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Valentines are posted on a storefront Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012 in Montpelier, Vt.
“Soul mates are people who bring out the best in you. They are not perfect but are always perfect for you.”
“Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”
Here is a new thought for Christian singles to consider this Valentine’s Day: In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, and shortly thereafter He created soul mates. No, this is not an actual biblical reference, but allow me to explain why this wonderful kind of love should be seen as something God created for all of us.
The concept of soul mates first appears in Genesis 2:19, “The Lord God said, ‘It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’” From the beginning, God designed the concept of companionship and created a picture of partnership in the first relationship between Adam and Eve, which is further evidenced throughout Scripture in the lives of Abraham and Sarah; and Mary and Joseph; and many others.
From what I know about God’s mission and everything I read in Scripture, God wants to give His children the desires of our hearts, including companionship. In fact, it was God who placed that longing within us, we know He wants what is best for us and has a plan for us in regards to friendships, dating — and especially, marriage. With marriage often mirroring God’s relationship with the church, why wouldn’t he want the same for His followers?
Should Christians believe that there is only one right person out there for them?
This is an issue that has been heavily debated within the Christian community, often in the context of differentiating between God’s perfect and His permissive will. Sadly, most Christian believers seeking God’s will in their relationships begin with the wrong question, focusing on whom they should date or marry, rather than the critical question of what compatible qualities and values he or she should be seeking in a potential life partner. The issue is finding a “soul” mate, rather than a “sole” mate.
To think there is only one right person for you is a good thought, if you think you have, or will meet that person. But, what happens when years pass and “The One” still hasn’t crossed your path? That view could cause anxiety, fear and doubt.
I believe God does care about each of us with respect to finding our soul mates, and though His design involves just one soul mate at a time, it could involve more than one in a lifetime, if one outlives their spouse.
In the Bible, God tells Adam that, “…it is not good for man to be alone,” but He also provides the institution of marriage as a blessing, not a guarantee. Some individuals do find that one ideal spouse, while others settle on a “soul tie” with an individual, in order to fulfill a need for companionship, security or sex. The latter group often ends up being more alone than their peers who stayed single. Still, some are able to grow a relationship to soul mate status through perseverance and hard work.
I believe the concept of a soul mate is different from the question of whether there is one right person out there for each individual. To me, a soul mate is someone who shares one’s goals and belief system, someone with whom one forms a committed partnership, and ultimately, someone with whom one continues to develop and grow a relationship.
A relationship between soul mates is built on mutual respect, trust and, above all, a solid relationship with God. A soul mate does not come to you in a dream or vision, or even at first sight. Rather, a soul mate relationship is developed over time as one gets acquainted with their spouse and discovers who that person truly is.
While this kind of love and commitment isn’t always portrayed on prime-time television or in Hollywood films, the concept of a soul mate still represents something miraculous and wonderful. It is the kind of love that comes, not by finding the perfect person, but by learning to love an imperfect person unconditionally.
This is the kind of soul mate whom I believe we can all find, with God’s guidance and a little patience. This Valentine’s Day, it is my prayer for Christian singles that they trust God to find a soul mate, rather than search for that elusive sole mate.
Ashley Reccord is the Christian community manager for Spark Networks, and owner and operator of ChristianMingle, one of the top Web sites for Christian singles.