the sole driver of your personal happiness. There is no person on Earth, no matter how lovely, who can ever actually give you total peace of mind. There is no one God has created with the ability to take on the monumental task of “completing you” other than Christ. No matter how well intentioned, a person can never be to you what only God is built to be to you.
From a Christian stance, the only “soulmate” God ever technically gave us was his son. If you ask any person to be responsible for providing meaning and purpose to your life you will be disappointed every time. It is selfish or maybe just naive to require your significant other to carry you in this way. Every relationship has challenges. People come with their own unique stories and purposes to bring about God’s will for his kingdom. The best thing you two can do, is help one another fulfill that while enhancing the overall better qualities of life for each other. Expecting anything else is selfish no matter how differently romantic comedies try to package it.
God is more concerned with providing you with strategic and beneficial relationships that ultimately point you back to Him. As Paul said in 1 Corinthians 7:7, God grants singleness and marriage both as gifts depending on what’s most appropriate for that individual during that season (meaning God has not created anyone who is “ incomplete”, you simply receive according to your specific needs and sometimes your specific needs don’t even involve another person but further cultivation of your own individuality). God has not created anyone to belong solely to you, He has created people to belong deeply to Him and to His calling. 1 Corinthians 7.32-35 actually warns about the pitfalls of being too consumed with trying to *overly nurture and please the needs of a partner because it typically undercuts your desires to obey and be totally committed to God’s call for you. Ultimately, you must train yourself, to see yourself as a total and complete individual and then allot your partner the same luxury as well.
With all this said, if I'm completely honest, I still have to admit that we do definitely all feel love for some people more intensely and more naturally than for others. But to be clear, the feeling of love and the act of love are two totally different things. The feeling fades comes back then fades again or maybe never does who knows? But the act of love is unwavering, you love when it’s not convenient/when it hurts/ when it’s undeserved etc... and Christianity has always stood on the latter. Love by Christ's definition, therefore, is willed and not just felt. That means it’s everywhere and a very intentional act, not accidentally found or felt for just one person; which also completely debunks the idea that God has poured it into only one person for you.
We have to move from a place of expecting other to serves us and instead view it as God entrusting really special people to us, to help them better serve him. We also ultimately choose who we walk through this life with. I personally have my suspicions that like any good father, He does His best to push us in the right direction, but that choice is ultimately ours. That is what makes love such a risk, you were not fated and it is not a guarantee, and that is what precisely makes it so insanely beautiful and so incredibly terrifying. xx