(Editor’s Note: This reflection article is based upon the video RE:NEW Dating and Relationships Series: Soulmates)
Joyce and Agnes’ interesting discussion on the idea of soulmates is so important in light of the messages we receive in society today portraying romantic love as the highest good. We watch movies and listen to songs about “the one.” Every popular show or book has some kind of romantic aspect to it where you’re cheering for the guy and girl to finally fall in love. This prevailing message in society can lead us to idolize a romantic relationship with a supposed soulmate.
But as the Scriptures teach us, God’s love is what completes us (Col 2:10). Christ is our true soulmate, the one who saves us from our sins, who solves our greatest problem and rescues us to be with Him forever. A relationship with Him is the greatest romance. Any romantic relationship on earth is only a shadow of our union with Christ.
When I met my husband back in college, there was no way I ever thought he was going to be my husband. I remember thinking that I didn’t like the way he looked or smelled, but he was such a kind person so of course, I would be his friend. When we started talking more and I got to know him better through hanging out with friends, we found that we got along really well and thought similarly about God, life, and His purpose for our lives.
I remember even then, I thought to myself, no I can probably do better in finding a mate. The summer we started hanging out more I was going to England for a month on a school trip and didn’t want to discount the possibility of meeting someone during my time there. But Geoff was persistent and sent me letters while I was in England, mostly to encourage me in the Lord and share verses God had brought to his mind from the different experiences he had had that summer. Through that exchange the Lord allowed me to see more of Geoff’s heart.
Soon after I came back from England, Geoff asked me to be his girlfriend and I had my hesitations because I wasn’t exactly physically attracted to him, but the verse that came to my mind from the Lord was, “man looks on the outward appearance but the LORD looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). In response, I prayed to the Lord that if He wanted me to be in a relationship with Geoff then please help me to overlook any physical hindrances. God answered that prayer, and since that time, I have had no problem being attracted to my husband whom I’ve known for over 10 years now and to whom I’ve been married about half that time.
I wouldn’t say that Geoff is my “soulmate” but that God orchestrated our lives to be together. We have had struggles and disagreements but ultimately, like Joyce and Agnes said, God doesn’t give us the spouse that we want but one that we need to help us grow in maturity and in our spiritual walk. My life and my walk with the Lord is for the better through my relationship with my husband perhaps because my marriage has not always been easy. It has been a wonderful training ground for spiritual development and character growth–which is still ongoing in my life to say the least, as we still learn and practice responding and relating to one another in the way God calls us to as husband and wife.
When we look for someone out there to complete us instead of God, we fall prey to whomever we may fall in love with at first sight, are strongly attracted to at the moment or whomever fits the picture in our mind for the life we want. In Jeremiah 17:9, the Lord says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” We need to be led not by our hearts but by the One who designed and created our hearts.
Before the Holy Spirit came into my life, I was always looking for a boyfriend or someone to validate me or make me feel good about myself. But when the Holy Spirit began to dwell in me, something in me changed. I desired to follow God, to please Him and to do His will. And any desires contrary to that didn’t make me feel at peace. I used to care so much about what others thought about me and always followed the crowd no matter what. But the Holy Spirit, when he became my “soulmate,” gave me a desire and boldness to be different in order to please and glorify God.
Christ is looking for those who are seeking and searching for Him as their soulmate, that they may receive His Holy Spirit into their lives. When we are complete in Christ, He guides us into His plans for us – “his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).
He knows our needs and the best way to supply those needs. So as we remain in relationship with Him through the reading and living out of His Word, prayer and keeping in step with His Spirit, we can trust that He will help us to discern if we need a life partner and if so, who that “suitable helper” would be (Genesis 2:18). We know that He would not choose for us someone with whom we would be “unequally yoked” (2 Corinthians 6:14) but someone with whom we can grow together, be mutually enriched and partner together in God’s kingdom work. Because we are His children, we can trust that His plans for us are never meant to harm us but to prosper us and to give us a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).
Written by: Elizabeth Hughes